Organizing a Weekend

Field Trip Organizer Pages

(Note: Information contained in the pages below are somewhat outdated but may contain some useful bits. Packets will contain the most updated logistical information, if any of it conflicts.)

The field trips are:

  1. Mt Si

  2. Spire 1

  3. Spire 2

  4. Mt Erie

  5. Vantage

  6. Alpine Climbs

  7. Snow 1

  8. Snow 2

  9. Mt Baker

General Timeline for Weekend Organizers

Three weeks before trip

  • Meet with co-chairs to start planning the weekend

  • Send out an email soliciting volunteers with sign-up form (link provided by co-chairs). Here's a sample:

Greetings Super Si-ers!

The Mt Si field trip is coming up, and we'd like your help.

  • Please fill out the following survey [link to sign-up] by next Wednesday (March 12) to confirm that you can volunteer at Mt Si on March 29, Saturday.

  • [Any other details about the trip you want to include.]

Thanks!

-Jack & Jill

Mt Si Weekend Organizers

Two weeks to one week before trip

  • Reminder email to instructors to sign up before the deadline to volunteer

    • Co-chairs will provide the sign-up link to you to send out (this is the same sign-up link as sent the previous week)

    • Instructors selected for the trip should be informed by email as soon the selections have been made (preferably 2 weeks prior to the trip to allow plenty of time to look for backup instructors if necessary)

  • After instructors have been selected, weekend organizers and co-chairs start assigning roles

  • Meet with co-chairs again to finalize roles and details

    • Co-chairs will help with assigning appropriate people to ERT (Emergency Response Team)

      • Some tips for assembling the ERT:

        • Consider who might take over for that person if they get called (Is there someone who can take over for a group leader or station leader who is also on the ERT?)

        • Try to spread the ERT roles among instructors of different stations so no one station is too affected if the ERP is initiated. If possible, we want the stations and teaching to continue.

        • If there is an ERT role that needs to be filled by a specific person (e.g. medical lead or incident commander), consider moving them to a smaller weekend role (e.g. instructor instead of station lead).

        • The in-town contact's responsibilities are detailed here.

    • Once roles have been finalized, send assignments to instructors

      • Preliminary ERT members should be asked first if they feel comfortable with filling the role

      • Suggest that ERT members consider the following before committing:

      • Where will they be throughout the day (how fast can they respond, etc)

      • Who is their backup at their station if they get called

    • Work on student and instructor packets

      • Co-chairs will make copies of last year's packets and give weekend organizers access to the packets

      • Weekend organizers to update the packets with this year's info

      • (Should no longer have to do the following since you should use a copy of last year's packets.) Otherwise create packets from the templates

      • Make a copy of the following templates (These were the Mt Si packets)

      • The student emails/roster can be found here.

      • ERP diagram in the packets is created by making a copy of the following template

      • Fill out with ERT names when team has been selected

        • Then update the student and instructor packets with the ERP diagram

        • Download the ERP diagram as a PNG (File -> Download as -> PNG image) and paste it at the end of each packet

One week before trip

  • Arrange with equipment managers for equipment checkout (currently the co-chairs are the equipment managers but this may change in the future)

Tuesday before trip

    • Quick meeting with co-chairs again for last-minute changes and questions

  • Announce trip in class

    • When and where, logistics (parking permits, key gear, etc.)

    • A little of what to expect (weather)

    • To encourage carpooling, use Group Carpool to create a carpool group for the trip and send the link out along with the student and instructor packets below

      • Use the same Group Carpool link for both students and instructors

  • Send out links to student and instructor packets (click on "Share" button in the Google doc to get a shareable link. Copy and paste this link into the email.)

      • Instructors should receive links to both student and instructor packets

      • Students should receive just a link to the student packet

    • Sample student email with logistics reminders that were announced in class:

      • Hey folks!

        • I hope you're all super stoked about the first field trip of class! Here's the digital version [link to Google doc packet] of the student packet we handed out today. We suggest not printing out the packet until the day before the trip since we might be making last-minute changes.

        • Highlights of what we talked about:

          • Weather + conditions: Forecast says it will likely rain. Please dress appropriately! Also, there is snow on trail. Microspikes and poles highly recommended.

