Field Trip Requirements
Academic Fee Waiver
You should submit a fee waiver regardless of whether you are doing a self-guided or ranger-led field trip. Most public and private schools are eligible for a fee waiver. Please submit your fee waiver three weeks before the date of your field trip.
Your students should come to their education program with background knowledge of the topic they will be learning about. Pre-site lessons are proven to strengthen the connections students make while they are at an educational site. Their field trip to the park should enhance knowledge they already have, not introduce brand-new concepts. The provided lesson plans on our website are excellent pre-site activities.
Students should understand the significance of national parks, and what behaviors are not allowed. Responsible behavior such as respecting wildlife, not removing resources (i.e. rocks, bones, flowers, etc.), not littering, and respecting park staff and other visitors should be discussed before your visit.
What to Bring (and What to Leave Behind)
Dress appropriately for the weather. Your group will be outdoors for extended periods of time. Close-toed shoes are required. Long pants should be worn for hikes and prairie dog explorations. Protection from sun, wind and general weather conditions are required. Bag lunches should be disposable/recyclable.
Your students should not bring electronics - this includes cameras, phones, tablets, etc. These items become a huge distraction, and only serve to inhibit connections between students and the resource. Items such as packs and water bottles should be left on the bus during ranger-led activities.
All participants must wear name tags (even teachers/chaperons). Use a roll of masking tape and a permanent marker. This enhances student participation and helps control behavior.
Your group should have a minimum of one adult for every ten students. Chaperons are expected to help with student behavior and participate in activities. Remind adults that this experience is for the students to learn, not for parents (or teachers) to jump in with answers.