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close this bookAquaculture - Training Manual (Peace Corps, 1990, 350 p.)
close this folderChapter sixteen: Program design- week seven
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View the documentSession VII-1: Meeting - preparation for field trip


Note: Week Seven is comprised entirely of seminar presentations. See Chapter Fourteen for notes on seminar presentations and material covered in each seminar. The only other activity (other than normal pond management) is the meeting regarding the field trip. The design for that meeting is included in this chapter.

Session VII-1: Meeting - preparation for field trip

Total time: I hour, 5 minutes


· Prepare trainees to make the best use of the trip;
· Inform trainees of itinerary, logistics,trainee and staff roles, and rules.

Overview: This meeting takes place after seminars have been completed. Although trainees should already have been informed that they would be going on a one-week field trip, they have not yet heard any details or had the opportunity to really focus on the trip. In this meeting, they have their first chance to actually discuss the purpose of the trip and how they can gain the most from it. In addition, they will be informed about the logistics and of the roles and responsibilities that they and each of the staff members will have during the trip.

10 minutes

1. The Master Trainer reviews all training activities in which the trainees have participated up to the present, culminating with the completion of a set of very intense, in- depth seminar presentations on a diversity of aquaculture topics. Remind trainees that they have also gotten some actual fish culture experience, further enhancing their knowledge and their understanding of how that knowledge applies in practice. Acknowledge the tremendous progress and the significant accomplishments the trainees have made during the past seven weeks, and allow them to enjoy a moment of recognition of their own achievements.

Ask the trainees to comment on the difference between them going on this trip now, versus how it would have been if they had gone on the trip during the first week or two of the program. How are they different? What is different about how they will use the opportunities the trip will present?

Point out that throughout this trip, they will be interacting with professionals in the aquaculture industry as professionals themselves, and that this will be an excellent opportunity for them to continue to develop the professional self-image with which they have begun to get accustomed.

20 minutes

2. The Master Trainer leads a group discussion of the following:

· Purpose of the trip:

· Why are you going?

· How does it relate to your work as a volunteer? (Add to expertise, knowledge and credibility, learn what is in actual practice, get a perspective on a developed aquaculture industry, etc.)

· Ways of gaining the most from the field trip (Do not let information pass by, be attentive, get enough sleep, review and organize notes, discuss information gained at each stop, identify all resources and don't overlook resources who are not immediately obvious, get credentials, learn goals of facilities or resource people, etc.)

· Methods of gathering information (take copious notes, organize notes, be assertive in asking questions, be observant, listen carefully)

· Making the best use of the information

· Assessing and assimilating information (process information for future use, assess accuracy and point of view of the source, compare information on similar topics in light of the sources, apply new information when possible upon return).

5 minutes

3. The Master Trainer points out that the trip is a nice break from the normal routine, offers some time away from the training site, and is generally very enjoyable, but it is a very serious and valuable aspect of training and should be taken full advantage of as a learning opportunity. It is not really a vacation, but it is a good opportunity to get recharged. Upon return from the trip, the pace of the program will continue to be hectic and difficult. Trainees should be cautious regarding the possible temptation to "play" too hard. They should use the trip to catch up on rest that was probably missed during the last couple of weeks, refresh their energy ,and get mentally and physically prepared for the last few weeks of training upon their return.

The Master Trainer also reminds the trainees that they will be expected to promote a positive image of Peace Corps among the people they meet. The trainees are informed of any specific dress codes or other rules regarding behavior or appearance.

20 minutes

4. The trainer who is in charge of the field trip distributes the itinerary and covers the following points:

· Overview of itinerary
· Van assignments and rules regarding travelling in and maintaining vehicles
· Luggage limits and suggestions for packing
· Schedules and importance of timeliness
· Driver responsibilities
· Announce who will be trainee drivers
· Hotel rooming lists
· Rules regarding hotels
· Meals (logistics, rules)
· Responsibilities of trainee facilitators at each stop
· Staff roles
· Appropriate dress.

5 minutes

4. Trainees are given the following assignment to be handed in at the end of the trip: For each stop, state what you think the goals are for the facility, and list the ways in which they try to achieve those goals. Brainstorm a list of ways in which they could improve their management.

In addition, the trainees are reminded of the other assignments that will be due at the end of the trip (these were assigned as part of seminars), A) a net swatch of approximately 8" by 11" is to be woven with a 1/2" bar mesh, and B) there is an assignment that was given by the Levels of Intensity seminar in which trainees have to develop certain management strategies.

