Grad trips gone wild: S-Trip’s high school trips (CBC Marketplace)
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Grad trips gone wild: S-Trip’s high school trips (CBC Marketplace)


>>Charlsie: The following… ♪ ♪ This ismarketplace.Trip of a lifetime or a trip into trouble? Sold as safe and supervised.>>Kids are drinking and there is no supervision, things will escalate.>>What if he encouraged a friend to go on this trip and that friend was the kid who got hurt?>>Charlsie: We follow hundreds of Canadian teenagers to Cuba to see if it’s worth the money and the worry. This is yourmarketplace.♪ ♪ [cheers]>>Charlsie: We’re under cover. Under the Cuban sun. Posing as tourists. We made it! ♪ ♪ We’ve landed with a big group of Canadian high school students as they’re about to begin the trip of a lifetime. ♪ ♪ That’s the promise from the travel company that organizes all this.>>S-Trip![cheers]>>Charlsie:S-Tripis one of Canada’s fastest-growing companies. The “s” stands for student. Every year,S-Tripmakes millions of dollars bringing teenagers to Caribbean resorts like this one, to celebrate march break and high school graduation. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ The company’s promotional material paints a pretty picture for parents. Of sun and sand, fun and friends.>>My favourite experience here would be winning Mrs.S-Trip.>>It’s a good vibe all around. ♪ ♪>>Charlsie:S-Tripemphasizes chances to explore local culture and to volunteer abroad, and it promises safe travel experiences. ♪ ♪ [screaming] What they don’t mention is all the drinking. [cheering] Much of it underage. [cheering] ♪ ♪ [chanting] [cheering]>>Charlsie: Captured in dozens ofYouTubevideos, posted by students themselves, and viewed by thousands.>>You gotta get out of Sophie’s bed.>>Just drag him, Tyler. [laughing] [chanting]>>Charlsie: It’s risky behaviour that threatens personal safety… andS-Trip’scarefully-crafted image. As these student videos show, their trips of a lifetime can become trips into trouble. ♪ ♪ There’s anS-Tripcode of conduct that everyone is supposed to follow. The code calls on students to sign in three times a day with staff. They’re the ones in the blue and yellow shirts. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪>>Charlsie: It’s part of a safety systemS-Tripsays leads the industry and one of the reasons parents pay so much for these trips. Roughly $1,800 a student. Double the going rate for a Cuban resort in July.>>Okay. So here we are at the TRYP Cayo Coco. We just checked in. The woman at the desk was trying to persuade us to stay on the other side of the hotel, the quiet side, that’s because this is where all the action is going to be. She was telling us by the end of the week, we can expect upwards of 900 Canadian students so this is where the action’s going to be, this is where we wanted to be, too. 900 grade 12 students heading this way. But the sales process that’s bringing them here begins months before, in grade 11.>>This is where the meeting happened?>>Yeah, right by here, high school’s all the way back there.>>Charlsie: Adam Jackson of Uxbridge, Ontario was only 17 and in grade 11 when he first heard about the grad trip to Cayo Coco, so he headed to a meeting in the middle of a parking lot. First time you meet this person you’re here in the middle of a parking lot.>>Yeah, it’s a bit strange. This is where we first met. Apparently she just came, just a young woman, she drove here in her car and we pretty much huddled around her car. I thought it would be in the school or something, but, yeah, this is where we ended up.>>Charlsie: Among the group, several studentsS-Triphad chosen to be organizers like the ones in this company video. Their job was to convince their classmates to sign up.>>If they got enough people to recruit, they would be going for free, so that was the big motive, especially for a lot of the students.>>Charlsie: It’s a key strategy forS-Tripoutlined in that same video.>>Organizers gets all the people, gets them hyped for the trip.>>We pretty much get everybody hyped up. Our whole school.>>Charlsie:S-Tripidentifies influential students, offers them perks and uses them to sell the trip.>>We just attended a meeting for all the organizers. We all got information about the trip, what we should tell to other people coming on the trip, how to make the trip sound exciting.>>Charlsie:S-Tripsays student organizers learn leadership skills and time management.>>You’re going to want to become an organizer if you’re in high school.>>Charlsie: Put another way, underage kids sell other underage kids on a party trip, one that is not sanctioned by schools. ♪ ♪ Did you think it was a school trip when they first started talking about it?>>Honestly, I thought it was a bit connected to school because I knew they had to go through school to reach us but originally I did think it was a school trip.>>Charlsie: Adam’s not the only one. Many parents we hear from say they too think it’s a school trip, including Adam’s dad, Ed, who’s a school teacher. What did you first think when Adam came home and told you about this trip to Cuba?>>Well, I thought it would be a good experience for him. He hadn’t been on school trips per se, and so one of the things we liked about it, that it would be from the website we looked atS-Trip,it would be sort of supervised and so there was a level of comfort for that.