How to lead an Explorers Club Trip
1) Post a message to the relevant activity-specific e-mail list.
Include the date, time, destination/route, meeting place, expected return, and any flexibilities/uncertainties in these details.
It's often helpful to create a Google Sheet to keep track of who is interested in attending. This will help keep relevant parties in the planning loop, including trip leaders, interested members, and officers who may be supporting your trip with information, gear, reimbursements etc. Ask all interested members to provide their contact information, transportation options, scheduling constraints, available gear, prior experience, and technical abilities if relevant.
2) Plan your trip.
In advance of the trip, finalize who's going and be sure to inform them as well as those who may have responded later if all the spots are full. Make necessary reservations (e.g., camping). Plan for your food and water needs. Create a packing list. Check the weather forecast (while also being prepared in case the weather changes quickly and unpredictably). Acquire and study relevant maps, guidebooks, route information, etc.
Send out confirmation of the plans to the attendees.
Please reach out to the officer as soon as possible to schedule this time; they are not always available for last-minute or last-day requests.
4) After the trip, dry out the gear and return it to the storeroom.
Please keep the storeroom in neat order; leave it in better shape than you found it! This should be a group responsibility, not the trip leader's alone, but you should communicate that to other participants if you want them to help.
5) Write a trip report!
Who went, what did you do, how did it go, etc. You can check out some of our past trip reports here. Email your report and some cool photos to the officers list so we can post your report. Please feel free to post photos on our Instagram feed as well.
6) Submit a reimbursement request.
If you have followed all of the steps above, your trip is eligible for reimbursements (subject to availability of funds and club policies). Any members who would like reimbursement under club can fill out and submit the Student Activities reimbursement form, combined with receipts (tape, don't staple, shorter ones on to 8.5x11" paper), to University Center Box 64. Make sure one of the treasurers knows your form is there and they can sign it next time they check the box.
Official club trips must be meaningfully open to any interested club members (including folks who will join at or just before the start of that trip); e.g., not just your existing group of friends. Spots should generally be awarded on a first-come-first-served basis, though a later responder might get higher priority if they're providing something that's important to the trip's success, such as another vehicle for transportation, or key skills & instruction. Trips can be designed for specific skill levels (e.g., "You should be solid on the Lower Yough and have a solid combat roll to attend this [kayaking] trip [to the Cheat & Lower Big Sandy]").
If you get responses requesting accommodation for a disability, please contact the club officers as soon as possible so we can loop in the Office of Disability Resources, who can help make things easier for everyone. If you need such accommodations and happen to have read this first, please cc ODR in your response to the trip leader.
All trips should carry a first aid kit and someone on the trip should know how to use it. Trip participants should recognize that outdoor activities carry some inherent risks and that modern medical facilities are not always available. Participants should also carry and use appropriate clothing and other gear, and plenty of water. Trip leaders should have a map (if needed for the activity and/or contingencies), an emergency action plan, and be mindful of communication (esp. if the group splits up, such as when traveling in multiple cars). Follow Leave No Trace principles.