Wed September 06, 2023

By Jeff Smithpeters

Hope Bobcat Travelers Club founded at Hope High
The Hope High Bobcat Travelers Club has had its first meeting this past spring when 30 students attended. Sixteen of these are now making plans for a trip to Costa Rica that will take place in June of 2024. 

The club’s sponsor, Rainna Ghormley, selected that central American nation because of the learning opportunities it offers. “I teach environmental science, and I wanted to take the kids somewhere that I could use later in my classes,” she said. “We’re going to a plantation, doing a volcano view, kayaking, hot spring visit, crocodile safari. We get to volunteer at a wildlife rescue center. There’s so much these kids are going to get to do.” 

Ghormley said this is the first travel club the school has had that she can remember. The fact that surrounding schools like Nashville, Spring Hill and Prescott have had school trips recently led her to pursue a dream she had from the start of her career at Hope High. 

“This is something I've wanted to get started since I started teaching here. Last year, I said it's time, now or never. And when I had my informational meeting, I think I had 30 students and their parents come. I've had about four or five drops out for various reasons. But we've got 16 kids that are committed to go now. And I'm so excited.” Ghormley said. 

For concerned parents, Ghormley said there will be no shortage of adult chaperones. “We have our two counselors, our college and career readiness officer, another teacher and our school resource officer have all volunteered to pay their way,” she said. 

To cover costs for the trip, the club plans to ask for corporate sponsors and plans to hold fundraisers at a rate of once a month. The goal is for the students not to have to shoulder any cost beyond their own potential purchases of souvenirs during the trip. If this trip is successful, Ghormley, an avid traveler herself, hopes there will be future trips every year or every other year. “With my children … I've been to Germany, France, all over the United States. Now I want to help other families accomplish that.” 

The first fundraiser for the Hope High Travel Club, a car wash, will take place at The Bank of Tom Bean Saturday September 16th. A hot dog fundraiser is set for Atwoods on September 30th.