RHS social studies teacher, Kathryn Drewry, planned the special field trip to the Manzanar National Historic site as a culmination of the study of World War II and as an opportunity for students to study archeology and meet with people interned at the site during World War II.
The students dug around the old administration building site where a layered line of rocks, creating a border, is being uncovered. Students sat in the dirt and dried brush to carefully dig around the rocks, shoveling the dirt into buckets, and then sifting the dirt on large screens over wheelbarrows, in search of artifacts.
“We found cans, bullets, and glass. The big find was two large "Old Stag" bottles, completely in tact, with the corks still in place, but the contents long since evaporated. The students also got to paint the rocks along the driveway. “ - Kathryn Drewry, Social Studies Dept Chair, RHS
Mrs. Drewery and the students stated the best part of the trip were the breaks. During the breaks, students drank water, had snacks, and rested in the shade while the adults shared their experiences with students including their education, their work, their love of history and their enthusiasm for volunteering and community service.
Drewry says the adult volunteers chatted all day with students, laughed with them, and were genuinely impressed by the teenagers. They even took the group to the center of the camp, where the original fruit tree orchards at Manzanar are being nursed back to life.
“We got to go in and pick as many fresh, ripe pears as we desired. When the kids said they couldn't wait to taste them, a former internee bit into hers and declared them perfect to eat right then. So, all of them started eating!” - Kathryn Drewry, Social Studies Dept Chair, RHS
According to Drewry, uncovering the past, while visiting with people who have lived through it, brought history to life for our students. She believes it is a field trip the students will remember for a lifetime.