WHY IS RISK BENEFICIAL?
Many parents recognize the importance of risky play yet still worry about the possibility of injury. At Avid4 Adventure, we also recognize the benefits of risky play, and it’s our job to appropriately manage the risks and teach kids to intelligently navigate risk.
Avid4 Adventure is all about FUN and LEARNING. Through climbing, hiking, paddling, biking, and skateboarding, participants experience incredible growth through a variety of fun activities. However, all adventure activities, including those offered by Avid4 Adventure, have inherent risks. Some of the inherent risks that exist in our camp environment are considered a necessary and valued aspect of our programs. Having reasonable, communicated, and calculated risks encourages personal responsibility, increases self-confidence, builds judgment, and leads to a sense of accomplishment. Our goal is to transform your children into risk managers.
Yes, we want to lean into Risk, but we are committed to managing the big risks and remaining “challenge by choice” for campers. We believe in fostering a Growth Mindset, not a fixed mindset – it’s much more important to have a great time than it is to “reach the top.”
HOW WE MITIGATE RISK
- Proactive risk management plan
- Critical incident response plan
- Detailed Staff Manual with specific activity protocols for all sports
TRAININGS & CERTIFICATIONS
- Staff have at least have Community First Aid and CPR certifications. Many have additional certifications
- Staff get thoroughly background checked
- Staff who drive complete a professional driver training
- Our camps are accredited by the American Camp Association
- We are licensed by the State of Colorado as a Childcare Facility
- All equipment is thoroughly inspected and updated accordingly
- Personal flotation devices are worn during all paddle days, including on land within 20 ft. of water
- We drive new vans every year
- We source kid sized equipment for all activities and ensure that all campers are outfitted with properly fitting gear for their adventures
- We maintain low staff to participant ratios
- We involve campers in the process of learning how to assess risk, including:
- “Environmental Briefings” – instructors guide campers through a process of identifying and decreasing the risks in changing environments.
- “Teachable Trail Moments” – instructors (and campers) look for opportunities to practice the skills of risk assessment and positive decision-making.
- Programs and activities are age and ability appropriate
REFLECTION & LEARNING
- We maintain an active and informed Risk Management Committee consisting of Avid4 Adventure leadership, a physician, a nurse, experts in Wilderness Medicine, and an attorney that specializes in recreational law.
- We approach risk management with humility; we analyze individual incidents and trends and improve trainings, protocols, and programming as needed.
RISK DOES NOT EQUAL INJURIES
Every summer, we collect extensive data on any injuries and incidents that may occur. We are proud that our rate of incidents is consistently lower than the rates of other sport programs and camps.
Please note that programs at Valmont Bike Park involve a higher level of inherent risk as a result of the terrain and development of incremental skills. Avid4 Adventure mitigates these risks by grouping kids be levels of experience (not always age), requiring the use of protective equipment, in-depth environmental briefings, practicing fall techniques, and challenge by choice across all elements.
PORTABLE CLIMBING WALL
For some Events and some Pre-K programming, Avid4 Adventure uses commercially produced portable climbing walls from Extreme Engineering as we have found them to be extremely reliable. The wall that we have selected for our Discovery Camp in Colorado (Pre-K) has two manufacturer recommendations regarding small climbers. We want to share these with you as well as the precautions that we take.
- Manufacturer Recommendation: Climber must weigh 45 lbs. minimum, 250 maximum to wear climbing harness.
- Manufacturer Recommendation: Recommended weights are 45-250 lbs.
- The standard harness typically used with climbing walls is a “seat” harness that can be unsafe with very small climbers should they turn upside down. For our small climbers in the Discovery Program (Pre-K), we have replaced this harness with a special “Full Body” harness that is rated to use in children 3-8 years old, thus providing security and comfort for our small campers.
- We have taken several actions to provide additional security for our climbers under 45lbs. As the auto-belay system provides a slight upward pull, in addition to using full body harnesses (noted above), we also utilize a “tag line” that is clipped directly to the harness This line can be used to easily aid a small climber back to the ground should they need assistance.
- We use special children’s helmets to provide the best fit and most protection possible.
- Before campers climb on the wall, they receive training from staff.
- While campers are climbing, there is constant staff oversight.
Statistically, our climbing walls are extremely safe. We have had well over 100,000 climbers without incident, including thousands of climbers that weigh less than 45 lbs., making our walls much safer than playground play, organized sports, or gymnastics. Nonetheless, we can never eliminate all of the risks of climbing on an artificial climbing wall, and we want to be completely transparent regarding the above information. Avid4 Adventure is able to provide an alternative activity for any camper under 45 lbs. whose parent does not want them to participate. Our Camp Director is happy to provide additional information should you have any questions.