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Grinnellian Adventures: Social Justice and the Olympic Movement

October 18-29, 2024

Will Freeman and Kesho Scott

Go on an adventure with Grinnell College faculty and your fellow alumni! In the fall of 2024, Grinnell alumni travel trips return with an exploration of the intersection of social justice and the Olympic movement throughout history. Rediscover what it was like to be a Grinnell College student and join faculty experts Will Freeman and Kesho Scott for an immersive tour of ancient and modern Olympic sites in Germany and Greece. Together the group will unpack the ways the Olympic Games has navigated the issues of racism, antisemitism, sexism, and international politics.

In Berlin, Nuremberg, and Munich the group will explore the role the Olympics played in the rise of Nazi Germany and the horrors unleashed by the Nazis thereafter. The group will then travel to Athens and Olympia to visit the sites of the original games. Along the way, enjoy meals with fellow Grinnellians, experience site visits to ancient wonders like the Parthenon, and, most importantly, learn from two of Grinnell College’s most beloved faculty members.

A Virtual Journey

Senior faculty Kesho Scott and Will Freeman lead this virtual journey to ancient and modern Olympic sites in Germany and Greece. Participants in this session learn more about the role the Olympics played in the rise of Nazi Germany, while Scott and Freeman unpack the complexities of ancient and modern Olympics sites with a social justice lens.


  • Visit modern and ancient Olympic stadiums in Berlin, Munich, Athens, and ancient Olympia.
  • Learn more about the role the Olympics played in the rise of Nazi Germany and visit the Topography of Terror, Nazi rally grounds, the Nuremberg Palace of Justice, and Dachau Concentration Camp.
  • Enjoy exploring the beauty of Berlin and Bavaria with tours of local favorites and time for shopping and relaxation.
  • Explore the wonders of ancient Athens with tours of the Acropolis, the Temple of Nike, and the Parthenon.
  • In each location, hear from trip leaders Will Freeman and Kesho Scott about the connection between what you see and the theme of the trip. Discuss the complexities of each site with your fellow Grinnellians.
  • Get to know your accompanying trip members before the trip by virtually gathering to watch Olympic events during the Summer 2024 Olympics in Paris on Zoom and participate in a few voluntary “Social Justice and the Olympic Movement” virtual course sessions with Will and Kesho.

Limited space remains.

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Faculty Leaders

Will Freeman

Will Freeman

Associate Professor
American Studies and Physical Education, 
Former Head Men’s Cross Country and Track/Field Coach

After a highly successful 42 years of coaching and teaching sport psychology and sport sociology at Grinnell College, Will Freeman has retired from coaching to teach exclusively in the American studies department at Grinnell. His innovative and successful athlete-centered model of coaching is now the model for his student-centered classroom. He is respected nationally and internationally as a teacher and mentor of coaches and athletes. He speaks regularly around the U.S. and beyond. 

Working at the intersection of pedagogy, wellness, and psychology, his outside-the-box ideas have resulted in his writing or co-writing six books, multiple articles, and 19 videos for teachers and coaches. As well, his teams have won 33 Midwest Conference team championships during his tenure.

Freeman attended the University of Florida where he was a successful All-America pole vaulter, competed at two Olympic Trials and as a member of the U.S. national team. After his undergraduate work at Florida, he studied Biomechanics/Kinesiology at Indiana University and Sport Psychology at the University of Iowa. A lifelong learner, Freeman continues to learn, teach, and add to the body of knowledge in education.

Education and Degrees

  • B.S.P.E., University of Florida
  • M.S.P.E., Indiana University

Kesho Scott

Kesho Scott

Senior Faculty
Sociology and American Studies

She is an internationally renowned Diversity Trainer/Consultant, an Associate Professor of American Studies and Sociology at Grinnell College, and an award-winning writer.  Kesho was a founding member of International Capacity Building Services, a cultural competency training team that specializes in facilitating both “unlearning isms” and Human Rights workshops as well various seminars and training programs that have been successfully adapted for audiences throughout the United States and abroad. In over two decades of developing unlearning racism work, Kesho has led hundreds of professional and community-based workshops; she has been keynote speaker for national conferences as well as a participant on several dozen national and local radio debates, discussions and public service announcements.  Grounded in this extensive experience, Kesho developed an “affirmative duty” technique for facilitating unlearning racism workshops.  It is a method that helps shift participants’ awareness, commitment and skill-set toward being actively and personally anti-racist and anti-sexist, rather than remaining merely passive observers.

