Friday, May 11, 2012

Field trips

How many of us are asked to chaperone field trips?  Some people cringe at the thought of going on a field trip but here's the thing...I love going on field trips!  I do have my pick of the trips that I chaperone on, some trips I'm not as interested in going (I pass on those trips) while other trips, I'm just as excited as the students.  I have found that even on a field trip those trusty school counselings skills are always needed.  Here's an example:

I chaperoned a field trip to Busch Gardens in Williamsburg, VA with my school's 4th and 5th grade show choir.  Myself and a parent chaperone had a group of 7 young ladies who were very giddy about the trip (well all the students were excited).  I had agreed to ride the rides with the girls while the parent stayed with the girls that didn't want to ride.  As a child I loved roller coasters and thought that I could just pick back up my "coaster skills" on this trip (I was wrong on this one).  As we waited in line for the coaster, the girls began to show signs of fear and anxiety about getting on the ride.  I was a little nervous myself but couldn't show them as they may worry even more.  I kept telling them that we were all doing this together and we would have fun and be okay.  So we got on the ride, took our deep breathes and were ready to ride....Whoa is all that we could say during and after the ride. It was much more intense than any of us had anticipated and after that our group of 7 "serious" riders was cut to 4 (including myself).  The other girls and I rode a few more rides but I chickened out after we walked to get in line for the Griffon ride.  When I saw that the ride was 210 feet high going 75 mph, I just couldn't "stomach" that kind of ride.  Our "serious" riders group was now cut to 2!  The rest of us watched the girls ride the ride and they were just fine telling us the we missed "the most awesome ride".  No thanks, I'll pass.

The ride I chickened out on.  By the way I'm standing on the ground and this is way high up!
Field trips allow counselors to get a break from the school building, make a connection with students and parents during a meaningful experience and most important they are fun!  If you have an opportunity to go on a field trip make the most of it.  I've found that many of the trips I've been on I went on as a child but enjoy more as an adult (example NC zoo trip, which was great) and I've been places that I hadn't been to (Wilmington, NC Battleship & Aquarium).  I will admit that on the bus ride back that I was worn out, but will do it again!  How many of your students can say that they rode a roller coaster with their school counselor?  How awesome is that!

Here's some pictures from my field trips:
This was the highlight of the zoo, seeing the baby chimp (3 months old).  Oh so cute!

Baby Chimp w/ mom

What a great way to get the point across
Zebras & Giraffes

Counselor intern & me

Turtles sunbathing on a log

On the NC Battleship

Beautiful, just a tease of summer?
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