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USS Yorktown Trip Reports - 2006 and 2007

uss yorktown trip reports

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#1 Dianna

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 08:47 PM

USS Yorktown - 2006


One hundred twenty-three parents and children joined us for a two-night campout on Charleston's famous aircraft carrier, the USS Yorktown. We met at the Yorktown on Sunday, December 3, spent two nights on board, and departed on the morning of Tuesday, December 5.

 

After getting oriented on Sunday and stowing our gear in our berthing quarters, some of us ate dinner together at a nearby restaurant to get to know each other better. Then we re-boarded the Yorktown, toured the ship for a while, and then met to watch a movie in the ship's theater. Everyone was tired the first night and was ready for "light's out" at 11:00 pm.

 

We had breakfast in the ship's mess hall the next morning before participating in special science and history educational programs, a tour of Fort Sumter, and self-guided tours of the ship throughout the day. That night we were treated to a film about the USS Yorktown.

 

The weather started out wet and dreary, but ended up sunny and beautiful. This was a great time of year to go. According to the locals, visitors shouldn't go if it's above 70 degrees outside because the ship gets hot inside with the higher temperatures. And since we went midweek, we also avoided the crowd of 500-600 scouts that usually stay on board during the weekends.

 

Exploring the ship was a wonderfully historic (and adventurous) experience. It's huge (a little longer than the Titanic), and had a maze-like interior that we all (children and adults) enjoyed navigating. There were also planes and helicopters to tour. They have three other ships that visitors can explore: a submarine, a destroyer, and a Coast Guard ship. All were worth a visit, especially the submarine.

 

The staff that coordinated the program for us were great, although there were a couple of times that they seemed a little unprepared for us (they're not as experienced with mid-week groups, I think). The special science and history programs received mixed reviews. It seemed to depend on the age of the child on whether he/she enjoyed them or not (but most said they were worth doing again). The tour to Fort Sumter was great - most of us wished we could've spent more time there.

 

Most of the meals were good, but the boxed lunch could've been better. The first night in the women's berthing area was a little rocky due to the staff mistakenly turning on the air conditioner instead of the heater. (Brrr...) The climate in the men's berth was better.


Overall, I've received very positive reviews of the trip, and many want to go again, or have told friends about the trip who want to go next time. I've talked to the program coordinators about ways to improve our next experience, and they look forward to hosting us again. I'm tentatively planning another trip to the Yorktown in December 2007, so watch for updates.

 

Thanks to everyone who traveled with us the first time!



#2 Dianna

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 08:48 PM

USS Yorktown - 2007

 

Eighty-two parents and children from SC, NC, GA, and FL joined us for our second campout on Charleston's famous aircraft carrier, the USS Yorktown. This year we stayed for one night, instead of two. I think those of us who went on both trips preferred the one-night stay. It was less tiring overall (and less expensive), and we still had almost as much time to tour as we did when we stayed two nights.

This trip was similar to last year's - we explored the Yorktown, as well as other ships (a submarine, destroyer, and Coast Guard Cutter), different types of aircraft on the flight deck, and other on-site exhibits and memorials (a Vietnam Support Camp, Medal of Honor museum, and Cold War Submarine Memorial). We also toured Fort Sumter and watched a documentary film about the USS Yorktown in the ship's theater.

We enjoyed meeting new people, and the children seemed to enjoy the educational aspects of our experience as much as hanging out with the other homeschoolers. Everywhere I went, I heard the children exclaiming, "This is cool!" when they toured the different ships and exhibits during our stay.

The weather was wonderful - sunny and beautiful. It stayed around 60 to 70 degrees almost the whole time we were there. Since we went midweek, we were the only group sleeping on the ship and were able to avoid the the crowd of 500-600 scouts that usually stay on board during the weekends.

Our berthing areas were different this year. The men's were a little roomier than those they had last year, but they were still in a berth for enlisted sailors. The women were in the junior officer's quarters, which were much more private and roomy.

I've received very positive reviews of the trip from our travelers this year, and many want to go again next time. It was a quality educational experience that immersed us in World War II history, as well as a touch of Civil War and Vietnam War history. I hope to plan another trip in the future.



#3 Dianna

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Posted 05 March 2013 - 08:48 PM

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