Four years ago I chaperoned my son on his middle school trip to Toronto.
It was two jolly days filled with boisterous, obnoxious tween boys who lived life to the fullest every moment and never listened to me (also every moment).
So it should come as a complete, total surprise that I decided to chaperone the trip again, this time when it was my daughter’s turn to go.
How could I NOT chaperone my daughter when I’d chaperoned her brother?
Here are my favorite moments from the most recent two day, one night whirlwind tour of Toronto and Niagara Falls for your reading pleasure:
1. Our bus driver was nicknamed “Porkchop”. How awesome is that? “Porkchop, are we there yet?” “Hey, Porkchop, can you turn up the air conditioning?”
2. One tween girl in my group had a boyfriend. Golly, that was fun! It was so exciting when she would walk with him in the crowd of 250 people instead of her assigned group. I just loved looking for her among the giant crowd in a metropolitan city or near the humongous cliff overlooking waterfalls! Did I mention she was short for her age? An extra challenge.
3. We had 9 full tour buses in our group and they all had to follow each other. Woop, woop. It meant we got to enjoy Toronto at such a leisurely pace, like, 3 city blocks per hour.
4. Speaking of buses, it was so exciting when one of them broke down and the other 8 buses had to wait 90 minutes for the replacement. It really taught all of us such a good lesson in patience. It also taught us why the teachers stressed that everyone load up on the deodorant.
5. Unfortunately, someone had to poop on the bus, even though we were cautioned not to poop on the bus. No, it wasn’t me.
6. I also really enjoyed visiting the CN tower with 250 people and trying to walk back to our buses at the EXACT same time that the neighboring Toronto Blue Jays game ended. What fun it was to mingle with 9,000 Canadian baseball fans while trying to get where we were going! Did I mention that the short girl ran off with her prepubescent boyfriend again? I was over the moon.
7. The falls. I’m not going to lie. Niagara Falls is awesome!
8. The 8th thing I loved about chaperoning the middle school trip to Toronto were the tweens. Sometimes they hit a wall (not literally) and cried. Sometimes they got slap happy and giggled, giggled, giggled. Sometimes they were sweet. Sometimes they were sassy.
But spending time with my tween on this class trip? I wouldn’t change it for the world.
9. Lady trouble. Enough said. Well, not enough. As women, we all remember how embarrassing Aunt Flo can be. So let me just hug the young lady who got surprised on the trip and courageously changed her clothes with little fanfare. She was a rockstar.
10. And my final favorite thing from chaperoning the sixth grade trip to Toronto? The DJ at the picnic that the tour bus company put on for the kids. This dapper dude, easily 85 years old, played the greatest hits from the 1970s. It was very educational for the 11 and 12 year olds. I’m not sure they knew who AC/DC and the Bee Gees were before the picnic, and I’m not sure they know now, but I enjoyed listening to the oldies spun by the oldie.
I’m now officially retired as a chaperone. If either of my kids has another school trip in the future, they will have to endure it without me. They might be sad, but I think they really only want my money to buy souvenirs anyway.
Have you ever chaperoned a class trip? What were your favorite parts?