A Ranking of Every Field Trip I’ve Ever Been On

A+Ranking+of+Every+Field+Trip+I%27ve+Ever+Been+On

I’ve been on plenty of field trips throughout my time at Graded, having been here since 1st grade. On some trips, we witnessed breathtaking natural beauty and geographic features, whilst others focused on culture and history. Note that I will only be ranking overnight trips, thus excluding field trips prior to 4th grade and day trips (such as Salesópolis in 5th grade or BrSS field trips to museums). Additionally, I won’t be ranking extracurricular trips, so I won’t include Little/Big tournaments, MUN conferences, or similar excursions. 

 

  1. São Luiz do Paraitinga (6th Grade)

Unfortunately, one field trip had to come last on the list, and in this case, it’s São Luiz do Paraitinga. One bad thing about this trip is that it replaced the highly-acclaimed Nosso Recanto (the venue of Little 8 and Big 4/8) as the 6th grade trip, which left me jealous of the upperclassmen who went on the now-defunct field trip. That said, it was by no means a bad trip; rafting in the Paraitinga River was one of the most enjoyable experiences of all the middle school trips (though the water was dangerously shallow and we had to get out and carry the raft at one point). We spent most of the trip learning about the repercussions of a flood in 2010 which devastated both the city and the surrounding nature, which was interesting, but as a 6th grader I became bored pretty quickly. 

 

  1. Rio Tietê (5th Grade)

The 5th grade field trip was an interesting one, as we visited 5 different cities along the infamously polluted Tietê River, but came back to the same hotel every night. It was insightful to see how the river’s worsened state affects the surrounding nature as well as the cities which lie on it, though to be frank it was also a bit demoralizing and gave my 5th grade self a bleak outlook on humanity’s future. Having to shuttle between 5 cities also resulted in lots of time spent on buses; however, it was all worth it because of the hotel. As a 5th grader, getting to share a chalet with a couple of friends is about as good as it gets, especially when there’s a massive water slide right around the corner.

 

  1. Minas Gerais (8th Grade)

This was the first field trip where we got to fly to our destination, which was a huge plus; this allowed for shorter transit, whilst the usual shenanigans occurred at the airport instead of on a bus. However, I quickly learned that flying didn’t mean we were exempt from bus rides, as we spent our time in the cities of Ouro Preto, Mariana, and Brumadinho (despite landing in Belo Horizonte). In these cities, we spent a lot of time looking at churches, which are obviously magnificent works of architecture, but we spent so much time looking at them that I hardly remember doing anything else throughout the excursion. We also went to Inhotim, a museum with lots of interactive exhibitions and a vast outdoor area. Overall, it was a culturally rich trip; I just don’t know how engaged 8th graders are with culture. This destination was later replaced with Chapada dos Guimarães.

 

  1. PETAR (7th Grade)

The Alto Ribeira Tourist State Park, better known as PETAR, is replete with caves and natural features. Between hiking from cave to cave, trying to remember the difference between stalagmites and stalactites, and shining our flashlights into the darkest corners of caves to try and spot bats, it was a great experience and definitely a step up from São Luiz do Paraitinga. The biggest drawback of the trip had nothing to do with PETAR itself, but rather that the bus ride was 6 hours long. Additionally, the hotel wasn’t the safest for the typical rambunctious 7th grader; right outside the rooms, there was a steep hill which led onto a gravel street, and a few misguided souls had the brilliant idea to roll down it, resulting in a few scratches (and a trip to the hospital for one unlucky person).

 

  1. Bonito (9th Grade)

Bonito had big shoes to fill, as it replaced the highly-acclaimed excursion to Iguaçu Falls, and our grade was the first to experience it as a freshman trip; it was replaced as the senior’s field trip a few years prior. It definitely lived up to its expectations, as we were immersed in all sorts of natural beauty. We snorkeled in the Prata River, allowing us to see a plethora of different species, and visited a grotto whose water looked intensely blue. We also engaged in cultural activities, as we made/tried local food and learned about history. The singular drawback of the trip was the long journey to get there; a flight followed by a long bus ride resulted in a transit time of about 7 hours, but everyone was too excited to notice.

 

  1. Sítio do Carroção (4th Grade)

Sítio do Carroção was the coming-of-age field trip that every 4th grader spent all year looking forward to. It was, in many eyes, the first “real” field trip, as it was the first overnight trip. It was packed with all sorts of fun activities; we walked through the forest, looking for dinosaur fossils and crashed airplanes (obviously, they weren’t real, but that didn’t take away from the fun of it), while also enjoying many pools and water slides located all over the vast premises of Sítio do Carroção. The only issue was the sleeping situation; we were housed in giant rooms of about 20 to 25 people, which made getting any sleep near impossible, but if we’re being honest that’s exactly how your first time away from home should be.

 

  1. Lençóis Maranhenses (10th Grade)

Long before I had ever been to Lençóis, I had heard incredible amounts of effusive praise for it, as it’s widely agreed upon as the best trip Graded has to offer. It definitely lived up to the expectations, if not surpassing them altogether. We learned a lot about local culture and history, all of which was interesting, but the star of the whole trip was the national park with the dunes. Looking at a picture of the dunes does not do them justice; while they still look gorgeous, you have to be there to truly witness a breathtaking sight like no other. I never realized how vast the dunes were, stretching all the way to the horizon with dazzlingly blue pools sprinkled in between them. As our day at the dunes came to an end, we watched a beautiful, prismatic sunset which seemed like it was straight out of a movie ending. I can confidently say that Lençóis is one of, if not the most beautiful place I have ever visited in my life. Unfortunately, it was my last field trip with Graded; we didn’t have one in 2020, and I don’t imagine we will have one in 2021 due to COVID-19. However, there is no better way to have ended my CWW experience than to have visited such an ethereal paradise. 

Whether you agree or not, hopefully, this list allowed you to take a trip down memory lane and reminisce about past experiences in great places whilst on field trips with Graded!

Image sources: Transportal, Sítio do Carroção, Globo, Ecoa