>>Charlsie: Ed never looked much beyond the officialS-Tripwebsite and its promise that safety is non-negotiable. Kathy Colaiacovo dug deeper. She’s both a mom and a marketer down in Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia. When your son comes home and says this isS-Trip.>>Instinctively you think school trip, why wouldn’t you think it? And I certainly did.>>Charlsie: Her son applied to be an organizer and so whenS-Tripstaffers sent Kathy an email.>>The words she used in the email were words like, it’s a good volunteer experience for your son, he’ll get some good skills like time management and project management, things he can use on a resume. They kind of seemed to be coaching my kid into what to say to me to get him to go on the trip because the words in the email were reiterating what he had been telling us, which really weren’t his typical way of talking.>>Charlsie: With her suspicions raised, Kathy went onYouTube.It was then she realized it was not a school trip.>>My husband and I talked about it, we looked at some of the videos, some of them are pretty graphic. At that point, we said “no” and I e-mailed the woman back and told her she was never to get in touch with my son again.>>Charlsie: We ask Kathy to show us some of the videos she saw posted by students who’ve been onS-Trips.>>Nothing but liquor in the body.>>Yo, you’re looking damn good in those shorts! [cheering]>>There’s a lot of, um, girls getting touched on their breasts in a lot of the pictures. It’s teenagers, I have three, I kind of get some of it. But at the same time, what you don’t see is the supposed chaperones that they have watching your kids. ♪ ♪>>I’m Blain and I like to party. ♪ ♪ Let’s get it.>>Jump out, Blain.>>Yeah. ♪ ♪>>I don’t know if you really want to show this on the TV.>>Charlsie: Why is that, what is this?>>Because.>>Charlsie: What is he doing?>>He’s… um… yeah, I don’t even want to look at it, to be honest. I do not want that to be my kid. And I don’t want it to be any of my kids’ friends either.>>Charlsie: He just took his penis out.>>And put them on the other kid’s face.>>Charlsie: And they filmed it.>>Yes, yeah. So that’s not going to be my kid. And what really bothered me about the organizing part was what if he encouraged a friend to go on this trip and that friend was the kid who got hurt or in trouble? I would have so much guilt about that.>>Charlsie: That kind of worry has principals across Canada sending out cautions. Students will not be supervised by my staff in any way. I want to repeat that this is not a school trip. Students have virtually no adult supervision. A number of serious issues are brought to my attention each and every year. Please exercise caution. We see evidenceS-Triphas worries of its own. Stickers that warn students to be careful on balconies. ♪ ♪ But are they listening? As things heat up at TRYP Cayo Coco? ♪ ♪ It doesn’t look like it if you check thoseYouTubevideos these students love to share. ♪ ♪ [screaming, cheering] ♪ ♪>>So today’s plan is that we go and get tanned and then we go and get [indiscernible].>>Charlsie: For most of these kids, it’s their first time with such easy access to alcohol. 24/7. TheS-Tripcode says you have to be 18 and over and drink responsibly. [cheering] ♪ ♪ See those green wrist bands? That means the student can drink here in Cuba. Even though back home, many would still be underage. ♪ ♪ But even those without green bands are drinking.>>Yeah, yeah, yeah.>>Don’t slap me! I got a sunburn.>>Charlsie: So much for the code of conduct, which also says you have to be completely sober when swimming. ♪ ♪ ♪ [club music] It carries on into the night. TheS-Tripcode says quiet hours begin at 10:00 p.m. But that’s also when the officialS-Tripparty really gets started. I head into the crowd to mingle. So you all just graduated.>>Yeah.>>Congratulations. What do you do all day? Party. So what does that mean?>>Charlsie: You asked for two and they gave –>>Charlsie: You feel bad.>>Charlsie: Drunk, horny teenagers. Okay.>>Charlsie: So you guys are all 18.>>Charlsie: They don’t care? You just go up to the bar?>>Charlsie: Really? ♪ ♪>>Charlsie: What happens when the party heats up?>>They all try to get you drunk and take advantage of you.>>Charlsie: And secrets from a formerS-Tripleader on yourmarketplace.Getmarketplacein your in-box once a week. Sign up for our newsletter at cbc.ca/marketplace. ♪ ♪>>Charlsie: Grad trip confessions on yourmarketplace.♪ ♪ We’re poolside at a Cuban resort along with hundreds of Canadian high school students. ♪ ♪ The drinks are flowing but not everyone is having that promised trip of a lifetime. We notice one girl, mostly off on her own, clearly not enjoying the party vibe. We catch up with her inside the resort’s internet cafe.>>So where are you from? Sudbury, oh. I live just outside of Toronto. Yeah. Are you having fun?>>Oh, really?>>Just not your thing?>>No. ♪ ♪>>Charlsie: We watch from our balcony asS-Tripstaffers organize the day’s activities. A battle of the sexes with anS-TripDJ setting the tone. ♪ ♪ For families just arriving, it’s likely not the greeting they were expecting. Down at the beach,S-Tripstaffers link arms with students and raise voices in a vulgar chant. [chanting] Parents we talk to who have seenYouTubevideos like these worry about such a sexually-charged environment.