Posted by: JulieAloha | April 21, 2017

365 Gratitude Project – Day 111: Field Trips

April 21, 2017

I’m grateful for field trip groups which come prepared. We’re right in the middle of Peak Field Trip Season; yesterday at the Zoo we had 23 school groups, today 21 – that’s over 4,500 kids, teachers and chaperones in just 2 days! Having been a teacher who took kids on many field trips over the years and now working for a major trip destination, I truly appreciate the teachers who come organized and ready with all their materials and information prepared in advance.

Here are my top 10 Field Trip guidelines:

  1. Research your destination in advance. Contact the venue for group or school rates, paying attention to time of year, well in advance of the trip and follow the venue’s guidelines to register your group.
  2. After registering your trip, READ the information sent to you with your confirmation. Check to see what paperwork or materials you need to bring with you; look for requirements for teacher to student ratios; see if the venue provides parking for school busses; check to see if there are any prohibitions or limitations.
  3. Before you go: prepare your teachers, chaperones and students as to what to expect on the Big Day; explain any rules or guidelines in advance; remind children they will be in a public place and teach them what behavior you expect to see and what to do if they become separated from their group; line up your finances, be that purchase order, cash, check or credit card and be prepared for unexpected expenses.
  4. On the day: check, double check and re-check your numbers – how many adults including teachers and aides, how many children of what ages – you have no idea how many teachers arrive without this vital information. Designate ONE teacher to check in your group. It’s a good idea to keep your group separate from the check-in area to allow them space and to keep noise down while they take care of business.
  5. Dress appropriately: check the weather and have a contingency plan.
  6. Bring a first aid kit and check with the venue to see what they have to offer in case of emergency; bring any meds your kids may need on the trip (inhalers, epi-pens, insulin, etc). It’s a good idea to have group shirts or vests for easy identification or use ID stickers or tags on kids with the name of your group and contact information – but for safety be careful about visibly labeling children with their names when in a public place.
  7. Bring food or snacks and the means to clean up after yourselves. I sometimes found it helpful to bring a cart or wagon to transport lunches.
  8. Be flexible, be prepared to keep kids entertained while waiting in lines or for events. (quack-diddly-oh-so…, I Spy, etc.) There may be many groups or schools visiting a venue on the same day – be patient and follow the venue’s staff and instructions.
  9. Before dispersing into a venue, set a meeting time and place to gather when it’s time to leave and communicate with your transportation. Make sure your teachers and chaperones have the means to contact you or each other in case of emergency.
  10. Most importantly, have fun!

The Field Trip

by Eric Ode

The bus engine roared as we clambered on board
and took the first seats we could find.
Matthew had thought he’d have time for the bathroom,
but somehow we left him behind.
Pete put a beetle down Eleanor’s back.
He just didn’t think she would mind.
And Alex threw Tyler’s new coat out the window
when Tyler said something unkind.

It rained down a fuss when we got off the bus.
Our teacher was soaked to the skin.
And then when she found she forgot all our lunches,
her patience began to wear thin.
She got so befuddled, she stepped in a puddle.
The water went up to her shin.
And I’d gladly say what she said when it happened,
but I know that swearing’s a sin.

We moaned and we groaned as we started back home,
cranky, exhausted, and spent.
Sally was certain her stomach was hurtin’.
We soon understood what she meant.
My teacher might feel that this trip was a failure.
I’m sure that was not her intent.
I’ll tell her we had the most wonderful time.
I just can’t recall where we went.

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