Education and Degrees

  • B.A. Sociology, Wayne State University, 1974
  • M.A. Political Sociology, University of Detroit, 1975
  • Ph.D. American Studies, University of Iowa, 1988

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Itinerary (Oct. 18-29, 2024)

Friday, Oct. 18: Depart U.S.

Independent departure from the U.S. on your overnight flight to Europe.

Saturday, Oct. 19: Arrive Berlin

Check in to the NH Berlin Checkpoint Charlie or similar. Please plan to arrive by 1:00 p.m. Later this afternoon assemble in the hotel lobby to visit the Berlin Story Bunker Museum. This underground museum traces the history of the city of Berlin and includes information about Hitler’s rise to and fall from power. Meet with the Director of the Museum.

Enjoy a welcome dinner with the group.

[Dinner included.]

Sunday, Oct. 20: Berlin

Berlin Olympic Stadium
   Berlin Olympic Stadium

Begin the morning at the Headquarters of the Gestapo and SS (Secret Services) of the Nazi Regime. These locations are now marked by the Topography of Terror. The Topography of Terror, on the site of the most important institutions of the Nazi persecution and terror apparatus between 1933 and 1945, is an indoor and outdoor history museum that provides a chronological overview of World War II and the Holocaust. During a private tour inside the museum, see displays memorializing the victims of terror, commemorating those who worked to end the terror, and explaining the events that transpired in Berlin from 1933 to 1945 and afterward.

Travel to the temporary Bauhaus Museum which was opened while the main museum is being worked on.  Experimentation with presentation formats, cooperations, events, and new content is the main focus of the temporary museum. It is located in the listed landmark Haus Hardenberg building. It was built in 1955/1956 by the architect Paul Schwebes and is considered one of the most significant office and commercial buildings of postwar modernism in West Berlin.

Continue to the Berlin Olympic Stadium for a private guided tour. Close by is the Teufelsberg which played the role of its life in the drama known as the Cold War – as an American listening station. Return to central Berlin for a short sightseeing tour before a free evening.

[Breakfast included.]

Monday, Oct. 21: Nuremberg and Munich

Nuremberg Palace of Justice
   Nuremberg Palace of Justice

Travel by train to Munich. Along the way, stop in Nuremberg, Bavaria's second-largest city. Learn all about Nuremberg's long and complex history and fall in love with picturesque views of traditional German wooden houses on the banks of the Pegnitz River.

Wander through the charming Altstadt, or Old Town of Nuremberg, which is divided in two by the Pegnitz River. Amongst its historical architecture, you'll get to admire the Imperial Castle from which German Emperors ruled, the spectacular Gothic churches home to important German works of art, and the lively markets which have taken place for almost 700 years.

The tour will also take you to see the many reminders of the Nazi era, making a visit to the Nazi Party Rally Grounds, the largest Third Reich building left in the world, where your guide will reveal the details of the 20th century's most famous judicial proceedings, known as the Nuremberg Trials, most notable for their prosecution of those responsible for the Nazi crimes of World War II.

Stop at the Nuremberg Palace of Justice. It was historic Courtroom where leaders of the Nazi regime had to answer for their crimes before the International Military Tribunal between November 20, 1945 and October 1, 1946.

Continue to Munich for a free evening.

Accommodations: Mercure Munich City Centre (or similar).

[Breakfast included.]

Tuesday, Oct. 22: Nuremberg and Munich

Munich Olympic Park
   Munich Olympic Park

Begin with a guided walking tour of Munich’s “Altstadt” or Old Town. Starting in Marienplatz, Munich’s most central square and the epicenter of this city’s long history. With a distinctly Bavarian feel to it, the Marienplatz is full of street performers, musicians, restaurants, and shops. Located in the center of Old Town, your guide will tell you about the history of Munich and point out buildings of historical significance, like the impressive gothic-style New Town Hall. You’ll also get to see Munich’s famous mechanical clock, the Rathaus-Glockenspiel.

