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Age-Grade Groupings
Composition of SHP groups

SHP trips usually have 8 to 12 trippers and 2 or 3 leaders (7th grade trips always have 3 leaders). Every effort is made on co-ed trips to achieve a reasonable male-female ratio.

Choosing an appropriate trip for your age/grade

Choose your trip according to the grade you will be finishing immediately before the trip, not the grade you'll be entering in the fall.

When teenagers are placed into a close peer situation for a relatively long period of time, it is important that they be grouped so that none are unnecessarily put at a built-in disadvantage. An 8th grade boy, for example, traveling with 11th graders will usually be at a great disadvantage in maturity and personality resources vis-a-vis the older kids.Therefore, SHP groups are limited to either middle school, junior high, or senior high school students.

Discussing special situations with the director

Our grade groupings are not, however, inflexible. For example, if you have a 9th grade daughter who is older than the other students in her grade (she was held back or got off schedule while living abroad, etc.), she could be considered for a senior high school trip.

However, please be sure to consider the matter carefully before making a final decision. Feel free to call and speak with the director to discuss which age/grade group would be most appropriate.

Junior high and senior high groups

In order to offer trippers of varying ages and grades a structure and trip environment consistent with their level of maturity, the junior high and senior high groups have slightly different structures.

In large towns and cities, senior high groups are able to split into smaller groups of two or more people to explore an area, visit a museum, or shop, for periods of 2 hours or so before regrouping (based on the leader's judgment of the level of maturity and responsibility in the group). For safety and logistical reasons, these activities are done on foot - bikes and public transportation are not used.

Senior high groups can have biking checkstops further apart than junior high groups, again based on the leader's judgment of the capabilities of the group as a whole. In general, senior high groups will have more responsibility in the areas of scheduling, daily activities, and cooking.


"This is the time of year one begins to think of summer plans, but my thoughts keep returning to July of last summer, when my daughter, Semmes, went on your France trip (FRA-3). I want to thank you (I should have done this long ago) for providing such a fun and meaningful experience for my daughter. I don't believe there have been more than two days in a row that she hasn't mentioned something about her trip, and the friends she made have meant so much to her. We thought her trip was very well organized and just about every contingency considered - that she was in very good hands. On the other hand, Semmes said she never felt so free. That's a wonderful contradiction and just as it should be. We've highly recommended your trip to others, and we wish you continuing success each summer."

- Mrs. Mary Semmes Wright


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