Skip to main content
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!

Wall Street sign on the wall

Business & Economics School Trips to New York

By Travel

You want your students to get the knowledge and gain a personal experience of the business world?

In that case, New York is the place to go!

New York offers business & economics students an extraordinary experience of a city in the very center of the global economy. You will inspire your students, and the atmosphere of this city will stay with them for their entire lives.

Visit places that will educate your students such as Federal Reserve Bank where our guide will tell them all about banking functions.

Here the world’s two biggest stock exchanges take place: New York Stock Exchange and NASDAQ.

Wall Street

Wall Street is the world’s largest stock market and the main financial center in the United States. It’s a popular, long eight-block street that your students must see.

Because of the Wall Street, NYC became the most powerful city in the world economically speaking.

Your students will enjoy exploring this business world!

NYSE

NYSE (New York Stock Exchange) is very old, dates back to 1792. This is an auction market. Those who buy and those who sell do this physically by comparing bid prices and ask prices.

Market capitalization is more than 21.3 trillion.

It has blue chip firms involved with stable stocks, such as Exxon Mobil Corp and Walmart. There is 2,400 companies involved.

New York Stock Exchange

NASDAQ

NASDAQ (National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations) is the second largest stock market. Location of the market is One Liberty Plaza at Broadway. It is owned by Nasdaq Inc., and came into existence 1971.

Market capitalization (market cap) is 11 trillion dollars.

It is known as a high-tech market, having many firms involved with internet and electronics, such as Google, Facebook, Apple… There are more than 3,800 companies that are trading.

Nasdaq is a dealer’s market which means that those who participate don’t buy and sell by themselves, but through a dealer. It happens electronically.

All of it you will learn at your school trip!

Also, you will learn how to understand the nature of Business, how to make decisions relevant to marketing, about international trade, and much more.

Of course, beside the economic side of NYC, don’t forget to visit The Statue of Liberty, The Empire State Building and Central Park!

Contact Junior Tours! We will make sure your students have an amazing experience of this great city!

Museum of Modern Art MoMa

5 Seriously Cool Places for Art Students to Visit in NYC

By Travel

To be an art student visiting New York is an exciting thing. We chose five amazing places for you to visit while you are in this vibrant city, and make sure you visit them all for the best experience!

Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

If you want to see most unique and inspiring art, this is the place to be. Situated in Manhattan, this museum is a collection of modern and contemporary art composed of drawing, painting, photography, film, electronic media…

MoMa has a reputation of displaying world’s best art pieces back from the 18th century through today.

Among many of amazing exhibits was a structure by the name “Wendy.”  It was huge, blue, had a spike-like appearance and was air-filtering (fought the pollution of about 250 cars).

Os Gemeos x Futura

These two twin brothers are famous for their gigantic character pieces put up all over the landscape. For instance, there was an 80 ft art of a child painted on the building on 21st Street.

You want to see that for sure!

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

“The Met” is the biggest museum in The United States. With around 7 million visitors per year, it’s the third most visited museum in the world. It was founded in 1870 with the purpose of educating American people about the art.

With the variety of art-pieces passing the walls of this museum constantly, this is the place you do not want to miss out! Just about any famous artist had their piece of art in this museum!

Metropolitan Museum of Art NYCWhitney Museum of American Art

Located in Manhattan, this museum offers variety of contemporary art. It features great exhibitions of 20th & 21st century American art.

The founder of the museum, Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney was herself a sculptor and a collector of art pieces.

This permanent exhibition comprises of more than 20 thousand different art groups, including paintings, photographs, videos, and more.

The Frick Collection

Also situated in Manhattan, the Frick is among the famous small museums in the U.S. It has a collection of old master paintings, sculptures, and fine furniture.

It’s featuring some of the best European artists such as Giovanni Bellini, El Greco, Francisco Goya…

The Frick has yearly attendance reaching up to 300,000, which is a great number for its size.

For a wonderful experience with your art students, contact Junior Tours!

