| Forestry training manual Inter-America Region |
First, determine the kind of area and project you want trainees to see and possibly emulate as Peace Corps volunteers. This is an opportunity to point out the problems of deforestation, soil erosion, and poor range management. It is also an opportunity to point out indigenous and exotic species in the host country. After brainstorming the options you have, pick out the ones that will, in your opinion, benefit the trainees most. Further, the field trip(s) provides a good chance to introduce trainees to a number of host country forestry officials in the field and to practice being extension workers. If you are going to have participants practice extension work, it is imperative that you investigate the site and then work closely with the volunteers on the field trip. We don't want to initiate something that will have no follow-up.
Develop a list of field trip objectives after you have decided where and why you want to go to that site or project. The list should be given to the trainees just prior to the field trips which are scheduled during the fourth week of training.
Now that you know where you are going and why, you need to make arrangements and appointments with various people who you will want to see and talk with during the field trip. Personal contact with follow-up letters reemphasizing the trip itinerary and purpose proves to be the best way of assuring arrangements. It is also good to include with the letter a copy of the schedule if available.
Prepare and provide a daily schedule of events for each participant. You will need to make living arrangements nearest your first appointment for the following morning for yourself and the participants. Be careful in the planning of your daily trips that you do not end up spending 75% of your time riding the bus.
Finally, have a bus big enough for trainees, other participants and luggage. The bus company will need to know your route and stopovers.