School groups frequently visit Ride the Ducks for a tour of Seattle. I mean, why wouldn’t they?! It’s fun, educational and kids love the Ducks! Occasionally, though, we get an odd request.
This week, a group of middle school students from Covenant Christian Middle School planned a field trip with the theme of Homer’s Odyssey, which they had been studying in class. The teacher rode with Captain Chaos the week before their tour and afterwards, struck up a conversation with him. Captain Chaos has a MA in education and got excited about the students’ theme for their trip to Seattle. Through their conversation, a Duck tour developed that would be not only fun and educational, but would also tie in The Odyssey.
With the help of our tour developer and their school teacher, by Monday Captain Bjorn Toorun had become Captain Noah Boddy, because Odysseus tricks the Cyclops into thinking his name is Nobody! (Nobody’s tricked me!) Captain Bjorn Toorun also brought a stuffed dog on board named Argos and instead of an I ♥ Seattle bumper sticker, the DUKW sported I ♥ Ithaca bumper stickers on the tailgate! Every time they saw a Starbucks, the kids covered their ears to avoid the songs of the Sirens! Did you know the mermaid in the Starbucks logo is actually a Siren?!! The students loved it!
We knew Captain Bjorn Toorun would be a great match for this group because he has a great attitude, a knack for making kids happy and it helped that we figured his wife knew Homer was not originally a Simpson! (She works with a local Shakespeare company.) When we told him, he laughed, as only Captain Bjorn can, and said, “You’re right. Usually when we’re talking about my job, I’m asking her ‘do you like the beanie with the whirligig or with the fuzzy pompom?’ This weekend was much more high-brow.”
While typically our group events stick to our Original Land and Water tour, we enjoyed thinking outside of the box for the group and making their field trip even more special!