Field Trip Ideas for Adventures

If you are using Adventures in U.S. History, please share your ideas with us.
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Field Trip Ideas for Adventures

Unread post by Marie »

Field Trip Ideas for Adventures

More ideas might be found on the Ideas board for Exploration to 1850: ... 613#p66613
Posts: 122
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Field Trip Ideas for Adventures

Unread post by Toni@homezcool4us »


Just had to share with you!

We took the kids to Jamestown settlement! We flew out on Wednesday and returned today, also taking in Colonial Williamsburg. Didn't get to visit Yorktown but, alas, we were pressed as it was and will return sometime in the future.

Our kids LOVED the Powatan indian village (we just finished Squanto) and LOVED exploring the Susan Constant and Godspeed (Discovery was over at Yorktown for the anniversary celebration).

Some very specific fun "hands on" activities the kids participated in;
*digging out a canoe with clam shells in the Powatan indian village (if you go there in the next year, it will be the current canoe in the water; they replace it yearly).
*participating in a barn raising in Williamsburg.

Some neat trivia about Williamsburg;
*there are over SIX HUNDRED volunteers who are part of a 20 year "club", meaning they have been volunteering there for at least 20 years already. WOW!
*the fife and drum field musicians are local children, ages 10-18, who have cleared a community waiting list and begin studying military music at age 10, practicing weekly, and performing as field musicians at Colonial Williamsburg (over 700 performances are given each year). They are incredibly talented!

A new museum opened just this week at Jamestown as well, and it's AWESOME! We had a great time (just had to share).
A proud adoptive mom of 4 children,
I invite you to join me THE WISE WOMAN BUILDS HER HOUSE

Unread post by cbollin »

The 400th anniversary of Jamestown (as 1st perm. English settlement) is an 18 month long celebration. If you need to avoid the crowds, avoid May 12-13, 2007. That's the Landing Day celebration when those 3 ships landed.

And the following weekend is graduation for the College of William and Mary. look at to see which times and where major W&M events are happening. Those might be to better times to be at Yorktown or Jamestown instead of Colonial Williamsburg. You might consider calling W&M office of the student affairs and getting their opinon. I used to work in a university for the department of public relations ---we had calls like that all the time for all kinds of things.

Don't forget about your HSLDA hotel discount (if you are a member).
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Unread post by Heidi »

This reminded me, the prettiest time to go to Williamsburg area is end of April to see all the daffodils, tulips, redbud, dogwood, azalaes, etc. in bloom (in that order)!

Also, fall is beautiful in late October to see beautiful colors. Winter they have wonderful Christmas party one weekend - I forget what it is called - and decorations all around - though it can be cold. I do not know how these times fit in with what is going on in Jamestown though.

We will have just finished ECC this year and a jaunt over to Busch Gardens will reinforce the cultures of the world as well as the year before from Adventures.
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Unread post by Happy2BMotherof3 »

Last summer we actually travelled back east. We couldn't see everything so we only got to see Washington D.C, Mt. Vernon, and Gettysburg. I didn't realize it was so beautiful on that side of the U.S! I loved all the historic houses......and buildings!! Truly amazing! So glad history has been preserved.
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Unread post by TriciaMR »

Posted: Sat Feb 02, 2008 5:28 pm

In Colorado is the Great Plains Conservation Center. They have a typical plains log cabin, tepee, and lots of wild life. I think that would be great for Adventures. I would love to do that with someone, when it gets warmer, but before all the local preschool classes go.

The Denver Mint looks cool, but security restrictions are a bear.

I've known a few people to head down to Focus on the Family's headquarters. Could be an adventure.
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Unread post by kellybell »

Posted: Sat Feb 02, 2008 6:43 pm

If you can get a group together the Four Mile Historic Site (in Denver) is fun during the school year. And, my two older daughters work at Rock Ledge Ranch, right in front of Garden of the Gods. They are mainly open during the summer and that is a great place to visit.

