This is a story that I haven’t told often. It is in keeping with my goal to not appear on the six o’clock news as a teacher. The exchange that my daughter was a part of had many different adventures. You have already heard a couple but now the one that could get me fired. One of the regular parts of the exchange was to spend 3 days on the Bodensee in southern Germany, We would visit several towns and cross the lake to Konstanz which is on the border of Germany and Switzerland. We would travel to several towns along the north side of the lake and end in Meersburg. From Meersburg, we would take a ferry to Konstanz and then ride a train back to Sasbach. During the trip in 2009, we took the ferry that carries cars because it was cheaper than the one that takes people. We trusted our German counterparts but soon found out that it docked in a different location than the people ferry. We were on the far side from where we needed to be for the train. Our German teachers looked at the map and decided the only way around was to walk along the beach.
We started our trek along the beach and got to see beautiful scenery along the way. We then approached a gate that had a sign on it before we went to the next section of the beach. There was no other way but through this part of the beach that wouldn’t add a couple of hours to our walk. I don’t speak much German but I can get some meaning from reading. I wasn’t an expert but the sign did not bode well for the next section. Some of you are getting ahead of me but if you guessed that the beach was a clothes-optional beach, you would be correct. I took my group aside and told them that they were to not act foolish and just keep walking. We forged ahead and just kept walking. I don’t want to be stereotypical but the boys were ready to go and were excited. They had this image of seeing someone like Brittany Spears. What they got was Brittney Spears’ grandma! The average age on the beach had to be 80 years old. They ducked their heads and started walking faster and looking down at the sand.
We got back to Denver at the end of the trip and I was waiting for the call from the principal saying we needed to meet. I had said nothing to anyone but I was waiting for the parent complaint and ending up on the news for taking my students to a nude beach. It is now 2023 and I am still waiting for the call. Several years after the exchange we ran into a couple of the parents from the trip. I just asked them if their student said anything about the trip and any added adventure that was not on the itinerary. They said there was nothing unusual. I then told them the full story because they were friends. They were laughing uproariously. They said that it had never been mentioned. To this day I have yet to find a parent that had been told by their student about wandering through a geriatric nude beach.