Information for Group Leaders

INFORMATION FOR GROUP LEADERS

About Our High School and College Trips

Amped for Education was founded on the principle that more educational opportunities can help solve some of the world biggest challenges. Since helping construct and open a high school in Nicaragua, we have shared our love of the country with American students on several trips where we visited the school, worked on new construction, and interacted with the local community. Each trip also includes the opportunity to experience the natural beauty of Nicaragua, from hiking an active volcano to swimming in a lagoon. Many of our students are leaving the United States for the first time and the first few days often find them wide-eyed and in awe of the poverty and the beauty. They soon find themselves immersed and inquisitive in a country so unlike their own. Many fall in love with Nicaragua the way we did.

Preparation for Group Leaders

We will be with you every step of the way in the months and weeks leading up to your group’s departure. Amped can provide any necessary materials, such as meeting flyers and materials, and can answer any questions you have. Once you have committed to leading a group, an Amped staff member will send you a group leader orientation packet, and when you arrive in Nicaragua we will provide you with an in-country orientation as well.

Responsibilities Before the Trip

Before the trip, you’ll be responsible for marketing the trip to interested students, organizing and holding meetings with students and their parents/guardians, collecting trip payments and recording them in the trip spreadsheet, distributing information to students, and acting as a liaison between students and Amped.

Responsibilities During the Trip

During the trip, you’ll be responsible for maintaining the trip blog (more about that here) with students, holding nightly 5-minute meetings with students to discuss the following day’s activities, and working to create an open-minded, culturally aware environment for the group.

Group Leader Benefits

As a group leader, you’ll enjoy a private room at all accommodations, along with the opportunity to share an eye-opening, impactful experience with your students. Additionally, if you lead a group of 13 students or more, your program fee will be waived.

Lesson Plans

If you’d like, Amped can provide a variety of comprehensive lesson plans to implement before the trip. These lesson plans cover a variety of topics relating to Nicaragua and act as an invaluable supplement to your group’s experience.

Group Leader FAQs

What are my responsibilities as a chaperone?

You’ll be in charge of organizing your group’s trip, from spreading the word about Amped to collecting payments to chaperoning your volunteers around the country. You’ll work closely with Amped Group Leaders prior to and during the trip to ensure everyone has a safe, educational, and rewarding experience.

What kind of information will I receive from Amped before the trip?

We provide chaperones with extensive background information about our organization, our mission, and the projects we’ll be working on. We also include detailed travel and itinerary information. Chaperones will be provided with information about Nicaragua that will enhance their group’s experience in the country as well.

How can I help my group raise money for their trip?

Amped provides guidance for prospective volunteers about ways to fund their trip. In the past volunteers have used raffles, coin drives, car washes, and trivia nights to help pay for their trip. Contact sarah@ampedforeducation.org for more information on how to raise money for your trip.

Can Amped tailor trips to individual groups’ needs?

Absolutely. If a group wants to spend more days in Granada or focus on a certain aspect of Nicaraguan life or recreation during their trip, Amped will work with groups to create a trip that meets the goals and expectations of partner organizations. For example, if a group wants to learn more about the Nicaraguan Civil War, we can arrange war veterans to speak. If a group is interested in surfing, we can make it happen – anything is possible!

How does Amped work with chaperones?

Amped works closely with teachers and chaperones from schools across the United States to organize trips to Nicaragua. We believe that teachers are the cornerstones of a positive student experience in Nicaragua and we rely heavily on their insights, knowledge, and organizational acumen to make trips successful.

Who should I contact if I want to bring a group to Nicaragua?

Contact jeff@ampedforeducation.org to learn more about leading a group to Nicaragua. Amped will provide you with detailed timelines, instructions, deposit information, and travel information to provide to your trip goers.

Do chaperones have to be teachers?

No, we encourage families, groups of friends, coworkers, pretty much anyone to come to Nicaragua as a group. If you take responsibility for organizing your group’s trip, you’ll receive a discount on your trip. Group leaders must be over 21 years old.

How much input can I have in creating my group’s trip?

As group leader, your impact on your group’s experience will be substantial. Beyond organizing and collecting from your group, you’ll work closely with Amped to create a customized itinerary that hits on everything you’d want to do in Nicaragua. If you want to focus on sustainable development or public health or ecotourism or see a specific location in Nicaragua, we’ll work with you to make that a reality.

How much guidance will I receive while in Nicaragua from Amped?

Near total guidance. Amped will coordinate in -country travel, lodging, meals, work days, and excursions. However, you will have loads of input!

How can I arrange an Amped trip every year?

We love repeat groups. Contact Jeff@ampedforeducation.org for more information about making Nicaragua an annual event.

Can I talk to a past trip chaperone?

Absolutely! Email jeff@ampedforeducation.org.

Does Amped provide chaperones with background information on Nicaragua?

Amped provides chaperones with extensive background information on Nicaragua, from detailed travel instructions to historical insights to specifics of work and excursions. Amped also works with chaperones to tailor trips based on their groups’ interests and needs.

Can my students get high school or college credit for their time in Nicaragua?

Volunteers have received credit for their time with Amped in the past and we’ll work closely with you and your school administration to facilitate any credit opportunities for our volunteers.

Is there a way for the group to communicate with friends and family about the trip?

One of the biggest responsibilities you’ll have as group leader is overseeing the nightly blog post for volunteers. This blog gives volunteers an opportunity write about their day, post pictures, and reflect on their experience in Nicaragua. Beyond being a catalog of the group’s collective experience, the blog gives families back home an opportunity to see how their loved one’s time in Nicaragua is being spent. Amped will provide you with detailed log-in and maintenance information well ahead of your trip, so you’ll be able to post information to your group about payment, travel, and meetings.

What is Amped’s discipline policy? Could volunteers be sent home?

Amped volunteers are subject to all Nicaraguan laws as well as the rules of the places we stay. Amped provides guidelines for volunteer policies before a trip commences. If Amped for Education believes a volunteer poses a serious risk or detriment to the group, they may be sent home at their expense. These disciplinary decisions are made exclusively by Amped Group Leaders and are final and absolute.

Do I have to be a teacher leading my own students? What if I’m a school employee or administrator?

You’re free to lead a group of any students to Nicaragua, regardless of whether you are their teacher or not. If you work at a school or in a school district, you can gather a group of students and become their group leader (even if you work at an elementary school and want to take high school students from your district).

Ready to start organizing your group’s trip? Have some questions before you commit? Get in touch!

 
 

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