Historic Jamestown in Williamsburg

Students Find History and Fun in Williamsburg

By Travel

Historic Williamsburg holds in its cobblestoned streets America’s story.  This is one of 3 cities that comprise America’s Historic Triangle, with nearby Jamestown and Yorktown completing the triangle.

Students will experience the life of American settlers of the 17th and 18th Centuries and find themselves exploring the first English settlement in the Americas.  The Jamestown Settlement and Historic Jamestown provide them with a direct encounter with this crucial element of the nation’s history.

Students find history and fun in Williamsburg around every corner.  Let’s explore!

In the heart of history

Williamsburg’s historical legacy is so rich, you won’t know where to start.  That’s where Junior Tours come in.  We select from the plethora of historical sites on offer to tailor your tour to educator and curricular needs, creating the ideal itinerary for your group.

Junior selects the most relevant tours for your group from the wide variety on offer in the storied Triangle.  Be dazzled by the historical knowledge of costumed guides who provide detailed commentary, every step of the way.

Traipse through the annals of Early American history along the 5-mile long Jamestowne Island Trail or discover the ancient life of the area at Historic Jamestowne itself in the archaeological finds on display there.

The Jamestown Settlement will thrill students with faithful replicas of the 3 ships that brought early settlers here in 1607.  At the Powhatan Village, students will encounter the life of regional First Peoples at this reconstructed site.

Jamestown trail in Williamsburg

Historic Yorktown

The nation’s first President, George Washington, wasn’t just the USA’s first leader.  He was a General, too, leading his troops into battle against General Cornwallis.  His victory is the genesis of our independence from British rule.

Yorktown Battlefield is today a site you can’t miss when visiting Williamsburg.  General Washington’s headquarters are here, as well as the Yorktown Victory Center, which guides students through revolutionary times.

A visit here should also include a visit to the reconstruction of a farm from the 1780s, so students can appreciate the backbreaking work that went into establishing a settlement.  They’ll learn about agricultural practices which included food preservation for the harsh winter months and the production of fabric from wool to make clothing.

And some fun, too!

With their minds soaked in American history, students can cut loose with a visit to Busch Gardens Williamsburg.  Here’s they’ll enjoy hair-raising amusement park rides and great entertainment in a European-inspired setting.

But wait, there’s more!  Water Country USA is another nearby attraction and the largest waterpark in the mid-Atlantic region.

Busch Gardens in Williamsburg

The perfect itinerary with Junior Tours

Williamsburg’s dizzying array of historical sites demands the support of a longstanding student travel resource.  Junior Tours brings you more than 50 years of creating superior educational experiences that thrill students and support educator vision.

We take you there with keen destination and vendor knowledge, but we don’t stop at the itinerary.  We send you with one of our expert guides, providing 24-hour support and security.

Go with Junior and get the most from your Williamsburg visit. Contact us to get started.

Oval Office in Washington, DC

Student Tours and Travel to Washington, DC

By Travel

Washington, DC is internationally known as a powerhouse of political influence.  There is no question that it lives in people’s imaginations as the place from which world affairs ebb and flow.

Here you’ll find all the mechanisms of legislative, judicial and executive authority which turn the wheels of our nation and its destiny.  From Capitol Hill to the Pentagon, it’s inside the Beltway that history is made and leaders arise to point the way forward.

Whether your students are studying history, political science or government and how it molds their lives, there is no city on earth with more to teach them than Washington, DC.  Student tours and travel to Washington, DC are a journey to the center of what makes the USA great.

Meeting giants

Junior Tours has been creating exceptional student tours since 1967, when it was founded by former teacher, Marty Abrams.

Marty wanted to create a professional resource for teachers interested in showing their students the world outside the classroom, as it related to their studies.  He knew that student travel enlivened education, by giving it real-world texture and context.

You can tell your students about Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the New Deal in the classroom.  But the classroom doesn’t offer them the experience of walking through this 4-term President’s life in the Oval Office.

Teachers can relate to students the great deeds of Martin Luther King Jr. and how he changed the face of the USA.  But they can’t stand in the shadow of his monument or see the links in the chain of history which led to the Civil Rights Movement.

