How it Started and Why it Lasted

This awesome adventure started 33 years ago with a phone call from John Brillhart, a history teacher at Crestwood Middle School, to Sandy Dryer, the owner of Countryside Tours.  He got the name of the company out of the phone book!

We are now on our second generation of students going on the trip.  We have several kids going this year whose parents went as 8th graders.  We average 1200 students a year with our numbers growing all the time. The groups travel from early to late June.

Besides getting a hands-on experience from what they have learned at school, the kids have a great time. That is why it has lasted this long and has continued to grow.  

We owe a huge debt of gratitude to the teachers at the schools who take on the task of promoting this trip and go on it year after year.  We couldn't do it without them.


  • Each school has it's own variation of the trip depending on what the group leaders want.
  • The price is based on four students sharing a two-bedded room
  • The chaperons are educators from the schools
  • The chaperon to student ratio is 1:10

Hotels are first-class and are carefully chosen with cleanliness and safely in mind.  We get invited back year after year.  This is a great testament to the behavior of our travelers.


Motorcoaches are climate-controled highway motorcoaches.  They are restroom equipped and have DVD players.  Our drivers are the best in the business.  Many go every year.


Almost all of the meals are included and the students always have a selection.  We have had no complaints.  Each bus is also equipped with a water cooler.