Go here for the Close Up official promo video.
And here for Video Reflections of Oakridge Close Up Students.
Go here for Fall Membership Meeting – All Significant Documents.
Go here for recent updates on the OHS 2017 Close Up Trip.
Close Up is cool. Close Up is fun. Close Up gets you out of Oakridge High School for a week in May when Washington D.C. is warm and beautiful and filled with flowers and Michigan is grey, cold, and ugly. Close Up hooks you up with your nation, your elected representatives. Close Up encourages you to question the answers, to seek out new adventure, to travel and to explore. Close Up connects you with deaf kids, with black people and brown people and Asians and Indians and Native Americans and young folks from all over the globe.
The Close Up Program is the best thing I’ve ever come across that combines travel and fun and learning. Then it serves it all up on a platter that is appealing to high school kids. In D.C. you meet with your Michigan Senators and Representatives. You’ll tour governmental buildings – including the Capitol, Smithsonian, White House, and Supreme Court, as well as D.C.’s famous monuments. Workshops highlight everything from the gay rights, to ISIS, Iraq and Syria, to school bullying and the struggle for world wide human rights; its all on the agenda. You debate things with new friends and see things from perspectives that you may never have considered before. You listen, you share, you learn. You join with others for a night of Theatre at the Kennedy Center on the Potomac. You visit DC neighborhoods, cool restaurants, shopping malls and embassies. It’s unique; you’ll be turned onto things you likely never before experienced.
Every year we go during “Deaf Week.” A third of the kids at our hotel (Close Up total is usually a couple of hundred students) are deaf. You room with them, eat and travel and eventually tell jokes with them. Many Oakridge Close Up students come back from that week with a mission to learn sign. You’ll find out one thing for sure – deaf kids can dance!
…and that is just the “Sunday to Friday” Official Program.
Oakridge High School has been participating in Close Up since 1990. And I think we’ve got the best program in all of the country. We head out on Saturday morning before the whole thing begins. We roam the city on our own. We stay at the Bier Baron Hotel on Dupont Circle…we explore DC neighborhoods and festivals Saturday afternoon, we walk the monuments on Saturday midnight, we tour Eastern Market on Sunday afternoon, we dance at the drum circle in Malcolm X Park, before heading back to our hotel and meeting all those kids from around the world – who unfortunately for them just flew into town.
During the week – Oakridge Close Up adds opportunities that nobody else on Program enjoys. We volunteer at the DC Kitchen, we work with the staff and make food for the homeless. We visit the Earth Conservation Corp to learn about life on the Anticostia River, and visit Mr. Hoots. If the Nationals are in town – we might go to a ballgame. And if there’s a protest that we deem just – we might just join that as well
We will do DC on Close Up the way that everybody should do DC – eyes wide open, making the most of every minute we are there. Politically and Socially and Culturally awake, you will leave our nation’s capital a changed human being. Close Up has become a jumping off point for so many kids moving onto great things. Close Up is a doorway to the world. Open it!
Close Up is open to tenth, eleventh, and twelfth grade students. And we have taken a slew of foreign exchange students over the years. In fact if you’re an exchange student I think that you’ll find Close Up the most diverse and exhilarating of all your trip options that you have available to you, while you are here in the States.
And so that’s the story. If think you might want to be a part of Oakridge Washington Close UP stay tuned to this blog – we will get moving in September 2015 to travel in Spring of 2016. The Blendspace below features interviews with past travelers from 2013, 2014, and 2015 – that will provide you an intimate look at a Great Program.
So – tune in. Gear up. Touch base with me. And get ready to for a memorable experience in May of 2017.
- Open the Blendspace above to listen to Oakridge students reflect on their experience with Close Up in Washington D.C.
- And below enjoy a slideshow of our 2013 Washington Close Up voyage…