Every itinerary has a detailed schedule outlining each day’s activities and locations that have been 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. This assures that our full-time team, with years of experience, has decided what are the best routes and safest activities. We do not have our summer hires select vendors or suppliers in the field that have not been researched and approved with regards to safety. Our suppliers must pass a safety review check. We ask about prior incidents, licensing and emergency training in our efforts to reduce risks. Our full-time team completes due diligence so our summer leaders can focus their attention on the group.
In developing any new programs, we have an eight to 15 month research and scouting process that involves site inspections, checking activity suppliers, researching accommodations, reviewing routes and directions and checking access to medical care. In some cases, we may research even longer before we deem a new program ready.
After using our expertise to craft the perfect itinerary, the next critical step is staffing. Screening and interviewing our summer leaders is both an art and a science. We require individual interviews and at least two references. Additionally, we run police background checks and for any staff driving vehicles, a driver’s license check. We interview from four offices offering us a wider geographic talent pool to draw from. All of our staff must hold valid CPR and 1st Aid certificates.
Our 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. For all summer staff, written manuals with detailed policies and procedures are reviewed. Training exercises and role plays reinforce our safety protocols. We have been told by many teachers who come to work with us that they cannot believe the quality of our training and that our materials and practices far surpasses that from any other camp, school or travel program they have worked for!
REGIONAL SUPERVISOR VISITS & COMPANY DIRECTORS
Through our Company Directors and Regional Supervisors, we have an additional investment in staff to provide ongoing training and monitoring of our risk management policies. Last summer, we had 189 scheduled visits in the field. These visits are an integral part of our quality control and they increase compliance with the best safety practices.
SOCIALIZATION & YOU
In addition to well researched itineraries and well screened qualified staff, there is another critical player in seeing that we travel safely and that is YOU.
In our staff training, in addition to physical safety, there is a great emphasis on social safety. We work hard to create a warm and welcoming environment where everyone is included. We hope our travelers move beyond first impressions and we know our leaders are skilled at forming dynamic groups who are all bonded around that common laugh. This requires that you join us with a positive attitude and are open to meeting others and trying new things.
Your actions have a direct impact on your own safety and that of your fellow trip mates. Participants are expected to act responsibly and follow all of our policies. We believe that holding our teenagers accountable for their actions makes our trips a healthier and safer place for everyone.
We continuously audit and review our risk management practices. We look at events in our industry, in schools and where necessary, use outside experts to prepare ourselves. Our goal is to reduce any avoidable risks. Our Company Directors also drill in emergency preparedness hoping it’s never necessary. We are always mindful of our role and the trust you place in us.