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Field Trip Guidelines

  • DO have a well thought out teaching plan before you introduce students to the cemetery. Be familiar with the site, its possibilities and its limitations.
  • DO gain the permission and support of the cemetery caretakers.
  • DO have adequate adult supervision: one adult for every six or eight students is optimum. Discuss your teaching aims and your expectations with these assistants. Assign adult leaders to work with specific groups of children.
  • DO prepare the class, make assignments and set goals before leaving the classroom. Discuss possible fears or anxieties. Beware of any recent deaths in students' families.
  • DO Set very clear guidelines for appropriate behavior and hold students to this conduct. Remind students that grieving family members may be in the cemetary and that cemetaries are considered sacred ground to some people—students need to be respectful.
  • DO remind students to dress appropriately. In cold weather, wear layered clothing, long pants, socks or tights, sturdy shoes, etc.
  • DO make some provision for a bathroom stop. In hot weather, be mindful of the need for extra fluids and sun protection. Have a simple first-aid kit, insect repellent, and sunscreen available. Be aware of any students with special health conditions, such as severe bee sting allergies or insulin-dependent diabetes. Be able to recognize and avoid poison ivy.
  • DO leave the cemetery in a better condition than you found it.
  • DON'T take any group to the cemetery without prior preparation.
  • DON'T allow students to rub stones unless you have prior permission from the caretaker. If rubbing is permitted, ensure that each student has been carefully instructed and can demonstrate an understanding of the process and the potential problems. If rubbing is attempted, be certain that it is done only on appropriate safe, sound stones.
  • DON'T allow students to sit or lean against monuments. Many are unpegged, unstable and extremely dangerous if toppled!