Academy Life

The 7th Grade Keys Trip

By Duaa K.

A couple weeks ago the 7th graders went on their epic field trip  to the Florida Keys! They explored the keys and delved deeper into what they were learning at school, ecosystems in science and the effects of plastic pollution on wildlife that they studied in language arts. 7th grade also had many team-building activities that represented the 2022-2023 theme, “To be United.” 

The first day was definitely the most hectic day out of them all! Students were required to wake bright and early to arrive at 6:30 A.M. Mhm, you heard me! Once we arrived, we put all of our carry-ons and luggage into the secret compartment of the bus. The 7th grade class departed the school and basically Tampa at 7 A.M., We had our first stop at a nature walk three hours in where we got to see alligators in the wild, raccoons climbing trees, and Mr. Trueman and Karson having a bit of a kerfuffle. We had lunch and then we made our next stop, which was an airboat ride! This had to be one of my favorite things that we did, not because of the ride, but because we got poured on by rain as we were going incredibly fast on top of the Everglades water. Next, we had dinner at a restaurant where we pre-ordered our dinner and topped it off with some key lime pie. Once we completed that, we finally got to the hotel. We had base camp, which is where you talk about the day, what you did, and how you feel. This was also the time where you could call your family. Then, we got our rooms, and were required to be in our room at 9:00. The teachers recommended that we should go to bed around 9:30, yet I don’t think anyone did that. 

We woke up bright and early at 6:00 A.M. on the second day, thanks to wake-up calls and the teachers pounding on our doors. We were required to get out around 6:30 to have breakfast and then left at 7:00. My group’s first stop was to practice snorkeling. We were to practice in this “ocean,” yet due to it being raining when we snorkeled, we weren’t able to see anything except a nurse shark because of murkinesses. Afterwards, we got to do my favorite thing, riding with dolphins! We were shown tricks that the dolphins could do, sounds they could make, and touch them. We were also able to ride them, which was fun! We took a shower, changed, and left to go back where we snorkeled to have lunch, do a nature walk, create our own wild animals, and explore the aquarium. Then, we departed for tarpon feeding! We stopped at this little area that included gift shops, a restaurant, games, and an area to feed tarpon. After, we had dinner which included some fresh seafood and then had base camp at this beautiful location where we watched the sun go down. After that, we got to the hotel and ended the day.

The third day started a little later at 6:30 and we left at 7:30 for our first stop which was dip-netting! We explored what was going on in the seagrass by using nets to capture all of the little creatures that thrive there. Afterward, we stopped at a park and then left to go to the turtle hospital. We learned about turtles, their diseases, how we can help, and also we got to feed them! We later departed for snorkeling. Before we went snorkeling, we had lunch and enjoyed the scenic boat ride to the area of snorkeling. When we got there, we snorkeled, did backflips, ingested a lot of seawater, and had fun! We then left for the hotel, took our showers, called our parents, and left to get some authentic seafood for dinner! Once dinner was completed and digested we headed for base camp at this 7-mile-walk area where we were able to discuss, talk, and walk around while enjoying the sunset. Then, we returned to the hotel, packed, and rested.

The final day was now upon us. We woke up at 6:30 and did some final packing and loaded our luggage away. We stopped kayaking and then took a quick shower, changed, and had lunch. We then departed to go to our final stop at a famous farmers market called, “Robert Is Here.” Here we explored all the fruits and vegetables, and the animals, and got some delicious milkshakes. After, we drove the rest of the time except for some quick bathroom breaks. And finally, around 7:40 P.M. on Friday the 14th, we arrived back at the school.

Overall, The Keys field trip was one unforgettable experience that I would for sure recommend to everyone who can go! We got to learn new things about our state, spend time together as a grade, and made some pretty amazing memories. Just like one student, Amelie S., put it, “It was really fun and we did a lot of interesting activities while we were there!”

Photo Credits: The Academy Community