Do you remember the joy of field trip days when you were in school? The excitement of going somewhere new and doing something completely out of the ordinary? I do! Field trips are where cherished memories are created that you remember for life! Ask any child who has been on an Allnatt Outdoors school trip and they will tell you what a wonderful experience it was for them and their peers. Field trip days were my favorite days of the school year. Even when I was a teacher, I adored field trips! Thankfully, I taught in a private school that encouraged them. Our administrators knew the importance of taking learning outside of our classroom walls and into the real world. There are some really amazing places that you can take kids (of all ages!) on field trips. With the younger ones, I would always take them on short trips, however, with older children, I think getting companies like Peak Performance Tours to organize a trip is fantastic. I think most people would agree on the benefits of field trips, unfortunately, due to budget cuts and safety concerns, many schools have done away with them altogether. While it is a sad reality, it doesn’t mean the end of field trips!
Start your own Field Trip Club!
When I decided to stay home with my kids, I started a mommy group in my community. I planned a variety of different activities for the group, but field trips were always my favorite! Now I have a home preschool co-op that I run, I’ve realized field trips are the most popular activities on our monthly calendar. A friend of mine recently started her own after school club, where the kids get involved in various activities, as well as going on local trips. She helped me look into the main essentials that I would need to start my field trip club. I did some research into the types of trips we could go on, the number of people we would need to make this a success and the mode of transport needed to fit a large group of people, which I came across a school bus for sale in Tennessee. This was the first step into turning my dream of creating a field trip club into a reality. She also recommended that, if we were to go on more exciting trips, I might need to ask the children’s parents for a contribution. My friend’s after school club does this, the parents will sign the permission slips and pay for the trips online. She’s said that it’s much easier that way. Students don’t have to worry about bringing these slips and money back in, the parents can handle the transaction immediately over the internet. She’s recommended that I look into backpackbucks.com to see if that would be easier for my field trip club. Everything is digital these days, so it makes sense to get the parents to confirm their child’s attendance for these events online. That way, everyone can be confident that they’ve paid and the child has permission to go on the trip. I’ll have to look in that, but it sounds ideal.
They are so popular, in fact, that I had to share all my field trip ideas with you all in this post:
But not everyone is interested in homeschooling. I respect that. So I wanted to set offer some ideas on starting your own afterschool/ weekend field trip club! These clubs can be for kids of all ages. We went on field trips with kids ranging from infants to grade school- everyone was welcome to join in on the fun, educational outings!
Here are some tips for starting your own Field Trip Club:
- Advertise your group to interested parents. Ask around and see who would else would love to take monthly field trips with you. You can make your group as large or small as you see fit.
Our group has 45 members (parents). Not all members go on each trip, though! So Don’t feel intimidated by opening your group to many members!
- Create an online “hub” to discuss details of the trip with members of the group.
You can create a private Facebook Group or use sites like meetup.com to keep details of field trips accessible to all members.
- Plan your field trips several weeks in advance. This gives people a chance to plan around other appointments.
- Keep the trips affordable. Very few parents will be able to afford whale watching, museum trips, amusement parks, etc. month after month (refer to our list of field trips to find low cost/free trips all year long!)
- If there is going to be a fee, try to secure a group discount. And have each parent pay as they arrive to the field trip (collecting money from everyone can be a pain!)
- If you must pay in advance, you can use PayPal to collect money (makes it easy to track who has paid and who hasn’t).
- Have each parent responsible for their own transportation. Renting a bus is quite an expense (that is usually the bulk of the cost when planning school trips!)
Last, but not least, download our Field Trip Planner to make things easy on yourself!
After planning many field trips, I made this resource to help keep details of the trips organized and easily at hand. I’ve done all the work for you in these printable resources. I’ve kept in mind important details you need for planning trips (like recording how many children each family will be bringing- because one parent RSVP can easily turn into 5 people if there are two adults and three kids!). All you need to do is make the phone calls and record the info (and enjoy the trips, of course 😉 )