Field Trips & School Groups

Now booking field trip/ school group tours for the 2023 season!

If your group would like to visit Renfrew in 2023 (mid-March thru mid-October only), please carefully review this page then complete the inquiry form at the bottom with your desired dates. 

Renfrew Museum and Park is a great place to bring your students for a fun and educational experience! Our 107-acre historic farmstead lends itself to unique, purpose-driven discussion and hands-on activities to meet your curriculum needs. Renfrew offers several field trip/school group Adventure Experience Packages to choose from. Select the option that best meets your students’ grade and interest level.

Due to the nature of our historic buildings and structures group sizes are limited. To book a field trip/school group visit your group must have a minimum of ten (10) students and one (1) adult teacher/chaperone. The maximum number of field trip/school group visit participants Renfrew can accommodate on a single day is sixty (60) people. This includes all students, teachers, school personnel, and adult chaperones. Reservations must be made at least thirty (30) days in advance for groups of thirty (30) or less and sixty (60) days prior to your desired date for groups of thirty-one (31) to sixty (60) participants (includes students, teachers, school personnel, and adult chaperones). Please be aware that Renfrew is a museum and park, other events and usage of the museum and grounds will continue during your visit. The scheduled portion of field trips/school group visits, guided by museum staff, begin no earlier than 10:00am and must conclude no later than 2:00pm. Field Trip/School Group visits are available Tuesdays through Thursdays only, between mid-March and mid-October. Renfrew Museum and Park reserves the right to deny any request.

Adventure Experiences Tour Packages:

Select your preferred experience based on grade/age level from these listed below:

Adventure Experience 1 (For Grades Pre-K/Ages 3-5):

Farmstead Fun for Wee Ones: $5 per student. 60-minutes; Max. 30 participants (includes students, teachers, school personnel, and adult chaperones)

Join our interpretive staff for an hour-long program designed especially for little learners! Divided into three 20-minute segments, children will make a craft, enjoy a song and story, then participate in sensory play – all inspired by life on our historic Pennsylvania German farmstead.

Craft: First, children and their accompanying grown-ups will make farm animal hand puppets from paper bags. Cut out and color three different kinds: a pig, a sheep, and a duck. Song & Story: Next, we’ll use our puppets while we sing “Old Man Royer Had a Farm” and read an interactive storybook together. Sensory Farm Play: Last, participants will have a chance to act out typical farm chores including “milking” our faux cows, “washing” laundry on a scrub board, carding fluffy “wool”, and “planting and harvesting” pretend veggies in sand.

Adventure Experience 2 (For Grades K-12):

Farmstead Fun for Everyone: $5 per student. 90-minutes; Max. 60 participants (includes students, teachers, school personnel, and adult chaperones)

Join Renfrew for an overview tour of our 300+ year history on the Royer Farmstead. Firmly rooted in our Pennsylvania German heritage, Renfrew’s story is quintessentially American and closely mirrors the narrative of our young nation with central themes of industriousness, ingenuity, and innovation.

By the close of the nineteenth century, the property boasted two successful farmsteads, a grist mill, lime kiln, and several outbuildings. Later occupants of the site placed their own marks on the landscape, resulting in a varied built environment with unique structures spanning the Federal to Edwardian Eras. Renfrew’s final private residents, Edgar and Emma Nicodemus, lovingly restored the property which was bequeathed to the Borough of Waynesboro as a gift to its citizens following Emma’s death in 1973. Groups will tour the 1812 Royer House, furnished with a host of interesting decorative arts and residential artifacts spanning three centuries; several historic outbuildings, including the summer kitchen, milk house, and smoke house, where important everyday tasks took place; and exhibit galleries inside our Visitors Center, a converted Victorian barn, featuring permanent displays of Bell Family historic folk pottery, Pennsylvania-Kentucky longrifles, and tradesmen’s tools. Students will be introduced to the people who lived and worked at Renfrew over the centuries hearing about the site’s earliest settlement in the 18th century, through the farming heritage and intense social and technological change of the nineteenth century, to its restoration by our last private residents. Along the way, students will be inspired by authentic stories of ordinary people, just like them, who made their own lasting impact on this historic property.

