All Posts By

Rich Abrams

hand drawing a lightbulb and bags of money on a chalk board

5 Keys to Fundraising Success

By Travel

Junior Tours was founded in 1967 as a student travel resource.  We’re focused on teachers and the success of their students.

Fundraising is a big deal when it comes to creating opportunities for all students to enjoy student trips, regardless of economic circumstances.  But it’s a tough row to hoe when you’re not sure which way to turn to raise money.

Successful fundraising is a kind of an art form.  Convincing people of the value of what you’re raising money to support (in this case, student travel) is about communication, preparation and making all the right moves.

This post shares our 5 keys to fundraising success.  Follow them and watch that trip fund overflow!

1. Know What You Need

You can’t fundraise effectively without having drawn up a detailed budget.  Budgeting is one of the first steps toward organizing a student trip for this reason.  Important to note, also, is that it’s one of the mechanisms that wins you administrative approval.

Be sure to include items beyond transportation and lodging.  While those are your big-ticket items, you’re also going to need to feed your kids and pay for entrance to educational attractions that support your curricular goals.

2. Create Urgency

Setting clear goals to meet by certain dates is a great way to light a fire under your fundraisers (students and parents alike).

Draw up a thermometer to start your fundraising drive.  As you hit landmark goals, mark them on the thermometer, so everyone can see how well you’re doing.  Talk about the thermometer and how it’s going to take everyone’s best efforts to reach your financial goals.

Create urgency and watch the money flow in.

3. Fundraising Chair

We know that teachers are almost superhuman, but we also know that you need support.  In the case of effective fundraising, you’ll need someone to take charge of this aspect of the trip.

Choose an engaged parent with a reputation for getting things done.  It’s been proven repeatedly that putting a parent at the helm of fundraising gets results and a better response.

4. Get Together

Once a month, get your fundraisers together to talk about progress and kick around ideas.  This is a habit which builds communal accountability and provides the opportunity to share successes and fresh input.

At the same time, update your fundraisers about the status of the trip.  Let them know you’ve booked accommodation and share with them the attractions you’ve confirmed them for at their destination.  Building excitement raises funds!

5. Get Personal

Parents and students raising money need your encouragement, so make a point of meeting with individual members of your fundraising group to talk about how things are going.  Hearing concerns and sharing ideas reminds your fundraisers that they’re not working in a vacuum.

The leadership you provide your fundraisers plant the seeds of success and a well-financed student trip!

Junior Tours

For more than 50 years, Junior Tours has been supporting educators with superlative student tour planning and coordination.

Let the adventure begin!  Contact us for a free sample itinerary and quote.

students entering school bus

Basic Chaperoning – Making Parents Glad They Volunteered

By Travel

Because Junior Tours was founded by a teacher who wanted to create a student tour resource that made educators’ jobs a little easier, we know about chaperones.  We know who they tend to be and the assumptions made about what they’re there to do (from both teachers and chaperones).

This blog is about sharing some knowledge about chaperoning to ensure that you’re making parents glad they volunteered.  It’s too often the case that parents and teachers allow their assumptions about the roles in play guide their on-tour actions.

The problem with assumptions is that they’re rarely accurate.  Let’s look at some ways to make chaperoning more fun and less stressful.

The Most Obvious Person Isn’t Always the Right Person

Most teachers in today’s classroom work with special needs kids.  These students need a little extra support.  But it’s not always the case that the chaperone who’s the parent of a special needs child should be put in charge of this cohort of your students.

Keep in mind that “special needs mom” has needs of her own.  Automatically charging her with managing all your tour members who need extra support is not going to make her want to volunteer again.

Do the Groundwork

You know you need behavioral guidelines while you’re out touring.  That much is clear.  But being diligent about ensuring your students understand and internalize them is a process.  A handout with bullet points is soon forgotten.

Preparing your students to follow the guidelines you’ve set out is the kind of groundwork your parent chaperones are going to love you for.  Kids who respond to directions are going to be lot less work for them and lot less stressful to shepherd.

Try an interactive approach to the guidelines.  Bring them up frequently in class and ask students to respond to questions about what’s required of them while you’re on your trip.  Leave no room for doubt that the behavioral guidelines you’ve set out are to be followed to the letter.

Fresh Horses

All schools have their tried and true parent volunteers.  They’re the ones who show up for every fundraiser, school concert and PTA meeting.

But if you’re serious about student travel and ensuring that you have the right people in place to support your vision with quality chaperoning, then you’ll need to be in perpetual recruitment mode.

Your default is “charming”, so your approach isn’t the issue.  The issue is that parents get burned out.  Bringing new members to your chaperoning team is all about happy, experienced chaperones sharing with others how great volunteering on your trips is.

And that comes down to savvy chaperone management.  Basic chaperoning – making parents glad they volunteered – starts with what you do to understand the roles of the chaperones at your disposal.

Being there for chaperones by preparing your students adequately is a great start.  But ensuring that your chaperones aren’t overwhelmed, exhausted from out-of-control student behavior, or just done with volunteering, is smart teaching.

Junior Tours has been creating quality student travel experiences for over 50 years.  Contact us.

Garment Center NYC

What to Do on a Student Fashion Tour of New York City

By Travel

If you’re planning a fashion tour, your students will really enjoy New York City. NYC is a must for all the fashion freaks!

Among all the places, you should see the ones we are mentioning here. Get immersed in the magnificent world of fashion.

