FAQ

Who are the leaders/chaperones and what is their training? 

Specially­ trained full-time staff members, who are Wilderness First Aid certified, are certified teachers, as well as having many years of outdoor experience. In addition, other members of the Sage community often accompany the trips, particularly if they have some specialized skill we need to complete the trip. 

How do I know what to pack?  Where and when do I pick up my child? 

Generally on the Monday before the scheduled trip, we send out an informational email which contains an itinerary and a detailed packing list. You can also find generic packing lists on this site. Note that the lists have 2 columns­ the required equipment and optional equipment, which really is optional. We will post some notes on how best to obtain some of this gear on the site soon. 

Are parents allowed to come? 

We do not, as of this writing, have a hard and fast rule about parent involvement. We have had parents come along on some trips, particularly when that parent has specialized experience relevant to that trip. At the same time, having too many extra adults tends to make the logistics more complicated, as well as significantly changing the experience for the child. If you are interested in attending, just contact Alex Olsen and ask. 

Do participants need to have experience? 

Generally not. The main mission of the outdoor program is to expose students to a wide variety of outdoor recreation experiences, and make the experience accessible to as many students as possible. That being said, we also provide experiences for more advanced kids, so they get the challenge they are after as well. 

What is the plan in case of emergency? 

We have a multilayered risk management plan in place. First, we have been bringing our regular outdoor leaders up to a standard of certification that includes Wilderness First Aid (and Wilderness First Responder for some), Commercial Driver’s Licenses, Leave No Trace Training, and of course ample experience in a range of outdoor activities. The next layer is risk management equipment, including industry standard first aid kits, SPOT locators, and cellular phones. We also have a planning protocol, including creating an emergency response plan for every trip, and requiring emergency contact informant and insurance information for every participant. Fortunately, our preparations have thus far prevented any serious incidents on any Sage Outdoor Programs, but we remain vigilant in case of any occurring in the future. 

What’s the food like? 

Actually, most participants say the food is actually a draw to the program rather than something to be endured. We have a pretty plush camp kitchen, with several stoves, dutch ovens, and a campfire. The dinners include full old favorites like “hobo dinners” and s’mores, along with dutch oven treats like lasagna and enchilada pie, which all supplement the camp stove mainstays like taco salad, super­spaghetti, and chicken curry. Lunches are generally a buffet of various sandwich fixings, energy bars, fruits, chips, and so on. Breakfasts are always hot, with pancakes, French toast, and breakfast burritos commonly on the menu. 

How does the camp run? 

For overnight trips and super trips, each student is assigned an equal number of spots on a “duty roster,” which has them be responsible for things like keeping the water jugs full, the dishes clean, and the food ready on time. As a side benefit to Outdoor Programs, students learn to cook several meals, build a fire, wash a dish correctly, and treat water gathered from a natural source. Adult leaders of course supervise and help with all tasks, particularly meals, because generally they are very concerned with meal quality for personal reasons.
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