Slate Run Metro Park’s Living Historical Farm, the working historical farm south of Columbus, is a popular spot for educational school field trips. The historical farm, void of electricity and modern conveniences offers teachers a great opportunity to introduce students first hand to many historical facts and details taught in the classrom but not often seen or experienced in modern life. As with any field trip, chaperones are always greatly appreciated—and parents are on call for the task. What should you know about chaperoning a field trip to Slate Run Metro Park’s Historical Farm?
Dress for the weather. Class field trips typically tour the entire farm—including a trek to the barn and outbuildings for historical presentations. Comfortable, farm friendly, walking shoes are a must—as are outdoor appropriate jackets and rain gear as many schools do not cancel field trips for rain. It may be beneficial to pack along a few extra umbrellas in case children in your touring group are less than prepared for the day’s weather!
Be prepared for close quarters. If your group is touring the farmhouse, expect to be ushered tightly into the small rooms—depending, of course, on the size of your group. While the rooms are fairly child friendly, it is still important to closely watch the group—especially in the kitchen where the stove is likely to be in use!
The presenters leave no doubt as to the origin of breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Be prepared that during certain parts of the trip, it may become suddenly obvious to the kids—sometimes for the first time—that a cute little baby pig grows up to be farm breakfast sausage. Some children may have some tough questions for you after learning this—so, either be prepared to think quick on your feet or pre-plan some explanations.
Locate the restrooms upon entering the farm area. There is nothing worse than chaperoning a “potty-dancing” 5 year old with no known restroom in sight. There are available restrooms at Slate Run Farm—but, it helps to know where to find them before you are in need of one!
Pay attention to the field trip schedule. Will you be rotating between presentation stations as small groups or as full classrooms at the sound of a farm bell—or will you be simply exploring the farm with your own small group? If you are on your own, and new to farm, try to pay attention to the location of the parked transportation buses—and be sure to adhere to the trip schedule. Teachers are usually on a set schedule to return students back to school and awaiting parents or bussing—so it is really important that you remain responsible for ensuring that your group isn’t holding up the trip by losing the bus or by not considering the time needed for a lengthy walk!
Want to research Slate Run Metro Park and Historical Farm before your field trip?