Thus, upon return from the trip, three assignments are due.

5 minutes

6. Trainees are reminded of any work that must be turned in prior to leaving on the trip. This includes any outstanding weekly reports, monk form design, and instructions for feeding each trainee's fish while the group is away. Trainees are given an opportunity to ask any questions they may still have.

Resources and Materials:

· Copy of trip itinerary for each trainee.

Trainer Notes:

· In the past, this session was longer and included some small group work. However, this session usually occurs immediately following the last seminar presentation after a very long, difficult week, often late in the day just prior to the day of departure for the trip. Trainees are generally very tired and some may be emotionally drained. It is hoped that this meeting will provide a sense of closure to the week, acknowledgement of a tremendous effort, an opportunity to savor a sense of accomplishment, and a sense of excitement and enthusiasm for the trip that is to come. Thus, it was determined through a series of modifications that this meeting should be kept as short as possible and make few demands on the trainees.

· Completion of seminars is an important landmark in training. The staff members themselves should keep this in mind so that they can extend their sense of respect for what the trainees have accomplished to the trainees through their own attitude and demeanor.

· The details to be covered by the trainer in charge of the trip will obviously vary for each situation. The following is a sample of the kinds of information provided during step four (above) for the trips in this program:

· Travel:

· Three vans and pick-up truck. Number of people per van.

· Three trainee drivers (names). They will work with Trainer X on vehicles. Only they are authorized to do so. Their responsibilities include driving maintenance, care and being sure vehicles are kept clean. The entire group is expected to help keep the vehicles clean.

· Driving is a tremendous responsibility and is very stressful. When not driving, drivers need to rest. They have first choice for comfortable seats. Please be cooperative and considerate of the drivers.

· There will be long stretches spent in close quarters in the vehicles. Please be aware that it will be easy to get grouchy. Be considerate regarding space, volume of tape players, moodiness, etc.

· Schedules:

· It is critical that the group be on time for all stops. Our hosts are taking time out of very busy schedules to meet with us. The itinerary is very carefully laid out and the arrival time for each stop is dependent upon the departure time from the previous stop, so problems can snowball if we get off schedule.

· Lodging:

· Roommates are generally the same as at the training site. Sharing double beds may be necessary at some stops.

· You are responsible for any extra charges at motels, such as phone calls or movies.

· Trainer Y will hand out keys and assign rooms at each motel. You are responsible for returning the keys in the morning.

· Lodging facilities on the trip are considered the training site, and the same rules apply regarding absences from the site. Written authorization will be required.

· Some motels have swimming pools, so pack swimsuits if desired.

· Meals:

· Breakfast will usually be eaten at the motels.

· Lunches will usually be sack lunches from the motels.

· Dinners will be either at the motels or at other restaurants.

· In most cases, the meal orders are previously arranged. Unless given specific permission to do so, please do not order anything special or extra.

· Trainee Facilitators: Three facilitators will be assigned for each stop. Duties include:

· Receive briefing evening prior to visit by specified trainer.

· Ride in separate vans before and after each stop. Brief your van about the upcoming visit, then facilitate a debriefing after each visit to discuss what was seen and learned and to share information that may have been missed by some people

· Serve as the navigator in your van for the trip to your designated stop

· The first facilitator committee of the day is responsible for making sure vehicles are loaded, and everyone is on board on time

· The first facilitator committee of the day works with the trainer in charge of meals to be sure lunches for that day are loaded in vehicles

· Responsible for getting people in and out of vans on time at your stop

· Meet and greet people at stops, get credentials, names, addresses, and make introductions

· If appropriate, divide the group at the stop (for example, if there is more than one resource person they may prefer to split the group and give separate tours)

· Bring things to a close, thank hosts, locate rest room facilities and allow time for group to use them, get vans loaded and be sure group departs on time

· Write thank you letter for your stop. Submit hand-written draft to specified trainer the day after your stop.

· Staff roles:

· Trainers are available for support, advice and logistics, but this is your trip. The trainers will have a lot to do and will have a lot on their minds.

· Each staff member has certain main responsibilities during the trip. If you need something, have a problem or need to notify a trainer of a problem or concern, please address the appropriate person whenever possible.

· Give breakdown of staff responsibilities, for example: Trainer A: Trip Coordinator (Logistics/Directions/Money) Trainer B: Meals and Supplies Trainer X: Vehicles Trainer Y: Lodging, Briefings and ThankYou notes.