Safety and Risk Management

Each of the trips our son has taken have provided him with fun, adventure, independence, and personal growth. In addition to making some great friends, the instructors have been amazing leaders who were all highly skilled and qualified in hiking and outdoor adventures. What’s been valuable is just being “off the grid” and remote for three weeks! Our son loves the peacefulness of his surroundings on his AT trips, and even took opportunities to meditate when he wanted to. – Raymond Falci, parent from Mamaroneck, NY

We know that sending your child away from home and to an outdoor adventure camp is usually more nerve-wracking for parents than for students. It can be stressful when you aren’t there to personally check things out.

Our students and instructors know that risk management is the foundation of everything that we do. The word “safety” is defined by Merriam-Webster as “the condition of being safe from undergoing or causing hurt, injury, or loss.” Safety can never be 100 percent guaranteed in the outdoors—or at home. (Statistically, students are less likely to get hurt at Adventure Treks than at home; for example, the incidence of injury with basketball or soccer are higher than with rock climbing.) That’s why we talk about risk management, or how we examine situations and identify hazards to reduce the potential for an undesired outcome.

To build independence and ensure normal teenage brain development, there has to be some element of risk. And from the moment your child leaves home until he or she returns to you, minimizing risk is our first and foremost priority. As we consider ourselves partners in the parenting process, we make every decision as if you were looking over our shoulders. We have detailed policies and protocols for each activity and possible scenarios. By teaching students about judgment, probability, and consequences, we build a risk management–conscious “expedition mentality” within the community that helps students understand the “why” behind our policies. We help our students learn to make good decisions and to take intelligent, reasonable risks—habits that will apply for the rest of their lives.

Safety at Adventure Treks begins with experienced trip leaders and regional directors. Our leadership team facilitates an extensive 14- to 21-day instructor training where we review procedures and set the tone for a safe, fun summer. We are proud to say that in almost 30 years, we have safely worked with more than 20,000 students.

Daniel’s experiences at AT have been so positive in so many ways—socially, emotionally, even physically. He has made stronger and deeper friendship bonds at AT than anywhere else. He has been challenged physically and has been influenced in the MOST positive of ways—by true leaders and thinkers, not by something seen on social media. He’s made close, deep bonds with boys and girls, and gained independence from parents and family and confidence from doing hard, occasionally uncomfortable activities with a supportive group.. You’re doing everything right. You really are. Just don’t stop. 🙂 Daniel has loved AT so, so much. We are eternally grateful to AT for the many gifts it has given Daniel. Thank you for all you do to give these kids valuable, life-changing experiences. – Laura Miller, parent from Cabin John, MD

Expedition mentality

Strong, close-knit, and inclusive communities develop when there is a sense of mutual respect among all members. Our instructors empower our students to create a culture of kindness in their group, and to be as concerned about the well-being of the community as they are for themselves. We help students understand that a good community includes both physical and emotional safety, and they’ll discover how one’s actions can impact the group. We encourage students to have fun, challenge themselves, be willing to try new things, volunteer for tasks, do more than their fair share, and maintain a positive mental attitude no matter the circumstances. This expedition mentality is a core value of the Adventure Treks experience.

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