Leader Requirements

Proposed Leader Guidelines for Bedford Trail Walks

Basic Requirements

  • Must be eighteen (18) years of age or older.
  • Must be approved by the Bedford Trails Committee, hereafter referred to as the Committee.
  • Make a reasonable, good faith effort to adhere to all laws and regulations.
  • May not exclude persons from an activity on the basis of race, religion, color, national and ethnic origin, gender, sexual preference, marital status, age (except minors), or physical disability that can be reasonably accommodated on the proposed activity.
  • Shall act as the designated authority for all decisions regarding activity management and safety.

Training and Preparedness

  • Should have a fitness level that comfortably exceeds that required for the difficulty of the activity.
  • Should be familiar with the area in which the activity will take place.
  • Must explain that there is an element of risk in the activity through the use of the Acknowledgement and Assumption of Risks and Release and Indemnity Agreement (Waiver).
  • Must ensure that all participants sign the Waiver.

Communication with Participants

  • Should explain any potentially difficult portions of the activity, if and when applicable, e.g., slippery conditions.
  • Should review the activity plan, e.g., schedule, expected time of return, food and rest stops, transportation arrangement, emergency phone number, etc.
  • Should go over the high points of the activity, e.g., what to look for, unusual features, expected flora and fauna, etc. This may be done en route.
  • Should confirm that all participants have the proper equipment and clothing, depending on season and weather conditions.
  • Should have all participants introduce themselves.
  • Should identify themselves and all co-leader (s).
  • Should review the necessity to notify someone else, e.g., another participant, sweep, or co-leader, if anyone departs from the planned route, especially an unannounced personal rest stop.
  • Should review the necessity for any individual(s) ahead of the group to stop at an intersection to wait for route confirmation before proceeding. This is especially important for children who tend to run ahead of the group.
  • Should explain that minors (under age 18) must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

Activity Management

  • May exclude any participant who is unable to safely complete the planned activity, who refuses to follow reasonable directions, or who demonstrates inappropriate behavior.
  • Will expect and encourage participant conduct consistent with good environmental and conservation principles and local regulations.
  • Will discourage any effort to force a participant to engage in an activity beyond their ability, or anyone from ridiculing or otherwise embarrassing another person who chooses not to attempt an element of the planned activity that they feel is beyond their current abilities.
  • May designate sufficient co-leaders to assist with leading, managing subgroups, performing as sweep, etc.
  • May divide large groups into smaller, independent sub-groups if group size cannot be safely managed.
  • Will set and maintain a pace appropriate for the group(s).
  • Will try to adhere to the planned route and time schedule.
  • Will try to ensure that participants have activity-appropriate equipment, (insect repellant, proper footwear, sufficient water, etc.), and carry the proper clothing (hat, rain gear, etc.).

Participant Safety

  • Shall consider the safety of the participants more important than the goal or the completion of the activity.
  • Shall file a report of an accident or incident as soon as possible with the Committee.
  • Shall arrange for appropriate safety and first aid equipment to be available.
  • Shall monitor participants for signs of medical or physical difficulty and arrange for a safe return for any persons needing assistance.
  • Shall keep track of the number of participants in the group and account for all participants at the conclusion of the activity.
  • Shall organize a reasonable search for anyone not accounted for at the conclusion of the activity.
  • Shall be prepared to change plans to avoid unreasonable or unacceptable risks, e.g. lightning.