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Houston, Texas

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is a Paddle America Club

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HomeNL-2018-01 Trip Leaders

Guidelines for a Trip Leader
Reprinted from May 1988
by Louis Brosius

The newsletter section of this web site contains 40 years of Houston Canoe Club newsletters. Amidst those many publications are buried a lot of gems of wisdom, that are still just as valid today as when they first appeared. The following article from 30-years ago is one of those gems.  

1. Be at home Thursday before trip to receive calls from participating members for the proposed trip.
a. Give date, time and place of assembly.
b. Explain type of trip and level of
    experience required, and attempt to
    determine their level of competence.
c. If participants are not known to the
    leader it would be wise to outline their
2.  Be at point of assembly 15 minutes ahead of time with a list of those that have reserved for the trip.
3. Speak to the group and explain the trip as planned: Put-in, take-out locations, expected time on the river, appoint a sweep boat, determine the number of boats on the trip, see if boats can be transferred to reduce the number of cars in the shuttle as well as reducing the number of cars to be parked at the put-in and take-out.
4. Designate a shuttle leader, and a shuttle sweep. Both must be familiar with the put-in and take-out.
5. The leader shall not leave the put-in area until all participants have their boats in the water, and everyone is wearing a life jacket. If there is a participant without a jacket or refuses to wear it, make them aware it is a club policy that everyone wears a jacket, and notify them, if they refuse, the club then will not consider them as a member of that trip.
6. The leader will be responsible to see that the club medical kit is carried in a specific boat and that all participants are aware of which boat carries the kit.
7. It is the responsibility of the participants to let the trip leader know if they have a potential health problem.
8. The leader shall see that safety emergency equipment appropriate for the trip is on hand and in good order.
9. The leader shall keep track of all of the boats to assure no one becomes separated from the group or gets into some kind of difficulty with no one to assist.
10. If the leader determines a participant is endangering his own safety or that of other participants, it is his responsibility to take steps to correct the situation. When this becomes necessary. it is the obligation of the other members on the trip to support and assist the leader to the degree required.
11. At take-out the leader will see that all participants with cars at put-in are shuttled to their cars.
12. The leader will assure that everyone is loaded and not in any kind of trouble. The leader will be the last to leave the take-out after he satisfies himself that all participants are off the river, or any that are remaining on the river are made aware the trip is over and they are on their own.