Good evaluating procedures not only help the members of the group review what they have experienced but they also give the group leader feedback for subsequent trips. The best way would be to stop at some quiet place on the way home and engage in a discussion of the experience. Since few groups have the time to do this, here are some other ideas.
- Conduct a discussion on the last evening along with a celebration. The topics could be:
- What was the most memorable part of the trip?
- What was the highlight?
- What do you wish we had not done?
- What should be added to the trip next time?
- What do you think are the most important things to convey to people back home?
- The group leader, or someone else, should take good notes especially of the suggestions for the future.
- After the group returns home, send out a form listing in detail:
- What the group did
- Names of speakers
- Suggestions for future trips (your ideas and their suggestions from earlier discussion)
- Ask the members of the group to rate each item on a scale such as:
0 = I didn't participate
1 = Great
2 = Good
3 = OK
4 = Don't bother
- Invite the group to come together for a party or reunion where they will share their photographs and just enjoy each other. If you can get them to send the forms back in advance, you can report the final evaluation at that meeting. If not, compile the evaluations and send a brief summary to the participants later. A party is very important since there is a comraderie developed in traveling together which needs to be honored. Besides, they all want to see each other's pictures.