>>What the (bleep) are you doing?>>Charlsie: And so do some of the girls we run into.>>Charlsie: Really?>>Yeah, have fun with your girlfriends. [cheering]>>It’s disgusting.>>Charlsie: The man in the hoodie used to work forS-Trip.>>This isn’t surprising.>>Charlsie: He asked us not to identify him. Does any of this strike you as out of the ordinary?>>Not at all.>>So this would be –>>Tuesday night, pick a day, pick a night. And it happens every night. The overall safety of these students, which is absolutely driven home to parents and students, it is ignored at every turn. These students, they’re a cash cow to them.>>Charlsie: He was a trip leader but quit in disgust.>>It was just a complete eye-opener. Underage drinking, sexual activity, no monitoring of who was drinking and, you know, essentially what is going on with the students.>>Charlsie: When he saw other staff encouraging lewd behaviour, he complained. And got nowhere.>>It’s frustration, it’s anger, it’s sadness that these events, you know, can be taking place with complete disregard for the students’ safety and, you know, complete opposition to what they were promoting and, you know, a few times I would think if I was a parent, I would not have my child here right now. If I knew what was going on, I would be on a flight down here to get my child and bring them home.>>Chug, chug, chug! Everybody!>>Charlsie: Adam Jackson couldn’t even reach his parents when things went bad on hisS-Trip.Can you tell me what happened the night your stuff was stolen.>>I was walking with one of my friends I met on the trip and we were walking past my hotel room and we noticed the door was completely wide open, so we were just kind of like, I was just like I thought it was my roommate, he might have left it open and I thought that was weird so I closed that, kept going. Morning, everything’s gone.>>Everything’s gone?>>Yeah, both — like everything I really owned.>>So what did they take?>>They took both pairs of my shoes, they took just, you know, necklace, cash, everything they could really find. They took some clothes.>>Charlsie: Adam loses more than a thousand dollars worth of stuff. He’s left with no money, no shoes, and no sympathy fromS-Tripstaffers. You go toS-Tripstaff for help. What did they do?>>They pretty much said it sucks, they’re like that’s a shame. I was trying to get some money to get someWi-Fito tell my parents that I got robbed, and I was asking a bunch ofS-Trippeople, they kept telling me no, they don’t have any money.>>The fact that he got robbed and I don’t get a call or he can’t even call, they said too bad, that to me is just like whoa, what are you here for? You’re not doing your job.>>So the care, the concern, the looking after him, that’s what you thought you paid for.>>It just seemed to be, sorry, tough luck sort of thing and that to me is then why did we pay $1,800 for this?>>Charlsie: One of the most interesting things about the Jackson’s story is that you’re hearing it at all.S-Tripoffered Adam and Ed $500 after they demanded a refund as long as they agreed to sign this, a non-disclosure agreement. So there’s also a line on there that says when you accept this, that you will not discuss this situation with any third party.>>Right.>>How do you see this? Here’s your money but don’t talk about it with anybody?>>It’s called hush money.>>Hush money. [laughing]>>There it is, straight ahead. WillS-Trippromise to crack down? Searching for answers on yourmarketplace.What do you think about this story? Share with us at facebook.com/marketplace.>>Charlsie: Stay safe on yourmarketplace.♪ ♪ Canadian high school students in Cuba, enjoying cold drinks on a hot day. The company that brought them here won’t come on camera to discuss the underage drinking we’ve witnessed. Or other threats to personal safety we’ve documented. From Cuban sand to Toronto streets. We’re outsideS-Tripheadquarters because, despite weeks of asking for an interview, they won’t let us inside to talk. They do, however, respond to our investigation with a statement.S-Tripsays…>>Charlsie: The company says that includes increased training immediately and doubling staff on all trips for this coming summer. But what about this winter whenS-Tripalso sends high school students on trips to Québec? [cheering] There’s another coming up later this month.>>Here we go, here we go!>>Charlsie:YouTubevideos from recent years shows what happens in Cuba happens in Canada.>>We’re back to the hotel, first night was success, the night just was started. It just started right now! [chanting]>>Charlsie: Something for families to talk about.>>David: Next week, we’re back on the case with this story…>>marketplacegoes in, finds elevated levels of cadmium, the Canadian public is now aware of this. Health Canada’s moved.>>Charlsie: And in the weeks ahead, we’ll have this story. Looks like chicken, tastes like chicken but how much of it is really chicken?>>They restructured it and kind of reformed it.>>Charlsie:marketplacefires up the grill. When I make chicken at home, I don’t use anywhere near the number of ingredients.>>48 more ingredients than I expected.>>Would a diabetic person know about sugar in chicken?>>Charlsie: Putting your favourite fast food grilled chicken to the test.>>They shouldn’t be able to call it chicken. ♪ ♪

