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May 162012
 

Many support groups require members to actively participate by organizing field trips or similar activities.  Or perhaps you’ve always had a desire to check out a particular venue and know it would be more fun with a group.  Either way, these guidelines for organizing a field trip can help you get the ball rolling.

 1.      Choose a destination

Field trips can be as simple – an afternoon at the park – or as complex – an overnight camping trip – as you like.  Good options for field trips include: 

  • local museums – art, science, natural history, children’s
  • farms – orange groves, u-pick, organic farms
  • libraries – story time, craft time, learn research skills
  • businesses – pizza places, television/radio studios
  • theme parks – water parks, amusement parks, go-kart places
  • activities – bowling, mini golf, movies, gym, live theater, skating
  • educational venues – Kennedy Space Center, Epcot, nature centers, botanical gardens

 Resources for locating field trip venues include the phone book and your local chamber of commerce.

 2.     Call the selected venue

Most places are happy to help.  Be sure to ask lots of questions, such as:

  • Do they offer tours or presentations? How long?
  • What size group can be accommodated?
  • Hours of operation and time of the first and last tours of the day
  • Admission price, whether a group discount is available, how many participants are needed for a discount, and when money is due to the venue (and in what form)
  • Is the venue wheelchair and stroller accessible?
  • Is food available or a picnic area? Is outside food permitted?
  • Do they have an adult to child ratio? Is there an age limit?
  • Is there a dress code?

 3.     Notify your group with details

Ask your group leader(s) how you should announce your field trip to the group.  Once you have the ok, let the group know the “where,” when,” and “what” of your field trip, as well as a link to the venue web site and any additional details (age restrictions, when/how to pay, whether parents must be present, etc.) that are relevant. Provide an RSVP deadline and your contact information.  As people RSVP, be sure to collect their names, children’s names and ages, and contact information (including cell phone number).

 4.     During the field trip

Plan to arrive 15 minutes before the appointed time.  Introduce yourself to the person handling your group at the venue.  Bring a list of those who have RSVP’d and their contact information.  Check off attendees as they arrive.  Call any who have not shown up to see if they are late or not coming.

5.      Have fun!