Acknowledgment and Assumption of Risks
I understand that Team Wilderness has taken reasonable steps to provide appropriate equipment and suitably skilled staff for its programs so that the Participant may enjoy an activity for which the Participant may not be skilled. Nevertheless, I acknowledge that the activities of the program have risks, including certain risks which are inherent and cannot be eliminated without changing the unique character of the activity. I understand that Team Wilderness does not want to frighten or reduce enthusiasm for the activity, but I acknowledge that Team Wilderness has informed me that it is important for me to know in advance what to expect and to be informed of the activities' inherent risks. Team Wilderness offers a wide variety of activities that may be strenuous, physically and emotionally. The inherent risks of these activities can include, without limitation, the loss of or damage to Participant’s equipment or other personal property, injury, illness, or in extreme cases, permanent physical or emotional trauma, disability or death. The following describes many of those activities and their inherent risks.
Participants in Team Wilderness programs camp and travel outdoors. The activities will depend on the program but may include some or all of the following: hiking, backpacking, yoga, camping, including cooking over stoves, open fires or by other means; ropes and/or challenge courses, which involve strenuous activities conducted at significant heights above the ground; rock, wall or tower climbing; general sports; physical problem-solving activities; water activities including flatwater or white water boating, tubing, paddle-boarding, rafting, canyoneering, canoeing, or kayaking; river crossings; indoor and outdoor rock climbing; vehicle travel and travel by public or chartered transportation; community and other service projects that may involve using tools, power equipment, ladders, or construction materials. Team Wilderness participants may engage in other activities not listed above, including volunteering in the community. The program plan or activity may be modified to include an activity not listed above for any number of reasons, including convenience, weather, emergencies, or unexpected conditions. Travel may be by vehicle, canoe, kayak, bike, on foot and by other means, over rugged and unpredictable off-trail terrain, including without limitation boulder fields, downed timber, rivers, river crossings, high mountain passes, steep slopes, and slippery rocks. Attendant risks include collision, falling, capsizing, drowning, and others usually associated with such travel as well as environmental risks. Environmental risks and hazards may include, without limitation, rapidly moving, deep or cold water; insects, reptiles, and predators, including large animals; contact with poisonous plants; falling and rolling rock; lightning, flash floods, earthquakes, falling trees; and unpredictable forces of nature, including weather which may change to extreme conditions without notice. Possible injuries and illnesses include without limitation food and water related illness, hypothermia, sunburn, heat exhaustion, heat stroke, dehydration, fatigue; injury to limbs and extremities, including inflammation, cuts, burns, strains, nerve damage, and broken bones; and other mild or serious conditions up to and including death. Again without limiting the foregoing, additional risks could include; equipment failure or malfunction; risks caused or complicated by any mental, physical, or emotional conditions any participant may have; inability to follow directions; being separated from other participants and leaders, physical contact with other participants or other individuals, and other natural or man-made hazards.
These risks also involve transmissions of viruses including, but not limited to, COVID-19. You acknowledge that exposure to such viruses or disease is an inherent risk of traveling, that cannot be controlled or eliminated by Team Wilderness. You acknowledge that due to the uncertainty of travel at this time, your tour may be postponed or cancelled, or changes may be made to itineraries due to closures of certain sites or activities, for which there may be no refund. Some locations may require you to have a vaccination or proof of negative testing. You are responsible for understanding these requirements and must not rely on Team Wilderness to provide these details. You understand that you may become sick before, during, or after the tour and may not be able to travel and such cancellation or interruption will be subject to our cancellation terms, for which we will not be liable. You agree that due to uncertainty caused by COVID 19, Team Wilderness has strongly encouraged the purchase of travel protection coverage including cancel for any reason coverage if and when available, and that should you fail to purchase travel protection coverage, Team Wilderness shall not be liable to any losses howsoever arising.
Team Wilderness trips may occur in remote places where rescue or medical facilities or expertise may be hours away. Communication and transportation are difficult and sometimes evacuations and medical care may be delayed. I understand that Team Wilderness cannot and will not provide constant and total supervision and that participants have responsibilities for their own welfare, including following directions and staying with the group.
Additionally, participants may be in urban or other areas with exposure to individuals who are not under Team Wilderness supervision or control.
Decisions are made by the staff/volunteers, contractors, and participants in a wilderness setting and are based on a variety of experiences, perceptions and evaluations which by their nature are imprecise and subject to errors in judgment. Misjudgments may pertain to, among other things, a participant’s capabilities, environment, terrain, water and weather conditions, natural hazards, routes and medical conditions. Throughout the program, participants are responsible for their own safety and for the safety of other members of their group.
