Do I need clowning experience to participate on a GGO trip?

No clowning experience necessary. All you need is the ability to be friendly, thoughtful and a team player.

Is there training for new clowns while on a GGO trip?

Yes, our GGO staff offers training both before and during clown visits. We have learned how to encourage you to step out of your “safety zone” and let your inner clown out, in joy.

Do I need to clown while I participate on a GGO trip?

Yes, and we encourage you to wear clown clothes throughout the clown mission.

Must I have a background in healthcare to participate on a GGO trip?


Are there age restrictions?

We have had clowns as young as 2 and as old as 88. Some clown trips are age-restricted. Clowns under age 15 must be accompanied by a parent.

What kind of clown costume do I need?

Find the gear you will need here

Can I bring toys or gifts to give away?

We discourage gift giving as a general policy. Some small gifts can be appropriate in certain care facilities. Sometimes we ask volunteers to bring vitamins to give to organizations who can dispense them appropriately.

What kind of props can I bring?

Bubbles, balloons (regular and animal), face paints, rattles, noise makers, percussion, musical instruments, whoopee cushions, puppets, hoolahoops, magic tricks, stuffed animals, goofy things.

Can I bring a camera or video?

Yes, but we strongly encourage you to come mainly to play.

Does GGO give scholarships for volunteers who cannot afford a trip?

Yes but on a very limited basis. We keep the costs of our missions as low as we can, such that they are affordable for participants and do not lose money for GGO.

What if I get sick while on a trip?

Most missions involve clowning in hospitals, so we are almost always near healthcare facilities. Most of our missions include nurse or physician volunteers.

What vaccinations, immunizations, medicines do I need for foreign travel?

We abide by CDC recommendations for international travel. We also consult with local authorities. Each nation and region is different.

Are clown trips accessible to those needing wheelchairs?

Some yes, some no.

My family is concerned about my overall safety during a clown trip. Will we be secure?

”Safety first” is our biggest concern. We brief all participants on safety practices in our host countries. Our in-country hosts also make preparations for our safety. Our experience in warzones is that the red nose works as a passport. Nevertheless, we emphasize good planning, awareness and group solidarity.


Patch Adams MD & Gesundheit Institute, P.O. Box 307, Urbana, IL 61803

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