The Proven Way to Prepare Chaperones and Students for a Fun-Filled Spring Trip

It’s spring trip season for many booster clubs, and the key to fun-filled travel is forward planning. Before you hit the road, be sure that everyone is well prepared and knows what to expect. The best way to communicate your expectations is by meeting with your chaperones and travelers in advance.

Here are the key points for success in each of these meetings.

1. The chaperone meeting. Meet with your chaperones two to three weeks before your trip and tell them what to expect. Here you’ll share guidelines, rules, and expectations for travel.

The chaperone meeting gives them a chance to meet each other and exchange contact information. You’ll have the opportunity to answer questions and to make sure that everyone is “on the same page.” This is where you’ll share room, chaperone, and bus assignments with them. Occasionally, they will identify problem areas or suggest changes to the assignments. Always welcome their feedback and make every effort to implement their suggestions.

Three Key Assignments Every Thriving Booster Club Makes Before the Spring Trip

Spring is here, the time when many booster clubs take their students on an annual trip. When it comes to travel, a booster club’s role is to provide a safe, affordable, and fun experience for the students. By now, you’ve already scheduled your trip and registered your travelers, so it’s time to prepare for travel.

There are three key assignments when preparing to travel: assigning rooms, assigning chaperones, and assigning buses. Let’s take a look at each activity in detail:

1. Assigning rooms. Travel helps students build lasting friendships and create lifelong memories. A best practice from my experience is to allow students to choose their own roommates. You may simply post a sign-up sheet formatted in blocks, where each block represents a room. Divide each block into four sections for students to write in their names. Here’s an example:

Room Sign-up Sheet

Which Parent Are You?

Each year during the final home football game of the season, the Blaze Band recognizes its seniors and their parents for the students’ participation and dedication to the program. Each year, I never ceased to be amazed at how many parents I didn’t know. It was like, “who are you, and where have you been?” Remember, these were parents of seniors, not incoming freshmen, and I simply didn’t know them.

I realize that each family has its own unique challenges, commitments, and priorities. Life is full of “curve balls” that seem to hit us unexpectedly from out of the blue. However, I firmly believe that what gets prioritized gets done. I always left the stadium on senior night feeling as if many parents hadn’t prioritized their children’s activities and, subsequently, hadn’t participated in the booster club.

I contrast these parents against Steve, our Truck & Equipment Committee chair. Steve selflessly volunteered his time and developed one of the most thriving committees in the booster club. During his tenure, he grew the committee in numbers never before realized. He created a culture of acceptance, teamwork, and pride. Steve acted on the ideas and suggestions of his committee members, and achieved unprecedented accomplishments.

8 Ways to Communicate Your Booster Club’s Purpose to Parent Volunteers

Last week, we saw how booster clubs can benefit from a best practice in the workplace: to engage parent volunteers by appealing to a higher sense of purpose. Tony Schwartz and Christine Porath found that “employees who derive meaning and significance from their work were more than three times as likely to stay with their organizations.”

The very essence of a booster club is serve a higher sense of purpose – to make an impact on the rising generation. Booster clubs who communicate this well to their parent volunteers realize significant benefits, and set themselves up to achieve their objectives each year.

A Booster Club’s Most Valuable Attribute to Keep Parents Engaged

In many ways, leading a booster club is like running a small business. As in business, you must attract and engage energetic, motivated people to achieve your booster club’s objectives. Today, let’s look to the workplace for best practices in engaging parent volunteers.

In a recent New York Times article, Tony Schwartz and Christine Porath set out to find Why You Hate Work. They were “curious to understand what most influences people’s engagement and productivity at work.” Through a survey of more than 20,000 employees, they found that people are most satisfied and productive when four of their core needs are met: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual.

Do You Empower Your Committee Chairs to Lead With Influence?

Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve focused on the role of the committee chair. We’ve seen that committee chairs are on the front lines of a booster club, interfacing with parents and students. At the heart of every thriving booster club you’ll find hard working, dedicated committee chairs.

In my prior posts, we saw how Steve led a thriving Truck & Equipment Committee, and we learned the four attributes of an effective committee chair. Now, let’s examine how the executive team of officers can empower committee chairs and maximize their influence.

Four Attributes for Recruiting Effective Volunteer Leaders

In my last post, we examined the role of committee chair and its importance in a booster club. A committee’s success will rise and fall with the competency and dedication of its leader. Therefore, it is critical to fill each role with the right volunteer leader.

Last week, I shared how Steve led the Truck & Equipment Committee to unprecedented levels of success. Now, let’s take a look at four attributes that made him so effective in his role. These attributes apply to all committee chairs, regardless of the committee’s area of focus:

What Are Your Committee Chairs Accomplishing?

Committee chairs are some of the most influential leaders in a booster club. They are literally on the front lines, interfacing with parents and students. In many ways, your booster club’s success relies on your committee chairs. Once you select the right people for these roles, empower them to serve and give them your full support.

When I became the Blackman Band Boosters’ president, I was immediately faced with a predicament that led to one of the greatest success stories during my tenure. Over the prior couple of years, our Truck & Equipment Committee had dwindled to only two adult volunteers – parents of graduating seniors – and a hand full of students. The adult volunteers pulled our two equipment trailers to football games and events.