4-H Field Trips
Field trips can be a great contribution to the 4-H philosophy
of learning by doing.
4-H members can observe and participate in a real-life 4-H project-related experience.
Youth participants on a field trip must complete the 4-H Event Permission Form. This form has several important parts: parental permission, health information, and behavior agreement. The most important reason for using this is to make sure parents are aware of what type of activity their children are participating in.
Tips for Enhancing the Field Trip Experience:
Make contact with the site to be visited
- Call in advance
- Make reservations if needed.
- Find out if there are fees; ask for group rate discounts and check methods of payment.
- Visit site in advance if possible.
- If there is a member or your group with special needs, how accessible is the site for people with disabilities?
- Busses, vans, or cars? Family-owned or rent? What about using public mass transit? (especially if you are going into Manhattan or Philadelphia!)
- How much time will trip take?
- Have maps and directions available for all drivers.
- Share costs of fuel and tolls spent by drivers.
- Getting there can be half the fun. Consider side trips, singing and games along the way.
Don’t forget the essentials
- Food (bag lunches, buy from restaurant, etc.).
- Lodging, if overnight.
- Name tags help the group know each other and the public identify participants who may wander astray.
- Where are the bathrooms when you get there? Will stops be needed along the way? As a group leader, you may want to bring along a couple of rolls of toilet paper just in case.
- What is appropriate clothing for participants to wear? (such as type of shoes to wear or not to wear).
- Money for food, entrance fees, souvenirs, etc.
- Cameras, camcorders.
Recruit Adequate Adult Supervision
- Have at least one adult for every 10 youth. Get more adults for young children or for potentially hazardous activities.
- At least two adults is preferred.
- Explain roles and responsibilities to adults. Make sure all lare working from same rules and expectations!
- Adults are there to have fun also but their main job is serving as a chaperone!
Prepare 4-H’ers for the trip
- Explain where the group is going and what they will do or see.
- Agree on rules of behavior and safety.
- Encourage them to devise questions to ask when they get there.
- Identify some of the things to look for.
Focus on Safety
- Bring first aid kits. Try to bring along adults with first aid or C.P.R. training.
- Keep kids together. Do periodic head counts.
- Break into smaller, more manageable groups. Have check-in times if the group splits up.
- Assign “buddies” (pairs of youth who will look out for each other).
Say thank you!
- Have kids decide how they want to thank people (handwritten notes, big cards with group signatures, send souvenirs/mementos, post cards, etc.)
- Write thank you notes/letters to all who helped (parents, chaperones, tour guides, etc.)
Share what was learned with others
- Send a 4-H Club Meeting Report to our office and we will print highlights from your trip in Emphasis on 4-H
- Give public presentations to other clubs and to the public (such as to local service organizations [Lions, Rotary, Kiwanis, etc.]).
- Create an exhibit to display in public places and at the NJ State Fair/Sussex County Farm and Horse Show.
- Inform the media by writing a news release or calling them in advance. (Consider inviting a reporter from local media along with you.)