Adventure Experience 3 (For Grades K-12):

Farmstead Fun with Craft Add-On: $10 per student. 2.5 hours; Max 60 participants (includes students, teachers, school personnel, and adult chaperones)

Add a hands-on activity! This two-hour experience includes the full Farmstead Fun for Everyone tour, along with choice of a 30-minute, staff-lead craft inspired by artifacts in Renfrew’s collection that your class will see on tour.

Choice 1: Watercolor Frakturs – Pennsylvania German families marked special occasions like births and marriages with colorful hand-painted images and medieval-style lettering. Students will be inspired by Renfrew’s collection of antique frakturs on exhibit in the 1812 Royer House, then paint their own using watercolors.

Choice 2: Paper Quilt Blocks – Colorful quilts kept early Franklin County families warm. Students will see original examples while on tour, then learn about different designs, making their own stylized quilt blocks based on historic patterns out of geometric shapes from patterned paper. Once everyone’s “quilt block” is done, we’ll tie them together to make one large “quilt” to display in your classroom!

Adventure Experience 4 (For Grades 3-12):

Decorative Arts Discovery: $15 per student. 2.5 hours, Max. 40 participants (includes students, teachers, school personnel, and adult chaperones)

Let’s “dish” about Renfrew’s early American decorative arts and home furnishings with special emphasis on the influence of world cultures on everyday objects in people’s homes during the eighteenth and nineteenth century.

Focusing on ceramics, tinware, furniture, and textiles, highlights include objects in Renfrew’s collections with ties to German, French, English, Chinese and Middle Eastern design. Students will tour the 1812 Royer House and Visitors Center, learning about how the intersection of design and technology in the early nineteenth century made decorative arts increasingly affordable to everyone. Next, we’ll investigate original (non-accessioned) antiques from the nineteenth century with a hands-on artifact analysis where we’ll examine the use, form, composition, style, and ornamentation of several items. We’ll end our adventure with creating our own decorative arts object to take home!

Adventure Experience 5 (For Grades 6-12):

Architecture Adventure: $15 per student. 2.5 hours, Max. 40 participants (includes students, teachers, school personnel, and adult chaperones)

Renfrew is listed on the National Register of Historic Places because of its significant historic buildings and structures. On this special tour, students will learn the basics of architecture and historic preservation, discovering how early families like the Royers constructed their own built environment from natural resources sourced on the property and surrounding areas.

Students will be introduced to early Federal Era architectural design and how the Royers’ Pennsylvania-German ethnic heritage, along with their utilitarian and industrial needs, influenced its change to a more vernacular, or common, style on the property. A cross-curricular mix of American history, art, architecture, design, science and engineering, this adventure experience will take students on a tour of Renfrew’s earliest outbuildings—the summer kitchen, milk house, and smoke house—along with the 1812 Royer House. Activities include tactile interaction with buildings where students will be invited to touch historic stone work, mortar, log supports and chinking, as well as explore interior spaces on the Royer Farmstead. Throughout the tour, staff will discuss the major importance of limestone to early American architectural construction and everyday life on the Royer Farmstead, which boasted a limestone kiln and mill to grind burnt limestone (Calcium Oxide, or quicklime) into powder for use in the tanning process, mortars, whitewash, and other agricultural needs. Your class’s experience includes a demonstration of the lifecycle of lime, from geological extraction, to its various stages of chemical and mechanical processing, and final use.

Booking and Payment Policy:

Groups must have a minimum of 10 students to book. *Note: We require one adult for every ten students (1:10) for all field trips/school group visits. All chaperones must be approved for attendance by the school administration/teacher/or group organization. All necessary school personnel i.e., class teachers, aides, nurses, bus driver, etc., are admitted at NO CHARGE. Additional adult chaperones i.e., parents, grandparents, guardians are $10 each, to be paid for at time of booking.

