What I learned this Student Touring season

The season of student tours in Sacramento/Gold Country/San Francisco is over. Yesterday was my last one and all paperwork is complete. I’m ready for the break but already look forward to next year’s season. (The beginning of this story starts here: I Rediscover My Passion, and Merrill Mixer, Tour Director.)


Highlights of the season and lessons learned:

Making Indian Trade Bead chokers

  • The days are long!  

At training I remember being excited that they pay you for 12 hours even if you work less than 12 hours. Ha! The itineraries are planned to have you work every single one of those 12 hours. Last night my airport economy parking ticket showed I clocked out exactly 12 hours and 1 minute after checking in that morning! Out of 23 working days, only ONE was less than 10 hours.  One day was 13 1/2 hours.

  • Fourth graders are fun!


  • Pack carefully
One morning I pulled pants out of my suitcase only to discover they were my husband’s.  Needless to say, that they did not fit!

Grinding acorns at the Maidu Indian Museum, Roseville, California

  • Put tips safely away.

I lost my very first tip probably when I put my hand in my pocket and unknowingly pulled the bill out…

  • Stay organized.

Use an over-the-shoulder travel bag to keep pens, money, cell phone, itinerary, chapstick, comb, kleenex, gum, cough drops within reach at all times.

  • Be prepared!

Carry extra napkins and forks. Thankfully, I have not even opened my first aid kit.

  • I don’t have to tell every thing I know.

I can talk and tell lots of stories when necessary. And there are times not to tell everything.

  • Visit the chiropractor weekly.

My spinal alignment is better after working long days on my feet than when I stay home and sit too much.

  • Soaking in epsom salts is beneficial.


  • Please the teacher and consult them in the planning.

Students at a bark house at Marshall Gold Discovery State Park

Although I toured the same sites over and over again with 4th graders, no two tours were identical. The makeup of each group is different: the teachers, the expectations, the students and their backgrounds and knowledge, manners, personalities, their energy, along with the size of the group and whether there are more boys or girls.  The parent chaperones significantly affect the students (and myself.) Even the bus driver has impact.

Each day I return home exhausted, tired, feet aching, yet exhilarated and looking forward to doing it again.  It’s obvious that I’m working my passion and have found found my calling!

I am always learning!!!

Replica of James Marshall’s lumber mill where gold was discovered on January 24, 1848 in Coloma, California

One response to “What I learned this Student Touring season

  1. Pingback: Merrill Mixer, Tour Director | Meet You In The Morning·

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