Isn’t it great when you can look forward to something? As a director you have the opportunity to facilitate that for your students when you create a tradition of travel in your program. In the same way they know they’ll eat turkey on Thanksgiving, they could know their sophomore year will be when they take a trip to New York City.
Consistency Is Key
Traveling benefits your program and students the most when everyone knows about it years in advance. That’s why it’s important to establish and promote a consistent tradition of travel. The prospect of going on these trips could be the reason a student joins your program, or sticks with it if they know the big trip is coming up. Not only does this benefit the student by keeping them involved in your program, but your program reaps the benefits of higher recruitment and retention as well.
How To Build A Tradition
If you teach high school, use the 4 year cycle to create a trip rotation where every year your students can look forward to a new kind of destination. For instance, a great rotation for a high school program is:
- Year 1: An in-state trip
- Year 2: Orlando
- Year 3: An out-of-state trip you could visit by bus (Branson, Nashville, Colorado Springs)
- Year 4: A big city trip (New York City, Chicago, International)
Varying between these different types of destinations will help your program benefit from a tradition of travel without exhausting you, your parents, and your district with a major trip every year.
A Note On Trip Approval
You may be sold on the benefits of a tradition of travel, but if you’re truly creating one from scratch, you’ll also need to make sure you can get travel approved. Thankfully we’ve seen plenty of programs go through this process successfully. You’ll want to partner with a trusted administrator and ask them these questions:
- Do you have to submit paperwork?
- Are trip requests brought before the school board?
- What are the district expectations and rules? i.e.: Is swimming allowed? Is a performance required? Does an administrator need to be present on the trip?
A Tradition Of Travel Benefits Everyone
A tradition of travel can be your number one recruitment and retention tool as long as everyone knows what to expect years in advance. If they do, it’s sure to have a positive impact on your numbers. If you teach high school, consider a 4 year rotation between small and larger trips and if you teach middle school consider traveling to one destination annually with your 8th graders. If you’re creating a tradition from scratch, seek an administrator to get the information you need to get your trip approved.
No matter what you do…travel. And travel consistently. Give your students something to look forward to. It truly benefits everyone.
Special thanks to our business partners Green Light Group Tours and Erik Young for this article. Green Light specializes in exciting and educational travel experiences for your students. We’re also planning a BAND DIRECTOR trip to New York City to see many Broadway shows in the summer of 2023 with Green Light. Keep an eye out for information which will be coming out through our weekly newsletter soon.
Green Light Group Tours is providing this FREE download of tried-and-true tips and suggestions for creating the best travel experience ever! Instant download available HERE. Ready to request a quote for your next band trip? You can do that HERE.