Here’s what you should know about summer travel safety:
Caring for travelers in remote and foreign destinations around the world is serious business.
With 25 years of experience, we understand that safety is the most important aspect of travel. We have an exceptional record to prove it. The physical and emotional well-being of our travelers is the most important aspect of our work and we live and breathe it 24/7.
Summer’s are also for fun and freedom. They are for laughter, exploration, adventure, challenges and growth. They are also a time for young people to find ways to succeed outside of school, and adventure someplace a little less ordinary, while taking controlled risk in some of the world’s most breathtaking places on earth.
When you’re traveling, the stakes are higher. It’s serious business. This conviction has empowered and inspired us to provide only the best in training, emergency preparedness, and staffing over the years.
From our first day of caring for children on RLT, we have operated with the belief that the young people who come on our programs are no different than if they were our own.
So here are the top 9 reasons RLT sets the standard for safety in our industry:
1. The Chicago Staff – Remarkable, Tireless and Compassionate
Our dedicated team of professionals are what allows The Road Less Traveled to provide safe, authentic, life-changing travel experiences. Our staff are guardians of the experience, in the most genuine sense of the word. They are up to the task and find there is nothing more challenging or rewarding.
2. Our Instructors – The Road Less Traveled Is Defined By Its Leadership
RLT demands the ultimate responsibility in life. More than just leaders, instructors and mentors, they are guardians, in the most genuine sense of the word – essentially a parent to every child. They are up to the task and find there is nothing more challenging – or, rewarding. They teach irreplaceable lessons that can only occur on an RLT trip, lessons that come from experiences that are relevant, real and personal.
3. Our Training
It starts with hiring the highest caliber instructors, who all know the significance of safety. We provide a ten-day training personally led by both Jim and Donna Stein. In addition to this training and personal evaluation, a Wilderness First Responder (WFR) or Wilderness EMTis required. Wilderness First Responder is an 80-hour nationally recognized curriculum that includes standards for urban and extended care situations. Advanced medical training is essential and years ago we set the standard in the industry for safety as the first company serving young people to require that ALL of our leaders, co-leaders and interns have WFR.
4. Our Medical Director
We have our own personal Medical Director, Dr. Ken Branstetter, physician/pediatrician on call 24/7. We have highly experienced, logistical and medical assistance teams on call around-the-clock. We follow very specific and detailed medical policies, procedures and protocols including standing orders, and have the most advanced equipment available on all of our programs.
5. ACA Accreditation
Accredited since our first year of operation, we continue to be committed to measuring the standard of our professionalism through the process of accreditation. Our accreditation indicates that we have voluntarily allowed our practices to be compared with over 300 standards established by professionals in the camp industry and that we have met or exceeded those standards. In addition, we are members of the Midwest Association of Independent Camps as well as The Camp Owners & Directors Association. All of these organizations share our dedication to summer travel safety.
6. Markel’s Safety 1st Designation for 2014
RLT was awarded the Markel’s Safety 1st designation recognizing policyholders who have shown an exceptional commitment to the safety of their employees and clients. Michael Swain, Senior Loss Control Specialist for Markel Specialty, stated, “Camps and clubs must meet stringent criteria to qualify for the Safety 1st designation. They must have a proven safety record, undergo formal assessments and inspections, and participate in continuing education and certification programs. These facilities deserve to be recognized for keeping safety a top priority.” The Road Less Traveled is extremely proud to be among the few awarded this prestigious designation.
7. Designated Medical Facilities, Safehouses and U.S. Embassies
We have predetermined designated evacuation routes, safe houses and medical facilities in every area in which we operate. We monitor daily all of our destinations as well as the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), and World Health Organization (WHO) travel advisories. We register each student traveling out of the country, with the American Embassy. In addition, Embassies have our information and full itinerary should they need to contact us.
8. Medical Policies/Procedures/Protocols/Equipment
Extensive first-aid kits, including antibiotics and epinephrine, are carried on all programs. Contents and protocols are updated according to annually-reviewed standing orders and current wilderness medical protocols. Our equipment is top quality and impeccably maintained. All participants wear life jackets, safety harnesses, and helmets, as appropriate and use safety goggles, masks, and other protective gear, as necessary.
9. Emergency Communications
Since our inception, RLT has been on the cutting edge of technological advances in communications. We were the first to carry Iridium satellite phones on all of our programs and today we continue to carry the latest in emergency communication systems for daily mission-critical reliable communication services. Cost does not prevent us from providing your family with the best in care. According to geographic location, programs are equipped with satellite phones, ground-to-air radios, and/or cellular phones providing access to 24-hour medical help in case of emergency. Technology permitting, leaders can consult the directors, Jim and Donna Stein, and our Medical Director, Ken Branstetter, anytime day or night.
We always enjoy hearing from you. If you have questions, comments, or concerns about summer travel safety with RLT, please feel free to call or email us. We have a lot more to say about our safety standards, and we’d love to talk to you more!