There is certainly no shortage of things for a group leader to remember when preparing for a field trip, especially if the trip lasts several days. Creating a field trip checklist will organize your thoughts and save you from those final moments of panic.
To begin, write down everything you can think that must be completed in the weeks and days before the trip. Separate the items on the field trip checklist into two categories: things to do and things to pack. Then, divide these items by targeted completion date. Save an electronic copy of your field trip checklist for future reference.
We created our own field trip checklist to help you get started.
The Week Before (minimum)
- Submit need for subs/coverage to school office.
- Hand-out an instructional plan for students not attending the school trip.
- Collect names and cell phone numbers of all faculty and chaperones attending the school trip.
- Distribute list of students who will be attending the school trip to all faculty (including attendance office) and include the times you are leaving/returning.
- Notify Health Office of students participating and review medication needs. Will a nurse be attending your trip?
- Verify that trip is on the school field trip calendar.
- Notify cafeteria of the number of students going on the trip.
- Submit copies of signed permission slips to school office.
- Submit copies of volunteer/chaperone form to school office for all non-faculty members attending the trip.
The Night Before
- Set your alarm clock
- Send out a final reminder to parents about the meeting time and location (by automated call service, email, or text message).
- Communicate with your tour leader to confirm meeting time and location.
- Check the weather forecast.
- Gather any maps you would like to have on hand.
- Charge your cell phone.
- Charge your camera battery.
- Completed Parent Permission Forms
- Completed Medical Waiver Forms
- Emergency Contact Information for Each Student
- Lanyards and Lanyard Name Tags for Each Student
- Sharpie Marker
- School Trip T-Shirts (if applicable)
- Print extra Copies of the Itinerary
- Extra Copies of the Rooming List
- Bring extra Copies of the Bus Roster
- Camera (confirm batteries are charged)
- Cell Phone Charger
- Emergency Numbers Saved to Your Cellphone
- Tour Leader Cell Phone Number
- Bus Company Number
- Chaperone Cell Phone Numbers
- -Bus Leader Packets/Bags (if you have them) Packed with These Items
- -First aid kit
- -Paper towels
- -Tissues / Kleenex
- -Trash bags
- -Disposable gloves (in case of unforeseen spills or sickness)
- -Hand sanitizer
- -Wet wipes
- -Medicines (Dramamine, Tylenol, Advil)
- -Peppermints (for motion sickness)
- -Toilet paper
Your Personal Gear:
- Bottled Water and Snacks for the Bus (for You)
- Entertainment for the Bus (for You) – Book, iPad, Magazine, etc.
- Weather Appropriate Clothing
- Weather Appropriate Gear
- Extra Coat
- Umbrella / Poncho
- Sunglasses / Sunscreen
- First Aid Kit
- Spare Lenses/Contacts
- Light Stick – for students to easily find you during evening touring.
The Morning of the Field Trip
- Review assigned chaperone groups with students
- Go over the rules for behavior with students
- Review that day’s itinerary with students
- Confirm that students have the cell phone numbers of their assigned chaperone and the group leader.
- Introduce yourself (as the person in charge) to all adult chaperones attending the school trip.
- Provide each of the chaperones with a Bus Roster with their students’ names highlighted.
- Confirm that each chaperone knows their assigned bus number.
- Claim your front row seat on the lead bus.
- Give packed bus leader bags to bus leaders
- Take roll and count students before leaving school.
- Make note of “no-shows” and make necessary calls to the principal and parents
- Call or text tour leader to inform them of your ETA.
- Save a seat in the front row for the tour leader, preferably on the side where the microphone is located.
Overall, we hope you have a great trip and that you keep on using the world’s most economical transportation… Motorcoaches! Start your search today for local charter bus companies near you and compare rates.