Value of Field Trips


As teachers, scout leaders, and camp directors, you can offer new avenues of learning for youth groups and enrich your curricula with exciting and educational trips. From museums to rafting adventures, field trips provide unique educational experiences that your students might otherwise never have the opportunity to explore.

Students, scouts, homeschoolers, and campers learn in different ways: through hearing, seeing, touching, talking, or doing. Exploring new spaces and using different senses results in:

•        Increased Vocabulary: Studies have shown that children can learn new vocabulary words just by visiting a museum or participating in a new interaction and relating it to real life experiences and classroom curricula.

•        Opinions: There is no right or wrong answer. Just expressing one’s opinion about a painting, piece of sculpture or even an amusement park can be an invaluable experience for your youth group. What they enjoyed and why, and what they didn’t like and why; they can express it verbally and/or in writing.

•        Critical Thinking: Guided tours at museums encourage analysis, reflection, and dialogue, supporting most Learning Standards in Language Arts regarding listening, speaking, viewing, and critical thinking.

•        Teambuilding: Scheduled activities at field trip venues that foster teambuilding and working together can carry over to working together in the classroom.

•        Disciplinary Connections: Attending a Broadway show, a performance, or a concert are not only entertaining but provide opportunities to learn about audience etiquette such as sitting still, listening, when to clap, and what the flashing lights before the show mean.

•        Historical Significance: Interactive historic sites, history museums, and living history attractions make social studies come alive. Students are able to see history in action and understand its significance in the past, present, and future. Making connections between various cultures, reflecting on historical events, and making interpersonal relationships is an invaluable learning experience.

•        Understanding Science: Museums, botanical gardens, outdoor environmental nature centers, planetariums, and even amusement parks add to your students’ science knowledge. Allowing students the opportunity to participate in their own research experiments and activities at these venues makes what they learned in the classroom concrete and personal.

•        Respect & Tolerance: Many museums, fairs and festivals have specific cultural and ethnic themes which are an important part of learning about other cultures, and help to foster tolerance and understanding. This is especially helpful in countering bullying in schools and on the internet.

•        Social Diversity: Traveling to a section of a city, or to a new city, state or region of the United States allows students to discover new and unique cultures, people, and histories that relate to social studies units in the classroom.

•        New Perspectives: Class trip experiences create new perspectives that students apply to classroom learning and throughout their lives.

•        Empowerment: Students are able to take charge of their learning by teaching themselves new facts, ideas, and perspectives to establish a sense of self that is not confined by textbooks and the knowledge of an individual teacher.

Please be aware that many venues are temporarily closed due to COVID-19. See the individual websites for updates.

In the meantime, we have added a new section of Virtual Field Trips on! These virtual resources cover topics in the arts, science, social studies, and beyond.

Please enjoy the resources and stay safe.