Safety & Accreditation
We take steps for the safety of all campers and staff right from the very beginning.
- The 7, 12 and 15-passenger vans used to transport campers are newer models and have passed a vehicle safety inspection prior to our use. Alpenguides driving these vans have ample behind-the-wheel training before camp starts. Campers receive safety rules for vans upon arrival to camp -- campers must wear seat belts at all times.
- All Alpenguides are screened upon hiring and must pass a background checks that screens their driving records, sexual offender status, work references, and criminal history. Alpenguides also attend a one week, on-site pre-camp staff training to demonstrate skills, check equipment, stock first aid kits, review camp policies and procedures, participate in camper care scenarios, and review itineraries, maps, and camper forms.
- Campers and camp staff wear protective safety equipment during activities. We wear activity specific helmets for rock climbing, horseback riding, and sometimes rafting. We wear PFD’s for whitewater rafting, canoeing, stand-up paddle boarding and sea kayaking.
- We contract with proven professional outfitters and guides for rock climbing, surfing, whitewater rafting, horseback riding, and sea kayaking. During these activities, an Alpenguide will accompany the group as another group participant and listen along with the campers to outfitters giving thorough safety talks and following outfitter professional instructions for the activity.
- Campers are supervised and rules for safety are verbally reviewed at the very start of camp. Upon arriving to camp, campers are instructed that they must always have a buddy and may not leave the group without letting an Alpenguide know. In the first 24 hours of camp, we go over a written outline with campers that describes what to do in the case of lightning, wildlife, lost person, intruder in camp, etc.
- We change our itinerary as appropriate in order to reduce potential safety and health risks. For example, if very poor weather is approaching while backpacking, we may change our itinerary to stay an extra day in one place rather than move thereby reducing our risk exposure to exposed ridges where lightning may be more of a possibility.
- We submit our backpacking routes to permitting agencies prior to our use of trails and we follow-up just prior to our use of these trails and inquire about closures, restrictions and trail conditions before hiking.
- We carry a DeLorme inReach 2-way satellite communicator for emergency purposes only on our trips, this device allows Alpengirl field staff to communicate with Alpengirl office staff or with emergency services such as search and rescue units in the event of an emergency.
- Alpenguides carry the camper’s health forms and medicine and a stocked backcountry first aid kit. We review every campers’ health form prior to camp, and screen for any potential problems. Once campers arrive, a health screening intake process takes place with our camp staff to be sure that each camper is fit to start camp with us. Throughout camp, Alpenguides are constantly checking in with campers to determine how they are feeling and how much they are eating, drinking, sleeping, and going to the bathroom.
- We supervise and teach campers how to properly use all equipment with us so as to avoid any potential injuries associated with everyday camp life. When backpacking, campers will learn how to properly purify stream water by boiling or using iodine tablets or chlorine dioxide drops.
- We operate under licensed permits in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest, Custer-Gallatin National Forest, Gifford Pinchot National Forest, North Cascades National Park and Olympic National Park.
- Alpengirl is an American Camp Association (ACA) accredited camp. ACA is the only national association that accredits all types of camps, based upon 300 national standards for health and safety. ACA accreditation indicates that a camp has voluntarily allowed its practices to be compared with standards established by professionals in the camp industry. American Camp Association standards are recognized by courts of law and government regulators as the standards of the camp industry. Read more about ACA at the American Camp Association - Camp Parents Website