For the past two years, Plymouth High School history teachers Melissa Faulstich and Ryan Wolfe have been planning a second Adventurous Pilgrim trip to Europe for PHS students to study history abroad. On Thursday, July 11, 2019, the second voyage will become a reality when the group meets at Plymouth High School to set sail on their 12-day journey. The trip has been arranged as it was in 2017 through Education First and travelers will leave the U.S. via an overnight flight to Europe out of Chicago. The first PHS Adventurous Pilgrims study abroad trip happened in 2017 on July 10. On the trip were 13 students, two history teachers and a handful of parents who served as chaperones. The second time around, 32 students, five PHS teachers, two PCSC employees, along with eight parents or relatives, will make the trip to Europe.

“This group is much larger than our first trip in 2017. Last time, we had 19 Plymouth travelers who combined with student groups from California, New Jersey, and Maryland to fill a coach and travel in Europe.  This time, we have 47 Plymouth travelers, so we will have our own coach to travel in Europe,” said PHS history teacher Melissa Faulstich who went on the 2017 trip and will be making the trip this time around as well.

Thirty-two of the 47 travelers are PHS students, which consists of 12 soon-to-be seniors, Katie Fisher, Diego Garcia, Scarlet Gibson, Quincy Hess, Mary Hildebrand, Graci Holm, Colin Hooley, Jenna Justice, Elle Lee, Ali Manges, Ashley Rosas, and Ayanna Soria. The 16 soon-to-be PHS juniors are Jeik Barron, Maggie Bradway, Matt Dobuck, Chloe Garner, Ella Hissong, Kameron Kopetski, Billy Krumrie, Emma Kruyer, Brenna Large, Abby Nelson, Ethan Oliver, Samantha Paterson, Jocelyn Sieh, Libby VanVactor-Keenan, Savannah Weston, and Makayla Wilson. The three soon-to-be PHS sophomore travelers are Khloe Miller, Skyler Aker, and Tanner Feece. One incoming freshman, Lauren Manges, will be among the group, along with Faulstich, her two PHS history teaching colleagues Laura Kruyer and Ryan Wolfe, WSOI teachers Curtis Nordmann and Haley Church, and PCSC administrative secretary Lisa Huff and PHS custodian Janet Manuwal. Eight parents or family members will be on the Adventurous Pilgrims trip as well.

Last time, the trip itinerary consisted of guided tours in England, France, Belgium, Germany, and Austria. This time, the trip will include stops in England, France, and Italy.  Faulstich said the itinerary will consist of specific stops in London at the National Gallery, Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, a guided tour at the Tower of London, and at a theater for a performance of Wicked. In Dover, travelers will receive a guided tour of Dover Castle. In Normandy, the group will make stops at the Caen Memorial, the American Cemetery at Omaha Beach, and Pointe du Hoc. “I love taking the students to Normandy. Walking the grounds of the American Cemetery is a very sobering experience. That whole region has so much history that can still be seen, and our tour guide shares so much interesting information to connect all the details. History really comes alive,” said Faulstich. As PHS travelers did in 2017, the Adventurous Pilgrims will spend time in Paris with stops at the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre, and the Palace of Versailles. Faulstich said, “Students are always excited to see the Eiffel Tower.”

New on the itinerary during this year’s study abroad trip, Plymouth travelers will be making a stop in Florence, where they will tour the Duomo Cathedral which dominates the skyline. They will also have the opportunity to visit the Galleria dell’Accademia di Firenze, an art museum best known as the home of Michelangelo’s sculpture David.

Travels will conclude in Rome with a visit to the Vatican City for a tour of the Apostolic Palace where they’ll see the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica. “Many of our students are very excited to visit the Vatican,” said Faulstich.

Once the trip concludes on July 22, Faulstich said the PHS history teachers will begin planning for a third PHS Adventurous Pilgrims trip to Europe for the summer of 2021. “It is a great opportunity for our students,” said Faulstich.

You are encouraged to once again follow the group’s journey through the PHS Adventurous Pilgrims social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The links to follow the voyage on social media are found below.

  • Twitter: @Adventpilgrims

  • Facebook: Adventurous Pilgrims

  • Instagram: @Adventurouspilgrims