(Editor’s Note: We hope you enjoy this repost of a classic Retroland article)
Permission slip signed: check.
Sack lunch made: check.
Big yellow school bus: check.
Teachers and chaperones: check.
A good field trip could bring otherwise deadly boring classroom lessons to life, or at least provide students with an opportunity to play a little hooky. Often tied in with lesson plans, educational field trips brought us to museums, parks, nature conservatories, zoos, aquariums, the theater, even space centers and planetariums. What better ways to learn a subject than getting to see it first-hand, or at least as close up as a school budget would allow.
Of course, not all field trips were educational. Some trips were rewarded students for a good year, an impending graduation, fundraising accomplishments and other accolades. Class trips, for example, would take kids to water parks, beaches, even other cities. Some were even combined reward and educational trips – such as going to an amusement park to learn about physics. (Nothing like learning about centrifugal force on the loop-de-loop!)
Getting there was half the fun, whether you traveled by schoolbus or with parent chaperone (or if you were lucky, on a real tour bus complete with VCR… let’s hope you didn’t watch Speed!) But no matter where you went or how, field trips felt like the opportunity of a lifetime – a chance to exchange the drudgery of a normal school day for an adventure in the great outdoors.
Which destinations were your favorites? Do you have a particularly fond memory of a specific field trip? Share those childhood memories with us in our comments section, as we celebrate those rare and magical days when going to school meant hitting the road with all your friends.