Focus on the Family is good if you can catch them when they are not busy (ie. don't go in the summer if you can avoid it -- go at 10 AM on a school day). You can tour the offices, but kids find that boring. A better thing to do is spend the morning in Whits End and play there. You can even record a CD on "Kyds Radio." If you come on certain Thursdays, there's a homeschool group doing speeches on books that they read (I've not gone to that due to conflicts). The slide is terrific but it has certain height restrictions. Focus on the Family even allows you to do FREE birthday parties there (well, you bring the stuff -- they give you the room). So, you could load up the van with some buddies and do that if you have a birthday in the family coming up. They have a snack bar with pizza, hot dogs, and ice cream. They have monthly (I think) chapels on Fridays, but I don't know how easy it is to get into those (you need a pass). I got to see Dave Stotts (aka The Drive Thru History Guy) and David Barton (author on history and civics) there over a year ago at a chapel. That was wonderful.

Cave of the Winds, Seven Falls, and the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo are all nice but they are touristy. Next to Cave of the Winds is Cliff Dwellings, a replica (or moved here from somewhere else) of the Anasazi dwellings at Mesa Verde (Four Corners region).

If you get to Cave of the Winds, Cliff Dwellings, Seven Falls, or the Zoo you should stop by Ghost Town, which is near all of them. Touristy too, but a lot of fun (it's an indoor replica of a ghost town with an outdoor pan for gold place). These are all in Colorado Springs.

Oh, if your kids are into it, the Museum of Mining and Industry (or "Mining Museum") is really interesting. It's just east of the Air Force Academy (another neat place to visit).

There are two free museums in Colorado Springs: the Numismatic Museum (coins, new and old) and the Pioneers Museum.
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Unread post by tenderlovingprayer »

Posted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 8:39 am

I wanted to go gold panning this year, maybe in Georgetown. I would also love to go on the Georgetown loop train ride. Still waiting for the spring, so not toooo cold.
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Unread post by SandKsmama »

Posted: Sun Feb 24, 2008 6:12 pm

We went to Colonial Williamsburg's homeschool week in the fall and had a fabulous time. It's such a wonderful learning experience, and they really seemed to go out of their way to accommodate homeschoolers.


Unread post by cbollin »

RachelT wrote:I am wondering if it would be better to complete Adv. (or most of it) before going somewhere like Williamsburg? Or would it be just as good to go at the beginning of Adv.?
Jamestown is covered during week 3 of Adventures. Revolutionary War (which ended in Yorktown) is week 10. And "Virginia is yours to love" in week 15 (it's an old tourism jingle) a hem.... I mean the VA state sheet is in week 15 so there are ample opportunities to correlate a field trip of this nature with your studies of US history.

Honestly... you can visit Colonial Williamsburg/Jamestown, Yorktown anytime. It will either be preview, review or just the right week. Lots of hands on stuff in the "Historic Triangle". Lots of the websites for those places have educator download worksheets too. If you go before you study any of it, it will be fun to relive those memories when you study it. If you go after, it will still be fun.

Definitely a great destination for vacation/field trip etc. When I was in 4th grade, it was a school trip for us.
Julie in MN
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Unread post by Julie in MN »

warriormom wrote:We are finishing up Adventures, and I am planning a trip to Williamsburg. I found a good deal on a villa through an email from The villas are at Powhatan Village in Williamsburg.

