Student Ambassador Garrett N. from Rochester, NY, recently returned from his school’s “Kingdom by the Sea” tour of the British Isles. Lead by his teacher Lynne Brooks, the ACIS trip was both a highlight of Garrett’s senior year and a rewarding experience for Lynne as well. Both student and teacher offered their reflections for us to share, but be forewarned: you may find yourself misty-eyed when reading about Garrett’s positive contributions to his group’s adventure abroad!
Garrett, how would you describe the role of the Student Ambassador?
The position of Student Ambassador is a position intended to help make sure that each student participating on the trip has their desires heard in order to best tailor the trip for the participants. It provides the opportunity to voice opinions in order to shape the trip and create a unique travel experience for the group.
Were there any skills you used as part of the job?
The biggest skill that is needed for this position is the ability to effectively communicate. In my community I’ve held many leadership positions in which communication was important; this translated very well into my position as a Student Ambassador.
Lynne, how did you end up choosing Garrett as your Student Ambassador?
Some background – Garrett came on a trip with me two years ago as a 10th grader to London, Paris, Rome. He was so young and adorable – Everyone called him “Gar-bear!” He saw what my Student Ambassador did on that trip, and I believe he already knew he wanted to travel with me again during his senior year. I didn’t even have to think about who I wanted as my Student Ambassador this year: as soon as Garrett signed up, it was him!
How did Garrett assist you in the trip planning process?
I use my Student Ambassador as both a student leader on the trip and my go-to person if I need anything done. Garrett did everything from rooming lists, to student/parent meetings, to on-the-trip ideas, and generally served as a trouble-shooter for any issues that came up. Garrett was also my “Face for the Trip.” If i needed any announcements made or any conversations with my administration, Garrett was the person I turned to for help and support.
Garrett, what was the most valuable part of your travel experience? Did you face any challenges?
The most valuable part of my experience was participating in all of the different activities that were included in our trip. I enjoyed these because of all of the different cultures and unique perspectives that we were able to see. On this trip the only challenges that we faced were relationship dynamics within our group; we had no external challenges. The skills I gained from this trip will also help me with the amount of travel that I anticipate during my future career.
What was your favorite part about the trip? Any particular experiences you want to share?
Garrett: On this particular trip, my two favorite experiences both occurred in Edinburgh. In one of the local pubs within the grass market, I took the opportunity to eat haggis; it is definitely a unique taste! Our group then decided to climb Arthur’s Seat which overlooks Edinburgh; this hike produced some of my favorite pictures on the trip.
Lynne: On our trip, Garrett and his parents treated us all, including our Tour Manager, to a ride on the London Eye. It was the last day of our trip, and I knew money was running out for some students, so to have Garrett and his parents step up and pay for everyone – it makes my heart happy to see a student wanting to give his classmates this experience.
I have said this before, but when I found out Garrett had been picked for the free trip, I cried, my principle cried, Garrett’s mom cried – because sometimes the world bends towards a person who makes our school a better place and who will make our world a better place and that person is Garrett.