Subject: Re: students
Hi Anna,

Sallys' stories are right on target! It did remind me of a couple of things that has worked for me in the past too.

As I had mentioned before, use the buddy system. I also assign a different buddy than someone they are rooming with. That way they aren't tied to the hip 24/7. Each person has a buddy and under no circumstances are they ever to part. If one started walking with a couple of others and left the other, they instantly became My buddy for the next several hours. After doing this twice, the rest adhered to the rule for the remainder of the trip. Always have an emergency plan. What if........ for example; what if the last two didn't get on the subway or train? Separation anxiety for both students and chaperones can be very traumatic. So cover the bases.

Also, I know this might sound juvenile, but it works for all ages. I use to use it when my kids were young and we would take car trips. The arguing, pushing and famous are we there yet? was stopped immediately. So I took the game with me and adapted it when I chaperoned older children too. Give each person 3 strips of colored paper or something similar. Review the rules of the trip. Each time someone even begins to see how far they can push it, ask for a strip of paper. If they complain or try to argue, ask for two strips. When you get to your destination, if they don't have at least one strip of paper left..... they're in time out for 30 minutes or whatever the group is going to do next. Granted, an adult must stay with the student, but I've found that after one person is in time out, the rest hang on to those pieces of paper as if their life depended upon it.

You may think I'm a meanie, but all my groups love to travel with me and as they grow older they still give me hugs and do the remember when we..... stories. I enjoy having fun and acting silly, but they also know that the safety rules are set in stone.

Planning ahead of time and going over and over what is what is so important for a successful trip. If everyone knows ahead of time what is expected of them and what to do in an emergency, it just goes so much more smoothly for everyone. And stick to your guns as we say. Don't wavier or none of this works.

Debbie in NC