Frequently Asked Questions
01. Anyone who homeschools their children can join RCFT group, even if you’re only homeschooling your preschooler. Membership is free, but you are required to register on our membership page. Return to Top
02. Each field trip is listed on our field trips page http://rivercityfieldtrips.org/?page_id=5. At the bottom of each entry, it will says “accepting reservations,” “need 2 point people,” “need 1 backup point person,” or some combination of those. Once you click on the title of the field trip, you can scroll down and check the database to see if 2 point people have signed up and/or if it is full. Each field trip lists the maximum number of seats available. Any reservations made before we have 2 point people will be deleted. Any reservations made beyond the maximum number of seats will be waitlisted. Return to Top
03. Whether or not adults, babies, toddlers, etc have to pay is completely dependent upon the venue that we are visiting. Some venues require even 1 y/o’s to pay, while others allow adults, and children up to 6 to enter for free. You can check each field trip to see how much it costs by going to our field trips page http://rivercityfieldtrips.org/?page_id=5, clicking on the field trip you would like to attend, and reading the details at the bottom of the webpage for that field trip. It will say “Ticket Price: $X”, and will either have 1 ticket price listed for everyone, or will say what age groups are excluded from this payment for example, “children 3 and under are free” would mean that adults, and any child 4 and older needs to pay for entry. Return to Top
05. You can sign up for any field trip going to the field trip page at http://rivercityfieldtrips.org/?page_id=5, clicking on the title of the field trip, reading the details, and filling out the form.
06. You can check our database any time to see what you have signed up for. It is available as a Google Document, and is located on our webpage at http://rivercityfieldtrips.org/payments-refunds-waivers/database/
To find out how much you owe and/or what regular field trips you have signed up for follow these steps:
Go to https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1teAeNLprAyw35S4HEVdGHdZItKcAn4QNWxU_h5sWEOs/edit?usp=sharing (which is the direct link to the Database)
Hold down the the “ctrl” key and press “f” A small box will appear in the upper right hand of the spreadsheet.
Type in “YOUR LAST NAME”
Click the 3 dots to the right of your name, and the box will pop out.
Click the “Find” Button.
It will take you to the first page with your name on it. Click”Find” again and it will take you to the next page, and so on. Once it goes through all of them it will return to the first page.
07. Generally, our field trips do not have tickets. We will meet up at the venue, and go in together as a group, much like a “regular” school. If tickets do need to be sent, you will need to send a SASE (self addressed stamped envelope) or add $1 to your total for S&H (shipping and handling). Return to Top
08. After you’ve signed up and paid for your field trip, you may be wondering, “What now?” We will send you an email 1-2 days before your trip outlining the time you should arrive, where the venue is, who you need to check in with, and any other pertinent information that you will need. Please be aware that your group may not be able to sit together. All seats are filled, in order, just like with a regular school group. We do our best to keep families together, but we cannot guarantee it. If we have to split groups or families, we try to split those with multiple adults, so that an adult from each family can remain with their children. Usually, if a family is split, they are seated at the table directly beside their family, or in the row directly behind their family. If you are unwilling to be separated from your group, you may want to reconsider joining us on field trips. Return to Top
09. Payment information can be found on our website on our Payments page.. Please, pay special attention to the Paypal instructions. If you do not follow them closely, your payment may end up being refunded. We cannot accept payments in which we incur fees. You are welcome to pay for as many trips as you’d like using 1 check or 1 Paypal payment, but please include what trip(s) you are paying for with your payment.Return to Top
10. Paypal payments are refunded when we incur fees for your Paypal payment. You can avoid this hassle by following the Paypal instructions on thePayments page of our website, or you can pay using a check.
These instructions are a guideline. Some users have different options, but they are very similar.
