Grade VI Visits West Point

One of the most memorable field trips of a St. Bernard’s education is the Grade VI trip to West Point.
Each year sixth graders, along with their teachers and parent chaperones, take a two-hour bus ride to the United States Military Academy at West Point.  Colonel Edward Sobiesk (ret.) organizes the memorable day and the school is most grateful.  Upon returning from this year’s trip in December, the sixth graders each wrote Col. Sobiesk a thank you note.  Below are a few excerpts from their letters to the Colonel.     
Thank you very much for letting me come and experience West Point from the inside.  I am very grateful to you and all the other professors for spending so much of your valuable time with us.  I am also grateful to all the cadets for their devoted service to our country and for protecting the freedoms that we cherish today. …I completely enjoyed the experience and have learned many things about life as a member of the armed forces.  I was humbled by all the personal sacrifices that these cadets make, such as enduring the rigorous training that I cannot even imagine having to go through.  I also made the realization that these men and women were not just born into their uniforms and that they could have easily just chosen to lead a normal life.  Every day, I will try a little harder to be like the persistent cadets of West Point.

After a long bus ride, I really enjoyed learning about West Point’s history and architecture in the library, and I liked touring the superintendent’s office.  (Thank you for not making us stay out in freezing cold.)  Then, you led us to the Thayer Award Room, and I learned a lot of information about West Point academics and the awards you can earn.  I loved learning about the plethora of West Point’s alumni that have done remarkable things, including Neil Armstrong and Dwight Eisenhower.  My favorite part of the trip was meeting the cadets and asking them a myriad of questions.
After their tour, the boys joined an Army vs. Navy spirit lunch, complete with a band and cheerleaders.  The boys then participated in one simulation class and four technology classes: photonics, hacking, robotics, and computer science.  Rounding out the day was a trip to the school store for some West Point gear.
I personally loved Photonics.  I find it so cool that you can transfer energy through lasers.  Now, I want to be a laser DJ when I grow up.  Hacking was really cool too.  I didn’t know that you could actually hack an online game.  Robotics was awesome.  The robots were sensational.  We also saw a drone that could recognize what it saw.  Computer Science was neat.  I find the coding language unique.  The simulations were something else.  We actually got to make the tanks and then fight each other with them.
I could not believe how big the mess hall was, when I walked in, I thought I was in a football stadium.  I really enjoyed the story that the cadet told us about his exciting and inspiring life and I was astonished by all the spirit at the football lunch and the great food! …In conclusion, I am mind-blown by what happens at West Point in a single day, and if I ever get another chance to go back to West Point, I will accept it right away.  I am so thankful for all that you have taught me, Professor Sobiesk.
The pep rally was also really fun, and the food was really great.  The musicians were very talented and it sounded very good.  Those hats we got were really funny.  And those uniforms looked sick!  And all the merchandise in the gift shop was really nice and comfortable.  Thank you for always being nice to the St. Bernard’s boys and our whole community.
Special thanks to Colonel Sobiesk, Gardner Crary ’12, and everyone at West Point who welcomed our boys.