1. Dress appropriately. You were informed that you would be doing a moderate amount of walking on trails through a swamp, a meadow, and a forest. In some cases, you may be catching frogs and fish in a pond. Skirts, hose, and high heeled shoes or boots are generally not considered hiking attire. If you choose to wear these items, please refrain from complaining when mud gets on your Jimmy Choos or you get algae on your silk blouse.
2. You have a child in the class that is attending this field trip. You are on this field trip to chaperone this child and possibly other children as well. You are not on this field trip to network or socialize with the other parents, have a conference with your child's teacher, or show off your knowledge of natural phenomena to the staff. Please be aware that if you do choose to show off your superior knowledge to the staff of the Nature Center, you will immediately be recruited to become a volunteer at the site.
3. We assume that you have successfully completed the grade level that is attending this field trip. You are not required to complete any classwork during the field trip. However, the students are required to complete classwork. While it may enhance your self-esteem to demonstrate how quickly and proficiently you can answer questions and complete the work assigned on this field trip, it is not meant for you. Please allow the students to complete the work. You will receive no extra credit for doing the students' work on this field trip.
4. Your child is one of many children on this field trip. We understand that your child is special. However, it creates a problem when you allow your child to buy souvenirs, eat candy, and/or leave the group when other children are not allowed to do so. Yes, we understand that your child is special. Don't do these things anyway.
5. When you volunteer to chaperone a field trip, it is assumed that you will be both physically and mentally present during the field trip. If you are standing by your car smoking, hanging out in the ladies' room gossiping with another parent, or buying souvenirs in the gift shop, you are then not supervising your child and the other children in your group. This creates unsupervised children. Unsupervised children disrupt activities, get hurt, and break things. This is bad. Likewise, if you are engaged in a business or personal call on your cell phone during the field trip, it is exceedingly difficult to supervise your child and/or group adequately. Supervision of children often requires you to speak to them, explain directions and/or rules, and intervene when they show disruptive behavior. It is often quite helpful to actually watch the children in order to know when they require these actions on your part.
6. This is a field trip for your child, not an adult education course for you. The staff is here to educate your child. Please do not ask me esoteric questions to which I will not possibly know the answer and that have nothing to do with your child's field trip. I can not name each of the birds you hear by their calls. I do not know every plant that grows here. I'm a frickin' volunteer. You want to pay me? I'll be glad to look up the answers for you!
7. Everything your child does is not cute, funny, or a sign of his or her high IQ. If your child is being a pain in the ass and you do nothing about it, I will. You may love your child unconditionally; I don't. I think your child is a brat.
I hope you enjoy your day at the Nature Center and that you let me enjoy mine as well.