Monday, July 8, 2024

Field Trips Are Good for Adults Too and Great for Professional Development


By Guest Blogger Rebecca Fabiano, Founder and ED of Fab Youth Philly

I recently wrote a blog about why field trips are a good idea for adults and a great tool for professional development. Read more of our blogs here

Some of my most memorable experiences of school and my time afterschool are of the field trips I took! Tons of research reports that field trips can make learning more engaging, they can deepen social skills, expose young people to things they may not have known about or thought they had access to, and also provide the opportunity for young people to make real-life connections to what they are learning.

Why limit all of these great things to young people? As adults, our learning can also deepen when have the opportunity to make real-life connections, when we can apply what we are learning in meaningful ways and when we can strengthen and expand our networks or access to information and opportunity. These are a few reasons why we include field trips in the professional development strategies we facilitate. Whether it's hosting the monthly Sandbox in a local coffee shop, or visiting various youth programs through one of professional learning communities we facilitate or with our own staff to expand our networks or resources. 

Before heading out on your field trip, provide some context. For example, before I took a group up to visit the Wooden Boat Factory, I had them watch a brief video about their work and peruse their website. This allows staff to ask informed questions. Maybe you have them do a 'scavenger hunt' while they are at the location, where they have to meet certain people, or gather certain information about the program. Just the same way you would if you were taking a group of youth. Being intentional about the experience you want your staff to have is 50% of what makes it meaningful.  

There are SO many places to go on a field trip, and quite a number of them don't have to cost very much, if anything at all! 

Below are some examples of potential field trips for your staff that would also make for great professional development opportunities. 

  • Go visit another OST program! There are scores of youth programs in your city. Go for a walk with your staff in the neighborhood where your program takes place, and map or count how many other youth programs there are within .25 miles. You might be surprised. 
  • Visit your local library. Many are FILLED with all kinds of resources; computers, maker spaces; some even have a cafĂ©. They are not the old, dark places where the librarian used to come around and ‘shush’ you if you were too loud. Many have recently undergone serious make overs!
  • Visit a Board Member’s office. Some of us have board members that work in fancy or interesting places; take your staff to visit a board member at his or her office. It’s a great way for staff to learn more about the board (at least that particular board member) and, depending on where the office is may expose staff to a new business or organization or a new part of the city.

If you're still not sure where to go, ask your staff. Then, get out there! 


For nearly 25 years, Rebecca Fabiano (She/Her/Hers) has worked in various capacities across nonprofit and youth-serving organizations, served on boards and helped to build solid youth programs that engage, encourage, and create spaces for positive development. As a program leader, she has successfully raised funds and managed program budgets; hired and supervised staff; developed and sustained strong community partnerships and designed award-winning programming.

Fab Youth Philly (FYP) is a Philadelphia-based youth development organization that provides innovative, award-winning programming for youth, with a programmatic focus on workforce development opportunities for teens ages 15-19. 

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Let Youth Lead

Source: FAB Youth Philly By Guest Blogger, Rebecca Fabiano, Founder & President, FAB Youth Philly (This was originally published on the ...