Continue on to discover Munich Olympic Park. A must for all sports fans: the tour with the Olympic lobby takes you through the VIP and team areas of the Olympic Stadium, i.e., to the locations of major sporting events such as the World Cup or the Olympics! You will take a look behind the scenes: in the VIP lounges and the guest of honor area, in the former changing rooms of the 1974 World Champions around Franz Beckenbauer.

End the day at the BMW Museum. Take a fascinating look at the history of the company, the brand, and the products. Around 125 of the brand's most valuable and attractive automobiles, motorbikes, and engines are on display here. Explore the company’s role in the Nazi economy during the war.

[Breakfast and dinner included.]

Wednesday, Oct. 23: Dachau and Munich

This morning we travel to the Dachau Concentration Camp. We'll pass through the same gate the prisoners once did, and pass through the courtyard, the entrance hall, the bathrooms, the prison, the barracks, the gas chamber, and the cremation ovens, as well as the different commemorative monuments.

Travel back to Munich for an afternoon at leisure.

[Breakfast included.]

Thursday, Oct. 24: Athens

Fly to Athens and make your way to our hotel at the Divani Palace Acropolis or similar. The rest of the afternoon/evening is at leisure as you begin to explore the city.

[Breakfast included.]

Friday, Oct. 25: Athens

The Parthenon
    The Parthenon

Start the day off with an in-depth guided tour of the Acropolis, known as one of the wonders of the world, the Acropolis symbolizes Greece’s Golden Age. We will first visit the Theatre of Dionysius, located just outside of the Acropolis, to marvel at the site where dramas such as Sophocles’s Oedipus Rex were performed for the city.

Enter the Acropolis complex through the Beule Gate, composed of marble fragments from the destroyed monument of Nikias. This path was used every four years for the Panathenaic procession which honored Athena’s birth. Walk through the Propylaea which signifies the entrance of the Acropolis. Built by architect Mnesicles, the Propylaea was designed to instill the proper reverence in worshipers as they crossed over from the temporal world into the spiritual world of the Acropolis.

Continue to explore the Temple of Athena Nike, designed by Kallikrates in 427 B.C. The temple commemorates the Athenians victory over the Persians. This small temple stands on a platform that overlooks the islands of Saronic Gulf and used to house a statue of Athena. Marvel at the site of the Erechtheion (the Temple of Athena Polias), the most sacred location of the Acropolis. Legend has it that at this is the spot Poseidon plunged his trident into the rock, dramatically producing a spring of water whereas Athena created a simple olive tree, providing the fruit that remains the main staple of Greek society. Athena was declared the winner and the city was named Athens.

We will end our visit of the Acropolis exploring the Parthenon, an architectural masterpiece designed by Pericles and built in the fifth century B.C. Dedicated to the goddess Athena and inaugurated at the Panathenais Festival of 438B.C., the Parthenon served primarily as the treasury of the Delian League, an ancient alliance of cities formed to defeat the Persian incursion.

This evening enjoy dinner together at a local restaurant.

[Breakfast and dinner included.]

Saturday, Oct. 26: Athens

Panathenaic Stadium of Athens
   Panathenaic Stadium of Athens

Begin the day with a guided tour of the Panathenaic Stadium of Athens. With its serried rows of white Pentelic marble seats built into a ravine next to Ardettos Hill, this ancient-turned-modern stadium is a draw both for lovers of classical architecture and sports fans who can imagine the roar of the crowds from millennia past.

The stadium – built in the 4th century BC and restored for the first modern Olympic games in 1896 – was first used as a venue for the Panathenaic athletic contests. It's said that at Hadrian's inauguration in AD 120, a thousand wild animals were sacrificed in the arena. Later, the seats were rebuilt in marble by Herodes Atticus.

Continue to the Modern Olympic Games History Museum. Since 2004, the museum has been operating in the renovated building of the first Archaeological Museum built in 1985. In this magnificent neo-classical building archaeological finds related to the Olympic Games, coming from Olympia or from other museums in Greece, are displayed. The goal of the exhibition is to present the birth and evolution through time of the sporting and Olympic ideals. A building adjacent to the museum contains historical documents from the first excavations in Olympia by the German Archaeological School, which are continuing to this day.

[Breakfast included.]

Sunday, Oct. 27: Olympia

After breakfast, enjoy a scenic private bus ride to Olympia.

As a sacred place used regularly in religious ceremonies, as well as playing host to the Ancient Games, Olympia was at the center of Greek civilization. In addition to temples, there are the remains of all the sports structures erected for the Olympic Games in the archeological site.

