It’s noon on Wednesday, and I am currently packing to chaperone Rose’s second-grade class trip to Zoo Atlanta. They spend the night at the zoo learning about the animals through the Night Crawlers program. Rose is so excited to go, and I am too! (Am I an idiot to be excited about sleeping on a concrete floor in sleeping bag with 80 second graders?)
I am normally an overpacker, and it makes it even tougher trying to anticipate odd things the kids might need during the night. So far I have bright yellow electric tape and a Sharpie to put their names on the garbage bags of their belongings, wipes, hand sanitizer, Band-Aids, sunscreen, pens, plastic bags in case clothes get wet somehow … I’m still thinking.
They have six chaperones going with the class so we’re only responsible for about three kids each but you still feel stress taking care of someone else’s child.
It seems like schools used to do a lot more overnight type field trips. When my brother was in school everyone went to Washington, D.C. in the fifth grade, but the time I was that age they stopped doing it.
Our babysitter took an extracurricular trip to Greece with a school group after the eighth grade. To me that seems young to travel that far without your parents. That same sitter went with a huge group to Washington D.C. for the inauguration. Kind of mad house and a great place to lose a teenager, but also an experience they will always remember. (She returned from both trips unscathed! I’m just jealous of the Greece trip!)
I am glad that our school still thinks it’s important to allocate funds to take the kids on this type of overnight trip. They all feel like BIG stuff, and I know they will learn a lot.
What do you think: Would you let your child go on an overnight field trip? Would you want to be one of the chaperones? Would you only let them go if you were one of the chaperones? Give us chaperone advice please!
Would you want to chaperone an overseas trip? What age do you think is appropriate to allow an overseas trip with a class?
Are overnight field trips worthwhile for the kids? Is it worth our school’s time and money? (I think the parents paid for the program outright, but I would guess the school system had to pay for the buses.) Do you think the life experience and hands-on experience are valuable to the children?