The responsibilities of the official trip coordinator are minimal and do not include responsibility for safely leading others down the river. Our official trip rules specifically state that everyone is responsible for themselves. You don’t have to be an expert paddler or a swift-water safety instructor to be a trip coordinator.
It does help if you are familiar with the river that you are coordinating, But some research that leads you to believe you can run it safely is sufficient.
So what the coordinator’s responsibilities?
Our key concern is maintaining our insurance coverage by following their simple procedures and ACA safety guidelines.
These are common sense safety guidelines, such as signing waivers, wearing PFDs and helmets (above class 1), carrying throw ropes etc. They are all things that you should be doing anyway.
Get everyone to the river, check for waivers and and collect paper waivers and fees.
BRING HARD COPIES OF THE WAIVER AND, IF IN DOUBT, GET A SIGNED PAPER WAIVER.
Run the river and follow procedures after the trip included uploading waivers and fees.
As a trip coordinator you have the right to refuse to allow a person to join the trip if you feel that they cannot paddle it safely. This includes if the group is not strong enough for possible rescue(s). All we ask is that you adhere to our anti-discrimination policy.
We ask that the trip coordinators not to post the time and meeting place in the trip description so that anyone who wants to join has to contact the trip coordinators and can screen participants.
This summary of our procedures is intended as a guide to help you and the others with you enjoy the event.
To schedule a trip, use our submit an activity form.
Before the trip begins:
Assess the skill level and preparedness of participants. Any participant that the coordinator feels is not suited for the trip shall not be permitted to participate. This may include, but is not limited to, assessment of skill level, appropriate clothing and equipment and its condition, and suspected use of alcohol or illegal drugs. Any paddler whose conduct is, in the opinion of the trip coordinator, potentially hazardous to him or herself or to the group will be asked to leave the group. If cell phone coverage or access is not available during the majority of the trip, a responsible party should know your plan, whom to contact and when in the event of a significant delay.
KCCNY understands that volunteer coordinators must make a decision based on the overall group safety and with limited information on abilities and risks. Other than adhering to KCCNY’s anti-discrimination policy, the decision to exclude a participant is entirely up to the coordinator. If a potential participant doesn’t agree with the decision, have them reach out to the safety or activities chair or any board member.
The trip coordinator has the authority to adjust the specifics of the trip, including the river (and the section of the river*) to be paddled, to account for conditions existing at the time of the event, such as weather, water levels, or the specific make-up of the group (i.e. number of paddlers, ability levels, etc.). Any changes are to be noted on the trip report filed with the ACA.
KCCNY club trips are characterized by all the paddlers contributing what knowledge and experience they possess towards the group’s fun and safety on the river. A trip coordinator is merely a club member who has volunteered to arrange the meeting of interested members to paddle at a particular place and time. While coordinators often have specific knowledge of the river in question, this is not part of their responsibility. Once on the river, coordinators have no burdens as guide or trip leader.
Review the ACA risk management requirements with the group before getting on the water. The ACA risk management requirements include that everyone must wear a good life jacket, a helmet in class 1 and up and the group needs a certain # of throw ropes depending on river class and group size.
Before the activity
Contact participants – Participants need to know the meeting location and shuttling plan.
Coordinators need to check waiver status which is part of our membership list.
We recommend you compile a list of potential participants with contact info and waiver status.
If possible, let folks know what to do if running late. Many places we meet have poor cell reception.
Print out a few paper waivers in case someone shows up like a friend of a participant who is otherwise qualified to paddle the river.
At the Start of the Event
- All participants must read and sign the waiver and release of liability before the event begins. If the waiver’s not on file you need a signed waiver.
If you have any doubt about a participant’s waiver status, insist on a complete and signed paper waiver.
- Announce at the start of the event that “If you have not signed a waiver and paid the event fee, if applicable, then you are not a participant in KCCNY’s trip or event. If you choose to paddle the river on your own then you do so at your own risk.“
- Check for proper equipment. Inadequate helmets and pfds are usually pretty obvious, but also check for insufficient clothing, missing or under inflated float bags.
- If you’re concerned, ask folks to prove skills by rolling, wet exiting, ferrying or whatever you feel is needed.
After the Event
- If there’s no injuries, your done. Wasn’t that easy?
- If their are any issues see on our after trip procedure page.
Trips with other clubs
Sorry – if it’s not an official KCCNY trip with insurance and waivers, it can’t go on our schedule. Non-KCCNY members can come as guests.
Our insurance covers social events and fundraisers, but not other athletic including skiing, climbing, biking.
Questions – Contact us.