Having safely returned from leading a group of 27 Wellington East Girls College (WEGC) students to Silicon Valley and Seattle over 12 days I now have a pretty good idea of what the term in loco parentis means ie in place of a parent. As it turns out the trip ran like clockwork, there were no serious issues and I could still account for 27 students at the end of the trip (That is always a good thing!) Try letting 27 students loose at Pikes Place market at peak hour with a request they meet you in 1 hour 30 minutes! That could be a little worrying…
Things went well because:
- I was supported by Kate Judge and Sally Haughton (Principal) who provided all the support and advice required.
- Our travel agent Fiona Atkinson (Travel to Learn) specializes in school trips and anticipated many of our requirements.
- Our students managed both themselves and time frames very effectively – as expected. The girls acted very responsibly and were good ambassadors for both their school and New Zealand.
- We had excellent management and administration processes derived from lessons learned from several overseas trips undertaken by WEGC.
- The professionalism and commitment to service of so many people in the US ie drivers, guides, hotel staff, restaurant staff etc…
- The fantastic generosity and support of people in businesses visited, specifically (in order of visits): Nimble Collective, Facebook, Google, Adobe and Microsoft.
- Some small time outs for shopping at the odd mall… and gift shops… (under relentless pressure I may add).