Promise Program FAQ


How do I register?

  1. Check the calendar on the website ( for availabilities for your 1st, 2nd & 3rd date & time preferences.
  2. Go to on-line registration, fill out and submit the form.
  3. You will get an email confirmation within 5 working days, and an invoice with the due date for a 50% deposit to reserve the time slot.
  4. Upon receipt of the 50% deposit you will get an invoice for the final funds due by the day of the field trip.

What time can we start?

Our earliest start time is 8:30 a.m. We ask that groups try to schedule their trip as early as possible, so we can also accommodate an afternoon program. If you are coming from a distance, and the bus trip is a long one, this might push your program into the lunch hour. If this is the case, scheduling a few minutes later in order for the kids to have a snack and a restroom break before the program start time will result in a better experience.

What are your minimum and maximum numbers for enrollment?

Groups are separated into three units by color (blue, red, green) to rotate through three areas, so our minimum for a unit is 20, and our maximum for a group is 90. Small schools can enroll fewer than 20 students, but must pay for the minimum number of 20. If a group larger that 90 wants to attend, we add a fourth station outside, but arrangements must be made in advance. Please contact the Education Coordinator at (503) 678-1649, or to schedule a large group.

Do you charge for teachers and chaperones?

No, except for home school days, we do not charge for teachers and chaperones. Please bring at least one adult for every ten children, but you are welcome to bring more. Adults are free, and will be encouraged to participate and assist with some of the activities. On home school days we charge per person because a large proportion of parents attend and take space away from students.

Why can’t I schedule a small group in the morning, unless I join a larger group?

Unfortunately, the bus system for public schools is rather inflexible, and large groups are unable to get transportation in the afternoon. Small groups tend to travel by automobile or school-owned busses and are able to come in the afternoon. This allows us to educate as many children as possible, and fulfill our mission.

Why do you charge more in April May, & June?

March is our least desirable month, due to cool & rainy spring weather, so we offer a reduced price.

What if the number of students change between the time I register and the day of the field trip?

You can update your numbers up to two weeks before your field trip. After that, we have to charge based on actual enrollment, which determines our staffing schedule and the purchasing and preparing of supplies.

What if I have to cancel?

There is a $25 cancellation fee to cover administrative expenses. Late cancellations may prevent us from rescheduling the time slot and results in reduced income to sustain our program and hours for our teachers.

Program Details

We have not attended the Promise Program before, what can we expect?

The parking lot for the Visitors Center is the first right turn, just inside the park entrance. When you arrive, you will be greeted by a costumed instructor, preferably before you disembark the bus. If you are not greeted by a costumed instructor (for example, you arrive early to have a snack or a picnic) we ask that you send one teacher into the Visitors Center when you arrive to make contact. Based on the number of students enrolled, we will request you to divide your students in advance (usually by classroom) into color groups by placing a colored dot on their name tags, and designate a student line-leader for each group. The costumed instructor will escort the line-leaders to the entrance of the Visitors Center and position them so the rest of the children can quickly line up behind the line-leader from their color group. Once the students are in line we will make some brief announcements about restroom facilities, cell-phones, shopping, eating & drinking, etc., then you will enter the auditorium for an introduction. After the introduction we will rotate each color unit through three areas: the barn, the auditorium and the exhibit area. Lastly, we will gather in the auditorium to do a wrap-up. The programs are 2.5 hours in length, except for the 5/6 program which is 3 hours. The program can be shortened by 15 minutes for those groups with a tight schedule.

How many students can be in a group?

If your group has less than 60 students, you may be rotating between the three stations with one or two other groups. All groups will begin together in the auditorium, separate into units for the three rotations, and end together in the auditorium. We make an effort to keep classes together, so we will normally divide groups into rotation units by classroom (approximately 23-28 students). So, if you bring two classrooms, we will divide you into two groups (not three), even if another group does not join yours. This creates a consistent experience for groups as well as our instructors.

What if we are late, do you extend or cut the program?

The policy is to end at the scheduled time. We do this for 2 reasons; if a morning group goes overtime it affects the afternoon group, and our instructors cannot always stay beyond the time they are scheduled.

Can the children have a snack during the program?

No, except for the 5/6 program. Food & beverages are not allowed in the facilities. We strongly suggest that groups who normally eat lunch during the scheduled field trip time arrive 15-20 minutes early to eat a snack before the program starts. This also allows kids a few minutes to burn off some excited energy so they can settle and focus during the program. All 5th/6th grade students are requested to bring a snack, divided by group color. We build a snack time into one of the rotations.

What should the children/adults wear?

Attendees will be walking outside to the barn, so wearing sensible shoes that might get a little muddy is advised. Also, the barn can be cold and drafty, and coats are highly recommended. Please have children wear appropriate shoes and coats so that they stay warm and happy!

Do you accommodate physically impaired students?

Yes, except for the barn. Our exhibit area and auditorium are wheel chair accessible. The barn, which is an historic artifact, is not wheel chair accessible due to the field around it. The field can be muddy and has active gopher holes, so we do not recommend it for those who use canes and crutches.

What can you do for students who have allergies?

We do our best to accommodate children who have allergies. We do food tasting of hard tack (wheat flour), dried apples, and hazelnuts during the 1st/2nd and 3rd/4th grade stations. If you suspect a student to be allergic to any of these items, please do not let them participate in the tasting. We can also take nut tasting completely out of the program, for example, or a child who is allergic to grass might refrain from threshing wheat. Please let us know in advance if a child is allergic, and we will do our best to accommodate them.

What if we are not allowed to put students names on name tags?

Name tags are not required, but are requested. Our instructors would like to call your students by name, and if the students wear name tags the experience is much richer and more pleasant.

Can we bring younger siblings?

No, siblings are not allowed in the program. Since all indoor areas are used for the programs, there is not an indoor area to “hang out” with a young child during the program.

Using the Park

Where can we have lunch?

We are a separate organization from the State Park, and do not have access to the park reservation system, and cannot reserve or check availability of picnic areas. There are picnic tables outside of the visitors center. These areas are uncovered and exposed to the weather, and are first-come, first-served. There are covered picnic areas within the park, and if they are not reserved you can use them for free on a drop-in basis. If you want to reserve an area in the park for a fee, (or check to see if an area is reserved), you can contact the Oregon State Parks Reservation Services at (800) 452-5687. The two large covered areas are in Oak Grove, and at the Pavillion.

Do we have to pay to park?

No. We have a limited number of complimentary parking passes available. Please contact the education coordinator to ensure availability.

Can we do other activities in the park?

Yes. Consider taking your students on a nature hike before or after your program. Champoeg has several trails of varying lengths, with opportunities to enjoy the park’s plant and animal life, as well as its beauty. You can also visit the Monument where the vote for the first government in the Northwest took place, see the sign posts that demark the streets of the town of Champoeg, and go down to the Willamette River.

Book Store/Gift Shop: If you would like your students to go into the visitor center gift shop, please have them do so after the program is completed. Due to it’s small size, only a limited number of students may enter at one time.