As the group leader for an educational student trip, you already know the many great reasons to be a chaperone. You’ve likely served as a chaperone for several educational trips in the past. As a result, you are familiar with the important roles that chaperones hold. Now, however, you are in the leadership position and must perform the often arm-twisting task of finding your own team of chaperones.
Why is chaperoning often met with reluctance? You know that given the opportunity, you could convince anyone of the trip’s merits and convert them into a dedicated chaperone. Recruiting great chaperones starts with an attention grabbing strategy.
1. Provide a sneak preview: Email links to virtual tours of your destination, YouTube videos, or destination websites. Providing your recruits with a visual experience of your destination may pique their interest more than words. Our Pinterest destination boards can provide a starting point.
2. Create a short video message: A brief, two to three minute video message will grab the attention of your recruits. This does not need to be high-tech, but can simply be a webcam or iPhone recording uploaded to YouTube. The important thing is that your message is heard in your words and that your excitement shines through.Videos are more personal than a typed letter and can be viewed in the future chaperone’s own time. Tell a few great stories from past trips.
3. Discussion panel: Invite previous trip chaperones to your first trip meeting and hold a panel discussion. Have each person on the chaperone panel introduce themselves and talk briefly about their past trip experience. Then, open the floor for questions. It may be most effective for students to not be present at this time. If possible, excuse students to a nearby classroom and alternate monitoring the students and the discussion. This panel gives the recruited chaperones the opportunity to ask any questions they may have, gain tips, or dismiss apprehension.
4. Hold online “office hours”: Announce to parents, teachers, and other chaperone recruits that you will be holding online office hours for anyone to ask questions they may have regarding chaperoning the trip. Skype, Edmodo, and Twitter (create a hashtag) are great forums. This can be a one-time event, or can be a specified day and time each week. As you recruit, these office hours can also be used to help train your new chaperones.
- 5 Reasons to Chaperone a Student Educational Trip
- Chaperone Guidelines: Advice for Your School Group Tour
- Student Travel Benefits: Q&A with a Teacher Turned Tour Guide