Senior Trip to Dorney Park: A Hit or Miss Experience

Giselle Martins, Staff Writer

When Brentwood seniors boarded the bus for their trip to Dorney Park on Friday, Oct. 22, they expected to arrive mid-afternoon with ample time to enjoy the park’s many attractions.

Unfortunately, due to late forms from doctors, some buses of students were waiting to leave for up to four hours, only to hit traffic that further delayed their arrival. 

Those students who arrived on time reported having a wonderful experience. They were able to go on multiple rides and enjoy the company of good friends while taking in the splendor of the park.

“Compared to the people who came later, my experience wasn’t that affected”, said Haivy Pham, BHS senior. “I had time to walk around, eat, enjoy my time and go on a good amount of rides.”

Some of the most popular rides at the park were rollercoasters like Hydra and Steel Force.

Haivy Pham enjoying her Dorney Park experience posing in front of a moving clown. (Haivy Pham)

However, those who arrived late were upset that they did not have the opportunity to spend as much time inside of the adventure park as other students.

“I got on the bus at 12:50 p.m. and got there at 8:18 p.m.,” said Jade Key, BHS senior. “I only got to go on two rides.”

Students who arrived later said they were still able to go on rides like the Ferris Wheel and the Musik Express, as they had the shortest lines.

A fire performance at Dorney Park. (Giselle Martins)

Many students expressed their frustrations as they did not receive clear answers for the delays. The supposed lack of organization and last-minute calls to the nurse’s office were the most prevalent issues students mentioned.

“The nurse should have contacted those who needed their doctors’ permission in advance,” Key said.

However, according to the new Ross nurse, Ms. Vera, late medical forms turned in the day of the trip is what really waylaid some of the buses.

“Parents have always had to send in doctors’ orders if their child has a medical condition and many sent them in on the last day,” said Ms. Vera, BHS nurse.

Ms. Vera also that this trip had the most medical forms that have ever been sent to the nurses in a single day.

The protocols for field trips and the need for parents to call their child’s doctor and send in an up-to-date medical form has not changed since Covid-19. It is, however, being more heavily enforced.

“Having parents send in doctors’ orders has always been an issue,” Ms. Vera said.

Ms. Vera also warned students that a new medical form needs to be submitted for every field trip that a student attends.

Many students said that they believe those who arrived late should receive a refund of their $90 ticket fee. However, the money was used to buy park tickets and meal vouchers for students by the trip organizers.

When asked to comment on the events of the senior trip, Ms. Rivas and Ms. Cereola provided a joint statement:

“As advisors to the senior class for the last 7 years we take personally all the work that goes on behind the scenes to make the senior trip happen. We start 6 months before the trip takes place to ensure we have transportation and pricing in place. Each year we encounter things that are, at times, beyond our control. Especially now with two years of this pandemic, we’ve experienced up’s and down’s with all the rule changes and making sure we abide with the states mandates. We pride ourselves on making this event a positive and memorable one for our seniors and sincerely hope when they look back they had the best memories.”

Regardless of the unfortunate outcome for some students, many have high hopes for other upcoming senior events, most especially the Prom.