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100 thoughts on “Grad trips gone wild: S-Trip’s high school trips (CBC Marketplace)

  1. let the kids drink and party its going to happen no matter what. parents are at fault ultimately. they were teens once before too, they know its pretty easy to get around . do not agree with the doubleing of the price, s-trip is caking

  2. Of course s-trip is gonna show all the good stuff cause that's how advertising works but of course all CBC is showing is the bad and really bad. I know people who've gone that actually had an amazing time, but they also had some bad times, that's expected. They all said it was definitely worth it though

  3. "so I head to the crowd to mingle"
    oh hey! this is me and my camera crew, just coming out here to expose this whole thing and probably have all of you arrested/punished by your parents. mind telling me everything that goes on?

  4. Leave the invidia that in cuba the foreigners take care of themselves more than the Cubans themselves, in addition in all the hotels in Cuba there are security agents by great amount who take care of all the time of these youngsters in addition you can vever alcoholic beverages to the 18 years All those Canadians are 18 years old, what's wrong do not look for more defects in Cuba

  5. The envy is that Canadians are free to travel to Cuba and enjoy with the best security that in no other country exists and the invidia of CBS channel is that young Americans can not do it in Cuba

  6. Cubans have a Canadian flag in their homes or means of transportation are their children also Cuba embraces the people of Canada and takes care of them better than any in their hotels

  7. Underage drinking in Cuba on a grad trip?

    I checked and the drinking age in Cuba is 16. Are some of these kids graduating highschool when they are 15?

  8. If you send your kids to a country where they count as adults/are of drinking age, you shouldn't be surprised that they will use that chance. When they never had the chance to do any of these things before they can't know their limits and for some that will end badly. Not all students will do that, but there are some who see that as their big chance.

  9. That girl sound like she never had a good time with her friends or even went to a party come on people is a grad trip what you expect us to do

  10. This is what happens when you get out of touch, sheltered, upitty news people to report to parents that forget what it's like to be kids and actually have fun.

  11. I think the point they are trying to make is that parents pay alot of money for what they think will be a supervised trip. It's one thing to do this in your home town with your parents a phone call away.

  12. I find this amusing. In Europe you go to similar places but there are no pretenses of what is going on there. Everyone that has ever been to Ibiza/Alanya/Aya Napa/etc. knows exactly what is going to happen. Including the parents.
    That said, the parents, as consumers of a product, got lied to. Very naive still.

  13. LMAO I'm going on this trip soon this video just made me more excited and made my dad laugh. How long are u expected to be a kid when in other countries you can have a family by 18. Keep tryna control ur kids cause I'm sure that when they leave home they're gonna be completely responsible.

  14. I don’t know why anyone would overpay for protection on trip when they won’t receive the protection or even remember the trip when they come back. This many drunk, sexual frustrated children doesn’t sound like a fun time I’d rather go somewhere with my friends and only my friends and know I’ll have fun .

  15. After what happened to Natalie Holloway this doesn't surprise me. As a parent I would NEVER allow my kid to travel without me! I don't care if they are in high school. It's just not safe anymore. Throw in drinking & you're just asking for trouble. Well done marketplace 👏 This needed to be exposed.

  16. The company advertises the trip to look like, a professionally planned and supervised trip. Not like an episode of MTV's Spring Break. I've been on bus tours with more supervision of adults. The parents are pretty much being scammed paying for extras when it would have been cheaper to go with their kid themselves.

