Field trips are essential for students of all ages and something every school should have, and the more the better. A trip through the woods, watching and listening is much more memorable that a program in television. While videos may be able to show beautiful scenery and record the delicate notes of the song of a warbler, they have yet to give the child the feel of the grass or the smell or water in the air. Even trips to museums and cultural centers are needed, plastic dinosaur skeletons are never the same as the real, petrified bone in the giant halls of knowledge.
Unfortunately in this day and age, safety concerns have severely hampered the abilities of schools to schedule field trips. But are these concerns legitimate reasons for hampering and interfering with students’ education? Can they be lessened by proper planning and should they be risked? Let’s look at some of the concerns.
One concern is the child disappearing, either from wandering off or being kidnapped. The wandering off does happen and can be prevented by proper supervision or using the buddy system, pair the children off! This way the children will watch after each other and, hopefully look after their “buddy”. It has been used for centuries and works well. As for kidnapping during a school field trip, it is more likely on a family shopping trip or from the child’s home, and unless the kidnapper has a van the buddy system will stop this as well.
Accidents are another concern, and a good one. They can always happen no matter how well one prepares, but they are not usually severe. The most common one is going to be a skinned knee from the children shoving and a prick from a thorn, a first aid kit will handle that. The teacher should also have a list of any allergies or medical problems, nowadays stored in the Blackberry along with the number for the nearest hospital.
In referring to allergies, food becomes a safety concern for some, but is it really? If food is purchased, it will come from a reputable place, if the child brings their own the parent should know what to pack! If you are worried about spoilage, only send things that last such as pre-wrapped snacks.
Are there other safety concerns? Probably. Should they stop the field trips? definitely not. The students have to learn about the world, and a supervise school field trip is the safest way, in spite of the concerns!