The Cape Henlopen High School baseball team will say aloha this spring when they take off for Hawaii.
The school board unanimously approved the spring break trip after discussing costs and the educational value of taking a trip half way around the world.
“On the surface it seems hard to understand why you're going to go so far,” said board member Roni Posner. “This is a very expensive trip. I would like to see more substance.”
During the trip, baseball coaches Ben Evick and Dave Vitella said, the team will play one game that will count on their record and two scrimmages. The team will stay for free at a community center; food expenses will be minimal, Vitella said.
He said he expects plenty of cook outs and get togethers while they are there.
“Hawaiin people are big on where they live, and when people come to visit they like to share it,” he said.
The cost per player is $800 with airfare making up most of the expense, Evick said. Baseball boosters will hold fundraisers to help cover costs, he said.
“I know it's a little expensive, but for us to have a chance to go out and play, I think it's a great opportunity,” said Vitella, who made contacts in Hawaii while living there.
There will be hiking and swimming excursions, but students also will spend time at Waianea High School where they will attend classes for a couple of half days, Vitella said.
District expense includes paying a couple of substitute teachers to cover one day of work for staff members going on the trip. The team also asked the district to pay for a bus to take them to the Philadelphia airport and back.
“I think we have to look at this opportunity and how many kids who would never have this opportunity without this,” said board member Sarah Wilkinson.
Board member Andy Lewis said it would be an experience of a lifetime for the students.
“This is a unique opportunity you don't get otherwise,” he said. “You don't get to experience culture unless you go on a trip like this.”