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Chapel Haven adults have been having some wild weekend trips away!

Thanks to a new program rolled out by Emily Westman and Chapel Haven’s Recreation program and aptly called “A Weekend Away,” students have climbed the Rocky Mountains, enjoyed a boat ride in Martha’s Vineyard, explored Acadia National Park and ridden the duck boats in Boston.

“My favorite trip so far has been Alaska, since I went there already,” says Adam B., a Chapel Haven community member and a fan of the weekend “trips.” He enjoys “getting to learn some history about these places.”

“A Weekend Away” is a virtual offering in which participants get together with Rec staff online four times over the course of a weekend “excursion” to choose everything from what they will pack, where they will dine each night to which fun activity they will undertake. They talk about taking public transportation, pick the hotel where they will stay (or even the Air BNB). They discuss what they will pack, what airline to take, and where they want to sight-see. And, then, they’re off!

Emily Westman

“It’s an escape,” Emily says. “We’re stuck at home but look at all the places that are out there for us to explore.” Scroll down to see a list of the many places students have visited since Emily rolled out the program last spring, just as coronavirus set in.

The response has been tremendous.


Andrew B.

“My favorite virtual trips are a tie between Martha’s Vineyard and Rocky Mountains,” says Andrew B., who is home with his parents right now but having fun every weekend. “What I like about the weekend trips are the staff, the routine and the initiative of the trips.”

His Mom, Kris, explains further:

“Although we know Andrew dearly misses his friends and teachers at CHSC, we are treasuring our conversations about Picasso, the Presidential race, book club, Rocky Mountain National Park and more.  All are instigated by his wonderful classwork and Rec activities.  In fact, when a friend asked recently about what he did last weekend, he proudly explained, ‘I took a hike in Colorado!  We went out to dinner, too.’ So wonderful to see him experiencing such joy in participating and connecting — albeit from afar. “


Shawn F. said her favorite trip so far was the Las Vegas trip last weekend.

“We got there on Friday and we basically did the strip. We saw the whole town and then we went to a buffet for dinner. We saw the awesome waterfalls. Sunday we did a mob museum in Las Vegas and a tour of the Hershey chocolate factory. We figure out what to pack, if there is going to be a lot of walking you bring comfortable clothes, shoes. It’s just a lot of fun. I really enjoy it.”

Here are some of the cool places they have visited:

  • ·         San Diego
  • ·         Iceland
  • ·         Yosemite National Park
  • ·         Acadia National Park
  • ·         Rocky Mountain National Park
  • ·         Martha’s Vineyard
  • ·         New Orleans
  • ·         Dominican Republic
  • ·         Grand Canyon
  • ·         Crested Butte
  • ·         Austin, TX
  • ·         Boston
  • ·         Niagara Falls
  • ·         Washington, D.C.
  • ·         Yellowstone National Park

Kudos to Emily and her staff for such an innovative program! Questions? Contact Emily Westman