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Field Trips

Ah, the open road - if you listen to the martini-sipping intelligentsia, they'll tell you that it's the quintessential symbol of American literature. Whether or not you agree with them, there's no denying that taking your group on a journey can be equal parts adventure, education, and bonding experience. It can also function as a unique recruiting tool - let potential members come with, and a video or blog post about it will make a great advertisement.

The possibilities for a trip, locally, regionally, and nationally, are endless. Because some of these are discussed elsewhere, and because each trip will be different, we'll simply list some destinations and ideas.

In General

Transportation will be one of your major coordinating tasks, as well as lodging for overnight trips. For companions or funding, look beyond student groups to university departments or off-campus organizations. Always remember to bring a camera or video recorder so you can provide evidence of your travels. To maximize the publicity value of your trip, be sure to write an article or press release about the experience.

Places to Go

  1. Educational
    1. Museums and planetariums with exhibits on biology, astronomy, physics, earth science and history. A few groups have visited the Creation Museum, a monument to irrationality in Kentucky. However, we do not recommend giving money to anti-science organizations; to get the experience, watch SAIU's video of their trip.
    2. Fossil hunting is available almost anywhere! Some resources can be found here.
    3. If you're not hosting your own SkeptiCamp, there may be one going on in your state.
    4. Some churches and Christian organizations run Hell Houses, dramatic walkthroughs that stress the punishments that await sinners. These displays of graphic violence, sexual innuendo, and unrepentant misogyny and homophobia are calculated to save souls; not for the squeamish or easily offended. More information is here and here, as well as anywhere theocracy is sold.
  2. Community & Activism
    1. Local skeptic, atheist, and humanist meetings.
    2. Look for protests being put on by allied groups for secular causes. One of the biggest was the Godless Americans' March on Washington in 2002, which brought thousands of freethinkers to the nation's capital.
    3. Showing up at trials involving church-state issues can be a great way to support the cause, as well as fascinating to watch.
  3. Service
    1. Clean up a polluted riverfront or park.
    2. Some groups have made an annual visit to rebuild houses in New Orleans with Habitat for Humanity.
    3. Volunteer at a summer camp for freethinking youth such as CampQuest.
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