The thought of a class field trip to Cedar Point will make your students giddy with glee but might make you and your fellow chaperones start to hyperventilate. You begin to worry how you will keep control of all of those kids in all of that chaos. Relax. The key to success is found in one simple word: planning.
First on your list should be getting all necessary forms distributed to students/parents, and completed, signed and returned. Indian Trails has a great shortcut to get the forms you may not already have through our “Professional's Guide to Bus Trips with Kids.” This handy and concise handbook contains links to forms for:
- Participation Agreements (aka Rules of the Trip)
- Permission for Emergency Medical Treatment
- Health History Medical Release Form
- Parent/Guardian Permission Form for Field Trips
Second, you should discuss all aspects of your trip itinerary with students and chaperones, from departure times to off-limit areas at the park to check-in times. Once everyone agrees on the itinerary, they can sign off on a sheet to show their commitment to complying with it. The itinerary can be considered an addendum to the Participation Agreement that outlines many more specific rules, such as no use of alcohol, tobacco or illegal drugs; being safe, considerate of others, and respectful; and other requirements contained in the form.
3. Buddy System
Third, require students to stay in groups of two or more, and plan to designate a central meeting place where students MUST check in at predetermined times so a headcount can be taken. The sign-in period should be long enough to allow students sufficient time to get there from permitted outlying areas, so a half hour rather than 10 minutes is more logical.
Also in line with the itinerary are any limitations on areas of the park that are off limits. For example, if your group is planning to spend the entire day at the amusement park, there is no need for students to go to the waterpark at Cedar Point Shores, which itself covers 18 acres. It is much easier to keep track of a large group if you know they are only within a given area.
4. Precautions and Procedures
Fourth, make sure all students and chaperones understand emergency procedures and how to get help if needed during the visit. Cedar Point has two first aid stations staffed by registered nurses, and their locations should be defined for students and chaperones. However, those with medical requirements, such as the potential for treatment with an EpiPen, should explain their conditions and medications on the Health History Medical Release form, and be able to carry any necessary medications on them in a secure manner.
It is also important to know other medical/health issues that could put a damper on the fun for individual students. For example, those with pacemakers, casts and braces, and some prosthetic devices, should be aware of certain restrictions. Similarly, those who have had recent surgery, have heart trouble, high blood pressure or head/neck problems, or who are pregnant should heed all posted warning signs.
5. Travel Plans
Fifth, and finally, charter your transportation far in advance so you can stop worrying about that and take care of the other trip essentials. If you charter an Indian Trails motorcoach, you have your choice of 34, 52, or 56 passenger buses, and you can rest assured your trip will be not only relaxing but entertaining!
You, your students and chaperones will enjoy spotless buses with onboard WiFi, DVD players, 110-volt recharging outlets, and reclining seats as you travel south to Sandusky, Ohio. Even more important, is the knowledge that Indian Trails has an outstanding safety record, our buses are equipped with not one but two kinds of global positioning systems, and we operate our own 24/7/365 emergency dispatch, just in case.