I just got home from chaperoning a trip to Disneyland for a group of 32 8th graders – for those of you who do not know, this means 13- to 14-year-olds; I am exhausted.
I’m a California native and someone who has ‘grown up Disney’ as I like to call it. My mom worked for Disney for the majority of my childhood and up until I moved temporarily out of the state, I held an annual pass so I more or less know the parks like the back of my hand.
Tuesdays are not supposed to be this busy – but we forgot to calculate High School grad night.
So today was more or less a madhouse of crazy, maze-like line preparation which we all had to navigate on top of the beginning of summer vacationers, our 32 kiddos (as well as a few other middle school day-trippers), and the high schoolers who now have extended Grad Day hours.
I figured that going to the park as a chaperon wouldn’t require much more thought and focus than my normal day trips down – for the 8th grade trip, the kids roam in groups with specific in-person check-in times so it’s not labor intensive – but apparently, even at 25, Disneyland chaperoning makes your body feel old.
I’m not going to get graphic here, but even though we told the kids to make sure they had all the medication/supplies they might need along with our phone numbers for emergency circumstances, we as the adults were less prepared.
One by one, we fell to various issues – I did have my pain specific medication, however, it took much longer than normal to work with much worse symptoms through that waiting- from cramping to flu stuff to back pain (for other leaders!).
We were a mess.
So my advice for theme parks:
- Bring a simple first aid kit with any and all quick-fix medications dosed out by person and labeled so security knows if you are stopped. They do sell individual headache medicine packets, but it’s easier if you just have one set.
- Bring in a leak proof water bottle and a bag (like zip lock) to stick it in just in case – they won’t stop you from carrying a water bottle, you’ll save money, and the baggy almost always comes in handy as I have learned in the past.
If you are chaperoning:
- Have the parents give instructions for pain/headache medication (ie. check box if we can give your child Advil/Tylenol) on the permission slips. Teachers carry these forms anyway and it’s easier for us if we can leave you a message saying this happened and we did this, rather than playing phone tag while your child complains about their head.
- Don’t just give out your number to the kids; have them send you their contacts as well for the trip. This is just a basic know how for emergency/check=in purposes and can be digital or written on the permission slip along with parent/emergency contact information.
Alright that’s all I have. Again, as the school year comes to a close, everything feels like a mad rush so thanks for sticking with me and, as always:
This is Leave on the Wind, helping you soar.