GIPS students go on Oregon Trail trip

Published: Apr. 30, 2021 at 7:50 PM CDT
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - Fourth grade students at Newell Elementary School got to experience days on the Oregon Trail. On Friday, they traveled three miles on foot just like the pioneers did.

They built wagons out of old Shopko shopping carts to take with them on their journey. They traded goods and made butter at Fort Kearney also known as Walnut Middle School. They also climbed Tornado Hill to represent the pioneers trek through the Rocky Mountains.

“Yes it’s hot, they had to work really hard,” Fourth Grade Teacher Danielle Dudo said. “They were all like, “what we have to climb up the mountain,” but oh my gosh to see their faces and their smiles. They worked together and they loved it.”

Dudo got the idea from teachers in Kearney. She reached out to them for advice and set all this up for the entire fourth grade class.

“We spent months talking about the Oregon Trail and how the pioneers faced hardships and weather and so we wanted the kids to be able to experience this first-hand themselves,” Dudo said.

Dudo worked on this trip for more than a year. She mean’t to do it last year but it got cancelled when schools shut down last spring.

“This year we asked the principle, “hey is this going to be possible,” he said by May possibly,” Dudo said. “So we put a letter into the pandemic team saying these are the ways we’re going to be safe. This is so meaningful for the kids and they approved, so it feels great to be out here in the sun and just doing something normal with the kids.”

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