Full of blood, passion, and extraordinary feats of athletic endeavor, the Olympic Games were the sporting, social, and cultural highlight of the Ancient Greek calendar for almost 12 centuries. For the first 250-plus years all the action took place in the sanctuary of Olympia, situated in the north-western Peloponnese. Pock-marked by olive trees, from which the victory wreaths were cut, and featuring an altar to Zeus, it was a hugely sacred spot.

The Games lasted a full five days by the fifth century BC and saw running, jumping and throwing events plus boxing, wrestling, pankration, and chariot racing. At least 40,000 spectators would have packed the stadium each day at the height of the Games’ popularity, in the second century AD, with many more selling their wares outside.

Visit the Stadium of Olympia, where the ancient Olympic Games and the Heraia, the women's games in honor of Hera.

End the day with a tour of the Museum of the History of the Olympic Games of Antiquity

Transfer to the Hotel Europa Olympia for dinner and your stay this evening.

[Breakfast and dinner included.]

Monday, Oct. 28: Athens

Before returning to Athens for a final farewell, stop at the Athens Olympic Park restored to host the Olympic Games Athens in 2004.

Enjoy some last leisure time. This evening gather as a group for a farewell dinner.

[Breakfast and dinner included.]

Tuesday, Oct. 29: Athens

Depart Athens.

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Prices Per Person (10 nights)

  • Double Occupancy (15-19 participants) $8,350
  • Double Occupancy (20-24 participants) $7,650
  • Double Occupancy (25 participants) $7,140
  • Single Supplement $1,590

Single room supplement will be charged when requested or required (limited availability). Should the group not reach 15 travelers, an additional surcharge may apply. The trip must have at least 12 participants to proceed.

A deposit of $1,000 per guest is required to confirm your registration with Grinnell College.

The remainder of the trip balance is due by June 20, 2024 (120 days before the program begins) and will be paid directly to Winding Way Travel. Cancellations incurred before June 20th will be charged a $500 registration fee.  No refund will be issued for cancellations occurring after June 20, 2024. 

The cost includes

  • Accommodation in 4-star hotels for two nights Berlin, three nights in Munich, four nights in Athens, and one night Olympia. 
  • Breakfast daily & five dinners. 
  • Bus services, sightseeing, and entrances as outlined above. 
  • Flights in economy class for the group Munich/Athens. 
  • Train tickets Munich/Nuremberg and Munich/Dachau. 
  • Local tour manager. 
  • Porterage of one large suitcase per guest.

This cost does not include

  • Air transportation between USA/Berlin/Athens. 
  • Excess baggage charges levied by airlines. 
  • Meals and beverages, other than specified. 
  • Laundry and other items of a personal nature. 
  • Travel insurance (highly recommended and offered through Winding Way Travel). 
  • Cost for anything not specifically mentioned in the listing above.

Refunds cannot be made to passengers who do not complete the tour for any reason at all, and there are no refunds for unused meals, accommodations, or other trip features. 

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What travel provider is the College partnering with for the trip?

Grinnell College has contracted Winding Way Travel to provide the organization and support for this trip. Winding Way Travel is a leader in supporting unique, custom-travel trips for alumni and students. A member of Winding Way travel will accompany the group on the trip.

What can I expect on the trip?

Lots of time to reconnect with your Grinnell self as a student! This will be a fun, but also intellectually engaging adventure. You will need to be able to walk unassisted for long stretches of time as we explore sites like the Parthenon and Olympia. We will provide opportunities for rest and recovery, but some sections of the trip may be physically taxing.

We will provide a suggested packing list for all trip participants after registration closes.

Do I need travel insurance for the trip?

Yes. You can purchase travel insurance separately or from Winding Way Travel. We will need proof of your travel insurance before departure.

How many guests may I bring?

Each alum may bring up to two guests in order to ensure space for as many Grinnellians as possible. Your guests do not need to be alumni.

What if I need assistance during the trip with something?

A staff member from the Office of Development and Alumni Relations will attend the trip to support all guests and our faculty leaders.


Contact Guinevere Natarelli, associate director of alumni and donor relations, at or call 641-269-4633. You can also contact Shoshana Altrichter at Winding Way Travel at

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