Field Trip Chaperone Survival Tips

Field Trip Chaperone Survival Tips
Field Trip Chaperone Survival Tips

School field trips are fantastic. I loved them as a child in school, as it was such an adventure to leave the school for a few hours and do something different. As a parent, I couldn’t wait for the day for my children to go on field trips too. Since my daughter’s class started participating in field trips, I have escorted three. I’ve learned something new each time and have curated a few tips to ensure I have a good time while I keep track of my assigned school children. If you’re ready to take on the school-field-trip-chaperone role, I’ve got you covered with my top five survival tips.

Have a conversation with the teacher about the field trip before volunteering.

Before you sign-up to chaperone a school field trip, know what will be asked of you. Have a conversation with your child’s teacher about the purpose of the field trip, destination (if you don’t know it), and chaperone expectations. Sign up if you’re feeling good about the field trip and the responsibilities.

Field Trip Chaperone Survival Tips
Field Trip Chaperone Survival Tips

Do your field trip destination homework. 

All three of my daughter’s past field trips have been to places we know, like the Academy of Sciences and Lafayette Park, but I did a little online research anyways. When you’re a field trip chaperone, you’re managing so many different things that the obvious can fall by the wayside, like where the restrooms or trash cans are. Here are some things to consider; scope out the destination, check the weather forecast, and download any mobile maps. Don’t forget to locate all the restrooms and save fellow chaperones’ telephone numbers. A little studying before the field trip will add to your comfort and preparedness.

Prepare a chaperone kit. 

As a chaperone, you may be required to carry student lunches and crafts on top of your items. I bring a backpack and a large tote to take everything. I also pack a “chaperone kit” with first aid supplies, extra paper masks, nut-free snacks, extra bottled water, and a battery pack for my phone (bonus points for packing toilet seat liners). It seems like a ton of gear, but it isn’t. I always think of the children who forget something or get boo-boos. There’s always one (especially my daughter).

Field Trip Chaperone Survival Tips
Field Trip Chaperone Survival Tips

Dress colorfully and comfortably.

I love wearing bright colors! Wearing bright colors invigorates me and makes me happy. Wearing bright colors also makes me easier to spot for the kids I am handling. If my group or any child gets separated from me (has not happened), they can always spot me. I’ve thought about taping the letter of my first name in a large size with painter’s tape on my back too, but that might be overkill. Dressing comfortably is a no-brainer. Don’t even think about heels or wearing anything you don’t want to get stained. Don’t forget to do your homework and prepare for weather conditions.

Take photos and share them with the class.

By tip #4, the field trip is about to start. You’ve met your fellow chaperones, and a part of you is probably wondering what kids (besides your own) will be assigned to you. This is the fun part. Please take photos of your group, their teacher, and don’t forget to get yourself in a picture or two. Please send them to the teacher for sharing with families. 

Provide feedback after.

Teachers and chaperones alike can learn a lesson or two after a field trip. After a field trip, I thank the teachers and then provide a little feedback after (if any). Teachers aren’t thanked enough for organizing school field trips.  

Are you feeling good about volunteering for your child’s school field trip? Are you ready to tackle the role of a school field trip chaperone? What would you add to this list? 

Field Trip Chaperone Survival Tips
Field Trip Chaperone Survival Tips
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Jeanne is a married, full-time working mom with an MBA in Marketing from Golden Gate University and BA in Communications from San Francisco State University. She is an Associate Director of Sales for Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants and loves that her career enables her to promote the city she loves. Jeanne and her husband Daniel live in San Francisco with their two daughters, Ilse and Alice. When Jeanne is not working, writing, or volunteering at Ilse's school, she enjoys traveling, spending time with family, and cooking from her collection of cookbooks (70 and growing) while sipping Hudson Bay Bourbon. Follow her adventures on Instagram.


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