We know that teachers need answers to lots of questions before they decide to spend a day out of the classroom on a field trip with their students. We have compiled answers to a list of the most popular questions teachers ask Thorne each year and encourage you to e-mail sarah@nullthornenature.org or call 303.499.3647 if you would like to speak directly to a staff member about any questions you have regarding Thorne’s fun and educational Field Trip Program.

What outcomes does the Field Trip Program seek to achieve?

The Field Trip Program reinforces and deepens classroom learning, resulting in increased retention and comprehension of Colorado Academic Standards. Students will come away from the field trip knowing more about their local natural habitats and how scientists conduct research, as well as gain an increased level of comfort spending time in nature.  The connection to nature that is built through the program helps participants to develop an ethic of environmental stewardship.

Who Teaches the Field Trip Program?

Under the direction of Thorne staff, the field trips are run by community volunteers including retired teachers, undergraduate and graduate students, certified Master Naturalists, and parents.  Thorne trains all Volunteer Instructors in teaching methodology and naturalist skills and provides volunteers with both a highly refined set of curriculum and extensive mentorship to ensure the best possible experience for visiting students.

What does the Field Trip Program cost?

The 2nd Grade Field Trip is free for BVSD and SVVSD schools.

How do I register my class for a Field Trip?

The majority of registrations for Thorne’s Field Trip Program occur in the late summer and early fall. Be sure to register as early as possible as space is limited. If you are a BVSD teacher, CLICK HERE to register.  SVVSD teachers should contact Michael O’Toole at otoole_michael@nullsvvsd.org or 303.682.7232 to register.

Is the program appropriate for English language learners?

Thorne cannot guarantee bi-lingual instructors or instructors with ELL experience for its field trips; however, the field trip curriculum is scaffolded to ensure it is appropriate for all learners.

Where is the Field Trip held?

For BVSD students, the field trip is held at Sombrero Marsh Environmental Education Center in Boulder.  For SVVSD students, the field trip is held at Sandstone Ranch in Longmont.

What days of the week is the Field Trip offered?

From mid-September through October and April to mid-May Thorne offers field trips to BVSD students on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday and SVVSD students on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

How long is the Field Trip?

A typical field trip is 4 hours long, including lunch, and typically begins at 9:30AM; however, a 10:00 start is possible if necessary to accommodate travel to the site from schools located further from the field trip location.

What happens in the event of inclement weather?

Thorne has adequate indoor learning space for large groups of students during adverse weather conditions. In the event of heavy rain, lightning, or snow, some or all of the outdoor activities will be replaced with indoor activities that convey the same educational material. If your district/school is on a one-hour weather delay or greater, then it is likely that your field trip will need to be rescheduled.

How many students can you accommodate?

We can accommodate up to 60 students per field trip.  Most often, schools will bring their entire grade level for a field trip at the same time!  If your school has more than two, 2nd grade classrooms, you will need to reserve two days to ensure that each of your students is able to participate in a field trip.

What do teachers do during the field trip?

Teachers are encouraged to join students in their explorations which allows them to incorporate previous classroom learning into the program and bring learnings from the field trip back to the classroom. Teachers are expected to support the learning and behavioral needs of their students, outside of the curriculum that is being presented by Thorne. Teachers are also expected to provide any required first aid. On occasion, classroom teachers may be asked to fill in and help teach if one of the volunteer instructors calls in sick and no one can be found to replace them.

Do we need to bring chaperones?

Ideally, a minimum of 4 teachers or chaperones attend the field trip with each class or group of classes.  Chaperones help with exploration, behavior, first aid, transitions, and bathrooms.  Bringing 4 chaperones per class or group of classes is even more ideal! 

What do students need to bring to the field trip?

We recommend that students wear clothing appropriate for seasonal weather conditions, sunscreen, a hat, and comfortable walking shoes, and that they bring a snack, lunch, and a water bottle.  Almost all of the field trip is outside, so it is important that students are prepared for unanticipated changes in weather. 

Is there anything I should do to prepare my class for your program?

Prior to the field trip, teachers will receive a fact sheet to help prepare themselves and their classroom for a fun, safe, and educational day in nature.