|Governor's Scholars travel far and wide to explore Kentucky
RELEASED: July 28, 2005
Groups of 15 to 35 students visited 12 locations across the state. Students were allowed to choose the site they would visit, with only one restriction: Scholars couldn't visit their own hometown. According to Explore Kentucky coordinator Kim McBride, the aim of the weekend is to allow students to see a region of the state that they have never seen before.
Miranda Curl of Louisville is representative of this spirit of exploration. She chose to visit the Furnace Mountain Buddhist Zen Center at Red River Gorge because, she says, "I didn't know it existed, that we had anything like it in Kentucky." Curl says she expected a unique experience when she signed up to visit the center, and wasn't disappointed. Her group saw a Buddhist temple, heard a description about the daily life of Buddhist monks, and even participated in a meditation session.
Farin Jones of Lexington was exposed to a totally different but equally new world when she traveled to Barthell Coal Mining Camp. She explained that actually spending 10 minutes in a coal mine was the most striking part of her visit because it allowed her to experience some degree of the physical sense of coal mining. Jones also enjoyed learning facts about the mine and seeing the restored general store and an example of a typical mining house. "It was interesting to learn how dangerous the mine really was and how much effort it took to run it," she says.
Other students discovered history closer to home, traveling just 20 minutes from Danville to visit the battlefield at Perryville and to watch Civil War re-enactments. Like Jones, Isaac Pence of Louisville enjoyed putting personality to history by seeing actual battle sites and uniforms, and, of course, by watching the re-enactments. "You see the men in costumes and you see the hill they climbed up. Then you get to see the way they charged up it, and how long it took," Pence says, adding, "aside from the heat, it was a great day."
Other locations visited by the scholars include: Appalshop, the Appalachian arts and education center in Whitesburg; the Speed Art Museum in Louisville and the Louisville Zoo; Gethsemane Abbey and the Sisters of Loretto Mother House in Marion County; Blue Licks Battlefield State Resort Park; Keeneland Race Course; Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill; Kentucky State University's Alternative Aqua Agriculture center; the Natural Bridge; and the Freedom Center in Cincinnati.
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