Related sites like the home of Frederick Douglass, abolitionist and activist, or the monument to President Lincoln – who finally ended the Institution of slavery – richly introduce students to giants they’ve only read about in books.

This is the beauty of Washington, DC.  Our national story is laid bare in this place of monuments, museums and living history, allowing students to directly experience it in all its triumph and tragedy.

Discovering government

An education in civics is a precious gift to your students, preparing them for their lives as citizens engaged with their government structures.

Visit the Capitol and discover how the United States was founded and how Congress, where the laws of the USA are made by our elected representatives, came to be established.  Here, you can even watch Congress in session.

Students with an interest in political life will be inspired by a day on Capitol Hill, taking in Congress chambers (even if Congress isn’t sitting at the time of your visit), the Exhibition Hall and a guided tour of the Capitol.

Washington, DC Capitol Hill

Go with Junior

Take your students to Washington, DC, with student tours and travel and open the doors to learning.  Junior’s knowledge of vendors and itineraries makes us the right choice to provide your students with a personalized experience that enhances your teaching.

We’ve just scraped the surface of Washington’s endless educational interest.  Ready to go?  Contact us for a free sample itinerary and quote.

Niagara Falls Toronto

Student Travel Attractions in Toronto and Niagara Falls

By Travel

Toronto is Canada’s largest urban center.  Located in Ontario, it’s also the hub of the nation’s commercial life and a hop, skip and jump away from one of the most famous waterfalls in the world.

A side trip to Niagara Falls is an opportunity not to be missed when visiting this spectacular Canadian city, home to numerous attractions your students will love.

Let’s find out more about student travel attractions in Toronto and Niagara Falls.

Kensington Market and Chinatown

Kensington Market is a vibrant, ethnically diverse center, offering visitors a sensory assault of sights, aromas and flavors from around the world.  Just like Toronto, the market is home to a blend of cultural backgrounds and ethnic delights.  With a reputation for multiculturalism and welcome, Kensington Market is an emblem of the city.

Students will delight at the proliferation of vintage clothing boutiques and cool cafes to be found here and with Toronto’s large, thriving Chinatown just around the corner, they’re bound to find something great to satisfy their hunger.

Casa Loma

If you thought the USA had the “eccentric millionaire” market cornered, you obviously haven’t heard about Canada’s Sir Henry Mill P. Ellett.

Ellett was a financier, businessman and industrialist with a strong romantic streak.  It was this part of his colorful character that led him to have the incredible Casa Loma built high on a hill overlooking Toronto.

His choice of architectural style was Medieval, a complex choice which took 300 workers 3 years to complete, at a staggering cost of $3.5 million in 1911.  Ellett’s fantastical property continues to amaze visitors.

Casa Loma Toronto

Maid of the Mist

Since its inception in 1846, the Maid of the Mist has captured the imaginations of people all over the world.  This ship is undoubtedly the best way to witness the majesty of Niagara Falls in all their misty glory.

The Maid of the Mist is also the oldest tourist attraction in North America, running continuously for well over 100 years and conveying millions of fall-watchers on their watery encounters with the base of the falls.

Celebrities as diverse as former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and Marilyn Monroe have all set sail on this iconic ship.

Journey Behind the Falls and Whitewater Walk

Give your students the full Niagara Falls experience with these two additional attractions.  Journey Behind the Falls takes you behind the natural wonder to witness the spectacle of fully 1/5th of the world’s fresh water crashing into the Niagara basin.   Your students will understand the true meaning of the word “awe” after their visit.

The Whitewater Walk is another unique Niagara Falls experience, which takes your students into the heart of the falls on a boardwalk bordering the most untamed whitewater in the world.

As the waters crash and the mists envelope your students, they’ll develop a new respect for nature.

White Water walk TorontoGo with Junior

Junior Tours has been taking students places since 1967, when a retired teacher had a vision of a professional resource for student travel.

See Toronto and Niagara Falls with Junior.  Contact us.