I have read and I understand all of the information above, and I am aware that Team Wilderness programs include risks of injury or death. I understand that the descriptions of these risks above is not complete and that other unknown or unanticipated risks may result in property loss, injury or death. I agree to assume responsibility for the inherent risks described above and all other inherent risks of the activity. The Participant’s participation in this activity is purely voluntary, no one is forcing Participant to participate, and Participant elects to participate in spite of and with full knowledge of the inherent risks. I acknowledge that I understand the information presented in this Agreement, that I have had the opportunity to ask any and all questions that I might have about the risks described in this Agreement. I also acknowledge that the staff of Team Wilderness has been available to more fully explain to me the nature and physical demands of this activity and the inherent risks, hazards, and dangers associated with this program.
Agreements of Release and Indemnity
I hereby release, hold harmless, and agree not to sue Team Wilderness, its officers, directors, trustees, agents, and staff, including employees, volunteers, interns, and all other persons or entities acting under their direction (“Released Parties”), with respect to any and all claims of loss or damage to person or property by reason of injury, disability, death, or otherwise suffered by the Participant, arising in whole or part from my, or the minor Participant’s, participation in the Team Wilderness program. I agree further to indemnify (“indemnify” meaning to defend, and pay or reimburse, including costs and attorney’s fees) Released Parties against any claim by a member of my or the minor Participant’s family, a rescuer, another participant, or any other person, arising in whole or part from an injury or other loss suffered by me or caused by me, or suffered or caused by the minor Participant, in connection with my or the minor Participant’s participation in Team Wilderness. These agreements of Release and Indemnity include claims of negligence of a Released Party, but not of gross negligence or intentionally wrongful conduct. They are intended to be enforced to the fullest extent permitted by law.
The National Park Service and certain Forest Services may not allow for the assumption of risks other than the inherent risks or for the release of liability for claims of negligence. Therefore, for activities that occur on lands controlled by these agencies the assumption of risk in the above paragraph shall be enforced to the fullest extent allowable, and may be limited in certain circumstances.
I have verified with a physician and other medical professionals that I, or the minor Participant, have/has no past or current physical or psychological condition that might affect participation in the program, other than as described on the health form. Team Wilderness has the right to fully rely on this information and I hereby confirm that it is accurate. However, if Participant’s physical, medical or psychological condition changes during the course of an activity, the Participant will immediately alert staff. I authorize Team Wilderness to obtain or provide evacuation transportation, emergency hospitalization, surgical or other medical care for the Participant, including routine tests and treatment. I understand that situations may arise in which third-party medical care is not available and which require staff to provide first aid and possibly more advance procedures, occasionally employing Wilderness First Aid training, as they deem necessary. I specifically hereby authorize any third-party medical care provider to exchange pertinent medical information about the Participant with Team Wilderness or other medical personnel as necessary, and I authorize Team Wilderness personnel to share any pertinent medical information about Participant with any such medical care provider. I confirm that I have adequate medical/dental insurance to cover Participant’s medical/dental expenses, and I further acknowledge that any medical/dental expenses not covered by my insurance shall be paid by me.
I agree, on behalf of myself and the minor Participant, to accept and abide by Team Wilderness honor code and rules and that violating these rules and regulations could place the Participant and others in danger of injury or death. I understand that Team Wilderness has the right to dismiss any participant that disrupts the group or violates safety rules, or may otherwise be a risk to themselves or the group. I agree to be responsible for any damage that I, or the minor Participant, may cause, including to facilities, gear, property, or other participants. Team Wilderness is not responsible for loss, theft or damage to a participant’s personal belongings stored at Team Wilderness facilitates. I understand that Team Wilderness may search my, or the minor Participant’s, belongings at any time in search of prohibited or other items.
I authorize Team Wilderness to have and use my, or the minor Participant’s, image, voice, name/and or story in any format, including video, print or electronic as Team Wilderness may deem appropriate to carry out its mission, including the website and social media sites.
I agree that this Participant Agreement and all other aspects of my, or the minor Participant’s, relationship with Team Wilderness, contractual or otherwise are governed by the laws of the state of New Jersey or the other jurisdictions in which Team Wilderness operates, disregarding "conflict of law rules" which might make applicable the laws of another jurisdiction. Further, any suit, mediation, or arbitration arising out of or relating to Participant’s enrollment or participation in this course or any other dispute with Team Wilderness must be filed or entered into only in the state of New Jersey.