Summit’s number one concern on each and every expedition is safety and we are proud of our demonstrated ability to manage the risks involved in the expedition activities. It is important to note that Summit is not new to backcountry programming. We have consistently offered expedition services for the past two decades, and our staff bring a wide range of experience to these activities.
Skilled guides with a depth and variety of experience ensures that the expedition leadership is professional, knowledgeable, and prepared. Wilderness Guides are required to demonstrate a high level of training and experience in the activities they lead and are encouraged to maintain and expand upon these skills during their employment. Thorough background checks, previous experience working with adolescents, significant initial training and continued weekly training for all staff ensures that our guides provide safe and compelling programming for our students.
At least one guide on each expedition is a certified Wilderness First Responder (or higher), specifically trained to respond to medical emergencies in a wilderness setting. In addition, guides carry a satellite telephone while on expedition. This enables them to contact an administrator on duty at any time should there be an emergency situation or the group need additional support for any reason at any time. There is little or no risk of the group becoming stranded without adequate resources.
Summit Achievement’s expeditions focus on the therapeutic process and the sense of awe and accomplishment from a successful wilderness experience: they are not a survival ordeal. Adventure activities are season appropriate and weather conditions are always taken into consideration. Students are given high quality clothing, gear, and equipment available in order to make the experience as comfortable as possible, while retaining a reasonable level of challenge. It is important to understand, nevertheless, that there is some risk of injury/accidents during any physically strenuous activity. Outdoor or wilderness programs, however, generally have a lower rate of injury than many high school sports programs.
Safety On Campus
Safety extends to our campus life. We have a campus nurse and doctor who check in regularly with staff and students. Students are always supervised by kind, supportive staff. With safety alarms on each residential cabin, no one can come in or out of a cabin without our knowledge. Our campus has a backup generator so that electricity is readily available even in a power outage.