          • Permits: Make sure you have a Discover Pass and coordinate carpooling among yourselves.

          • Parking lot + pack check: The organizers will be parked in the middle of the parking lot rather than right by the trailhead. Look for markers. We'll make it super obvious where we are. Check in with one of us, then find your group leader and do your pack check.

          • Checking in/out: Nobody leaves the parking lot until EVERYONE has checked in before we ascend, and EVERYONE has checked out after we descend.

          • At the top: We will not be descending immediately. You'll be standing around in snow for 5 hours learning knots, map & compass, and bivying. Dress accordingly.

          • Mountaineering boots: They're optional for this trip. Don't wear your plastics. Wear something comfortable to hike in that will also keep you WARM when standing in the snow for many hours.

          • Carpool sign-ups can be found at <link to Group Carpool page created for trip>.

        • Email us if you have any questions. We're here to help. Excited to see you all Saturday :)

        • Cheers,

        • Charing & Colbi

    • This can happen on Wednesday as well if any last-minute changes from co-chair meeting occur

    • Let students and instructors know that the packets might still be updated up to the day before the trip

      • If there are any drastic changes to plans, we will email them as well as update the packets

Wednesday / Thursday before trip

    • (Optional) Send out another email to students and instructors with logistics of the trip

      • Remind students not to wait until last minute to pack especially for overnight trips

      • Weather update

      • Instructors should arrive early for pack checks (if the trip requires them) and to ensure students are ready on time

      • Remind those instructors who are on setup crew the time they are to arrive

    • Spires 1 & 2 and Snow 1 have a tradition of handing out silly awards/prizes, so weekend organizers can pick up prizes for these trips (Budget: $20-30 each trip, Snow 1 can be $45-50)

    • Co-chairs will ensure:

Day before trip

  • Make reservations (and preliminary order?) for the post-trip restaurant

  • Print out check-in / check-out student and instructor lists (can just use the student and instructor rosters from the packets)

Trip day

  • For Spire 1, Spire 2, and Mt Erie trips, pick up some baked goods and maybe some bananas or other fruit for setup crew (can happen day before) (Total budget for snacks and/or coffee: ~$60)

      • Box of dozen Top Pot doughnuts is ~$20 :)

    • Coffee (2 boxes) from Starbucks or Top Pot is ~$32

  • ERT should meet before sessions start:

    • Agenda:

      • Who is where through the day (how fast can you respond, etc)

      • Who is your backup at your station if you get called

      • Common concerns to keep an eye open for/be prepared for

  • Before day's sessions start, organizers or co-chair should meet with instructors for quick run-down on day's activities and logistics

    • Include past week's or past year's incidents at this site and managing the objective hazards that are there

    • At end of trip, meet with instructors for 5-minute debrief with scribe to record details

      • Must attend: 1+ co-chair, 1+ weekend organizer, all instructors

      • Focus on near misses, incidents, lessons learned, and how to avoid similar situations next time

      • Delegate clearly who is going to write up the incident form(s)

        • Once submitted, RMC will summarize them anonymously on the RMC website

After the trip

  • Submit any lessons learned to the co-chairs to be recorded for next year's organizers

  • Submit receipts to co-chairs to be reimbursed for setup crew food/coffee and the prizes

  • Co-chairs will send out link to students with student feedback survey

  • Co-chairs will send out reminders for group leaders' and instructors' student assessments and feedback on the trip. Sample:

For those instructors who helped out at Mt Si:

  • Group leaders, can you help us by filling out a student assessment [link to Google form for student assessments] for each student in your group? It's short (shouldn't take more than 5 minutes for each student), and it will help us greatly! As well, any instructors who were helping out at stations can fill this out for any students who they think need special mention.

  • Any instructors who would like to submit feedback about any aspect of the trip can email us at wac-basic-chairs@googlegroups.com. You can also submit anonymous feedback at this page (http://basicclass.washingtonalpineclub.org/class-resources/feedback).

Thanks for your help with this trip! Despite the snow and cold, it was an awesome day because of your help!

-Jennifer (on behalf of the co-chairs)

  • Co-chairs will make available results of trip feedback to instructors

  • Co-chairs will send Group Leader student assessments for previous trips to the next trip's Group Leaders