Governor’s Scholars participate in “Explore Kentucky Day”
July 22, 2010 By Marla Sweitzer
to learn more about Kentucky. Many scholars, including
Katherine Croft McKinney (above) have also left campus for
field trips to places like the Cincinnati Opera, Shakertown, the
Abbey of Gethsemani, Kentucky Horse Park and more.
Scholars re-discovered the state they call home on “Explore Kentucky Day” on Saturday, July 24.
The goal of the day was “to encourage scholars to experience some characteristic historic or natural part of the state that they are not familiar with, and by learning more about the state to better appreciate its diversity, heritage and potential for the future,” says John Powell, GSP faculty member and principal organizer of Explore Kentucky Day.
Groups of scholars explored eight different sites around the state, including:
Whitesburg/Appalshop. Scholars explored the mountains of eastern Kentucky, with an emphasis placed on the historic culture of the region and the threats posed by modernization. The highlight of the trip included a the visit to Appalshop, a “non-profit, multi-disciplinary arts and education center in the heart of Appalachia producing original films, video, theater, music and spoken-word recordings, radio, photography, multimedia, and books.”
Kentucky Horse Park/Keeneland. Scholars experienced a day of learning about the horse industry in Kentucky, how it works and why it is important to the state.
Cumberland Falls. This activity trip involved a number of vigorous hikes in the area of one of Kentucky’s most famous natural wonders.
Mammoth Cave. A group of scholars both toured the world's “longest known cave system” and hiked in the surrounding Green River valley.
Gethsemani/Loretto. Led by philosophy professor John Wilcox, this trip introduced scholars to two historic Roman Catholic institutions in the state, the Abbey of Gethsemani (1941), and the Loretto Motherhouse (1812).
Furnace Mountain. Founded in 1986, this Zen Buddhist retreat is set in the Red River Gorge area of the Daniel Boone National Forest. The meditation center was made from local timbers and modeled after a traditional Korean Buddhist temple.
Renfro Valley. Scholars explored the musical legacy of Kentucky, visiting the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame and attending the “Sounds of Bluegrass” concert at the Renfro Valley entertainment center, which features bluegrass bands from across Kentucky.
Perryville. A highlight of “Explore Kentucky Day” is a tour of the battlefield at Perryville, site of the largest Civil War battle fought in the state of Kentucky. Scholars visited the museum, hiked the battlefield itself and learned about Civil War soldiering from a platoon of re-enactors.