Trip Reports

Conduct on club trips

Conduct on club trips

One of the best things about our club is the way that everybody on trips contributes to the success of them. Even though the club doesn’t have many written policies on the conduct of members on trips, there are a number of things that we agree on without having to write them down. They include:

  • Trips leaders rock! Without them we wouldn’t have any club trips.
  • Everybody helps out. As a regular trip leader, I can’t count the number of times I have finished my supper and went to do the dishes only to see a group of people already taking care of the task. The same thing applies to tarps, food ropes and anything else that needs doing. Not sure what to do? Just ask – there are lots of opportunities.
  • Support for trip leaders. Most people who volunteer to lead trips know what they have in mind for the trip. This can include paddling distances, favourite campsites, meal & travel arrangements, etc. This information is included in the calendar posting for the trip. By signing up for the trip, we agree to follow the preferences of the trip leader.
  • Safety part 1. The club has not had any serious accidents since it was founded in 1952. In large measure this is because club members are expected to know their limits and to stay within them. Trip leaders can enhance this by putting limits on the participation of people who may not have the required skills.
  • Safety part 2. Thanks to efforts by the club to ensure that all members know, and follow, safety rules related to PFDs and other safety equipment, it is rare that someone on a trip doesn’t follow safety rules. In these cases, a gentle reminder from the trip leader or other trip member prompts people to comply with the rules.
  • Leave no trace. The wilderness is a wonderful place. Not only do club members respect it by obeying can and bottle bans, but many of them also go a step further and clean up after others.
  • Respect. Club members do not engage in verbal or physical behaviour that constitutes harassment or abuse or is likely to be offensive to others. This includes not using profane, insulting, or otherwise offensive language.
  • Overcoming adversity. We have all been on trips where there were too many bugs, the weather was horrible, the much-anticipated campfire was cancelled by a fire ban, etc. It is great when trip participants understand that there is nothing anyone can do about it and make the best of it.

Intoxicants

Not only are paddle sports dangerous when intoxicated, paddling while intoxicated is illegal. The same law (section 320.11 Criminal Code) that applies to drunk driving also applies to paddle sports.

The club policy on intoxicants includes alcohol, cannabis, and drugs, including prescription drugs that could impair your ability to operate a motor vehicle. Since club members are not trained to measure levels of impairment, the policy prohibits the use of intoxicants within 8 hours of operating a motor vehicle or boating.

Intoxicants, with moderation, are allowed after people are off the water for the day, although trips leaders can designate their trips as being intoxicant free. The club policy is available at:

https://www.raccc.ca/resources/club-administration/constitutionregulations/1918-intoxicants-policy

Inappropriate conduct

Although rare, it sometimes happens that someone on a trip doesn’t behave appropriately or breaks club rules. In these cases, a gentle reminder from the trip leader or another trip member about the conduct expected on club trips is frequently enough to correct the behaviour.

The club doesn’t expect trip leaders to be enforcers. If a trip member doesn’t respond to a request to correct inappropriate behaviour, the situation should be reported to a member of the executive.

Club members who feel that they have been subjected to harassment or abuse are encouraged to report the incident to a member of the club executive.

Please note: The goal of reporting issues to the executive is not to punish “offenders” in trouble. It is to allow the executive to take steps to correct the behaviour of individuals.