In the Diocese of Allentown, many of our schools and youth groups are involved in activities outside the immediate area, requiring an overnight stay. Steps must be taken during the planning phase, as well as during the trip, to prevent injury and liability exposure due to chaperone action, or lack thereof. This document is intended to be used by all Diocesan parishes, schools and organizations as a resource for trip leaders to plan and enjoy a successful overnight trip.
Preparing for the trip
1. If possible, the trip leader should make an advance visit to the area to determine what will work best for the group and to identify any potential risks that are evident. If a pre-visit is not possible, it may be helpful to contact other leaders who have made a trip to the area for information and suggestions.
Issues to consider:
- What security measures are in place? Is additional security needed?
- What is the distance to the nearest medical facility and what services are available there?
- Are language barriers a potential issue?
- Are there specific customs or standards that may apply?
2. Confirm that facilities are adequate to house all participants in one location, including all adult chaperones.
3. Create a plan of action to be certain that you can properly respond to an emergency.
4. Determine if the participants must have specific documents in their possession for the trip. If so, how and when will this be conveyed to the participants allowing for the appropriate amount of time needed to obtain documents.
5. Provide a detailed description of the trip and specific documents required to parents/ guardians before participants register.
Include the following information:
- Type of activities
- All costs
- Departure and arrival dates and times
- All modes of transportation to be used
- Information on accommodations
- Names of chaperones
- Emergency contact information
6. Determine if any additional insurance coverage will be needed. All participants should check with their health care insurer to verify their insurance will cover them. If health insurance issues are concern, arrangements should be made to acquire adequate health insurance for the trip.