FAQ & Reg. tips
Christine Tanzer has been coordinating the Foundation’s field trip program for 18 years. Under her leadership, the program has expanded from 30 trips to 188 this year. Christine pored through her e-mails from field trip participants like you to develop this list of great questions–and helpful answers.
Dear Christine: Do you have any tips for a smooth online registration? Here are a few things I suggest:
1) If you registered for trips last year, use the same email address and the system will remember you and pre-populate your contact information.
2) Try to have as few people in your registration party as possible, as it will allow you to go through the registration process and check out faster. Thus, if you have friends who want to attend field trips, it’s a good idea to encourage them to become Foundation members and register for field trips themselves.
Some trips with a small capacity fill up within minutes, and may show up as available when you are registering the first person in you party, but then fill to capacity before you get to the check-out page, forcing you to go back and take the trips out of your cart. Having fewer people in your party helps you to get through registration faster–raising your chances of getting on the trips you most desire.
3) If there are just one or two trips you really want AND they have small capacity or limited availability, add them to your cart and quickly check out, then go back later to modify your registration to add other trips you desire. But I recommend this only in case of a small-capacity trip that you are willing to possibly forfeit attending other trips for–as modifying your registration is not a quick process and your other selections may fill up in the meantime.
4) Have several trip options in mind when you are registering. Some trips with small capacities fill up fast, so have in mind several alternative trips to attend. With 188 trips to choose from, there are many possibilities!
Dear Christine: Can I change my field trip registration myself after checking out? Yes, you can! Simply go back to the registration site and click “already registered” to log back into the system and modify your registration. In your field trip registration confirmation email there will be a link to an online tutorial about modifying your registration, including how to cancel or add a trip, or add an additional guest. If you need assistance, I am happy to help! E-mail [email protected] or call toll free: 866-264-4096
Dear Christine: My favorite trips seem to sell out so quickly. Can’t you just offer more sessions? We know that several great trips can fill within minutes. It’s gratifying to know that we’re offering something so popular, but we also know that each year people are disappointed. Unfortunately, we often cannot offer more sessions of trips, mostly due to time constraints by the field trip leaders. Our field trip leaders are wonderful, but many of them fit their field trips into already busy work schedules or in addition to their full-time jobs. Remember that it’s always a good idea to put your name on the waiting list (see next question).
Dear Christine: I added myself to a waiting list for a trip. What happens now? It is always a good idea to put your name on the waiting list! We often have registrants cancel, which can open up room for “wait-listers” to make it onto the trips of their choice. And sometimes a trip leader is able to offer an additional session, and wait-listers are the first to be offered the opportunity to attend. We will call or email you if space becomes available for you (and your guests) to attend a trip.
Dear Christine: Is there a limit on the number of field trips that I can attend each year? First off, let me say that I love your enthusiasm of learning more about Wisconsin’s amazing lands, waters and wildlife! As for registration, you can initially register for only four trips per person. After April 15, we will change the online registration system to allow you to add up to four more trips to your registration, for a total of eight trips per person. We want you to get out and explore as much of Wisconsin with us as you can!
Dear Christine: Some trips in the booklet are indicated as fundraisers. Are they tax deductible? Yes, there are some select trips where a portion, or majority, of the trip fees are tax deductible. In early December I will send you a letter in the mail, or an email you can print out, to use as a receipt for your tax filing. We appreciate your support of these important projects. Only those indicated as such in the booklet are tax deductible; your regular field trip registration fees are not tax deductible.
Dear Christine: I see you raised your fees a bit this year. What do my registration fees cover? We do our best to keep our fees to a minimum, while offering a great value for your money. Your fees cover the online registration software, printing and mailing of the Field Trip Guidebook, program staff and other administrative costs. Some trips have higher costs that cover bus or boat rentals, or are fundraisers for important ecological programs, properties or research.
Dear Christine: I have been going on your trips for years and I’d like to get more involved in the various topics I have learned about. What can I expect to see in the future and how can I help? We hope our field trips inspire you to do more for our natural resources! You can get involved with citizen-based monitoring, where people help our state’s scientists gather information about a wide variety of species and places–from frogs to fireflies and forests to fens. You can also become a Wisconsin Master Naturalist and gain skills in education, stewardship and citizen science.
Dear Christine: I love going on field trips. What can I do to support the field trip program? I am delighted to hear this! If you’d like to make a donation to support the field trip program, you can do so during your online registration for field trips. Just indicate the amount of your donation at the bottom of the page where you select your field trips. Or, if you are able, consider joining our Sojourners Society with an annual gift of $500 dedicated to support the field trip program. This Society will provide sustainable funding to ensure that field trips remain accessible and affordable for all members. In appreciation, Society members receive guaranteed field trip registration, and first chance at registering for our international excursions. Email [email protected] for more information.