Reservations must be made at least 30 days in advance for groups of thirty (30) or less and sixty (60) days prior to your desired date for groups of thirty-one (31) to sixty (60) participants (includes students, teachers, school personnel, and adult chaperones). Renfrew accepts tender in the form of cash, check, debit or credit card. All requests are subject to Renfrew availability on a first come, first served basis. *Note: Renfrew cannot pencil in or otherwise complete a reservation until tender is exchanged. Your request form is not a confirmed reservation.

No reservation will be guaranteed until Renfrew Museum and Park staff have: (1) confirmed the date, (2) have received a signed contract, and (3) contract be signed and returned within fourteen (14) days with a 50% deposit of total fees due to confirm your reservation. Your reservation will be cancelled if the contract and deposit are not received by the due date. *Note: We accept cash, check, debit, or credit card.

Payment in full must be received at least seven (7) days prior to your visit date unless a prior arrangement is made and confirmed in writing by Renfrew Museum and Park staff.  Once your date is booked, it may not be rescheduled without written agreement.

Certificate of Insurance required. Groups affiliated with a chartered public/private school and/or district, formally organized homeschool consortium, day care, early childhood education center, nonprofit organization, etc. require a Certificate of Liability Insurance on file with the office of Renfrew Museum and Park. Certificates must name “Renfrew Committee, Inc.” and the ‘Borough of Waynesboro” as additional insured.  The CSL (combined single limit) is $1,000,000 dollars to cover Premises and Operations liability for Bodily Injury and Property Damage. If there is any question as to the need for Liability Insurance, the contract will be reviewed by Renfrew Committee, Inc., the Managing board of Renfrew Museum and Park, or their duly appointed representative.

Cancellation Policy:

Renfrew Museum and Park will only issue a refund of your down payment fee (50% of total) and/or final payment fee(s) already paid in the event that the field trip/school group visit organizer cancels no less than seven (7) days prior to scheduled event. Field trips/school group visits at Renfrew Museum and Park take place rain or shine. Please plan and dress accordingly. No refunds will be issued for inclement weather, unless your School District has cancelled classes for the day or Renfrew Museum and Park Visitors Center has closed. Cancelled field trips/school group visits may have their payments applied to a future date. If a field trip/school group visit needs to be rescheduled, Renfrew staff will work with you to find a mutually acceptable date. Please contact us as soon as possible before your original scheduled visit date, however, we cannot guarantee that a new date will be available.  We are unable to adjust program start times. Please plan accordingly and verify scheduled arrival times with your transportation provider.

What to Expect on Your Field Trip/ School Group Visit:

Arrival: Arrive 9:30 AM for check-in with Renfrew Museum and Park staff. For groups of 30 or less, arriving in cars, vans, or short buses, please use the Upper Parking Lot near the Visitors Center off of Main Street/Buchanan Trail/PA-16. For large groups arriving in school or coach buses, please note that turn around is difficult in the Upper Lot and we require that you drop students off at the Lions Club Pavilion located at the Lower Lot off of Welty Road.  A group representative must check in with Renfrew staff upon arrival and prior to off-loading students.

Accessibility: Renfrew Museum and Park has limited accessibility.  Many of our walking surfaces on the farmstead and the interiors of historic buildings can pose challenges to those with mobility concerns and strollers.  Please be advised that much of the exterior ground surface is gravel or grass, with the exception of paved paths at the Visitors Center, Picnic Grounds, and other select areas. The approach to all outbuildings and the Royer House requires movement over uneven surfaces and steps. The Visitors Center is all on one level and allows for easy maneuvering with wheelchairs and walkers. We will try our best to provide reasonable accommodations for your group’s needs to allow for a comfortable experience.

Toilet Facilities: Depending on your drop-off location (Upper Lot vs. Lower Lot), we recommend allowing time for students to use the toilet facilities prior to 10:00am start time. Please note that restrooms are available at the northeast corner of the Visitors Center and portable toilets are located seasonally from mid-April through mid-October at the east end of the park grounds near the pavilion. *Note: Toilet facilities are shared with general park users, and not limited exclusively to your school group during the field trip.

