Our Nation’s Seat, “Close-Up” and Personal

Written by Claire Momberger, Newsbreaker Staff

For over thirty years, Pacific Grove High School students and staff have made the cross-country trip to Close-Up in Washington D.C. and Williamsburg, Virginia. Over the course of the week-long trip, participants witness modern American government in action.  Students also have a chance to experience what life was like for the American Colonist, watch a show at the Ford Theatre, visit the Smithsonian Museums, and admire the National monuments. The trip also offers Pacific Grove students a unique chance to meet, live and work with other students from across the United States and Puerto Rico.

Ms. Griffiths has taken students on the Close-Up trip for twenty-seven years. She says that one of her favorite parts of the trip is the visit to the Supreme Court where they are allowed to watch a case in process at the national level. Ms. Griffiths also said that the students enjoy meeting other kids from across the country while in the nation’s capitol.

Mr. Bell recalls his trip in 2012 and how much he enjoyed the National Archives tour. He says, 

“[the National Archives tour] makes all of the history come alive because you are actually looking at the documents and seeing the writing and signatures.””

— Mr. Bell

Both Ms. Griffiths and Mr. Bell mentioned the excitement in meeting the Congressmen and women who help run our country every day.  The Close-Up trip usually takes place the week after Thanksgiving each year and the school’s program offers generous scholarships to help cover costs. If you have any questions about costs, dates, or the trip in general, you can talk to Ms. Griffiths in room K-3.

The Close-Up trip is a great opportunity for Pacific Grove students to get up close and personal with the procedures of our nation’s government.