ECHO Treks

Disclaimer: Due to the nature of changing or updating of exhibits, answers to portions of these treks may not be found by your students. Please check with the greeter of your group upon arrival for details on which segments are not applicable.

ECHO Inquiry Treks are discussion prompts and questions for small groups linked to specific exhibit areas at ECHO. The intent of ECHO Treks is to drive dialogue between students and chaperones/teachers as they explore key exhibits related to their selected Teacher’s Choice program. Question samples are available upon request.

ECHO Self-Guided Treks are individual or partner scavenger hunt worksheets that direct student learning as they explore ECHO’s themes of Ecology, Culture, History, and Opportunity for stewardship. Students will sketch, count, read, inquire, estimate, and write as they move throughout the exhibits. When saved and brought back to your classroom, ECHO Treks are a great tool for post-trip reflection too. Find the appropriate grade level below and print the number of copies you will need. ECHO will supply the clipboards and pencils upon request.

Preparing for Your Visit

Download the 2019-2020 Educator’s Guide

We are delighted that you have chosen ECHO as your field trip destination. Please read through the following information to ensure a smooth and successful trip. Be sure to share important information with chaperones and students and don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions you might have.

Print out the group leader checklist. 

Before Your Visit

  • Decide on several possible dates for your visit. Plan on 2 hours for your group to see ECHO and 2 1/2 to 3 hours if you are planning on eating lunch and/or attending a Teacher Choice Program in addition to exhibit exploration time.
  • Fill out and submit the online Group Registration Form.
  • Secure chaperones for the field trip. Chaperones play an important role in your group’s visit. In return for their help, ECHO provides complimentary admission for one chaperone for every five students. Teachers count towards your chaperone ratio.
  • Print out the online Chaperone Information Sheet, fill it out and make a copy for each chaperone.
  • Make sure the chaperones are aware of their responsibilities, the schedule and your expectations for student behavior while at ECHO.
  • Review with your students expectations for behavior while at ECHO.
  • Nametags with first names and the name of your school are helpful for our staff.
  • Groups must be paid for in ONE payment (students and chaperones together). Payment must be received upon arrival.
  • ECHO accepts VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, cash, and checks made out to “ECHO”. Purchase orders will incur a $5 processing fee.
  • The admission desk will ask for a final head count at the time of your visit.
  • Individuals paying separately will be charged our regular admission rate and will not be counted as part of your group.
  • Sorry, no other discounts apply for individuals counted as part of your group admission.
  • Most groups bring their own lunch and picnic on ECHO’s Terrace or in Waterfront Park. We will provide a place for you to store your lunches.
  • ECHO does not guarantee indoor seating for lunch. Please plan on eating outside or on the bus. Sometimes indoor space for lunch can be arranged, but it is dependent on ECHO’s daily event schedule.
  • There is an independently run café inside ECHO. Seating in the cafe is reserved for those purchasing items at the cafe. It is a great place to pick up coffee or a chaperone lunch.
  • Students must be accompanied by an adult chaperone while in the museum gift shop.
  • Please do not wait until the end of your visit to have your group visit the museum gift shop at once. Instead, have small chaperoned groups of students rotate through the shop throughout your visit.
  • If you do not want your students visiting the shop, be sure to make this clear to the students and the chaperones before your visit.
  • If you have questions or need to make changes to your reservation please contact our registrar at or (802) 864-1848 ext. 124.If you have questions or need to change visit details within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival, please contact ECHO’s front desk at (802) 864-1848 ext. 100.
  • Trips may be canceled and rescheduled due to weather conditions without penalty. If you are concerned about weather, please call the day before your trip. For non-weather related cancellations, schools must contact us at least 24 hours in advance of their scheduled arrival time to re-schedule, or pay a $100 no-show fee.

During Your Visit

  • Busses CANNOT drive into the circle in front of ECHO. The City of Burlington restricts traffic in the circle to city buses only. Your buses will instead unload in front of the Waterfront Information Booth in the city parking lot near ECHO. A map will be sent with your field trip confirmation.
  • Please review the map with your bus driver.
  • Buses can park for free on South Champlain Street or near Perkins Pier (see map).
  • Chaperones coming in private cars or schools traveling by private car pay $5.00 per car to park. To park in our lot, head toward the Lake on College Street, cross the railroad track, take a left onto our driveway, and park in our lot behind ECHO. Pay the $5 fee inside ECHO, not at the Kiosk
  • One teacher should go to ECHO’s admission desk to check in while students remain on the bus until an ECHO staff member comes to greet them.
  • The admission desk will ask for a final head count and ONE payment for all students and chaperones in your group. ECHO accepts VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, cash, and checks made out to “ECHO”. Purchase orders will incur a $5 processing fee.
  • An ECHO Educator or Guest Services Representative will greet your group on the bus.
  • If you are having a Teacher Choice Program your entire group will be led into ECHO’s classroom for a brief orientation and review of the day’s schedule before programming begins.
  • If your group is going on a self-guided tour of the exhibits, you will receive a free ECHO Orientation before you are sent out into the exhibits.
  • Education Staff, museum volunteers and interns will be on hand during your visit. They will be facilitating table top activities, presenting scheduled programs and will be available to talk to your students. Please encourage your students to ask questions.
  • There are ECHO Treks (scavenger hunts) available on our website for you to print off and use as a tool to help direct student exploration. Feel free to edit them to best fit your curriculum needs.
  • You may choose to have a Teacher Choice program as part of your ECHO Field Trip. Programs last 45 minutes and cost $75 per session for up to 25 students.
  • If you have more than 25 students in your group, we will schedule multiple program sessions during your visit. We will review the rotation schedule with the group during the orientation at the start of your visit. If you would like to discuss the schedule prior to your visit call ECHO Educator Elizabeth Nuckols at (802) 864-1848 ext 137.
  • Have fun and ask questions!
  • Treat the exhibits and the other visitors with respect.
  • Walk in and around building.
  • Please no food in the exhibit spaces.
  • You are visiting the home of over 70 different kinds of live animals. Be respectful by using indoor voices and not tapping on the glass of their enclosures.

ECHO staff may take photos of your group interacting with exhibits or participating in a program. These pictures are sometimes used for our website or other promotional materials. If you do not want your group to be photographed, please inform a member of our staff.

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