Originally Posted by umsami
I do think European expectations may be different than the States--although I did go on an overnight field trips for school starting in 5th grade. Previously, I had gone overnight camping with Girl Scouts and to sleep away camp as well so for me, it wasn't an issue. I remember reading an article about a PreK class in France going on an overnight to England.
The teacher said that only the American Moms had issues with it... and when her next child was old enough, she let him/her go.
The European expectations I grew up with: going away on a 5-day trip in early 3rd grade; I had been skipped a grade and was still 7. (It was Dec and there was snow on the ground - no way would I have done that as a teacher!). A year later, going away on a 7-day choir camp in spring (and I wasn't the youngest!) and another 5-day class trip in 4th grade in summer. And trips every year from 5th grade onwards. I had been badly bullied in both 3rd and 4th grades but funny enough, I have good memories of both trips; all the fun stuff we did and the different environment kinda seems to have put relationship issues into the background.
My mom went into conniptions when I came home from my first trip though: I had long thick hair that my mom used to braid for me and that I could not take care of myself yet, and no one thought of helping me. To give you an idea of what I looked like, after a few days the other kids started calling me "Witchy"...my mom thought she would have to cut it but managed to save it with an hour of combing. After which she always enlisted a "hair person" for those trips. Apparently I was expected to take care of it myself...
Which isn't to say that you should send a child that is afraid of going, even in Europe! But wouldn't having Lyme disease (if he doesn't have symptoms of course, just needs the heavy dose of antibiotics) be the perfect excuse for him if he wants to try going and needs a face-saving excuse for you to pick him up in case he hates it?