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advice on secondary school residential trips, please...

(15 Posts)
discoball Fri 26-Jun-09 17:13:04

Hi, could any parents of yr 7 pupils please help me with the following (my DS is going on a residential trip for days next week):
a) on this trip, all food is provided, so they've stated they won't need any money. Are you allowed to put snacks in their suitcase or is this frowned upon? I'm not talking about lots of stuff, just a few choc bars! b) my son is very nervous about going and is in a tent with 3 others, 2 he knows and one who is the "class clown"! Have yyour children generally had a positive experience away from home? I'm really trying to boost DS's confidence and say it'll be great and that the teachers will probably join in and have a laugh, too! I think he's worried that he'll do something wrong in front of his peers, so obviously I've explained that everyone's in the same boat and that it will be new for lots of them. Don't get me wrong, he is really looking forward to it,but just needs reassurance. Any words regarding a) and reassurances regarding b) much appreciated! I think it will be great for his self-confidence personally. (By the way, we could certainly learn a few things from our children, couldn't we? - my son said to me "just because he's the class clown doesn't make him a bad person" - how true ande what a grown-up statement!! smile

claricebeansmum Fri 26-Jun-09 17:48:18

I think as parents we worry more about these trips than we should!

He'll have a great time - and they'll all learn something. Even if it is that the tidy up fairy doesn't come camping. He's with 2 mates and I guess that they are seen as the responsible calming influence as they have been given the class clown.

Don't know about snacks. What I do know is that snacks ruin a meal and what you need when you are active and camping is all the proper food you can get. Can he take some as back up but only get them out if everyone else does?

lazymumofteenagesons Fri 26-Jun-09 18:08:08

I always put a packet of cereal bars in their bags and sometimes sweets, unless the school has specified not to do this. I also tend to ignore the 'no money' rule and give them a fiver for the travel stops.
Sharing a tent with the class clown will probably just mean you will have very tired boy when he gets back! But they are always shattered anyway.

margotfonteyn Fri 26-Jun-09 20:30:18

Veteran of 3 children now older who've been on secondary school trips, youngest just come back from one. I've usually put a few choc bars/sweets in for them. 'Class clown' will probably be marginally irritating but actually on a one to one basis will prob turn out to be completely different, your son seems to have realised this already, well done him. It will be good for his self confidence, they usually have a really good time but are really tired and weirdly polite and nice by the time they get home!

It is v worrying for 1st time parents on these trips, but the teachers are v used to it, are v laid back and pleasant during the trip and the children see them in a different light. It will be fine!

hana Fri 26-Jun-09 20:33:49

speaking as teacher - we don't mind a few snacks in the bags - expect it really!

seeker Sat 27-Jun-09 07:44:09

I always pack a few cereal bars or packets of dried fruit. I don't pack sweets unless I know it's OK. And if it is OK, I pack enough to share.

My dd is ALWAYS a gibbering wreck before trips {up all night crying before PGL in year 6 for example!) but she always has a wonderful time.

Essentials, I think are:-
A torch and lots of batteries
A watch
Paper and pencil
A book (probably won't get read, but it's good too have something to do if you can't sleep)
Wet wipes
Tissues
A carrier bag to put dirty clothes in to keep them separate from clean ones (you can hope).
Unembarassing pyjamas.

scienceteacher Sat 27-Jun-09 08:13:05

It is normal to take tuck.

The whole point of a residential trip is to do things they wouldn't normally do and be outside their own comfort zone.

I took some girls away recently and it was quite an eyeopener with regard to how they were in school and how they were on the trip.

A tip from me - don't pack for your child. Let him do his own packing. It makes sorting out lost property a lot easier.

MrsGuyOfGisbourne Sat 27-Jun-09 10:53:56

lol @ embarrasing pyjamas - have searched the world to try to find unembarrassing pjs for ds1... eventually found the plainest possible in Primark...

MrsGuyOfGisbourne Sat 27-Jun-09 10:55:13

agree about the packing himself. ds1 has done this himslef for the last few trips, and is therefore aware of what has and hasn't been packed

discoball Sat 27-Jun-09 12:33:24

Hi, many thanks for ALL of your messages, all of which were very helpful! Have taken on board all of your comments and it's nice to hear from teachers themselves - scienceteacher, nice to know it's normal to take tuck, just didn't want to give him a few things and then he get in trouble - he'd be mortified! Have already got the pyjamas - plain ones!!!!! My DS always insists on doing his own packing anyway, is very organised! Good idea to take a separate carrier for washing, will do that. Thanks once again to all. smile smile

scotagm Sat 11-Jul-09 21:02:47

As a teacher with many years of residential experience, we to need to shop for unembarrasing pyjamas. It's no fun getting up in the night to speak to still awake 15 yr olds in anything other than totally boring pj's.

All pupils bring snacks.

Always provide some money for extra snacks/drinks - if only to teach budgeting skills. Provide coins and small denomination notes if needed. A child with a twenty pound note to chnage can be a problem!

janeite Sat 11-Jul-09 21:07:47

On the residentials I've done recently, the girls have all gone for quirky colourful pjs and huge slippers. The boys have tended to wear long thin-jersey shorts and big baggy t-shirts.

If they've said no money, send no money - it just over-complicates things.

And if you must put snacks in, I'd limit it to a pack of mints for the coach and a few cereal bars.

Loshad Sat 11-Jul-09 23:24:41

hope the trip went well - they always seem to grow up so much when they've had a week away from home.

discoball Sun 12-Jul-09 18:48:03

Hi, Loshad, yes, the trip went very well for my DS - thank you for asking. He is certainly growing up in every way and I was very proud when he told me all the things he did and what they all did as a team and how much better he'd got to know some of the other children - a very positive experience for him. smile

discoball Sun 12-Jul-09 18:48:45

PS Great that he went away and had a good time but is great to have him back!!!! smile grin

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