As a parent of two teenage students who have traveled with Rustic Pathways, I know firsthand how difficult it can be to get details about my children’s experience once they’re back home. As Rustic’s Director of Safety and Risk Management, I admittedly have an advantage over most parents. Because I’m familiar with our programs, know many members of our local teams, and put in place everything related to safety on our programs, I know what to ask my children to pull more info from their stories.
With this in mind, I wanted to provide all parents with some questions to get the conversation started and to really understand what their teens experience with Rustic. For me, the most important piece of this puzzle is to ask open-ended questions whenever possible to avoid simple yes-and-no responses:
- Who did you hang out with on your trip? Where were they from?
- What was your favorite part of the program?
- What was the most interesting thing you learned about the local community?
- Who were your Program Leaders? What were they like?
- Did you feel sick at all while traveling?
Note: if your child shows signs of illness after returning home, we encourage you to see your general practitioner if symptoms last more than 24 hours; remember to tell your doctor about the places your child visited.
- Did you bring everything that you needed with you?
- What was your Rustic Ties experience like?
- Is there anything you would have done differently when traveling?
- What most surprised you about yourself? What did you learn about yourself on this program?
- Would you do another program like this again?
We’d love to hear any feedback you have in the comments below! Sometimes it takes students a few days or weeks to reflect on what happened, so keep asking and see if anything else comes up as they share their stories with family or friends.
Click below to learn how Rustic Pathways intentionally designs programs to foster student growth in learning outcomes most closely associated with future academic, professional, and interpersonal success.
With a masters degree in risk management and more than 20 years of relevant experience, Dave is the perfect fit to lead Rustic's Health and Safety Team. Dave joined Rustic in 2014 after owning a consulting firm specializing in implementing risk management and emergency response programs for domestic and global tour operators. He now works with our global teams to ensure quality and consistency in all Rustic programs. Dave lives in Colorado with his wife and children.