On Sunday the 24th of November seventeen Louisiana 4-H state record book winners participated in an educational trip (competitions during their 7th and 8th grade year) convened at Lod Cook Hotel on LSU campus prepared to explore areas of Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Included were two Ascension Parish 4-H members, Becca Cernich and Katie Frank.
After brief introductions and an ice-breaker game, the 17 attendees headed off to their first stop, LSU Agriculture’s Rural Life Museum. There they learned of plantation life in the South from the late 1800’s to the early 1900’s. From there they ventured to the Mall of Louisiana for a fun filled game night. In the mall plaza participants visited “The Main Event” where they enjoyed laser tag, bowling, arcade games, a rope course and pizza. Ending the long night, the group had a late-night meeting and further acclimated to one another before retiring to their assigned rooms.
Early Monday Morning, after breakfast and receiving instructions for the day, they traveled via vans to New Orleans. First stop was “Mardi Gras World” where they were able to grasp a few facts about the beloved holiday. To start off the tour, a brief introduction on how Mardi Gras came to be, and why it is celebrated were discussed; ending with sampling world class king cake. Next up they discovered information about the origins and making of Mardi Gras parade floats. Located at Mardi Gras World, elegant structures are created for groups of people who are “Float Crews” to display during the month of February and are use in the various parades around the area. As the last activity, they decorated their own masks, a way to express oneself during the holiday. For lunch, the crew headed to Café Reconcile, which is an establishment dedicated to helping troubled teens obtain employment by learning about Café business. From there, the group headed to the French Quarter where hours were spent touring the area and exploring the traditions and cultures of the great “Crescent City”. Some of the places toured were St. Louis Cathedral, Jackson Square, the French Market, and the River Walk. They were graced with various street vendors and street shows. Finishing the night, dinner was held at Landry’s Seafood and then the group returned to Lod Cook Hotel.
On the participants’ last day, they visited Mike the Tiger VIII on LSU Campus. They were educated on his habitat, his day-to-day routine, how he is fed, and many other facts. After a brief stop at the campus book store, they headed to the elegant Old State Capitol building, where learning of its historic events, the story and background of Governor Huey P. Long and other people who lived and worked there. They ended their educational experience at” Capitol City Grill”, for a last meal together. New friendships were made throughout and the venture ended with much heartfelt goodbyes.
Prepared by and attended by Becca Cernich of Ascension Homegrown and Katie Frank of East Ascension.