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Preparing young people for their first residential trip

Every young person is unique - some come across as confident, energetic leaders, whilst others shy away from the limelight to work away in the background. Here at Rockley, we celebrate the achievements of all our students and nurture and mould their skill set. However, no matter how outgoing or confident a young person may be - going on a school trip away from home for the first time, can be scary and daunting which is why we want their first trip away to be a fantastic one! 

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Be positive!

As a parent it’s only natural to be nervous about your pride and joy heading away for the week. Will they like the food? Have they packed enough? Will they remember to put on their sun cream? Will they get up in the morning? Don’t worry, they are in safe hands! We have plenty of delicious food, plus no one sleeps through a Rockley style wake up! Remain positive when talking about the up-and-coming trip with your child, talk about how much fun they will have and the great things they will experience. 

Address any concerns

While remaining positive, do give your child the opportunity to chat through any concerns they may have. Sharing their worries with those close to them can help to clear up any apprehensions. Let them know that the Rockley team and their teachers will be there to help with any problems along the way. 

 

Share your own experiences 

Did you have an amazing adventure trip as a kid? Your own children will love hearing about it and the fact that Mum and Dad have ‘survived’ similar challenging adventures will be a big reassurance. If you can do it so can they! 

Have a trail run

If your child has never spent time away from home before then give them the opportunity to practice by visiting a Grandparents or friends house on their own. Encourage them to pack their own bag, to think about what they will need to wear and run through an evening and morning routine. 

Make a list

Find time to sit down with your child to run through which clothes they want to take, don’t just pack it all for them! Rockley provides a comprehensive checklist so go through it slowly and encourage them to pick out which clothes they will think will be most suitable. 

Practice personal responsibility

Has she brushed her hair? Did he brush his teeth? Leave a little list on the bathroom mirror and allow your child to get on with these things. You can always follow up afterwards – but it’s a good way to get them thinking about getting ready to start the day. You will be amazed how independent young people will become if left to figure things out. 

Be honest with the group leader

Before your child goes away, if you know of any major issues, always share them with the teacher or school staff. If your child has a difficulty such as wetting the bed, embarrassing as it may seem to discuss, it’s better for the staff to know. Let your child know that they can talk to a certain member of staff in confidence about it. It would be a shame for young people to miss out on these opportunities – most issues can be sorted!

 

Enjoy some you time

The house may seem strangely quiet while your child is away, but make the most of it! One of the strangest aspects of a residential trip is actually for parents missing their children. Having your other children home, whilst one is away, is a strange feeling. Take the time to focus on a sibling or even sneak out for an evening and enjoy some quality time with your other half!

Avoid long good-byes

Finally, a quick hug and kiss is sufficient at the door of the school or coach. Avoid the embarrassing drawn out goodbye, this will only exacerbate the act of being away from home. Concentrate on making a big deal for the welcome home after instead.

The majority of children come back from residential trips with a mixture of emotions: full of excitement, exhausted, and ready to tell you all about it. Enjoy this time with your child. You’ve both earned it. Don’t worry, they are in safe hands!

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