How to Organize a School Camping Trip

Taking your class on a camping trip is a great way to introduce students to the wonders of nature and the beauty of the outdoors. The tips offered in this article will help make your trip both educational, memorable, and fun!


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    Research local campgrounds and find one that suits your needs best. National parks are a great location for your trip, as rangers can lead tours with your class and host educational activities. If there isn't a national park within a few hours' drive of your school, look for a local campground with recreational facilities, or even consider camping out on school grounds. While it may detract from the wildlife experience, it's convenient and beats not going at all.
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    Get supplies organized and make a date. While students can bring personal supplies (sleeping bags, toiletries, etc.) you'll need to provide essentials like tents, lanterns, First Aid kits, food, of course, and the like. Make sure to arrange van or bus transportation to the campsite well in advance, and once you've figured a date, send home a note detailing the trip and permission forms.
    • Ask parents to help contribute to the cost of the trip. If their son or daughter is attending, consider requesting for a donation to the cost of supplies. Allow students to bring their own tents (if applicable) to save school finances.
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    Finalize plans if a majority of the class is interested in going, and begin preparing for the camping trip. Begin a nature unit in class and teach about the various wildlife species students may encounter while camping. If you're visiting a national park, have students research information about it, and combine it into a project.
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    Leave early on the day of the trip to allow extra travel time. Make sure all students and supplies are accounted for. If necessary, save space on the bus by taking along one van or small truck specifically for luggage and supplies. Additionally, check the weather before you go. Helpful websites like offer 7-day forecasts to prepare you for anything from rain to wildfire threats.
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    Take attendance. Once you arrive at the campground, set up camp before embarking on any activities. Take attendance, count supplies, and involve students in pitching the tents. Make sure lanterns have enough battery power to last, and that all food supplies are safely stored or refrigerated.
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    Enjoy your trip! Explore the woods, have a scavenger hunt, go searching for wildlife, build a campfire, roast marshmallows, go boating (if possible), have a picnic, etc.


  • Come prepared with all the materials necessary.
  • Take photos and create a photo album. Send copies to students for a great field trip memento.
  • Recruit parents to volunteer as chaperones. The more help and supervision, the better.
  • Have students write a report about the trip upon returning. They can share anything new they learned about the outdoors or wildlife with classmates.


  • Use common sense. Make sure students are supervised at all times, and that campers stay in the boundaries of the campsite unless otherwise directed.
  • Set strict rules regarding what students can and cannot bring. While items like compasses and lanterns are acceptable, no student should be permitted to bring tools like knives, lighters, or axes for safety reasons.
  • Treat injuries or animal bites immediately. A fully-equipped First Aid kit should be able to handle minor cuts and scrapes, but serious injuries should not be left untreated.

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Categories: Teacher Resources | Camping