How to Have "The Best Field Trip Ever" at Gettysburg National Military Park

A school group at Little Round Top at Gettysburg. NPS photo.

A school group at Little Round Top at Gettysburg. NPS photo.

Anyone who has ever been part of a school field trip knows that such events can be a fun…or frantic experience. The folks at Gettysburg National Military Park and the Gettysburg Foundation have prepared a kit to help anyone planning such expeditions to that park to have the "Best Field Trip Ever!"

"The Best Field Trip Ever!" kit is a field trip planner for teachers, chaperones and students. The kit is a "one-stop shop for a day long or multi-day educational experience at Gettysburg for students of all ages and from all types of educational institutions—public, private, charter or homeschool." Best of all, all the information in this "shop" is free.

"The kit will make Gettysburg field trip planning easy for teachers, and maximize the learning process and the fun for students," said park ranger Barbara Sanders, Gettysburg National Military Park’s Education Specialist.

Whether you're responsible for planning a field trip, are an adult helping with the activity, or are a student taking part in the adventure, you'll find something intended for you in these kits.

"The Best Field Trip Ever!" kit is divided into three sections – one for the planning teacher, with all the activity options, phone numbers, and price lists; a second section for the other teachers and chaperones that includes activity ideas for the bus ride and maps with all park restroom locations; and a third section filled with activities and materials for the students themselves.

Details on "all park restroom locations" and activities to keep the kids occupied during the bus ride? That information tells me someone with real-world experience had a hand in developing these kits! It sounds like there's plenty of other useful material, too.

Teachers can coordinate their trip objectives by filling in or printing out pages from the downloadable files. Chaperones can add to and print out a checklist of trip day reminders. Students can preview maps of Gettysburg National Military Park and the Museum and Visitor Center in advance of the trip.

A special section includes themed "treasure hunts" for Gettysburg National Military Park’s Museum and Visitor Center, including activities in the museum galleries about the life of a soldier, caring for the wounded, the home front, and "My State in the Civil War".

You can download "The Best Field Trip Ever!" kit from either the website for the park or the site for the Gettysburg Foundation.

This publication was made possible through a generous gift to the Gettysburg Foundation by Bob and Marion Wilson of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., who continue their commitment to education by supporting this and other projects at Gettysburg. This publication is also a project of the Ford Motor Company Fund Education Center at Gettysburg National Military Park, made possible by the Ford Motor Company Fund.

The Gettysburg Foundation is a private, nonprofit educational organization working in partnership with the National Park Service to enhance preservation and understanding of the heritage and lasting significance of Gettysburg.