I wondered if any of you have been in that area and have any recommendations?
Thanks, Melanie in SC
Posted: Sun Apr 27, 2008 12:01 pm

You are probably hoping to hear from the folks that have been there, but while you wait, here are some of their previous posts, so you can get your thinking cap on :o)

cjw mentions she went there at the end of her post here:
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Unread post by kstedl »

Posted: Sun Apr 27, 2008 5:30 pm

A kind member of another yahoo group sent me this information (she lives in the area):

"You can rent costumes at the visitor's center for your children to wear, but it might be way too humid, so I would instead buy a hat from one of the vendors on the main street there.
As far as restaurants, Chownings Tavern and Kings Arms are the two favorites for colonial food. Call in advance and get your reservations. Christiana Campbell's is decent, too.
If you try some of the colonial food, your children might enjoy the Sally Lunn Bread, as it is very mild and sweet. They have Peanut Soup, which is served with these bread sticks of sorts called sippets. They are both worth a try.
If you get anything with ham in it, there are two types of ham in Williamsburg and most of Virginia. There is Virginia ham, which is very good and tasty and is sugar cured. Then, there is country ham, which everyone told me that I would eventually aquire a taste for it, but I never did. It actually had mold on it, which they scrub off before they serve it to you. It is totally salty. If you are daring, you may want to try it. But it made me sick the first time I did so I would stay clear from it unless you and your family have had it before and you know you like it and it won't make you sick.

As far as which areas to see, stay along the main section of the colonial area and check out the following: ... /index.cfm
If you feel like a change from colonial food, you can walk away from the colonial section and towards the college of William and Mary. You can find some sandwich shops, etc. right along there.
As far as places to see, I would go to the Governor's Mansion, Gold Ball Jewelers, the Colonial Nursery, the Blacksmiths, and the Apothecary. Sometimes they have street performances going on...they also have horse drawn tours. If it is very hot and humid, I would suggest taking one.
Then, you can head down to Jamestown and Yorktown.
If you feel like shopping, there are several outlets, as well as the Williamsburg Pottery.
If you want to bring back something to your friends, stop at the Whitley's peanut shop and bring back some freshly roasted nuts from their store."

And, another kind person gave this nice tip:
"On the practical side, be prepared for crowds, be prepared for heat
and humidity (bring water and water spritzers for yourselves and
fans), wear hats (better yet - wide brimmed hats in costume!) and
ride the air conditioned bus from point A to Point B whenever
possible. Oh yeah, watch the intro movie first thing!!"

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Unread post by TammyB »

amelasky wrote:We are leaving for a road trip next Monday. We will leave from central Texas and need to be in Florida on Wednesday. We are really excited about this road trip. Especially since we will be starting Adventures this fall. Daughter is very excited about getting to see "new" states. I am going to copy a map for her to highlight on the way to keep track of where we are. Any other Geography tips? We are trying to decide how to occupy the children while driving AND we're trying to find activites or sites to stop at along the way. We found an alligator Park that might really be fun to visit in Natchitoches, Louisiana. Other than that, we aren't sure what to do.

Posted: Tue May 13, 2008 4:35 pm

I would definitely get a postcard (and any other memorabilia) from each state you drive through. You can pull the cards back out when you get to those particular states in the Adv states' study for a fun reminder of your trip.

Last summer we were in east Texas and visited an oil museum. I purchased a little bottle of oil in the gift shop for us to "touch and feel" when we studied Texas this year. I would have loved to have had more "real" things like that for the various states.

This summer we are going to south Louisiana, way down in Cajun country, and I am so excited for my kids to experience New Orleans, a real plantation, and a swamp tour complete with alligators swimming near our boat. Can't wait!
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Unread post by rosecottage »

Posted: Tue May 13, 2008 11:47 pm
Post subject: Car Trip

I don't have lots of MFW experience (just taught my 5yo her first MFW K lesson today!), but our family does have lots of experience with long road trips.

We have listened to many great recordings of both music and stories. My 7yo, 10yo and 12yo's favorite stories are by "Your Story Hour." They have some excellent dramatizations of true stories in American history that might supplement your future studies in Adventures well.

My 3yo & 5yo prefer stories for younger children read by Jim Weiss, of Greathall Productions. There might not be the strong history or geography emphasis in these stories for younger ones, but listening to his "Tell Me A Story" and "Animal Tales" CDs is an enjoyable way for the whole family to pass the time while driving. The stories on these disks are classics. Fun for adults to hear, too.

