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Safety Approach and Statistics

Avid4 Adventure prides itself in offering creative and instructive recreational opportunities for kids. From climbing and hiking to kayaking and biking, participants can experience a variety of activities. However, please remember that all adventure activities, including those offered by Avid4 Adventure, have inherent risks. Some of the inherent risks that exist in Avid4 Adventure’s environment are considered a necessary and valued aspect of our programs. Having reasonable, communicated, and calculated risk present in Avid4 Adventure activities encourages personal responsibility, increases self-confidence, builds judgment, and provides a clear sense of accomplishment. Avid4 Adventure staff strives to develop personal responsibility through regular environmental briefings, teachable moments, and the creation of a team that actively engages in risk management dialogues and active decision-making. By understanding, discussing, and evaluating risks, Avid4 Adventure attempts to transform children into a team of risk managers.

How We Mitigate Risks

  • We have developed a risk management plan to monitor and address risks and activities in our programs and a critical incident plan to manage a situation should it occur.
  • We hire staff that is proficient in their area of instruction, certified in a minimum of Wilderness First Aid and CPR, trained in defensive driving, and thoroughly background checked.
  • We are accredited by the American Camp Association and licensed by the State of Colorado as a Childcare Facility.
  • We methodically inspect all of our equipment.
  • All off-site travel happens in our 15-passenger camp vans, helmed by drivers who have completed our defensive driving program.
  • Campers wear personal flotation devices at all times while canoeing and kayaking.
  • We precede activities with a talk about potential risks and how to avoid or minimize them.
  • We have staff to participant ratios that provide for individualized attention and good group management.
  • Participants are oriented to the concept that safety is an important priority, and each participant becomes a member of the “safety team”. This increases hazard awareness as well as personal responsibility.
  • Avid4 Adventure has written activity protocols to promote consistency and address inherent risks.
  • Avid4 Adventure programs are age and ability appropriate. We believe that it’s much more important to have a great time than it is to “reach the top”.

Our Risk Management Committee

Although the Avid4 Adventure Risk Management Plan includes processes for the management of emergencies, our intent is to prevent them from happening in the first place. Avid4 Adventure strives to accomplish this through the early recognition of undue risks and the prevention of them through rules, policies, and good judgment. Avid4 Adventure maintains an active and informed Risk Management Committee consisting of Avid4 Adventure leadership, a physician advisor, a nurse consultant, an attorney that specializes in recreational law, Avid4 Adventure board members, and a representative from Wilderness Medical Institute. At least annually, the board meets to analyze 1st aid statistics, review incident reports from the field, and craft new policies and procedures to mitigate risks in the future. The committee is a key resource for creating, amending or revising risk management tools, standards and protocols.

Our Incident Statistics

Highlighted below are the 2015 Incident statistics (if a participant has to leave the program or does not return due to an injury), as well as a comparison to national statistics from the American Camp Association. If you would like to discuss the risk management further or view additional Avid4 Adventure incident statistics from prior years, please contact Avid4 Adventure Director of Risk Management, Paul Dreyer at 800-977-9873 X113.

2015 Incident Rates at Avid, compared to national statistics. The table below shows “incidents” per 1,000 “participant days”

  • Rate for camps = chance of 1 child in 1,000 becoming injured during one 24-hour period at camp
  • Rate for sports = chance of 1 child in 1,000 becoming injured during a practice or a game.

Avid School Intensive- On or Off Campus (1 day)

0.00

Avid Events

0.00

Avid Resident & Travel Camp

0.21

Avid Day Camp

0.26

Day Camp (other camps in US)

0.44

Resident Camp (other camps in US)

0.50

Avid School Intensive- Off Campus (multi-day)

0.99

Boys’ Baseball

1.03

Girls’ Softball

1.15

Girls’ Volleyball

1.24

Boys’ Basketball

1.58

Girls’ Basketball

1.80

Boys’ Soccer

1.98

Girls’ Soccer

2.31

Boys’ Wrestling

2.35

Avid Valmont Bike Park

2.84

Boys’ Football

4.09

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, requiring the use of protective equipment, environmental briefings, practicing falling techniques, and challenge by choice across all elements. 

Portable Climbing Wall Precautions

Avid4 Adventure uses commercially produced portable climbing walls from Extreme Engineering as we have found them to be extremely safe and reliable. The wall that we have selected for our Discovery Camp (Pre-K) has two manufacturer recommendations regarding small climbers. We want to share these with you as well as the precautions that we take.

