Youth team sports! It's playoff season again, things to consider...
TRAVELING FOR PLAYOFFS
Traveling with youth as a chaperone
is a fantastic way to get involved in the life of your child and the greater community. It can be an exhausting yet rewarding experience to watch youngsters explore and build relationships. Sports teams, church groups, and other youth-oriented associations often require at least a few out-of-town trips. Make sure to consider these important factors when scheduling your next youth group trip.
Focus on Safety
When you have other people’s children under your care, the priority should always be safety. Kids and teens sometimes like to push the limits and break the rules, but enforcing safety measures is vital to traveling with youth. On the road, make sure everyone is wearing a seatbelt (if available). On big buses, do not allow anyone to remain standing while the bus is moving. Make frequent stops for stretching and using the bathroom to avoid the need for excessive standing.
Off the bus, use the buddy system to keep everyone close. Give everyone the necessary information about meeting times and double check with health files to avoid serving the wrong food to kids with allergies.
Give Yourself Some Wiggle Room
Although most youth trips are planned with a destination in mind, allowing some extra time in the schedule gives you the opportunity to add an element of serendipity to the trip. If you pass a park or museum on the way to your destination, be willing to make a stop to let the kids do some unplanned discovering. Giving yourself some wiggle room also reduces stress in case of a flat tire, poor weather conditions, or a medical emergency. Be realistic about your time estimates in the itinerary, and then add a few hours.
Plan Team-Building Exercises
It is common for youth groups to have cliques or individuals who are not open to new experiences. Adding some team-building exercises into your travel plans can help the kids bond to reduce social drama. Team-building exercises are also a fantastic way to get kids off their devices and focus on something more productive.
Rather than designing your own exercises that might not appeal to the kids’ interests, get ideas for activities from the kids themselves by asking what they like to do in their free time. Give them the opportunity to show off their talents by having a team-based talent show or plan a tournament with their favorite card game. Get everyone involved to make the whole trip more comfortable.
Incorporate Time Outdoors
Being stuck in a car or bus for hours can be hard on kids. Plan time to let kids get outside to release energy in a healthy fashion. Try to find sleeping accommodations with a park or forest nearby. The Zinntopia estate has five private acres of forest, springs, and wildlife leading up to the Cascade Mountains, giving kids the chance to explore for hours on end.
Youth trips are an opportunity to discover and grow by getting kids out of their comfort zones. Plan your next youth retreat at the Zinntopia estate to give your group plenty of space to play and learn. The house comfortably sleeps up to 24 people and comes with a full kitchen, dining room, living area, and overflow room. It is a safe space great for a variety of activities. Ask about booking your desired dates today!