Those of you who follow my social media channels may recall that I spent 2 days chaperoning my son’s 6th grade field trip to Toronto. My duties entailed riding a humongous motor coach for approximately 12 hours and escorting my group of four kids through one fort, one legislative assembly, one museum, one gigantic tower, another museum/old house place, a boat tour of Niagara Falls, and souvenir shopping.
After surviving the trip, I invited my son and his classmates, all ages 11 and 12, to assemble the greatest tips in the world for how they should effectively and courteously treat a chaperone. Here they are:
First, when it comes to riding the motor coach, make your chaperone as comfortable as possible, especially if your chaperone is taller than 5’6″ and sitting with her knees in her chin. Tips for how to treat your chaperone on the motor coach include:
- Ask the driver to increase the volume on the movies playing on the overhead DVD player, especially if it’s earlier than 6 am and if the movie includes loud explosives.
- Kick the chaperone’s chair repeatedly from behind.
- Sing the theme song from a favorite childhood TV show over and over. Most chaperones really enjoy hearing “We just got a letter” from Blue’s Clues, especially if it’s earlier than 6 am.
- If your chaperone is about to nod off, make sure you rouse her to ask for a tissue or piece of gum. Everyone in the group should take turns doing this whenever the mood strikes rather than asking all at once.
Second, when it comes to touring forts and museums, here are the best tips for how to treat your chaperone:
- Wander off when your chaperone repeatedly says, “Stay with the group.” Make those chaperones work!
- Talk or take pictures when the docent or tour guide explicitly says not to talk or take pictures.
- Realize you need to use the bathroom 5-10 minutes after the group just had a bathroom break.
Next, don’t forget to treat your chaperone well when you stay at the hotel. Here’s how:
- Have a giant pillow fight in your room and leave all the pillows and sheets in a ball in the corner.
- Ignore quiet hours.
- Ignore the wake-up call.
- Ignore the second wake-up call.
- Sleep as much as you want until the chaperone has to pound on the door repeatedly and wonder, nervously, if you are all alive.
Then, don’t forget to be courteous and respectful to your chaperone on the boat tour of Niagara Falls:
- Run on the slippery deck, even though the chaperone says, “Be safe!”
- Lean over the railing as far as possible, even though the chaperone says, “Be safe!”
- Wander off when your chaperone repeatedly says, “Stay with the group.”
Finally, enjoy some souvenir shopping under the guidance of your chaperone.
- When your chaperone asks, “Do you think you should spend $30 on candy?”, just look at her incredulously. The answer is YES.
- Make sure you forget your $30 bag of candy at the fourth candy store that your group visits.
- Realize that you lost your $30 bag of candy at the eighth candy store you visit.
- Make your chaperone retrace your steps with you to locate your lost $30 bag of candy.
- Ask you chaperone to carry your $30 bag of candy the rest of the trip.
There you have it! I hope you enjoyed these great tips on how to treat a chaperone as much as I did. If you have a tip for how to treat a chaperone, or a story of a chaperoning adventure gone wrong, then add it below in the comments. I’d love to read it!