The safety and well-being of our travelers and staff is our number one priority and we practice what we preach. Safety is integral to our daily operations and we’re always looking for ways to improve on the past 35 years of providing teens with reliable and secure travel experiences.
We are extremely proud of our safety record. While we know that to travel and be active inherently involves risk that cannot be eliminated, we use our well-developed processes to systematically reduce and manage risk to make our experiences as safe as possible.
We’ve compiled detailed information on some of the most asked about safety topics below. If you have any questions or concerns, we invite you to have a conversation with one of our Directors.
Every itinerary includes a detailed schedule outlining each day’s activities, at locations approved by our full-time Planning Department. While we believe in spontaneity and flexibility in the field, we limit deviations from these pre-approved plans so our Leaders travel the most secure routes and plan the safest activities possible. Our vendors and suppliers must pass a rigorous safety review check. We ask about prior incidents, licensing and emergency training to reduce any risks to our participants.
Our full-time team does the due diligence so our summer Leaders can give their full attention to their group. When developing new programs, we implement an ten- to eighteen-month research and scouting process that involves site inspections, vetting activity suppliers, researching accommodations, reviewing routes and directions, and access to medical care.
After expertly planning the perfect itinerary, the next step is staffing. We conduct individual interviews and require at least two references. We also run police background checks and driver’s license checks as necessary. All staff are required to hold valid CPR and 1st Aid certificates. We interview from four offices, so we draw from a wide geographic talent pool.
First-time Trip Directors receive a week of training and returning Trip Directors go through six days of workshops. Trip Leaders attend a three-day staff training program. Written manuals with detailed policies and procedures for all summer staff are reviewed. Additional training and role-playing exercises reinforce our safety protocols. We’ve been told by many teachers who work with us that the quality of our training and the thoroughness of materials and practices far surpass any other camp, school, or travel program they’ve been a part of!
REGIONAL SUPERVISOR VISITS & COMPANY DIRECTORS
Field visits from our Company Directors and Regional Supervisors help to maintain high standards of training and monitoring of our risk management policies. These visits are an integral part of our quality control and help to ensure our best safety practices are being followed on the ground. Last summer, we had over 200 scheduled field visits.
We continuously audit and review our risk management practices. We stay prepared through industry events and the use of outside experts. Our goal is to reduce any avoidable risks. Company Directors are trained in emergency preparedness, though we hope it’s never necessary. We are always mindful of our role and the trust you place in us.
Parents can stay in touch with travelers who are permitted to bring their cell phones. Communication plans are in place in the event of an incident or emergency. We also subscribe to iJet International security alerts that help us avoid threats in real time and help protect our travelers around the world. This investment in on-going communication keeps everyone informed and helps prevent problems before they can occur, raising our level of preparedness and giving us peace of mind.
SOCIALIZATION & YOU
In addition to well researched itineraries and qualified staff, there is another important player that contributes to a safe travel experience—you! In addition to physical safety, we put an emphasis on social safety. We work hard to create a welcoming environment where everyone is included and we encourage our travelers to move beyond first impressions. Our Leaders are skilled at forming dynamic groups and their job is made that much easier when you join us with a positive attitude. The best travel experiences happen when you’re open to meeting others and trying new things.
Your actions have a direct impact on your safety and the safety of your fellow trip mates. Participants are expected to act responsibly and follow our policies. We believe in holding youth accountable for their actions. It teaches responsibility and makes for a more enriching travel experience.