  1. Manufacturer Recommendation:Climber must weigh 45 lbs. minimum, 250 maximum to wear climbing harness.
  2. Manufacturer Recommendation: Recommended weights are 45-250 lbs.

Our Precautions:

  • The harness provided with the climbing wall is a standard “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 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. Finally, we use special children’s helmets to provide the best fit and most protection possible. This is an addition to camper training and 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.

Risks in Outdoor Activites

The following describes some, but not all of the inherent and other risks, hazards and dangers associated with engaging in Avid4 Adventure activities.

  • Physical activity risks: Activities vary, but can include lifting, climbing, rappelling, belaying, carrying weight and frequent and sustained use of a participant’s arms and legs.
  • Risks involved in any adventure or athletic activity: A participant may overestimate his/her abilities or fitness; be inattentive; lose control and trip or fall and/or collide with, for example, others, the ground, rocks or trees or encounter other water/terrain/road/trail hazards; experience the unpredictability of horses or other animals; not understand the functioning of (or misuse) the equipment; fail to negotiate steep, uneven or difficult terrain; not control his/her speed or experience an equipment malfunction.
  • Risks in an outdoor environment: These include travel in high altitude, mountainous or wilderness terrain both on and off trail, and on land or water. Participant’s travel may be subject to: storms, including strong winds, rain, lightning, snow or hail; currents, waves or whitewater; flashfloods; extremely hot or cold weather or water; fast moving rivers or other water bodies; falling or unstable rocks; falling or fallen timber; stinging, venomous or disease carrying animals or insects; poisonous plants; wild animals and other natural or man-made hazards. Hazards (both on land and above and below water level) may not be marked or visible and weather is unpredictable year-around.
  • Rafting, kayaking, SUP and canoeing risks: For some of these activities, Avid4 Adventure uses a shallow, portable paddle tank which has a maximum depth of 2 feet. Boating risks include hazards above and below water level; slipping while entering or exiting a boat; falling out of or getting caught under a boat; experiencing a boat capsize or collision; impacting the tank, reservoir or river bottom.
  • Bicycling risks: Risks in a terrain park, on or off trail or on an artificial mountain bike skills course include the risk of losing control or balance and falling from the bike, potentially while on or near an artificial or natural obstacle, and/or running into a stationary object or another biker.
  • Climbing risks: Climbing on an artificial wall or on natural rock includes risks such as the possibility of slipping and falling, rope burns, being impacted by a falling object or impacting a stationary object or the ground.
  • Risks in judgment and decision making: The participant or a co-participant, Avid4 Adventure staff member, contractor or other person may misjudge the participant’s (or others) capabilities, health or physical condition, or misjudge some aspect of instruction, medical treatment, weather, terrain, route or other issue.
  • Personal health and participation risks: The participant’s mental, physical or emotional condition/s or limitation/s (known or unknown, disclosed or undisclosed) combined with participation in these activities could result in injury, damage, death or other loss. Although Avid4 Adventure staff may review participant’s submitted health information, Avid4 Adventure cannot anticipate or eliminate risks or complications posed by participant’s mental, physical (including fitness level) or emotional condition/s.
  • Geographic location risks. Activities may take place in remote locations, sometimes hours from medical facilities, causing potential delays or difficulties in communication, transportation, evacuation and medical care. Although Avid4 Adventure staff or contractors may have communication devices (including cell or SAT phones), use of these devices in outdoor, mountainous and/or wilderness terrain is unreliable and inconsistent.
  • Equipment risks: The equipment used in an activity may be misused or may break, fail or malfunction. Avid4 Adventure requires helmets or other safety gear for some activities. Safety gear may prevent or lessen injuries in some instances; however, use of safety gear is not a guarantee of safety, and injury can occur even with the use of this gear.
  • Camping risks: These include gas explosion, scalding or other burns associated with cooking over a gas stove or open fire, and water contamination in natural water sources. All water from natural sources may be contaminated and should be disinfected, filtered or boiled before use.
  • Risks regarding free time: Participants may have free time before and after the start of the program and at various other times while they are with Avid4 Adventure. During both supervised and unsupervised activities, all participants share in the responsibility for their own safety.
  • Risks regarding conduct: Risks include the potential that the participant, or other participants or third parties may act carelessly or recklessly.

Contact for Additional Questions

Please review our Risks & Release Form during your registration process for more information on the activities and risks, participant and parent responsibilities. Contact us at [email protected] if you have any further questions.