How to start a Field Trip
Starting your own Field Trip chapter in your town
What is the Field Trip? What will you be creating for your town?
The Field Trip is unlike any other youth group around. It's not religious, not political but has a strong vision and takes action to pursue it. It believes that the world would be better if all young people embrace their unique powers to lead our communities. It believes in empowering young people, encouraging young people and employing young people.
Why would you do it?
You have the opportunity to make a significant positive change in your community. Whether you want to start a community group for your own children, or there's a need in your town for a youth program or more youth activities, by establishing a Field Trip in your area, you are doing something extraordinary and positive for your town and surrounding area. You won't regret it. It will take commitment, hard work and your time, but you will change the lives of local young people for the better and their growth and the growth of your community will be your reward.
You may know others who want to support the idea of a new type of youth group for local kids, or be part of a school community or other kind of community who want more options for young people; you might believe kids should pursue their dreams and dare to live extraordinary lives; you may know kids who could be awesome leaders, who have a lot to give to the community. You might just want to take on a hobby for the good of others in your community. All of these are good reasons to consider opening a Field Trip chapter in your town or area.
What's in it for you?
Other than doing something awesome for young people in your area and for the community more broadly, The Field Trip does offer a small weekly salary for you to initiate the program for a 3 month period. After which, you hand this salary to one of your young Drivers (leaders) who takes over the weekly running of the program, with your voluntary mentorship and oversight.
How flexible is the Field Trip?
Very. Whether you want to start a sustainability program for kids, develop a program to train and employ young people, establish a movement for social change or simply run fun weekly activities on various themes, The Field Trip is a simple, flexible model which might suit the needs and interests of young people in your area. Speak to the Field Trip Director about how to establish a program that meets your needs.
Where to start?
Start with a discussion with an existing Field Trip Director to see how it all works and what you need to do. You can complete the form here or contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 0400344746.
Create a small group or committee. Consider other people in your group, community or area who might be thinking the same as you are and see the need for such a youth group; ask them if they're keen to support starting a Field Trip chapter to excite and inspire young people in your region. Hold a meeting just with your group, and/or invite a Field Trip Director to discuss options.
Consider the needs of young people in your area: speak to parents, schools, teachers, community workers and others to get a sense of the needs of young people and the type of program you're seeking to create. Bring these ideas to a meeting or to your discussion with a Field Trip Director.
So you have decided to open a Field Trip chapter in your town or area and you've contacted a Field Trip Director to discuss it (by emailing email@example.com) and read this website thoroughly. This is the best way to get started. Now complete the form here. Think about some of the decisions you will need to make and bring your questions to your first meeting or to your discussion with a Field Trip Director, such as:
Venue: you will need a space, a venue - preferably very cheap or free (something like a Neighbourhood House or community centre, or even a cheap hall, a community RSL or sporting club with a decent room of some kind. The space should have toilets, parking and be safe, visible and central for young people to attend.
Age group: Field Trip participants are normally aged 8-15; from 15-17 young people are invited to be Drivers (leaders) in Training and from 18-25: young people are invited to be employed Drivers (leaders). But you might decide you will start with a specific age group, such as only 10-12 year olds, or only 13-15 year olds. This is up to you, depending on the need of young people in your area.
Time and day of weekly session: The Field Trip normally runs every Sunday 3-5pm but if you prefer (or think it would be more suitable for your participants and leaders) to run weekly sessions on a certain week night or at another time on the weekend, that's up to you. Just let us know. This is all possible.
Size of group: if you have around ten kids attending, you will need two Drivers (leaders); between 15-25 kids, you will need a third Driver (leader).
Your Drivers (leaders): The Field Trip employs young people aged 18-25 to lead the weekly program; you find them, The Field Trip will pay them.
Resourcing and budget: The good news is that we pay young people, employing young Drivers (leaders) - ages 16-25 - to run the program, which helps with stability of leadership and provides incentive for young people to get involved and lead the weekly program. The less good news is that we need income to support employing young people and this comes from charging fees to participants ages 9-15. The good news is that if people can't afford the fees, they are welcome anyway, we don't discriminate on the basis of financial contribution. The less good news is that we need approximately ten paying participants to afford to cover the cost of TWO Drivers each week and all expenses for the program. The good news is that the program certainly provides value to kids and parents and to participate and ten paying participants isn't overly ambitious. The less good news is that without ten paying participants, the Field Trip will struggle to survive in your town. The good news is that we determine the budget with you and the budget is transparent and available for all committee members and Drivers. The other good news is that The Field Trip covers all expenses and you don't have to worry about paying salaries or expenses. This is done centrally. If you have expenses for program materials, it's covered or you can be reimbursed. The Field Trip invoices parents and handles all financials to save you time and ensure you're never out of pocket.
Logistics and administrative processes: Although you will need to know about the logistics and administrative processes, we try and make this easy for you. The Field Trip has insurance, employee handbooks and handles all general administration. We pay award rates to leaders for a three hour shift each week (which includes running a two hour session and some preparation and pack-up time) we handle all of this centrally so you don't have to worry about it; all of this information is avaiable and transparent on our team intranet which you will be given access to.
Safety and wellbeing: The Field Trip also has a Child Safety Policy to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all participants. You can use it to train and assist Drivers so you and the Drivers can manage and monitor the wellbeing of participants at each session.
Marketing and promotion: You are welcome to design your own flyers, advertise in schools or do what you would like to do to recruit leaders and participants. The Field Trip also promotes centrally and can assist with designing flyers or collateral which you can distribute as you please. We do ask that you use the Field Trip logo on all marketing and promotional material but we're happy to work with you in this area to help your efforts in attracting young people to the program. Remember you only need ten young participants (aged 8-15) to start.