One of the first questions parents ask when looking into Adventure Treks is, “Are your trips tech-free?” We all agree it’s more important than ever for teens to experience a digital detox, and that’s why Adventure Treks students don’t have access to their phones throughout their trips.
However, we understand that not having contact with your child for one to four weeks can be a little unnerving, and that’s why we have several methods of communicating with parents while their students are out in the woods, having an absolute blast.
Communication between field instructors, directors, and office staff
Although students are not carrying their phones, each instructor has a fully-charged cell phone with them at all times. They use their phones only for Adventure Treks–related business, like taking photos and videos, coordinating with outfitters, communicating with our regional directors and office staff, using GPS, and sending in blog updates.
Often, our groups will be outside cell service, sometimes for a few days at a time. This is no reason for parents to worry, however. Any time a group is out of cell service, an instructor carries a satellite phone in case of an emergency. We carry dust-, shock-, and water-resistant Iridium satellite phones that offer GPS-enabled location-based services; two-way global coverage; voicemail boxes; SMS texting; and more.
Phone calls home
Our students will have brief access to their cell phones a few times throughout each trip for quick phone calls home. (We try to limit each call to about five minutes so they don’t significantly disrupt the flow of the trip.) We unfortunately can’t always provide advance notice of when those calls will happen, so if you miss your child’s call, we’ll do our best to give them an opportunity to call back later. If your child doesn’t bring a cell phone, they will be able to use an instructor’s phone.
Blog updates in CampInTouch
One benefit of our digitally connected world is that parents get to follow along with their child’s trip via our trip blogs. Photos and updates written by both students and instructors will be sent to our office and uploaded to each parent’s CampInTouch account (see photo at right) every few days, whenever our groups pass through cell phone service. Please understand that due to the wilderness nature of our programs, we aren’t able to upload photos every day, but you can typically expect updates after each activity is completed. (Satellite phones have come a long way, but we still unfortunately aren’t able to text photos from them!)
We use CampInTouch to upload photos throughout each trip because it is convenient for parents; however, CampInTouch (not Adventure Treks) charges for every image download. We recommend not downloading and paying for them through CampInTouch, as we will provide every photo taken by instructors on your child’s trip at the end of the summer (usually by or before mid-September)—completely free of charge.
24-hour emergency line
In the event of an emergency at home (such as a family emergency or cancelled flight), parents will always be able to reach one of our office staff (in North Carolina)—24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Please use this number only for true emergencies.
We highly encourage all parents to follow Adventure Treks on Facebook and Instagram (@adventuretreks), as we post daily throughout the summer. It’s a great way to follow along not only with your child’s trip, but every one of our adventures!
As always, if you have any questions about communication during your child’s trip, don’t hesitate to call us at 888-954-5555.