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Helmut Schmidt, Published October 09 2013

Shutdown alters Park Christian School students' tour plans for Washington, D.C.

MOORHEAD – It looks like students from Park Christian School will be getting an impromptu lesson on government inaction.

The proposed itinerary for the private school’s 15th annual ninth-grade trip to Washington, D.C., has taken a beating, as many of the nation’s most popular monuments, museums and other sites remain closed due to the federal government shutdown.

“All of us are kind of waiting to see what will happen,” Jennie Hoven, the school’s director of guidance and tour leader, said Wednesday.

Hoven said 24 students and 12 adults will be on the six-day tour, which takes off Saturday for Williamsburg, Va.

About half the tour stops remain funded, or are supported by non-federal agencies and will be open, Hoven said. But the museums of the Smithsonian Institution, the National Archives, the Library of Congress in Washington won’t be open for visitors, she said. The major memorials will have limited access, tour information says.

Niisa Hoiberg, Lexus Noyes, Olson Langness and Grant Invie are among the students who spent the last 15 months raising money for the trip, Hoven said.

“We’ve been kind of excited about this for a long time. It’s a bummer, but it will be fun,” Hoiberg said.

Noyes and Langness wanted to get a feel for the nation’s early history. Langness said he’s now counting on Williamsburg pulling through.

“It’s kind of sinking in that it’s going to happen,” Invie said.

Invie said if lawmakers would listen, he’d tell them to put aside party politics for the sake of the nation.

“We’re the UNITED States of America,” Invie said.

Hoven said the trip is part of the school’s curriculum, and the shutdown may be discussed on one of their tour bus rides.

But the trip is also meant to build class unity. That can’t be shut down, she said.

“We’ll have fun no matter what we do,” Hoven said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Helmut Schmidt at (701) 241-5583