Q&A: High School Field Trip

Posted by on May 8, 2014 in High School

All High School Trip


May 16th is our all-school trip to Massachusetts for a Class II-III rafting trip with CrabApple Whitewater. Here are the travel details for that day:

  • 7:15– All students should arrive at TSA
  • 7:30— Buses depart from TSA (Please be here early, as this departure time has NO flexibility)
  • 9:30—Arrive at CrabApple in Charlemont, MA, gear up and go rafting
  • 4:00—Depart CrabApple for home
  • 5:30—Arrive back at TSA

Below are some answers to some questions that parents and students might have about the trip.

Why are we going rafting?
Five years ago, we took the high school rafting for the first time, and the positive feedback was conclusive: our students said that it was the best all high school trip yet!

Rafting is fun and exciting and an experience that will be new for most of our students. Whitewater rafting is team building at its best because students need to work in coordination to maneuver their rafts down the rapids.

Why use CrabApple Whitewater?
There are two good reasons we have chosen to use CrabApple. First and foremost, they have an outstanding safety record and years of experience taking school groups of mixed abilities on the river. Secondly, our very own Spike Carter has worked as a guide for them for five seasons, and he is very impressed with the entire operation.

It’s Spring – won’t the river be raging and very full?
May on the Deerfield River generally means an optimal rafting level on the Fife Brook section. If, however, there is a large amount of rain at any point in the season, CrabApple makes adjustments to the trip to ensure safety and enjoyment on the river.

Who is on each raft?
Each raft will be led by one of CrabApple’s highly-trained river guides. Additionally, a TSA adult will be in each raft. Each raft will hold approximately 6 students.

What if I cannot swim?
There is no need to worry if you cannot swim. Each student will be outfitted with one of Crabapple’s personal floatation devices (PFDs) and a helmet, and CrabApple starts each trip with a safety talk that outlines what to do if you fall in the water. In addition to being fun, CrabApple guides are highly trained in getting people back in the boat if they should fall out. Swimming is not a requirement for rafting, however, it is helpful information for Spike, if you are concerned about swimming ability, please let him know.

Can I wear my own Personal Flotation Device (PFD) and or helmet?
No. Crabapple’s PFDs and helmets are repeatedly checked for safety. The PFDs are specifically rated for this activity and for paddler weight. Using Crabapple’s PFDs and helmets ensures the safety of the students and Crabapple’s equipment will be required.

What should I bring with me?
CrabApple will be providing wetsuits and neoprene booties. Most people wear board shorts under a wetsuit, and you can also wear synthetic or wool long underwear depending on the weather and if you know you get cold easily. DO NOT bring cotton to wear on the river! When cotton gets wet it clings to your skin and keeps you cold. If the weather allows and you choose not to wear a wetsuit or booties, you should plan to bring waterproof footwear that fixes around your heel, such as Tevas, Chocos, or an old pair of sneakers you don’t mind getting wet is okay. If you wear glasses or want to wear sunglasses on the river, be sure you have a neck strap for them, otherwise be ready to lose them. We’ll be out on the river for at least a couple of hours, so bring some sunscreen. When we get off the river it is also recommended to have a warm and comfy change of clothes with you.

Are there changing facilities?
There is a changing room for men and one for women. Both rooms have a few private bays and a large open area for changing.

Is lunch provided?
Yes! CrabApple will provide a lunch spread of sandwiches, chips, and homemade brownies. If you have food allergies, please let Spike know before the trip so that special arrangements can be made.

I have special medical considerations. Can I go rafting?
In most cases the answer is yes. However, there are exceptions, so please check in with Spike prior to the trip just to make sure. Check out the FAQs section of Crabapple’s website for more information: http://crabapplewhitewater.com/faqs.shtml#22

Who should I talk to if I have concerns?
Spike is your first point of contact if you have any concerns. He can be reached at scarter@sharonacademy.net or stop in to talk with him. The majority of the staff have also taken this trip before, so you can ask them questions too.

What if I am feeling anxious or worried?
There were many students and adults for whom this trip was out of their comfort zone the last time we went and yet they still had a blast! We think this is an incredible opportunity to do something exciting and a bit challenging in a supportive and organized way. We encourage all students to participate – and will help you make it successful. Just talk with Spike or another teacher about your concerns.

What if I have other questions?
If you have any questions, please contact Spike Carter at scarter@sharonacademy.net