Another summer is right around the corner, and you have been charged with coordinating your organization’s annual summer youth group trip. Coordinating transportation for any group can be a daunting task, but working with kids throws an additional wrench into things. Enlist the help of professionals to keep your trip on track.
Research Your Options
Before you start promoting your trip, there is a bit of legwork to do on the back end. Invariably you have a budget to work with, but do a little homework on ground transportation companies before requesting those quotes. You most certainly will want to check the safety record of any companies who you solicit pricing from. As the group coordinator you are assuming responsibility for your group! Ask providers about their experience with youth groups, lengthy trips, equipment and anything else you find prudent to ask. An experienced provider with an excellent safety track record will be able to provide you with this information.
Plot Out Your Route
It’s a good idea to have some idea of the routing and stops you will want to make. If you have a somewhat long trip (several hours or more), think about stopping for rest breaks. While you certainly want to get to your destination as soon as possible, kids probably need more time to get out of the vehicle and move around. Giving kids a little time to stretch their legs will make for a more pleasant trip for chaperones and the kids. However, have strict time limits set and do roll calls upon return to your motorcoach, remember – no man left behind. It’s a good idea to assign chaperones to certain kids that they can be responsible for.
This is an option that is WELL worth the money. If you have any room in your budget to upgrade to include a media package, it will make the time pass much more quickly. If you’ve ever chaperoned a group trip with a youth group, you can appreciate what I’m talking about! Having internet, movies and electric outlets can really enhance a trip for everyone aboard.
Rosters and Contact Information
This is a very important component in the planning process. You will want to make sure that you have as much contact information as possible. Having an email address and cell phone number for parents is a must, but if the child has a cell phone, make sure you have that number as well. If for some unfortunate reason you have to track down a kid en route, that will be the fastest way to get them back on the bus! Other important information you may want to keep on hand is allergies or general medical information.
Youth group trips are a great way to expose kids to the world outside of your organization. With careful planning and patience, every trip can be an incredible and memorable experience for your group.