If you’re planning a rafting trip (or any kind of trip) with a group, one of your top priorities is most likely the safety of everyone involved. Here at Big Creek Expeditions, safety and personal responsibility have always been one of our top priorities as well. We have compiled a list of our top 5 safety tips for every large group to help you navigate through a safe and memorable trip for all!
By collecting the groups’ health and emergency contact information, you can ensure that you are prepared if a situation is to arise. Compile students’ allergies onto a printed document for ease when visiting a restaurant to keep them safe. Collect the necessary paperwork to authorize medical care should anyone need medical attention.
It's also important to stay aware of your own personal health and how it can effect others in your group. Be sure to wash your hands often and thoroughly, cover your cough/sneeze, and isolate yourself if you are running a high temperature or are feeling ill.
Wrangling a group together can be difficult, but by keeping a constant count, you can ensure yourself and other chaperones that everyone is accounted for and where they need to be. Any time the group loads up on a bus or enters and then leaves a building, it’s important to move the group together and count heads. Save time with a simple head count instead of calling roll or having people chime out loud numerically. If splitting up to enjoy free time, consider dividing into groups with a designated chaperone so everyone can have more freedom to explore on their own.
Travelling when you’re exhausted is not fun, so be sure to get plenty of rest. If you’re travelling with multiple chaperones, consider taking shifts in order to ensure the everyone is staying safe and in their rooms while other chaperones and group leaders are resting. If you don’t have the capacity to schedule shifts, perhaps scheduling a nighttime hotel security guard to patrol the halls could be an option for you.
While participating in any outdoor activity, including rafting, it’s important to stay hydrated. Dehydration is the number one reason travelers become ill and is 100% preventable. Encourage one another to drink plenty of water. Help the environment and reduce your waste by carrying a reusable water bottle—plus you’ll always be prepared!
Having a detailed itinerary is a great way to make sure everyone in your group stays up to date. You can utilize apps that offer texting services like WhatsApp to confirm meeting points and arrival/departure times as well as communicate with anyone in your group that may have questions along the way.
Rafting is an excellent team bonding activity that will have you and your group walking away feeling accomplished and with memories to last a lifetime. With decades of group rafting experience, let us help navigate you and your group down the Pigeon River near Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge and Sevierville. Contact our reservations staff for specialized discounts for groups of 10 or more by calling 423.487.0178 or 877.642.7238