So next week, I’ll be going to Toronto for three days with Gal Smiley’s Grade 8 class. It’s my own fault. I sort of half-volunteered during a conversation I was having with the teachers about Gal’s many, many food allergies, and what their plan was to feed her on this trip. It turned out there wasn’t ANY plan, and I was nervous, so while I was giving them dozens of sheets of printouts outlining all her allergies and safe foods, I also threw in the fact that I’d be willing to go with them, if needed, to make sure she ate properly.
Let’s sign you up!, the teachers said. They are no dummies.
Now that I am going, I am no longer worried about what Gal Smiley will eat, but I have a whole list of new worries. Mostly I am worried about potential male/female interaction among horny 14-year-olds, whether it be snogging at the back of the bus, or sneaking in and out of hotel rooms at night. My friend Lee Ann told me that her own mother went on a similar Grade 8 trip, and sat up, awake in the hallway, all night, where she returned girls to their rooms every few minutes.
I am totally willing to be Fooling Around Crackdown Mom, but I am mostly worried about whether my role as night watchman means I will literally get zero sleep over the two nights. Trust me – the world does not want a Lynn who is running on minimal sleep. It’s not pretty.
Someone else, I forget who, warned me that on their own Grade 8 trip, someone smuggled a bottle of alcohol into their suitcase, resulting in one of the hotel rooms becoming a “party room,” and the supervisors both having to a) clean up vomit and b) strongarm sick, hungover kids onto a bus for several museum tours the next day. I am feeling like that is not going be so much “fun” as “horrifying.”
And of course, there are simpler worries, like what if a kid gets sick or injured (legitimately, not from alcohol poisoning), or what if we misplace a kid, or what if we meet Doug Ford on a tour of the Ontario Parliament Buildings and one of the kids “accidentally” kicks him in the shins. What if the kids are bored and not being respectful or paying attention? Or a kid whips out a cigarette and claims their parents are “totally cool with it”? Or a kid loses their wallet in the Eaton’s Centre and my entire three days are one big mall-based scavenger hunt?
Your positive stories of successful trip supervision would be appreciated.