11. NO. Tickets are NEVER available at the venue. You are welcome to email us to see if there are any cancellations or if we can squeeze in another person, but only the directors of RCFTG can contact a venue that we have a field trip scheduled with. If you have reserved through us, your contract and seats are with us. We are a non-profit business, and do not allow people outside our directors make or change reservations for us. If your child were in public school, you could not call and/or show up and try to alter the reservation of that school; the same is true for RCFTG. Return to Top
12. We have a calendar of events that lists events for RCFT, as well as events hosted by other groups for homeschoolers. You can check out our Google Calendar and click on the details to see what each event is. Return to Top
13. We always need people to volunteer to be “Point Person.” A point person is the person who arrives a little before everyone else, talks to the people at the venue to let them know that we will be gathered soon, and checks people off a list that is sent to them. The Point Person is the “leader” of the field trip, but mainly just acts as a liaison between the venue and our group. We also welcome anyone to contact us with field trip ideas, especially if they would like to schedule a field trip for RCFT. Return to Top
14. A point person is the person who arrives a little before everyone else, talks to the people at the venue to let them know that we will be gathered soon, and checks people off a list that is sent to them. The Point Person is the “leader” of the field trip, but mainly just acts as a liaison between the venue and our group. We cannot have field trips without Point Persons. Return to Top
15. River City Field Trips has been around since at least 2006. We try to offer diverse field trips that we think people will enjoy, and offer staples that you can rely on every year. We average around 45 field trips a year. We think that one of the best things about homeschooling is the freedom to enjoy things like field trips! The day to day, the field trip planning, database, website, facebook page, and emails are all maintained by Jackie. Return to Top
16. It really isn’t as simple as it seems when you are planning field trips for a very diverse group of 700+ homeschooling families. We book a lot of our theatre field trips at the end of the preceding year. We call or email a venue, receive information from them, start a correspondence, look at our numbers for attendance for similar trips from previous years, commit to a certain day, time, and number of people, design a webpage for the field trip, update the field trips page of the website to reflect the new field trip, create a new database page, post the trip to our webpage, post the trip to our Yahoo group, and wait for questions and reservations. We send and receive over 3,000 emails a school year, as well as postal mail, and telephone correspondence. Once we receive an email to book a reservation, we enter all of the information into our database, send an email back to the person with their confirmation and total, and update both of our online databases. Once we have filled our trip/the payment deadline passes, we contact the venue again to adjust our numbers if necessary. If we need more seats because we have a waiting list, we have see if there are seats available, if there are, we have to contact the waiting list, and get their payments, and then contact the venue again to book the extra seats. If there isn’t a waiting list, we receive confirmation of our total from the venue, and mail in our payment. We then send out an email to the point person to get their description and send them the checklist. We send out an email to the group going with the details of the trip, where to go, who to look for, etc. After the trip, we have to update the website, and database to reflect that the trip is no longer available. I’m sure I left out some of the details, but you get the picture 🙂 Return to Top
17. It can take us a while to respond to emails, as I [Jackie] work outside the home in addition to homeschooling my own children. We send and receive over 3,000 emails during a school year. Please be patient. We will respond as quickly as we can. You can probably find the answer to your question on our website in the FAQ, on the Payments page, or Field Trips page. You can always check the Database to see what field trips you’ve signed up for, how much is owed, and when the reservation/cancellation deadline is. Return to Top
18. No. When you pay for a field trip with RCFTG, you are entering into a contract with RCFTG. You do not have a contract with the venue, nor do they know if your individual family has paid for a trip. If you contact a venue for a refund, credit, to reschedule, or for any reason outside of general information (eg. directions, etc) and/or if you present myself as a representative of RCFTG you will forfeit the ability to sign up for field trips in the future. Return to Top
19. We started charging a fee because we have found that if we do not charge something, we have a 50-75% no-show rate, which is extremely embarrassing for us as homeschoolers and as a business. It also ensures that people who are inclined to forget to cancel reservations that they have made, have a financial reason to remember.Return to Top
20. No. Transportation is not provided by RCFT. Each individual family is responsible for arriving at the location of the event on time. It is the individual’s responsibility to find directions, transportation, etc. Return to Top
21. No. Derby Dinner Playhouse plays do not include any food. Food and drinks are NOT allowed in the venue during field trips. Return to Top
22. We changed the reservation policy due to a large increase in the number of reservations being made and not kept. A significant amount of time was being dedicated to trying to fill seats of reservations that had neither been cancelled nor paid for (ie. a reservation was made, but not paid for or cancelled, but rather the payment deadline passed). It puts us in a bind when we have to pay for a field trip that was completely full, but only receive half of the payments. We then have to contact everyone on our waiting list in the order they reserved, and wait for each person to respond before we can contact the next person on the waiting list. We usually have about 1 week between when payments are due to us, and when we have to pay the venue.
We understand that some field trips will be harder to pay for, and we are always happy to work with you to ensure you get a seat. If you are unable to pay for a reservation right away, just email us, request an payment extension, and we will work it out. We really just need to know that the seats will be paid for before we have to pay for them 🙂 Return to Top
23. No, no one gets paid. All of the work done to make these trips possible is done by volunteers. I [Jackie] dedicate at least 20 hours a week to RCFT, and on weeks with field trips, payment deadlines, and/or scheduling field trips it can be around 40 hours a week! No one at RCFT has ever been paid to do this work. It is a work of love and service. Point Persons are also volunteers who have stepped up to lead trips that I cannot attend. We host about 45 field trips a year, so there are a lot of field trips I cannot attend. I am very grateful for the point persons, as we could not have field trips without them!Return to Top
24. RCFT does not have a dedicated phone number. ALL of our correspondence is done via email. I humbly request that no one calls or texts my [Jackie] personal cell phone for RCFT business. Return to Top
25. ALL of the money collected from free field trips (minus any PayPal fees) is donated to charity or put into the scholarship fund. Return to Top