Home » Travel

How to Select and Train Parent Chaperones

Oct 13, 2007
Ensuring parents and administrators that safety is your number one priority when students are away from home is the most important step in a successful student travel experience. One of the key elements to safe travel is selecting and training adults to serve as chaperones for your trip. These individuals not only supervise the students while they are away from home but are responsible for their overall safety.

During my years as a trip sponsor, I found that an effective chaperone is an authority figure that is fair, firm and consistent. More importantly, that individual must also be comfortable with the age of the students and cognizant of the behavioral expectations of the school. I found that some of the best chaperones come from the PTO, classroom volunteers and others that are actively involved with the students in this age group (i.e. community education coaches).

Once you've announced your trip, you will quickly discover that parents will eagerly volunteer to chaperone. I recommend having a process in place to handle their requests. One of the best strategies is to select chaperones after the enrollment period is over. That way you will know the number of trip participants and how many chaperones are needed. I also recommend that all interested chaperones complete an application and that the top candidates be interviewed by teachers and/or an administrator.

If the travel goal is that the students enjoy the trip and participate in valuable educational and social opportunities, then all of the adult chaperones must work together to make the goals become a reality.

Once you've made your selections, training the chaperones is a must! Reviewing motorcoach, hotel and behavior rules several days before the trip will ensure that everyone is on the same page. I recommend scheduling the training session just prior to departure and covering the following topics:

(Note: Schedule the session at a time when ALL the chaperones (teachers and parents) can attend. If your budget permits, a meal or some snacks is especially effective in creating group rapport between staff and parents.)

- Begin the session by reviewing the trip rules so the chaperones are thoroughly familiar with them. Make every effort to assure that the rules will be firmly supported by every adult on the trip.

- Next, review the expectations for adult behavior on the trip. Stress that this is an extended field trip and that smoking and drinking are not allowed. Remind them that a chaperone has many of the same responsibilities as a teacher. Reinforce being on time for activities, being with your group at all times, and being a good role model. Established student tour providers like Travel Adventures suggest that the sponsor ask each chaperone to sign an Adult Chaperon Agreement Form.

- Review the trip itinerary in detail, emphasizing the learning experiences and tips for creating a memorable visit. As the schedule is reviewed, emphasize the chaperones' responsibilities at each point: at the trip check-in, on the bus, in the hotel, at meal times and at attractions. I also recommend mentioning the need for flexibility if last-minute changes occur during the trip.

- Be candid in discussing the types of problems that can arise on a school trip, making it clear which ones chaperons have authority to handle and which should be referred to school staff. Encourage discussion of their relationship with their own children within the group context. If possible, involve an experienced chaperone from a previous trip to comment on this topic.

- Provide pointers for working with this student age group. Suggest ways they can get to know their group members before or at the start of the trip. Emphasize that the chaperones' role is to be an authority figure, not a buddy to the students. Let the parent chaperons know that the experienced teacher group leaders will support and guide them during the trip.

- Discuss how to handle emergencies during the trip. Establish a chain of command so that parents report to teachers, and teachers report to the trip sponsor and/or administrator. Frequently group leaders and chaperones use walkie- talkies so they can be in constant communication while touring.

- Don't forget to review the nighttime security procedures at the hotel. Although most travel providers hire a local security firm to monitor the rooms, I still recommend having your chaperones do the following: Prior to lights out, adult chaperones should check the student room(s) assigned to them to make sure that everyone is accounted for. They should also check the rooms in the morning to ensure that everyone is awake and ready for the next day's activities. Note: During room check, you should always physically ID each student assigned to that room.

- Conclude the training with a Q & A session to allow the chaperone's an opportunity to get clarity on their roles and responsibilities. Remind the chaperones that the tour and activities are designed for students, not adults. Although the trip can be fun for adults, the chaperone's primary responsibility is for the safety and education of the students.

