Afraid of losing a student?
This is a fear that can grip any group leader, whether it is your first or tenth time leading a trip.
Traveling with students is not without its risks. However, advanced preparation and diligent trip management can lower these risks and provide peace of mind for all involved.
Combat your fear with these 10 tips:
1. Wear Lanyards – The red Scholastica Travel lanyards can be spotted at a distance in a crowd, making your students easier to locate.
2. Exchange Phone Numbers – If students are allowed cell phones on the trip, create a list of all student phone numbers on your bus. Carry this list with you at all times. Be sure that every student has your contact information in their phone and written down (in case their battery dies).
3. Take Restroom Breaks as a Group – Instead of one or two people peeling away from the group to use the restroom, make regular stops as an entire group. Count the group before moving to your next activity.
4. Assign Chaperone Groups – Assign small groups of students to a specific chaperone. Here’s why.
5. Count Students after Loading the Motorcoach – Assign one chaperone to count the students every time they load the motor coach. Ensure that you have the correct number of students and chaperones before departing.
6. Discuss Meeting Time AT Meeting Location – If students will be exploring a place on their own, walk the group to the physical location where you want them to return at the meeting time.
7. Implement the Double-Buddy System – Encourage students to explore in groups of four or more.
8. Set Exploring Boundaries – If students will be exploring a place on their own, clearly communicate what areas the group should stay within (e.g. the first two floors of the museum, between 51st and 53rd street, etc. )
9. Use Remind Text Messaging Service – Send meeting time reminders and important messages using Remind.
10. Space Chaperones to Prevent Large Line Gaps – Often, several students will walk slowly at the back of the line or in the middle. Large line gaps may be crossed by other tour groups or tourists, causing the group to split. Space chaperones at the front, middle, and back of the group when walking between sites to encourage students to keep pace.
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