Deadline for Close Up approaching

Barbara Doughty poses with her Close Up information packet in front of a picture of last year’s group – Photo by Alexis McClain

A photo of last year’s Close Up students pinned to Barbara Doughty’s door

By Alexis McClain – September 20, 2017

Close Up is a weeklong study from Jan. 28 through Feb. 2 in which students are able to see the workings and processes of the U.S. government through direct experience in the nation’s capital.

“On the trip they get to experience our government at work,” sponsor Loretta Hunt said. “They, of course, see all those monuments at the Smithsonian Institutions that they go to. The Close Up staff is very knowledgeable in the history of D.C.”

Along with these experiences, AP U.S. History teacher and Close Up sponsor Barbara Doughty said they also got to see the Women’s March last year because it was happening during that time. Both sponsors of the Close Up trip, Hunt and Doughty, look forward to this week every year.

“It’s amazing because I think when the students go and see it in action, they realize that they can be a part of it and they can actually make changes,” Doughty said.

One day out of the trip, the sponsors take students to Capitol Hill to meet with their senators and representatives. Students last year were given a firsthand look at the inside workings of the Senate and were able to see the voting process.

This opportunity was given to these students because of Louisiana Rep. Mike Johnson, a Captain Shreve alumnus, who brought them up to the gallery to see a vote take place.

The Close Up program is nationwide, and participants are able to meet with other students from across the U.S.

“They’ll meet all the other schools – there’ll be five or six other schools,” Doughty said. “Last year we had Florida, Pennsylvania, California, New York and Illinois. They meet kids from all around the country with all different kinds of political views, and they have kind of a big get together, a kind of a political discussion.”

Hunt said that many students even keep in touch with each other after the trip is over. Senior Sydney Fant said that meeting all the people from across the country was her favorite part about the trip.

“It’s like the best trip ever,” Hunt said. “They’re just blessed and lucky to go on that trip.”

The price of the trip is $1,745, and the deadline to sign up is Oct. 4. Students each receive an account number that allows them to directly deposit money. Students in the past have asked their friends and relatives to put money in, as well as asking for sponsorships from businesses.

To sign up for the trip or to get more information, students can contact Doughty in Room A213 or Hunt in Room MH04.