Senior Trip Re-Imagined

Kayla Frank

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the coveted Emery senior-year trip to Israel was inevitably canceled this year. This announcement shocked the senior class, as many were hopeful that Israel was still an option this spring. While Israel may not be happening for Emery’s Class of ‘21, a new trip was rolled out, giving the seniors something exciting to look forward to.

In mid-May, Emery seniors will be embarking on a 10-day trip throughout Arizona and Utah. The trip will include hiking, camping, and grade-level bonding. The trip is being hosted by the company Envoys, and there will be an emphasis on reflection and community. Seniors will be exploring Arizona towns such as Flagstaff, Sedona, and Grand Canyon Village. There will be seven Envoys group leaders to guide seniors through this experience. Daily activities during the trip include a visit to the Lava River Cave, stargazing, a challenge hike, and wilderness cooking. 

Senior Bella Deutser said that she is “excited to embark on a new adventure with the senior class,” and while it’s not Israel, she is still “looking forward to experiencing the American West.” Senior Carolyn Kessler is looking forward to the “outdoor activities and beautiful scenery in both Arizona and Utah.”

Casey Fleming, the Director of Experiential Education at Emery, recognizes that Seniors are disappointed about Israel. She believes that “while nothing can replace Israel as a culminating Emery experience, we hope the landscape of the American Southwest provides a rich backdrop for seniors to commune as a grade-level one last time, to feel the spiritual potency of the desert, and to reflect on the importance of place, identity, and heritage. And, of course, to have fun!”

The administration has worked tirelessly to provide seniors with this unique opportunity in the face of such challenging times. Senior Rachel Melman says that “she would like the administration to know how extremely grateful the seniors are for all of the work put into the planning, and that everyone is looking forward to the trip in a few short days.”