A great children's musical recording that is not related to history/geography but still, I think, worth mentioning, is Judy Roger's "Go to the Ant" subtitled "Proverbs for the Family."

If you don't have enough time to order the above titles before your trip, you might consider getting some good quality music from the regions you will be driving through. Many local record stores carry artists like:
- Ricky Skaggs "Brand New Strings"
- Alabama "Songs of Inspiration"
- Alison Krauss & the Cox Family "I Know Who Holds Tomorrow"
- maybe even The Dillards (they were the musicians who portrayed the Darling family on the Andy Griffith show).

(Listen to clips in the store of any of their other albums, though. I know the titles we listened to were mostly spiritual in nature, but some of those artist's titles might contain more romantic themes in which you probably don't want to saturate your children's minds). We weren't really being deliberate in choosing Southern/Country/Bluegrass musicians to listen to on our trip, but it did seem fitting that we listened to music by those artists as we drove through the South. Music from the Revolutionary and Civil War eras, or Steven Foster, might also be fun, too.

I'm not sure this is the kind of history/geography/road trip help you were looking for, but if not maybe it will spark your imagination in other ways.

Unread post by cbollin »

Posted: Wed May 14, 2008 8:11 am

We like to pick up tourist brochures when we stopped at rest areas on the interstates. Nice pictures and then we knew names of things in other states. And we would stop long enough at the rest stops to look at any flowers and regular wildlife in the area. Look at any trees or whatever. Just make out loud observations about how it is so different (or the same as) from home. Take your camera and take pictures.

Keep a little notebook and pencil with you to write down any landmarks that you see mentioned on the highway signs and look them up later. I know we kept trying to figure out what the deal was with that huge (and I mean huge) cross in Effingham, IL. They listed their website on a sign that you could see from the highway. Scribbled it down and looked it up later.

Enjoy your trip!
Julie in MN
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Unread post by Julie in MN »

Posted: Wed May 14, 2008 10:29 am

When we travel we always try to stop at National Parks. They are always guaranteed to have some great sites and to include things of interest for all ages. We even have a little "passport" book that we get stamped at every NP we visit. You could check for any Parks on your way here:

I agree with being intentional about noticing exactly what state you are in and what you see there. We also like the ideas of brochures & postcards. Also digital photos (that you don't have to pay for unless you really want to).

My kids have even made little "books" of their car trips. They can write a page each day and leave space for illustrations. You can illustrate with drawings, maps, or things cut from brochures. My 6th grader this year printed out his pages after adding digital photos & online maps & such. You can staple them into a book or even have them bound at Kinkos fairly cheaply. The ones kids make at young ages are often more about what kind of sandwich they had for lunch than about the scenery, but they're still precious memories :o)

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Travel Advice

Unread post by Toni@homezcool4us »

schelean wrote:We may have the opportunity within the next week or so to travel through several different states. I know we are visiting Laura Ingalls Wilder's home in Missiouri and then on to St. Louis. For those of you that live in the surrounding states (Illinios, Indiana, Kentucky) or those that have visited the surrounding states, what family friendly, fun, educational (just finished Adventures) type of things would you recommend for that area? My husband is also talking of traveling on up to the Great Lakes. Do you any of you have any suggestions/ideas on the best areas/ways to visit the Great Lakes?

We just want to see the great United States that we have been reading and learning about all year in Adventures. I welcome any and all of your ideas/suggestions. I will let you know my favorite places when we return.
If your kids are young enough, the Indianapolis Children's Museum is considered the best in the country. If you would be passing waaaay down south (near Louisville, KY), there is a neat restaurant called Joe Hubers. They have an outdoor barn/play area for small children (they can climb to the top of a silo, ride a "grain" slide, feed the animals, etc.) And the food is comfort food fram scratch. Soooo good! It's in Starlight, IN.
A proud adoptive mom of 4 children,
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Julie in MN
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Re: Travel Advice

Unread post by Julie in MN »

We went to the National Historic Site in Kentucky once, commemorating Lincoln's birthplace. It's not an all-day event, but the size of a Lincoln-era cabin is forever etched in my mind.

