Field trips (mostly) back in full-swing

New Trier allowing in-person field trips again


Sarah Lieber

IGSS took a trip to the Botanic Gardens on Aug. 30

Many classes are starting to bring field trips back after COVID-19 put them on hold last year. 

Athena Arvanitis, Assistant Principal for Programs and Operations, says that local day field trips will take place this year, almost completely back to normal.

“Field trips this year are going to look a lot like they have in the past for a lot of students, Teachers will continue to plan experiences for students outside of the classroom and our process is the same except that, depending on where we are going, we are asking for those places to help us understand their COVID protocols and procedures,” said Arvanitis.

The Integrated Global Studies School, or IGSS, in particular has a lot of field trips throughout the year built into their curriculum, according to senior Sarah Lieber.

“Since there’s three periods in a row, there’s usually a lot of time [for trips], and now with this eighty-five minute period, it’s even easier to take field trips because we have almost five hours,” said Lieber.

IGSS had their first field trip on August 30 to Harms Woods in Northfield and the Chicago Botanic Gardens. 

Last year, when IGSS students couldn’t go on field trips due to the pandemic, Lieber felt like she was missing out.

“We filled the time with other activities, but definitely field trips are a big part of IGSS, so it kind of sucked that last year we didn’t get to do any of them.” 

The Outdoor Education program also plans to run a field trip this fall to an indoor rock climbing gym, according to teacher Mark Colegrove. 

“The plan is if things stay the same way, we will be doing three one-day trips to Vertical Endeavors.”

However, the annual 3-day Outdoor Education camping trip that takes place in the spring is still paused for now. The trip didn’t run in the spring of 2020 or 2021, but Colegrove hopes that it may return for the spring of 2022.

“The Outdoor Ed trip to Devil’s Lake, right now [is] not approved. Hopefully it gets approved, because it’s a great experience. Right now everybody is waiting on state guidelines and when the school makes up their mind how they interpret those [guidelines] and how they want to move forward,” said Colegrove. 

The annual Power Program, a field trip that sophomore adviseries take to the Heller Nature Center, is also happening again this year. Sophomore Ava Pankauskas says that she feels safe going on the trip with the COVID-19 pandemic still going on.

“I feel like since it’s only my advisery, which I see every day, there’s not that much of an exposure to other people.”

Though there are field trips planned so far this year, there is some uncertainty among students as to whether field trips will continue to happen throughout the year. Senior Cate Regan says that she has potential field trips in her English, art, and Mandarin classes, but it’s unclear if any of them will happen– or if she will go.

“I’m not exactly sure if my teachers will be allowed to let us go on these field trips, and on the other hand, with the block schedule you can’t really miss a class that’s having a test or some important day. If it’s during something that I really need to be there for, I might have to miss it,” said Regan.

For the debate team, at least for now, field trips will remain local. Debate Coach Dave Weston says that some closer tournaments will be in person.

“Most of the local tournaments are going to be in person because they are in Illinois, but the national tournaments, where we would normally travel to attend, will be virtual,” said Weston.

Overall, students and teachers are hopeful for the return of field trips this year, and recognize that they have a lot of value.

“Excursions allow for other, outside authentic experiences. [They] add another element of kids having an opportunity to have fun, doing the same things that we do in school but in another perspective,” said Colegrove.