College is an awfully big adventure, and having time to explore it can be a lot of fun, as our Upward Bound Central and East students found out first-hand last week as they enjoyed trips three Wisconsin colleges, a weekend of camaraderie with new friends, and a production of Peter Pan by the Fireside Dinner Theater.
The first destination for UB Central students was Marian University, where they stretched their legs with a 20 minute tour of the cozy Marian campus immediately upon arrival, followed by an admissions presentation. The college outdid itself in treating our students to a buffet-style lunch, complete with pizza, seafood, and ice cream, and surprising each of them with a free university backpack.
After lunch, the Central students joined UB East at UW-Whitewater for a panel discussion about important decision-making factors such as class size, different majors, and campus life. Afterward, they took a walking tour of campus, seeing the lecture halls and a dorm room and ending at the university bookstore. They also met with previous UB students to learn more about campus life. This trip proved wonderful success, as between the two programs, three students will attend UW-Whitewater this fall!
Topping off the trip, both UB groups departed to prepare for the Fireside Dinner Theater in Fort Atkinson, to see Peter Pan. While Fireside does not have a formal dress code, it was a great opportunity to teach students theater etiquette, and it is always a treat to see them dressed up and taking pictures with their friends. They enjoyed the play from the first three rows, center-stage, with much laughter, smiles, and clapping for fairies.
Once the show was over, UB Central loaded their bus one last time and started the trek back home, while UB East returned to their hotel to rest before travelling to Lakeland College in Plymouth for another day of collegiate fun. After a comprehensive campus walking tour, they were treated to lunch with the tour guides, an admission adviser, and college President Daniel Eck. The college then gave an admissions presentation with useful insights on how high school students can prepare for college with their current activities.
UB East took their coach bus to one final learning experience at the Maritime Museum in Manitowoc before heading home. There, students engaged in an artifact-based scavenger hunt, participated in a simulation of being in a submarine during wartime, and toured the USS Cobia submarine, which included crawling and ducking through the small spaces.
After a busy weekend, the students were still laughing and discussing their experiences and future plans on the bus ride home. The opportunity to experience these campuses and talk with their students are great treasures, and we appreciate all of the time and effort that these colleges take to inspire our students to fly!