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REMINDER: Waterdown teachers hosting Europe trip info night April 2

Nine-day venture in 2025 includes visits at Auschwitz-Birkinau and Flosman Mill
A photo of Nathan Tidridge's 2011 class in Warsaw, Poland.

Waterdown teens will have the chance to go on the trip of a lifetime next year. 

Waterdown District High School (WDHS) history teacher Nathan Tidridge is looking for 32 students to take on a nine-day trip to Europe

“I think it’s really important that kids have a global view of the world and a global understanding of history,” he said. 

Students will start out in Berlin, Germany before visiting Prague in the Czech Republic, Kraków in Poland and Budapest in Hungary. 

Altogether, this year’s trip will cost around $4,668 per student, which can be broken into 11 payments of $407 a month. 

“It’s part of the reason we are announcing the trip so far in advance,” he said. “We know kids are going to have to save up for something like this.” 

With almost 30 tours and sightseeing destinations on the trip, each day will be packed with opportunities for learning, from a day at the site of Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp Memorials, to a special trip to the Flosman Mill. 

That’s where fellow WDHS teacher Rob Flosman’s family immigrated to Canada from during the Cold War. This will be the first time Flosman, also a history teacher, will take students on a trip to Europe, and the students will have a unique celebration of his family’s history. 

Visit to historic mill in Czech Republic close to home

Flosman’s grandfather, Jiri Flosman, fled from the Czech Republic with his family when he was a child.

The Flosmans ran a mill during the Second World War, where they secretly produced grain for the Czech people, outside of the Nazi grain quotas they were meant to produce. 

After the war, when communism overtook the Czech government, Flosman said his family hid fleeing Minister Hubert Ripka. 

On the trip in 2025, students will visit the Flosman Mill, where Flosman said they will have a special ceremony to commemorate his family and their actions during the war. 

Flosman said sharing his family's past was Tidridge's idea. 

"There's really some amazing history there, but I said, 'No, no... It's in the middle of nowhere, no one's going to want to go there,'" he said. 

But after Tidridge insisted it would be good for the students to learn about the Cold War and the Iron Curtain, Flosman said he's now "excited to show the kids this place." 

Trip to Europe formative for history teacher

Tidridge, who has been teaching history at WDHS for 20 years, said he first discovered the world on a trip to Europe when he was a student in Waterdown. 

“It opened my gaze. I’d never been out of Ontario before,” he said, adding that after high school he spent time backpacking through Europe to learn more. 

And as a teacher, Tidridge has taken students to discover Europe for over a decade, touring to Eastern Europe, Russia, Greece, Ireland, England and France through the school board. This trip is independent from WDHS, but will still be educational and chaperoned.

Flosman said being able to bring students to historic sites, like Auschwitz-Berkinau, can be a "life-changing" experience, which brings history out of textbooks and into reality. 

“Being there, that brings the story to life," he said. 

Both teachers are hosting an information session on the trip April 2 from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Waterdown Legion, 79 Hamilton St N.

The sign over the main gate to the Auschwitz concentration camp.


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