Not sure how much of other things that I'm thinking of are relevant to Adventures? The Oregon Trail started in Kentucky. Lewis & Clark went along the Missouri River. Chicago, of course, has lots of history, but it's way up there.

There are tons of links to good places to visit here, if you scroll down to the bottom half of the page:
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Re: Travel Advice

Unread post by LSH in MS »

I've heard the Creation Museum is fabulous and not to be missed!

wife to Clifford, mother to ds (17), ds (16), ds (15, ds (13), ds (8), and ds (3)
MFW user for 10 years

Re: Travel Advice

Unread post by cbollin »

St. Louis:
*do the museum at the Arch. Lots of Lewis and Clark stuff and all of that. Besides, you'll be really close the Mississippi river.
*the zoo is free in St. Louis and it is really good! Children's Zoo is an additional admission fee, but if you go the first hour it is free. huge zoo.
*Magic House (very hands on science for kids)
*St. Louis Science Center: Free! huge! lots of fun too.

the big thing to know right now about St. Louis: check the road conditions and alternative routes to get through the parts of I-64 (aka highway 40) which are closed. Hopefully someone in St. Louis can link for that to help you a bit. I know they have signs up and all of that. but no need to surprise about that.

well, you mentioned Great Lakes. What about visiting the Dunes on the southern tip of Lake Michigan? part of the national parks service

Lots of good choices. Toni mentioned a few. Here's the official state tourism website
We have some really nice state parks too.

Postby cbollin » Mon May 11, 2009 4:50 pm

one more on Fort Wayne that was fun for us the year we did ECC.... it was a great tie in with biomes and habitats.
Foellinger-Freimann Botanical Conservatory

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Re: Travel Advice

Unread post by Toni@homezcool4us »

Grant's Farm is also free in St. Louis. Very neat place and so cool that it's free.

Been to the Creation Museum as well. It is awesome, but geared toward children who have advanced reading skills. Because there are so many props though, littles will also be able to get something out of it. You can bring a lunch and sit outside in the beautiful gardens to eat. Or, there is an eatery patio that overlooks the gardens.
Amy C.
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Re: Travel Advice

Unread post by Amy C. »

This sounds like soooo much fun!

I don't know how far you are planning on traveling. You mentioned Kentucky. There is a place called "Land Between the Lakes" 90 miles north of Nashville, TN. It is an inland peninsula between two lakes; one lake is in Kentucky and one is in Tennessee. I have never been but would like to one day. You can google it as "land between the lakes" for more info. It sounds really neat! I know that it has a working homeplace/farm from the past to observe with hands-on things to do. There are also buffalo and elk herds living there in their natural habitat to see and learn about. There are other things to see and do as well. Also, in the Kentucky area are Kentucky Racehorse barns and activities to do. Some places offer tours to see the racehorses and the barns and learn about Kentucky racing. You could search for these on the internet for more info on those as well. I, too, have heard that the Creation Museum in Kentucky is not to be missed. I hope that my family gets to go there soon, maybe when we do CTG.

I live in Mississippi. You may not be traveling this way since you mentioned the Great Lakes area, but we are the state of hospitality and would love to have your family travel this way. Tupelo, MS, is the birthplace of Elvis Presley. There is also a new museum in Tupelo that just opened in February called "Healthworks". It is a hands-on museum for children to teach them about good health. I believe it is only one of two in the U.S. Tupelo also has an automobile museum. Corinth, MS is a historic civil war town. There is a Civil War Interpretive Center there that is free. Not too far from Corinth just into Tennessee is the Shiloh National Park which is rich in civil war history with tours and interesting info. In Jackson, MS, the state capitol, there are several museums. My family and I went to the MS Forestry and Agricultural museum. It was very neat and educational. There are other museums there, however, that is the only one we have been to.

