I just spoke with a friend whose teenage daughter has an opportunity to travel to Europe with her dance group. While he welcomes the adventure and her first chance to travel abroad, at the same time he’s concerned because he isn’t invited to join her in a chaperone capacity. She’ll be on her own with her teacher, a guide and dance classmates in a country ten hours from home. What would you do? We have a couple of ideas…
Invite Parents and Chaperones
The first and easiest option for us to suggest is that the dance leader invite parents and chaperones who are interested in traveling with their young friends and family members. The more the merrier we say.
It’s always helpful to have extra adults along especially with teenagers because…
- Teens have varied interests and like to split off from the main group to experience venues/activities that may not be included on the tour.
- Inevitably a traveler or two may not feel well one day. Extra chaperones are great to have along so that the trip leader can still accompany the group on the day’s excursion and the ill student has someone to take care of them or escort them to a physician.
- Chaperones help with group security. The more chaperones on a trip the more supervision there is.
- More adults on a trip allow an educator to take a breather every once in a while. Traveling with students can be stressful, a night alone in a hotel room relaxing with a pizza and a good book can be a well-deserved treat for an educator. Easily done with a good number of chaperones on the trip.
- It can be a great opportunity for the rest of the family to join in on the trip. While teens don’t normally welcome their parents and siblings on trips with their peers, they might enjoy the idea if their trip gets extended as the family visits additional destinations after their classmates have gone home.
International Travel Close to Home
If the teacher of your child’s traveling class isn’t willing to invite chaperones perhaps they would be willing to compromise with parents by offering international travel a bit closer to home such as a trip to Victoria and Vancouver, Canada.
Although it’s just a hop, skip and a jump to Canada from many United States cities, our high school performance tour traveling students feel like quite the world travelers as they cross the United States border from Washington State into Canada. Although a passport is not required for students aged 18 or under traveling by car or bus on a school trip, those that have a passport enjoy showing it and getting a stamp as they enter British Colombia, Canada. Classes that enter Canada on a flight are required to have a passport as they board their airplane.
Explore Canada on your Student Performance Tours
Many Canadian performance tours start in Seattle at the Museum of Pop Culture. Groups love performing in the Sky Church. At 5,384 square-feet, Sky Church is named after Jimi Hendrix’s ensemble that played Woodstock Festival in 1969. The venue offers an awe-inspiring 33’ x 60’ HD LED screen, accompanied by state-of-the-art acoustics that span an enormous wall. Sky Church is also equipped with a wide variety of lighting effects. The soaring 65-foot ceiling is illuminated with parasols gently floating overhead, enhancing the ambiance of the space. A full orchestra coaching and feedback session is included after the group’s performance as well as student exploration of the museum.
It’s easy in Vancouver to immerse yourself and your students in nature. The ocean, river and mountains are all just a stone’s throw from downtown. The Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is one of the most exciting experiences our students have in Canada. The 450 ft. long, 230 ft. high Capilano Suspension Bridge has thrilled visitors since 1889. Treetops Adventure, also in the park, takes guests into the mid-story of a coastal rainforest on seven suspension bridges attached to old-growth trees. The newest park attraction, Cliffwalk, follows a granite precipice along Capilano River on a labyrinth-like series of narrow cantilevered bridges, stairs and platforms through rainforest vegetation.
High above Vancouver, amid the towering mountain peaks is Grouse Mountain, the home of North America’s longest aerial tramway system. The Skyride ascends 2,800 ft. from the Lower Terminal to the Peak Chalet at the top of the mountain. New this summer is the Skyride Surf Experience, an exhilarating ride on the top of the tram for a few brave souls that will feel the wind in their faces as they gain altitude and elevation. Amazing photo opportunities, the Sky Theatre, mountain top hiking and zip line adventures await your students at the top of Grouse Mountain.
Travel Like A Local
Are your group members early risers and looking for a unique breakfast experience? If they are, a once in a lifetime opportunity awaits. Your classroom can enjoy early access to Grouse Mountain, watch Grinder and Coola (bears) explore their habitat as you all learn about Grizzly Bears and bear conservation from one of our experienced wildlife rangers. Afterward, sit down in the Grizzly Lookout Cafe for a delicious bear-inspired breakfast.
With oceans and bays surrounding so much of Western Canada, ferries are a favorite local mode of transportation. Sticking with the “be like a local” we like to incorporate into all of our student travel itineraries, the ride from Vancouver to Victoria is made on a BC ferry. Victoria is a must see for band, dance and chorale groups. Performing on the steps of Parliament before a tour of the Butchart Gardens is a memory never to be forgotten.
Students that visit Vancouver Island learn about the native history of British Colombia at the Royal BC Natural History Museum and as they take the walking tour of Beacon Hill Park totem poles. The park has belonged to the city of Victoria since 1882. Beacon Hill Park was originally called Meeacan (the Salish name for belly) by the First Nations people because from a distance, it looked like the belly of a large man lying on his back. In 1956, Chief Mungo Martin and carvers David Martin and Henry Hunt created the world’s largest totem pole (160 feet) from cedar here.
Participate in the Annual Victoria Day Parade
There is an annual Victoria Day Parade that many of our bands have participated in. The sooner the better for planning to be a part of this event as the number of participating performers can be limited.
If your band, choir or dance group is interested in traveling to Vancouver and Victoria on an international student performance tour, take a look at a few sample itineraries that may be found on the link below, contact our Travel Directors by calling 800-544-4723, or submit a lead form on the itinerary page.