  17. School trips are often field trips and band trips, and they send out letters to parents via students to inform and parents must sign the form. How long will it take for most parents to realise that S-trip is not a school trip endorsed by principals and teachers based on this fact? Even school newsletters and websites gave warnings about S-trip but parents never listened to any one of them. For trips to beach resorts in the Caribbean, it is often done during school breaks but for ski resorts, students miss one day of school which is Friday and come back on Sunday. Principals and teachers do not do anything to stop this trip thanks to the parents who let their children go. Only resistance from the teachers: take marks off by giving in-class assignments on the day the students are absent for this trip.

    Everyone should know this: One or two students organise everything with S-trip staffs and they always meet outside of the school building or property because they are too scared of teachers and principals reaching out to them. Also, they charge so much more than most travel companies for that specific vacation.

    Can't believe that this company is set up by two teachers, which exploits his or her underage students!

  18. lol… did people just figure this out? damn kids can't keep their mouths shut >.>

    what? why does this kid need wifi to call his parents? does the resort not have phones?

  19. Oh no, your precious children become animals when not supervised… congratulations, you suck as a parent.

  20. Lmao, just got back from this trip literally a day ago and it was the trip of a lifetime. CBC not only are you a buzzkill, you're a loser.

  21. The STrip staff are supposed to supervise these kids and yet their letting them do all this dumb stuff like drinking, partying, dancing, and no discipline. Wow. Just wow. It’s just terrible how kids act nowadays. 18 year olds acting like their 25.

  22. There are always predators both in your peers and those who make money from hormonally charged youth,we just don't see it because we want to see the best and do not see the danger because you just want to have fun. People buy into the hype and clever marketing often believing the Hollywood Movie lifestyle or that won't happen to me. It's sad that you have to be so careful, but better that than something that you can never undo.

  23. And this is why I didn't go to ANY parties in High school because of the alcohol and someone could take avangenge of u. Also I'm discussed because of what there doing to the students

  24. When I was 18 I hitchhiked across the United States. I'm sure my parents would have preferred that I'd gone on a trip like this instead.

  25. you actually expect 900 high school kids to behave properly away from home? If there is no-one got OD by end of day one, you are lucky already. Don't be naive.

  26. The main problem is that this company has recently rebranded to ceremony, and is still using MLM tactics to targets teens who don't know any better.

  27. why are u such snitches mind your buisness, its kids going into college tf do u think is gonna happen bonfires and bible studies ?

  28. It’s not underage drinking drinking age there is 18 they are all 18 if they graduate but the only bad thing is the people and those sexual activities

  29. that's why I'm glad my High School and District stated they do not endorse or support events or activities organized outside of the district. We also actually had our official trip offered by the district. We went to LA to both visit UCLA and actually safe celebration.

  30. A update to what happened in 2018 & 2019 s trips??? Are they in business still? Will it be some kind of a video upload?

  31. Marketplace is too late. I see kids on my surveillance cameras, oh wait I mean snapchat. They are drinking golore over there, I am personally not into this stuff. The only thing I like about this is the girls. Other than that, I would never go…

  32. Not all kids like to party this way, you gotta know your kids before letting them go. Kids will be kids and many like this. They want to let loose and do irresponsible stuff. This is exactly what they want to get themselves into. Some may regret what they did some don't afterwards. They experience and learn the tough way by getting pregnant or get really sick, disabled, catch a disease, you never know what comes out of it. They think nothing bad would happen as a result by letting go this way is the problem. Never let kids go without parent's supervision. You can't afford to trust anyone to look after your kids. I never even had a stranger as a babysitter for my son while he was growing up. Never payed for it. Not even day care even though day cares take it seriously and are under strict rules and policies to follow. The people you pay to look after your kids in general will not care. They only want the money. Why risk?

  33. S-trip. Strip. Yes, that's one of the things they do when they get drunk. Seems like a perfectly above-board name for this kind of outing.

  34. Personally if I was even there I would just stock up on pizza, lock the doors and windows, and just watch a movie or something. Also I would barely go to the pool. But that's just me.

  35. Some countries dont have a straight law against alcohol drinking, so leave your no drinking before 21 bs behind and enjoy

  36. You think thats bad u should see british teens when they go on holiday to spain and greece on drinking holidays. It gets very messy. Nobody drinks like the brits do when abroad.

  37. I think they are being unfair to s trips. Seems their main market is 18 plus years old, which I think in Canada, USA and Mexico is considered of legal age, adults. What I see on the video is not much different than most high school house parties I went to, and college frat parties shortly after. The problem is not companies like S Trips, the problem is many young adults don't know how to handle alcohol.

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