eight kids, five days, woods!
May 11, 2011 8:03 PM   Subscribe

We run a summer day camp and are licensed as such (in Massachusetts). How does our licensing change if we want to take eight teenagers on an overnight hike in Western Mass?

Hike would be for five days. Hypothetically, trip would be run by someone who's done the Appalachian Mountain Club youth training program (link: http://www.outdoors.org/recreation/yop/yop-2011-events-boston.cfm) -- but say it's not, and we just want to go. Eight kids (12-13 years old), two counselors, probably hiking the Appalachian Trail. What do we need to do to make this happen in a relatively risk-averse way?

Bonus points if you can also answer the insurance question! I know we'd need to insure for the drive there and back -- but what about the hike itself? I'm planning to talk to our insurance agent and the AMC folks (who presumably answer these kinds of questions for a living), but I wanted to get a ballpark sense of dollars and paperwork before I start the conversation.
posted by puckish to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (3 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
As someone who operates a non-profit youth program I would STRONGLY advise that you have a serious conversation with both your insurance company/agent and an attorney.

I don't think that anyone here will be able to answer your question as to cost, there are too many variables as an insurance company underwrites a risk.

All that said... good for you folks, this kind of experience is wonderful for kids.
posted by tomswift at 8:06 PM on May 11, 2011

Yes, you need to talk to your insurance company. Pachner and Associates (I think out of New Jersey) are our broker (nonprofit climbing program) -- they might be able to answer your question if your insurance company doesn't cover backpacking. You also need to check with the land managers (ie. forest service district or whatever) for the area(s) that you will be in. You probably need to get a permit with the land managers and they seem to have requirements of how much insurance you must carry (my experience is with climbing but I imagine it is the same for other activities).
posted by fieldtrip at 9:20 PM on May 11, 2011

Given the tragedies that have occurred due to inexperienced staff, a lack of planning & foresight, and even unexpected weather, your state may (and I believe should) have special requirements for overnight or outdoor experience programs - go directly to your State's licensing agency for the requirements.
posted by kbar1 at 11:21 PM on May 11, 2011

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