A little girl walks down a hall filled with bright displays, her classmates pointing and gawking at the various exhibits. The "oohs" and "aahs" are clearly audible as the students marvel at the objects of their affection, all the while clutching their packed sack lunches. The tour guide finishes the discussion of the history and features of the last exhibit on their rounds, and all the students groan as their teacher tells them the field trip is over and they are heading back to school. The tour guide puts the rollerblades back on the rack, and the students run down the merchandise-lined aisles of Sports Authority and out the door to their school bus.
In recent years, many companies have sprung up whose main goal is to pitch and "sell" such field trips to local schools and school districts. Some, like Field Trip Factory, Inc., have developed corporate relationships with retail outlets such as Sports Authority, Petco, Toys "R" Us and local supermarkets. They provide an organized field trip package to schools at no cost, while collecting a fee from participating retail locations.
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