Planning a Field Trip
In New York State, schools and youth organizations have opportunities to take students/participants on field trips. Most field trips are beneficial and a great learning experience. They enhance the lessons being taught in a regular classroom or within the context of the organization. Unfortunately, a few have ended in disaster. Anytime a large group of youth are in a public forum there is a potential for problems. Experience has shown that:
- Youths can get separated from the group and lost;
- Medical emergencies occur;
- Bus accidents can happen;
- Teachers/leaders and/or adult chaperones can be injured and unable to assist emergency personnel to identify students who are injured, or
- Youths may go with a stranger because the adult said they were with the field trip.
To assist you in your efforts to prevent problems, the New York State Police has developed a Field Trip Attendance System. It is available for schools and organizations which may not have a system in place or, as supplemental material for those that do. The system includes a Field Trip Attendance Sheet and color-coded, numbered Identification Tags.
The New York State Police also have a Child Abduction Prevention program called Step Away for Safety that can be presented to students a few weeks prior to your outing. The program can requested by completing a Presenter Request Letter and forwarding it to your local State Police Troop Headquarters.
To reinforce your awareness of this topic and to examine the materials involved, you may view the Field Trip Attendance System materials on the State Police website at: www.troopers.state.ny.us/PSAC/fieldtripindex.html.