Planning an outdoor educational field trip can be a painful and time consuming project for any teacher. There is the budget to consider, risk management to prepare and logistics to plan. All this background work must be done in order to gain the school board’s administration approval.
In Southern Ontario a different approach is being taken to gain business from surrounding schools. Outdoor education companies have taken advantage of the fact that their area of expertise is something a teacher often lacks or does not have the time to research. So they have created a program called “Teacher’s Aid" which custom designs field trips to meet the teacher’s needs… free of charge.
The process works by having the teacher submit the outdoor curriculum requirements; minimum expected students, the time frame, available working budget and required safety standards. These are the main ingredients needed by the “Teacher’s Aid" to design an educational outdoor field trip.
The outdoor companies then use their experience and skills to design a program tailored to the school’s curricular needs. And within one week return a draft with a possible matched field trip within the working budget and safety concerns. With the curriculum outlay is also included a risk management plan, a complete price quote and a written itinerary that can be delivered to the school’s administration for approval.
In return the outdoor educational company asks that if the draft is approved; they are reimbursed in the venture by receiving the school’s field trip business. It is also understood that if the school chooses not to do the field trip, there is no charge and the school/teachers are always welcome to inquire about a quote for another program idea.
For the teacher this is minimum work… and for the learning adventure companies this is maximum business. This successful approach is an excellent working venture for any business in the outdoor educational field wishing to develop a working relationship with schools.
Garth Pottruff specializes in outdoor learning experiences relating to school curriculum. He believes outdoor field trips add a needed dimension in learning. . . seeing, believing and applying become very real within a field trip.
He goes further then just writing field trip itineraries. . . he offers complimentary trips at no charge to teachers interested in developing field trip programs. He feels it is important for teachers to meet his staff and to see first hand what they do.
He instructs canoeing, kayaking, camping and how to do wilderness canoe trips. He also does hikes that teach native and settlement history, edible & medicinal plants, environmental concerns, wildlife and trees.
For Garth building a successful working relationship with teachers is based on integrity, flexibility and competence. He does not believe in promising what he cannot do well.
For more information on Learning Adventures offered by Garth visit: http://www.grandriverrafting.ca