Wherever you travel, I am sure your family will have a great time learning about this great country of ours in a personal, hands-on way!
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Re: Travel Advice

Unread post by RBS in OH »

KY - Mammoth Caves, Louisville Little Slugger Museum & Factory (both very memorable, especially the museum for baseball-lovers)

...and since you may consider the Great Lakes (Lake Erie?)...

OH - Put-in-Bay (on South Bass Island) - has 2 caves you can tour (never been, hope to)
- Kelley's Island (It's been a long time since I was there. Check on-line for most family-friendly islands)
- Thomas Edison's Birthplace Museum in Milan, OH (northern)
- Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park (hope to go this summer; all about the Wright Bros., a flying field there too) (western)

...and if you go this far north, go a little farther and you'll really enjoy ...

MI - Greenfield Village/Henry Ford Museum (this is great!)

Wherever you end up, it ought to be a very fun and memorable trip for you family! :-)

ds(14) 8) and dd(14) ;)
We've enjoyed ADV, ECC (2 times), CTG, RTR, EX-1850, 1850-MOD--and now AHL this year!
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Re: Travel Advice

Unread post by courthart246 »

What a fun trip for you. We have been to and enjoyed the following places:

Indianapolis Children's Museum - we could go there again and again
Conner's Prairie Interactive History Museum in Fishers, IN - haven't been there in a long time, but it was pioneer-related
Creation Museum - Hebron,KY - LOVED this!
Great Lakes area - Chicago -Museum of Science and Industry, Shedd Aquarium, Zoo (There's also the Museum of Natural History and a Planetarium, but we haven't been there)
Holland,MI - this wouldn't be for U.S. History, but if you're doing ECC next year, you could get a little taste of Holland
Shipshewana, Nappanee, IN - for a taste of the Amish lifestyle - you can tour Amish farms, take buggy rides, etc
Fort Wayne, IN - Fort Wayne Children's Zoo (very nice), Science Central Museum

All of these places can be googled so you can check them out and see if any of them interest you. I hope you have a fantastic time!
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ds - 13 (Exploration to 1850)
dd - 10 (Exploration to 1850)
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Re: Travel Advice

Unread post by Toni@homezcool4us »

RBS in OH wrote:OH - Put-in-Bay (on South Bass Island) - has 2 caves you can tour (never been, hope to)
We've been to PIB many times (my best friend in highschool has a summer home there, and my dh and I took our kids every summer until we moved out of state.)

Crystal cave is, well, barely a cave at all. More like a cellar. You descend some stairs and basically stand in a small "cave" with crystal sides. That's it. End of tour. Definitely do Perry's Cave instead.

Perrys monument is a worthwhile stop (nice little museum there as well). And the scoop on Rattlesnake Island (which you can see from Perry's monument) is quite interesting (very private, very exclusive, secret list of "who's who" members). Also, you could go to the public campground and see several things; the glacier tracks and the ruins of the Hotel Victory (the pool is still there, as are a few foundations). Here's a bit on this historical hotel with its own grand story (it burned down);
  • In its heyday, around the 1850s to the 1900s, several steamships, some holding up to 1.500 passengers, serviced the island on a regular basis. Tourists were treated to a variety of hotels, including 300 x 600 foot Hotel Victory with 625 guest rooms, at that time the largest resort hotel in America featuring the first coed swimming pool. Elaborate ceremonies were planned for the laying of the cornerstone of The Victory. Seven steamboats brought 8,000 people to the island. The Beebe house with a wide hall running 500 feet through the center had a dining room that could seat nearly a thousand diners. The hotel could house over 800 persons.
Okay, I'll not hijack this thread any further (sorry!)
A proud adoptive mom of 4 children,
I invite you to join me THE WISE WOMAN BUILDS HER HOUSE
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