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Everest Academy is a ministry of Everest Family Church in Hayden. We offer freedom along with quality resources, information, activities and support to those homeschooling in Alabama. We believe that the parent has the best interests of their children at heart. We believe that the parent is the first and only teacher that a child needs. In keeping with this philosophy, we wish to be a very hands-off church "cover" school and allow the parent to lead and guide their children in the direction and at the pace they feel is best suited to their children. We ask only for what the law requires while offering support along with quality resources to aid families in their efforts.

Field Trip Guide

Wonder Woman?  I think not....

I have had a lot of moms confide to me that they are interested in organizing field trips, but they don't know what to do or where to start.  I have written this "Field Trip Guide" in reply.  Let me just say that you awesome parents are what make Everest Academy so great.  You allow us to keep costs down by all of the volunteering that you do.  We would not be able to do nearly what we do without the effort that you put forth.  Now let's get on with the "Super Duper Handy Dandy Everest Academy Field Trip Guide!"

If you are a new homeschooler, you may not realize this, but you have come into homeschooling at a wonderful time. If you are a veteran homeschooler, you know exactly what I mean. When my family started homeschooling, we were lucky to find a group that we could sign up with to go to Children's Theatre. That's it! That's all! There was literally almost nothing available for homeschoolers. It was a world where if you wanted to see something happen, you either got up and did it or resigned yourself to the fact that it just wasn't going to happen. There have been SO many doors opened in just a few short years, but it wasn't always pretty. 

I was lucky enough to run across a super nice lady who was the one and only activity director of my cover school who gave me some great advice, and now I am going to pass that information on to you. Here's how it all happened. I called the activity director one day just bursting with ideas about field trips thinking that this homeschooling thing was about like public schooling and that someone else would be in charge of field trips, and we would just tag along. I also had it in my mind that I wasn't "supposed" to organize field trips because there was an "official" activity director. I didn't want to step on anybody's toes. The activity director let me know very kindly that that was not necessarily the case, and she encouraged me to set up a few field trips and invite others to tag along. And that, folks, is how it all began for me. It REALLY doesn't take a Wonder Woman to set up a field trip.  What I came to realize is that group activity coordinators are homeschooling moms too, and they have a lot going on in their families as well. They are doing just what I did. They are organizing field trips that will benefit their families and inviting other homeschoolers to tag along. I would encourage you to do the same.
What are the benefits?
  • You are the organizer, so everyone there knows who you are.  You WILL meet new people.
  • If the field trip costs money, the organizer usually gets to go for free.
  • Sometimes, not always, you will get a free spot for every ___ paying attendees.  Apply this to your kids.  Organizing field trips is a great way to get to attend field trips you might not could have otherwise afforded. 
  • You get to schedule field trips at your convenience and on your terms - For instance, you can organize field trips around what your family is currently studying.  Don't like to get up early?  Then schedule a 1:00 p.m. field trip.  The POWER is in your hands!  
One thing that you guys have that I definitely did not have is a communication network to get the word out there.  I am MORE than happy to advertise any field trip that you would like to offer to others.  Here's how...

How To Set Up A Field Trip:
  • Call up the organization you would like to visit, introduce yourself, and let them know you are interested in a school field trip.  Why is this important?  A group rate is usually higher than the school group rate.  
  • Ask about details such as:
  • maximum/minimum number of attendees you can have 
  • costs
  • duration of the field trip
  • any special instructions  
  • That's really about it!  Easy peezy lemon squeezy!!!

Getting the Word Out - Just email Everest Academy the details.  You will want to include:
  • Date
  • Time
  • Location
  • Cost
  • Description
  • Deadline to sign up and pay
  • Your contact information
Pre-Field Trip:
  • Send a pre-field trip reminder email
  • Set up a meeting place
  • Ask everyone to show up 15 minutes early
The Day of the Field Trip:
  • Be the first one there and the last one to leave
  • Be on time
  • Introduce yourself to the guide
  • Start the field trip on time - people running late can catch up.  Don't punish the people who made an effort to be there on time by waiting on the people who didn't.  
  • Be relaxed.  Nothing ever goes exactly as planned.  Don't sweat the small stuff. 
  • Make sure everything is as good or better than when you got there.
  • Take some pictures to send to Everest Academy.  
  • Enjoy yourself and your kids!!!
Not Interested in Organizing Field Trips?
If organizing a field trip is not your cup of tea, that's alright.  It's not for everyone, but here are some things that you can do to ensure a fun field trip for everyone:

  • Mark your calendar.  You are responsible for your calendar.  Activity coordinators are not personal secretaries.  
  • Make sure you read all of the information on the field trip.  It is your responsibility to make sure that a field trip is appropriate for your family.  If your family has special needs, it is your responsibility to make sure those needs are met.  
  • Make sure to say a special "Thank you" to the coordinator at each field trip as they are doing all that they do as a volunteer.  Coordinating field trips takes a lot of time, creativity, and effort.
  • Offer to help.  
  • BE ON TIME!  SHOW UP IF YOU SIGN UP!!!  Homeschoolers are starting to get a pretty bad rep for showing up late or not showing up at all.  I am afraid that we are going to start losing lots of opportunities because of this.  FYI, it is pretty embarrassing to the field trip coordinator when they reserve 70 seats and only 10 people show up.  
  • Please DO NOT show up if you have not signed up. 
  • Please check your email the morning of any field trip for last minute cancellations or instructions, especially during inclement weather.   
  • Make sure that the field trip coordinator is able to enjoy their time at field trips as well.  They are there to enjoy their families just as you are.  Don't monopolize their time by complaining, showing up late, not following instructions, etc.  Just "food for thought".
  • Offer to help clean up afterwards.  
  • Make sure you check on any special accommodations that your family may need.  
  • Each child MUST be accompanied by a responsible adult.  "Drop offs" are not allowed. 
  • Children are expected to behave.  Disruptive families will be asked to leave the event.  
  • Everest Academy is not responsible for any injuries, theft, or loss of personal property at any events.  All participants take full responsibility for their children and attend events "at your own risk".
Whew!  That's a lot of info!  I hope you join us on many adventures!