ACA Student Trip to Washington

Picture taken from a past Washington trip group (2016).

By Louisa Rux

The Charter News – 5/29/17

From the Jefferson Memorial to the Smithsonian, these students are set for an enriching and fast paced experience.

The small group of four students and four adults (from ACA and the Homeschool Science Group of OMSI) are set to depart by plane for Jamestown, Virginia on June 5th and return on the 12th.

Jilene Modlin, Educational Specialist at ACA, and the company World Strides work together in the planning of the trip. While Jilene is in charge of the paperwork, the group itself, and getting the group to the planned activities, World Strides is there to help set up the hotels, flights, tour guides, and tour buses.

“They just coordinate the whole trip to make it cost efficient, time efficient, and the best it can be,” Jilene’s daughter, (and ACA student) Rachel Modlin, says. “The five days are very busy and fast paced, but worth it,” she added.

After spending a day in Jamestown and Williamsburg, Virginia, Jilene claims the group will go to Washington D.C., mostly focusing on the Smithsonians, the Holocaust Museum, the monuments for the memorials, and the Capital. Other places the group will visit include Ford Theater, Arlington Cemetery, Jefferson Monument, Roosevelt Monument, Washington Monument, and the Holocaust Museum.

Emma Coleman, another ACA student going on the trip, even claimed that the students would get to see the White House from afar.

All these monuments and sites are wonderful for students wanting to bring their US History experience to life, according to Jilene.

“I think that any student that’s taking US History will benefit…Even their Oregon State History is going to be so much more developed because they’re going to know about Jefferson and his trip out here with Sacagawea…it just brings everything alive,” said the elder Modlin.

Rachel confirms that the trip really does have this effect, saying that seeing the Jefferson monument was one of her favorite memories. “At night, the Jefferson Monument lights up. I first saw the monument from across the lake. Blooming cherry blossom trees lined the edge of the lake…It was a perfect way to start the trip.”

The experience can be life-changing, and it can also be enlightening. Emma Coleman claimed, “…being around museums that show what bad things the US has done before might be unnerving,” and that there are definitely things that they’ll see that we don’t agree with today.

Although seeing the monuments is an amazing experience, one thing that can dampen the festivities is the rain. “[Washington has] sudden rainstorms and they can just shock you and soak you…you’re just drenched, and they’ll have flood warnings going on…and it’s so humid and sticky you don’t dry out…for the next several hours,” Jilene says, referring to when everyone is walking about and doesn’t have access to their supplies at the hotel. However, the rain is a small price to pay for the wonderful opportunity, and the students should have fun anyway.

Unfortunately, there has been some concern about safety due to the recent president election and the subsequent drama, which has made several of the families that were planning on going back out.

“They were concerned that complication might occur and didn’t want to be in that situation if it might arise,” Rachel said. However, Jilene is optimistic that nothing worrisome will occur. “Who knows what will happen…but we might be there during the making of something very historic…I hope it’s a very positive something that happens.”

Overall, the trip to Washington is a wonderful educational opportunity, with amazing monuments and precious artifacts, and is a trip worth going on.


Modlin, Jilene. “ACA Student Trip to Washington.” Personal interview. 16 May 2017.

Modlin, Rachel. “ACA Student Trip to Washington.” E-mail interview. 16 May 2017.

Coleman, Emma. “ACA Student Trip to Washington.” E-mail interview. 22 May 2017.