Mr. Blotter and Mr. Morgan go to Washington |

Mr. Blotter and Mr. Morgan go to Washington

Andy Bourelle

Have you ever been to Washington, D.C.?

County middle school teachers Tom Blotter and Tom Morgan have gone the last four years during spring break – taking with them 20 to 50 children and parents each year.

They are organizing their fifth trip for this April and encourage any middle school-aged children to come along. Spending April 12 through 17 at the nation’s capital, children will have the opportunity to see a variety of attractions, including the Capitol Building, Arlington National Cemetery, the White House and the National Cathedral.

Also, Blotter, a teacher at Carson Valley Middle School, and Morgan, from Pau-Wa-Lu Middle School, take the children to see all the monuments – Washington Monument, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Iwo Jima Memorial, etc. – and all of the Smithsonian Institution museums – Natural History, American History, Air and Space, and Gallery of Art.

The two have been offering the trip long enough, Blotter said, that they have modified and changed it year to year as they have learned what makes the optimal experience for everyone.

“It’s been a real building process,” Blotter said. “Every year we learn new things, change the schedule a little. We’ve been doing it long enough we really have a feel for it. We do it right.”

The trip is provided by Lakeland Tours, a national company. Blotter and Morgan are the tour directors, a professional tour guide accompanies the trip, and the two teachers plan to have a ratio of at least one adult for every 15 students. They said the trip is organized, with few exceptions, in historic order. The trip begins in colonial Jamestown and colonial Williamsburg before going on to Washington, D.C.

The two teachers said they provide the tours for much of the same reasons they teach – because they love to work with children and watch them learn.

“I think we got into it just to give kids the opportunity to go,” Blotter said. “We like to share the experience. We like to watch kids explore the original fascination we had at one time.”

The cost for the trip is $1,045, and the two teachers said it is worth the amount.

“I think it’s a great deal,” Morgan said. “It includes everything – air fare, food, entrance fees, the tour guide.”

“You don’t have to spend a dime once you’re there,” Blotter said. “If you want to buy T-shirts or souvenirs, that’s your responsibility. Everything else is taken care of. You get your money’s worth.”

Only the first 50 applicants can be accepted.

Blotter and Morgan have scheduled an informational meeting for 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 17 at the Douglas County Library, where they will provide information about the trip, present a slide show and answer questions. The two teachers said they like being familiar with the students who go, and have several meetings before the trip for them to get to know Lake students or other County students who they have not had in class. The trip is not provided through the county school system.

For additional information, Blotter and Morgan invite parents or children to call them at home. Blotter’s phone number is 267-3947; Morgan’s is 265-4595.