Plan A Field Trip
Traveling outside the four walls of the traditional classroom for field studies has its roots in ancient Greece with the teachings of Aristotle and Socrates. Field trips have been a part of education through the ages for good reasons. Effective field trip activities facilitate learning that is difficult to achieve in the regular classroom. Subjects like history and science jump off the pages of textbooks and come alive on field trips, taking on real-world relevance for students. Good field trips are multi-sensory, emphasize active learning and appeal to students with a variety of learning styles. They stimulate imagination and challenge students to think in new ways.
Field trips also help students make important personal connections with the cultural and natural resources that are part of our natural heritage. These connections are the first steps toward developing a conservation ethic and ultimately becoming stewards for our shared park lands.
TYPES OF FIELD TRIPS AVAILABLE
De Soto National Memorial has two primary types of field trips available:
For all field trips, please make reservations at least 30 days in advance by calling De Soto National Memorial at (941)792-0458. All reservations are on a first come, first served basis. There are no fees for self-guided or guided field trips.
Teachers and students should dress comfortably based upon the weather forecast. Always wear shoes to shield feet from sharp stones and shells. Arrive at the park at least ten minutes before the scheduled time of your field trip. When you arrive at the park, report first at the Visitor Center.
The park has restrooms and drinking fountain inside the Visitor Center. A picnic area capable of seating approximately 60 people is located adjacent to the parking lot. No food or drinks are allowed in the Visitor Center. Each group should provide at least one chaperon for every ten students.
SELF-GUIDED FIELD TRIPS
Self-guided field trips may include viewing the 22-minute movie and the exhibits in the Visitor Center, a trail walk, and--from mid-December through mid-April--a visit to Camp Uzita. Reservations are necessary to make sure that the facilities are open and available to you during your visit, but no Ranger talks are available unless pre-requested. This request may be made when you make your reservation.
Did You Know?
The crossbow was such a fearsome weapon that in 1139 Pope Innocent II outlawed its use among Christians. However, no restriction was placed on its use against non-Christians, including the Native Americans that Hernando de Soto met on his 1539 Expedition to Florida. Visit De Soto National Memorial. More...