8-18 Media: Looking back on adventures in Washington, D.C.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is part one of a three-part series. Part two will run in the Oct. 17-18 weekend edition of The Mining Journal, with part three to run the following weekend.

Have you ever been to Washington D.C? I have been there twice. I went there once in fourth grade, and once during the summer of 2019, before the pandemic. The time I went in fourth grade, we went as a family for a few days, but when we went two summers ago, it was for a very different reason.

It started back in fourth grade. My teacher was really nice. Fast forward to fifth grade, in mid-October I got a letter in the mail. I was very surprised when it arrived, not because I never get mail (although that is also true), but because it arrived with a gold seal and the address said it came from Pennsylvania Avenue.

At first, I was very confused because the only address I knew on Pennsylvania Avenue was the White House. It was a very thick envelope with a very fancy and professional seal on the front. The letter informed me that I had been nominated by my fourth-grade teacher to go to a leadership camp in Maryland. There was also a lot of other information like how to register, dress code, how much it cost, etc. Since I just got home from ballet and was exhausted, I didn’t really fully understand what had just happened until the next day. There was a deadline to register for the camp and it was soon, so we had to decide fast. I had reservations about registering, but in the end, we decided that it would be a great experience, and a once in a lifetime chance.

Once we registered, even though it was still a little less than a year away we had to do a lot to prepare for the camp. There were two options for the camp: you could stay in the camp hotel with some other campers or you could go with your family and stay where you wanted. My family decided to come with me and we made reservations for a really nice hotel close by where the camp took place. Camp was a week long and I needed a uniform, so we looked around stores in Marquette to try and find appropriate clothing. Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, we didn’t find any clothes that met the requirements, so that meant a shopping trip to Appleton.

Usually in March we go to Duluth with my grandma and mom for a girl’s weekend to see a ballet, but that year it didn’t happen so instead we went to Appleton to shop for clothes for our Maryland trip. The first store we went into we got a shirt and a dress. They were navy blue with white stripes and really nice. Since the colors met the requirements we thought it met the dress code. After we bought the fancy expensive dress and shirt and were in another store, we realized that they didn’t meet the dress code requirements because they were striped. We could have returned them, but I really liked the dress and shirt so we decided to keep them. By the end of our girls’ weekend we had most of the clothes I needed, and a lot- I mean a few- additional items, including a bag full of Bath and Body Works stuff, some chocolatey fudge, and more clothes.

A few months passed, and soon it was almost time for our departure to Maryland. My suitcase was neatly organized with packing cubes. The morning we left for the airport we had to wake up at 4:00 a.m. Once we got dressed and ready, we packed up the car and headed towards the airport. We flew to Minneapolis, then from there flew to Reagan National Airport in Washington D.C.

Once we got to Washington D.C, we drove to our hotel in Maryland. It was a very fancy hotel, and we were on the executive floor. When we got to the hotel, we unpacked and “explored” the hotel. On our floor we had a lounge just for people in the executive levels. We spent a lot of time just hanging out there when I wasn’t at my camp. Also, in the hotel, was a bar/restaurant, bagel shop, and pizza place! Camp started the next day…to be continued.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Esme Ulland-Joy is 12. She is in the 7th grade this year.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)

Starting at $4.75/week.

Subscribe Today