Selecting and training adult chaperones for your school travel experience will prepare them to do their job well, and ensure that safety and the welfare of the participants is the top priority.
About the Author
Travel Adventures is staffed by educators who understand the needs of teachers. We've been creating unique and educational student travel experiences since 1987. We provide hassle-free travel arrangements while empowering teachers to create change by expanding the classroom to the world. Our experienced team of travel professionals is dedicated to exceeding your student travel expectations.Travel Adventures
Rating:
Please Rate:
(Average: Not rated)
Views: 108
Print Email Report Share
Article Categories
    • Artists
    • Gambling
    • Humanities
    • Humor
    • Movies
    • Music
    • Photography
    • Tattoos
    • Television
    • Classic Cars
    • Motorcycles
    • Recreational Vehicles
    • SUVs
    • Trucks
    • Vans
    • Branding
    • Business Opportunities
    • Careers and Jobs
    • Corporate
    • Customer Service
    • Direct Mail
    • Entrepreneurship
    • Ethics
    • Financing
    • Franchising
    • Home-Based Business
    • Human Resources
    • Import and Export
    • Leadership
    • Management
    • Market Research
    • Marketing and Advertising
    • Negotiation
    • Network Marketing
    • Networking
    • Organizational
    • Presentation
    • Project Management
    • Public Relations
    • Small Business
    • Strategic Planning
    • Team Building
    • Telemarketing
    • Training
    • Data Recovery
    • Databases
    • Games
    • Hardware
    • Networks
    • Operating Systems
    • Programming
    • Security
    • Software
    • Spyware and Viruses
    • Ask an Expert
    • College and University
    • Home Schooling
    • K-12
    • Languages
    • Online Education
    • Psychology
    • Accounting
    • Credit
    • Currency Trading
    • Debt Consolidation
    • Insurance
    • Investing
    • Leasing
    • Loans
    • Mortgage
    • Mutual Funds
    • Personal Finance
    • Stock Market
    • Structured Settlements
    • Taxes
    • Wealth Building
    • Coffee
    • Cooking
    • Gourmet
    • Recipes
    • Wine and Spirits
    • Acne
    • Aerobics
    • Alternative Medicine
    • Beauty
    • Cancer
    • Cosmetics
    • Depression
    • Diabetes
    • Diseases and Conditions
    • Fitness Equipment
    • Fitness
    • Hair Loss
    • Heart Disease
    • Medicine
    • Men's Health
    • Muscle Building
    • Nutrition
    • Skin Care
    • Supplements and Vitamins
    • Weight Loss
    • Women's Health
    • Yoga
    • Arts and Crafts
    • Babies
    • Collecting
    • Elderly Care
    • Genealogy
    • Hobbies
    • Parenting
    • Pets
    • Pregnancy
    • Woodworking
    • Feng Shui
    • Gardening
    • Home Appliances
    • Home Security
    • Interior Design
    • Landscaping
    • Affiliate Programs
    • Article Marketing
    • Auctions
    • Audio
    • Banner Advertising
    • Blogging
    • Broadband
    • Domain Names
    • E-Books
    • E-Commerce
    • Email Marketing
    • Ezines and Newsletters
    • Forums
    • Internet Marketing
    • Link Popularity
    • Pay-Per-Click
    • Podcasting
    • RSS
    • Search Engine Marketing
    • Search Engine Optimization
    • Security
    • Social Media
    • Spam
    • Video
    • Viral Marketing
    • Web Design
    • Web Development
    • Web Hosting
    • Copyright
    • Cyber Law
    • Intellectual Property
    • National, State, Local
    • Patents
    • Regulatory Compliance
    • Trademarks
    • Buying
    • Selling
    • Baseball
    • Basketball
    • Boating
    • Cycling
    • Extreme Sports
    • Fishing
    • Football
    • Golf
    • Hockey
    • Hunting
    • Martial Arts
    • Running
    • Scuba Diving
    • Soccer
    • Swimming
    • Tennis
    • Dating
    • Divorce
    • Marriage
    • Weddings
    • Astrology
    • Buddhism
    • Christianity
    • Faith
    • Hinduism
    • Islam
    • Judaism
    • Meditation
    • Metaphysical
    • New Age
    • Cable and Satellite TV
    • Cell Phones
    • Communication
    • Gadgets and Gizmos
    • GPS
    • Satellite Radio
    • Video Conferencing
    • VoIP
    • Addictions
    • Coaching
    • Goal Setting
    • Motivational
    • Stress Management
    • Time Management
    • Clothing
    • Electronics
    • Fashion
    • Gifts
    • Jewelry
    • Causes and Organizations
    • Environment
    • History
    • Holidays
    • Men's Issues
    • Nature
    • Philosophy
    • Politics
    • Women's Issues
    • World Affairs
    • Article Writing
    • Book Reviews
    • Copywriting
    • Fiction
    • Non-Fiction
    • Poetry
    • Quotes
    • Screenplay
    • Tools and Resources