Garment Center Shops

The Garment Center is the focal point of New York fashion industry. Here in these few blocks, there is a variety of shops and stores.

It is the home to thousands of fashion businesses. Seeing so many different textiles and accessories can appear to be too much, but no – you will definitely find what fits you!

This is the place where you can see the famous designers at work, such as Calvin Klein… How about that?

Parsons School of Design

This is very famous private art and design college, the top one in the United States, founded in 1896. It’s offering students innovative ways of education to unleash their creativity and prepare them for the future.

It offers both undergraduate and graduate courses in fashion design, graphic design, interior design, curatorial studies, textiles, urban ecologies, and more. It’s known for its alumni — famous fashion designers and artists.

Who knows, maybe you will enroll in this fascinating university?

Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT)

This is a public college in Manhattan, focused mostly on art and design.

FIT has a museum which is one of the rare ones specialized in fashion. Its permanent collection is around 50,000 fashion pieces dating back to 18th century.

It has the collection of textiles, clothes and accessories.

Metropolitan Museum of Art

The popular “Met” is the third most visited museum in the world, and the biggest one in the United States. It has more than  7 million visitors per year.

Its permanent collection has more than two million art-pieces, consisting of the works from antiquity through modern art. It was opened in 1870 with the thought of bringing art to American people.

Lower East Side Tenement Museum

This historic national landmark gives a peek into the lives of immigrants who lived at 97 & 103 Orchard Street decades ago (even back to 1860s).  It also offers tours with actors who portray residents and their customs. Get to know more about American history!

For more info about student tours to NYC, contact Junior Tours.

four happy seniors

2018/2019 Senior Class Trips | Custom Built Trip Just For You

By Travel

Ready to go for an adventure with your students? Two of your favorite destinations should definitely be Boston and Chicago!

Some sights are a must-see. Don’t miss them out! Why not join Junior Tours?

Boston

Boston has lots of historical sights and live performances. No wonder that it gets over 16 million visitors per year! This capital of Massachusetts is one of  the most influential cities in the United States.

The nickname of the city is “The Hub of the Universe.” Why is that so, you will be able to experience firsthand.

See Boston’s best such as the North End and Beacon Hill.

Among many things, you would surely want to see the oldest public park – Boston Common. This park has a lot of history behind it.

Faneuil Hall (the home of the free speech) and Bunker Hill Monument are the next ones to visit.

There is also a lot of museums among which are Museum of Fine Arts and Old South Meeting House Museum. That’s just a little bit of this extraordinary city.

We suggest you visit Boston from the end of May through the end of September, because the weather is at that time perfect!

Chicago

As the third largest city in the United States, Chicago has lots to offer. The city is very vibrant and has a soul.

Visit Magnificent Mile (one of the most popular shopping areas) and Financial Center. See Lake Michigan, one of five Great Lakes of North America. Get overwhelmed with Shedd Aquarium (among the top ones for over three decades) and Abbott Oceanarium.

Downtown Chicago has wide sidewalks, many cultural attractions and architectural riches. Visit the Loop, the second largest business district in the States.

See a range of museums: Field Museum of Natural History, Terra Museum of American Art, Museum of Contemporary Art…

Visit some amazing parks like Grant Park, Lincoln Park (including the oldest Zoo in the country), and Millenium Park.

Chicago has a lot of ethnic diversity, so when you visit some parts of the city, it seems you are in another country!

Junior Tours

Both cities are astounding, offering many other wonderful things above the ones mentioned. Your life will be enriched by visiting them, and you will be inspired!

It is important to choose the right trip-provider. Junior Tours will fulfill its duty and make your experience even more interesting!

For more info, call us at 1-800-631-2241 or complete an online form to get a free quote.

chaperone with kids illustration

Chaperone Going on a Field Trip

By Travel

Whether it will be your first time, or you already have the experience; whether you will give a part of your day or the whole day to spend time with a group — being a chaperone is an amazing experience!

At some point you will think to yourself: “How can they be sooo loud?” or “Oh, I don’t like kids!” But, at the end of the day, although exhausted, you will be thankful for such an opportunity.

So, here are some tips for your chaperone adventure:

Dress for action

Since you will be chasing the children in different places, make sure you have good shoes. Clothes should be light, but the jacket waterproof. Don’t forget the sunglasses and the hat!

Have enough water and snacks at hand

Make sure you are always well hydrated and grab the opportunities to have some snack, otherwise you will be exhausted very soon. The children will notice when you are down and out of energy. Yes, they are so smart!

Limit the use of your phone

Although for some chaperones there is work to do even when they are on a field trip, because of the safety of the ones you are accompanying, we kindly recommend that you stay off your phone!

Be careful with the photos

It’s great to take photos of the children when on a trip, just make sure the parents are okay with your posting of their children on Social Media.

Instead of that, a great idea would be to make a photo book and give it as a gift to all those in a group!

Count!

Because of the safety, you should be careful to count the children when they leave or rejoin the group for some reason (getting off the bus, going to the bathroom).

Many counting will be necessary, but it’s better to be safe than sorry!

Exhaust them

If you should enter the museum with seven-year-olds, make sure they have had some brisky activity before that, like climbing the hill. If they are out of breath, they don’t have the energy to behave badly.

You will be grateful to us for giving you these tips!

For more useful information and the tours we are offering, contact Junior Tours!