Bookbags, School Accessories, & Emergency Equipment: Please leave student bookbags, large bags (excluding medical/emergency packs), class lunches (bags, totes, boxes, etc.), non-essential electronic devices, toys, games, personal items, etc. in your vehicle(s). Small carrying bags and purses are permitted. Participants may carry a notebook with pencil (no ink pens), water bottle (tightly closed, no soda, juice, etc.), camera (no flash) with them while on their Adventure Experience at Renfrew. No food, gum, or candy is allowed in the Visitors Center and historic buildings (please notify Renfrew staff of any special circumstances).

Behavioral Guidelines & Expectations: Please prep your students ahead of time. Teachers/chaperones must remain with their students at all times, regardless of the age of the students. Renfrew’s chaperone to student ratio is one to ten (1:10), and teachers/chaperones are responsible for maintaining orderly and respectful behavior. *Note: If a Renfrew staff person asks your student for their chaperone, they should not have to look around for you; you must be close proximity and in line of site at all times.

The Museum and Visitors Center is a public space; show courtesy and respect for all other visitors.

  • We encourage you to take lots of pictures, but to protect our artifacts we ask that you please don’t use flash. No personal call, texting, or social media use during your tour, please.

  • Speak quietly in large, open areas; do not talk during presentations

  • For your safety, running, jumping, and other boisterous behavior is prohibited; use caution while around bodies of water and on trails

  • Many of our walking surfaces are uneven, please watch your step

  • Do not touch or climb displays and exhibits

  • Do not go under or behind ropes or stanchions; or open closed doors

  • Use interactive equipment only as instructed by Museum staff

  • Do not lean, sit, or write on surfaces of historic buildings, walls, artifacts, etc.

  • Do not play with items for sale in the gift shop without intent to purchase

  • Do not play with water and/or paper goods in the restrooms; do not deposit food or dog waste in restroom receptacles

  • Water fountains are located at the Visitors Center and Picnic Grounds, please feel free to use them and/or fill personal water bottles; do not play in the fountains or put your mouth directly on the drinking spout

  • Please respect our site by not littering, picking plant life, throwing objects, climbing fences, removing or stacking rocks, bothering wildlife, etc.

  • Only adults should select brochures, taking just one per small group

Staff Welcome & Group Orientation: Prior to arrival, please divide your students into groups with an assigned chaperone. At 10:00am, Renfrew staff will meet your group at the orientation area (varies depending on drop off location) to welcome students and introduce them to the day’s activities. Teachers will receive an itinerary packet prior to their visit. Following orientation, groups will be dismissed to their first station depending on their Adventure Experience Package.

Post-Tour Exploration and Lunch Facilities: Students will have an opportunity to shop and to use restrooms prior to departing. If your school group wishes to stay longer after their scheduled program has concluded, we invite and encourage your group to explore on foot the historic 107-acre property. Please note that restrooms are available at the northeast corner of the visitor center and portable toilets are located seasonally from mid-April through mid-October at the east end of the park grounds near the pavilion. *Note: Toilet facilities are shared with general park users, and not limited exclusively to your school group during the field trip.

Lunch is on your own: Renfrew Museum and Park does not have food service available. Please leave lunches, if bringing food with you, in your vehicle(s) until after your tour has concluded. If you choose to enjoy lunch at Renfrew after your tour has completed, we encourage you to take advantage of the multiple picnic tables in the picnic grounds area and at the Pavilion location (see map below). Please be aware that Renfrew is an active museum and park; other events and usage of the grounds will continue during your visit.

Waste Disposal: Renfrew Museum & Park is a “carry-in/carry-out” facility. All trash, garbage, refuse, etc. generated by the field trip/school group visit (excluding restroom waste, i.e., paper towels, personal hygiene products, etc.) must be removed by the group at its conclusion to a separate location off site. Any waste left by the school group or disposal in inappropriate locations (i.e., dog waste stations, bathroom receptacles, in shrubs, behind or near buildings, etc.) may result in forfeiture of visiting as a group in the future. Please plan ahead for the proper removal of your waste and help maintain the natural beauty of Renfrew Museum and Park.

Please complete the Field Trip/School Group Visit Inquiry form below. Requests for trips must be for the current calendar year only. Due to a high volume of requests, please allow 3-5 business days for a reply from our office.

Field Trip Map