5 Qualities of a Good Chaperone
Choosing chaperones is one of the most daunting decisions for anyone traveling with teens. At Wonder Voyage, we require at least one adult for every seven youth coming on a trip. The adult leaders you choose will be a critical piece of the puzzle when it comes to the fruitfulness, safety, fun, and ease of the trip. Pick the wrong adult leaders and you might have a nightmare.
Here are the qualities you should consider when choosing your adult leaders:
- Flexibility- can this person change plans when necessary? They must understand they play a supporting role rather than leading the agenda. If this person is rigid and controlling, think twice about recruiting them.
- Maturity- quality leaders know how to publicly and privately respond to a variety of circumstances. They can enforce boundaries without shame. In small group discussions, they know how to listen, to encourage, and when to speak. There is a spiritual maturity to their lives. Students will be watching to see how your leaders respond. Make sure you don’t have a grumbler or a complainer. You don’t need an extra youth on the trip. You need the wisdom, love, and patience of an adult.
- Sacrificial- Your leaders need to be okay with sacrificing certain creature comforts. The trip, though full of wonder, will not be a vacation. Personal space may be at a minimum.
- Teachable- Effective leaders love to learn, absorb the culture, and have open hearts and minds to new things. One of the gifts an adult leader can give to the group is childlike wonder.
- Prepared- Part of this falls on the leader of the journey. Have you prepared your leaders well? Answered their questions? Let them know what to expect? Your leaders need to know what they are stepping into and why they are coming on the trip.
When our Voyage Guides lead trips, young people are generally never an issue. But a misplaced chaperone can be a challenge to keeping the journey moving in a positive direction. Who you chose as a chaperone may be a deciding factor in where your voyage ends up.
After a decade working in parish youth ministry Shawn started Wonder Voyage Missions. Over the last 15 years, WVM has led thousands of pilgrims to over forty countries. Shawn is a storyteller and an award winning filmmaker. He is an author who brings the gift of engaging narrative to our journeys. Shawn is dedicated to creating voyages that give people abundant opportunities to encounter God.