While most people think that field trips are for school children only, they can be for any group of people, of any age, who want to learn about something firsthand. Field trips should be educational in nature and purpose. Guided tours of places such as museums or outdoor areas of interest are common. Many field trips are outdoors, as one of the benefits of a field trip is to get out of the classroom or workplace. Some field trips feature an instructor who teaches a skill to the group, after which the group must demonstrate knowledge of the skill, such as rock climbing or determining how to identify edible plants. The many different types of educational field trips offer something for those who want to learn.
National Forest or Park
Visit the land in your backyard. Take a group of older people to the shores of a beautiful lake for a lecture on wetlands, or embark on a rigorous nature hike with a group of teenagers. Those who live near national forests, parks or other such designated wilderness areas are missing out if they don't take advantage of the wide range of guided tours and programs offered by park rangers. Most are free of charge, and the offerings range from guided hikes to day trips and even simple hour-long talks. For example, Zion National Park in Utah offers guided educational field trips for groups of all ages and sizes.
Ecological Field Trips
Give back to your community by participating in an ecological field trip. Organize one yourself, or check with your local community center to see if there are volunteer opportunities available. The Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve in Florida is one such location that not only offers tours but also organizes group ecological volunteer opportunities. You don't need a guide to help the environment, however. Clean the litter out of a mile-long section of a nearby stream, or cut down and remove the invasive weeds in a vacant lot in the city. Grab a group of strapping young men and clear out an overgrown and neglected nature trail. Add an element of fun by stopping to swim at a swimming hole or indulging in an afternoon of fishing after the work is done.
Take a trip to see some animals, but skip the zoo. Many states have wildlife refuges or centers, such as a refuge for wolves, protected wetlands, or even fish hatcheries. Learn about the work these places do to protect and preserve wildlife by visiting these locations. Some, like NorthWest Trek in Washington State, even offer overnight stays, complete with guided tours and lectures. Prices may vary, so be sure to check before you plan the field trip.
Recreational or Skills Field Trip
Teach the group a new skill or hobby. For example, a field trip to a nearby river can be combined with a lesson on fly fishing or river rafting. A nature hike can have the purpose of learning how to identify animal tracks or harmful flora and fauna. A trip to a campsite is the perfect place to teach children how to start a fire and set up a tent. Check with your local ranger station or tourist center for more ideas particular to your area. Some areas offer unique opportunities. If you live in New York city, for example, you could learn how to sail by participating in a sailing field trip with Shearwater Sailing.