Every school is different and has its own tried and tested way of running expeditions. This is an outline of how a typical process might be structured.
First of all, contact one of our advisors to discuss options for trips based on your ideas and requirements. Once you’ve settled on a destination we’ll issue a detailed quote to present to your Senior Leadership Team for approval.
Once you’ve had your trip approved you’ll need to spread the word to students and parents. We find a soft launch followed by a hard launch is the most effective way of doing this: start by telling students in lessons and assemblies about the trip to gauge interest, then arrange a launch evening at the school with parents. Your Gapforce Advisor will attend the launch to give a detailed presentation and help answer questions.
Application forms are handed out at the launch evening. We generally recommend you ask for them back, with a deposit, within four weeks.
Once all the forms are in we’ll give each group member online access to pre-departure documents including a kit list and medical forms. If your school is keen for fundraising to be an element of the experience, we’ll also provide a pack filled with ways for your students to raise money towards their trip.
To ensure everyone involved has plenty of notice, we suggest that from four to six months before the trip schools organise an update meeting to re-cap on key details and finalise plans. This is a good opportunity to remind everyone about deadlines for forms and payments.
One to two months before the trip we suggest schools organise a pre-departure briefing evening to go over the itinerary and kit list and ensure everyone knows what to expect. This is a good opportunity for parents and students to ask any last minute questions, and also for Gapforce to chase any outstanding forms.
Time to jet off and begin your adventure! Your Expedition Leader will be in the destination country at least a week prior to your arrival to carry out any final checks and risk assessments. They’ll meet you at the airport when you land.
Returning from a big adventure can leave students and teachers alike feeling a little flat. We encourage groups to create a report with photos or videos to share with peers, friends and family. It can also be powerful to arrange a reflection meeting, for students to look back on the trip and discuss what they took away from it.