KALAMAZOO COLLEGE LANDSEA PROGRAM
PARTICIPANT AGREEMENT: INCLUDING ASSUMPTION OF RISKS AND AGREEMENTS OF RELEASE AND INDEMNITY
Please read this document carefully. It must be signed by all participants. “Participant” includes adult and minor participants and includes anyone participating in the program, including but not limited to leaders, staff, alumni, and guest instructors. If the participant is a minor (under the age of 18) at least one parent or guardian (referred to below as “Parent”) must also sign, as evidence of Parent’s acknowledgement and agreement to the following, on Parent’s behalf and on behalf of the minor participant. In consideration of the services provided by the Kalamazoo College LandSea Program, I agree to the following:
ACTIVITIES AND RISKS
I understand that the Kalamazoo College LandSea Program provides hiking, overnight backpacking, wilderness camping, solo camping, off-trail travel and navigation, wilderness swimming unsupervised by a lifeguard, multi-day canoeing, games and initiatives, outdoor rock climbing and rappelling, service projects, and potential transportation by bus, car, van, train and/or plane. Further, I understand and acknowledge that the activities of the program have risks, including certain risks which are inherent.
Inherent risks cannot be eliminated without destroying the unique character of an activity. The same elements that contribute to the unique character of an activity can cause loss or damage to equipment, accidental injury, illness, or, in extreme cases, permanent trauma, disability or death. The following describes some, but not all, of the inherent risks of the Kalamazoo College LandSea Program:
– Water travel: Rapidly moving, deep or cold water can increase the risk of hypothermia and drowning. Rivers and bodies of water also contain potentially dangerous obstacles such as rapids, waterfalls, submerged rocks, downed trees (“strainers”), and undercut rocks, as well as other hazards. Foot entrapment is a serious risk, especially in moving water. Many lakes and rivers in the Adirondacks are used by motor craft and float planes, and there is risk of collisions. Traveling at night increases all of these risks.
– Wildlife encounters: Bears inhabit Adirondack State Park and have attacked and even killed humans. Rodents and other mammals can carry diseases that can be transmitted to humans, including Hanta virus, which attacks the respiratory system and can be deadly. Stinging or biting insects can cause pain and discomfort, or occasionally even serious allergic reactions such as anaphylaxis. Mosquitoes and ticks are unavoidable and can carry diseases that are harmful to humans. Although rare, the Timber Rattlesnake inhabits some parts of the Adirondacks. The bite of a rattlesnake can cause serious illness and even death in some. Humans will be encountered in Adirondack State Park, and these can be very dangerous animals as well!
– Wilderness environment: There are many inherent risks in the outdoors, including falling or rolling rock, lightning, high winds, falling trees or branches, hail, flash floods, landslides, mud slides, avalanches, weather that may change to extreme conditions without notice, extreme temperatures, and other unpredictable forces of nature.
– Effects of participation in outdoor programs: Additional risks include allergic reactions, psychological distress, hypothermia, hyperthermia, sunburn, heatstroke, dehydration, and other mild or serious conditions. Exposure to the natural elements can be uncomfortable or harmful. Program leaders may carry prescription medications such as epinephrine and may administer epinephrine to an individual who appears to be exhibiting signs and symptoms of a serious allergic reaction.
– Food and water: Participants are often responsible for preparing and cooking food on trail and at basecamp facilities. This involves working with knives, boiling water, and stoves. Camp stoves use a fuel that is highly flammable and can flare up, leak, and ignite spilled fuel which can cause serious burns. Stoves may be used improperly, maintained improperly, or intentionally modified and used in ways that may be dangerous. Improper food handling and sanitation can cause illness. Food may be mislabeled or ingredients may become mixed, which can be harmful to those with food sensitivities or allergies. Participants acquire water from natural sources which can contain harmful viruses or bacteria such as giardia and cryptosporidium. These viruses and bacteria can remain in treated water as well. Participants use iodine to chemically treat drinking water which can cause illness in some.
– Motorized travel: Participants may travel by bus, 12 passenger van, minivan and car between locations and are subject to inattentive drivers, objects in the road, equipment and vehicular failure, impacts with animals and other road related hazards.
– Wilderness travel: Travel within the program by foot is often in rugged terrain and may occur on steep slopes in which participants could fall from a height, slip, become disoriented and lost, become separated from the group, dislodge rocks and be hit from rocks falling from above.
– Rock climbing and rappelling: Participants may participate in rock climbing and rappelling in which there are hazards associated with traveling in steep terrain, including the potential of falling, inadequate anchoring, slipping on rocks, being hit by rocks or equipment, equipment failure, inattentive staff and/or belayers or inappropriate belay technique.
– Solo camping: Camping by oneself increases the risks listed above because of lower levels of supervision and access to those who can help or assist in an emergency. Individuals may choose to fast during and in preparation for a solo experience, which comes with additional risks due to lower energy levels and potential issues for those taking certain medications. There is an increased risk of individuals becoming lost. Staff and other participants may be unable to respond to distressed solo campers. Solo campers may not receive adequate food and water. Regular supervision cannot be guaranteed. It is expected that those who participate in solo have assessed their own level of readiness and have determined that they are prepared to camp by themselves before deciding to engage in the activity.
– Service projects: Some individuals may be involved in service projects which carry risks associated with working to clear outdoor spaces, demolish structures, use hand tools and power tools, create trails, and other duties. Participants may receive inadequate or improper instruction, and there are dangers in working near others using tools.
– Rafting: Participants take part in rafting, which carries with it risks of falling out of the raft, swimming in swift water and rapids, striking rocks, as well as the possibility of drowning.
Bottom line: There are risks associated with the activities of the Kalamazoo College LandSea program! It is the responsibility of the participant to familiarize themselves with the activities of the program and the nature of the risks associated with those activities before participating.
I have read and understand the LandSea Participant Manual, LandSea brochure, LandSea website, and admissions materials. Kalamazoo College and LandSea office staff have been available to more fully explain the nature and physical demands of the activities in which I will be engaged, and certain inherent and other risks of my activity with Kalamazoo College and LandSea.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT AND ASSUMPTION OF INHERENT AND OTHER RISKS
I understand and acknowledge that the description above (“Activities and Risks”) of the inherent risks of my activities is not complete and that other, including unknown or unanticipated, risks, inherent and otherwise, may result in property loss, injury, illness or death. I acknowledge that my participation in this program is purely voluntary, and I wish to participate in spite of and in knowledge of the inherent and other risks involved. I ACKNOWLEDGE AND ASSUME THE INHERENT RISKS DESCRIBED ABOVE AND ALL OTHER INHERENT RISKS OF MY ACTIVITY. IN ADDITION, I EXPRESSLY ASSUME ALL RISKS OF ENROLLING AND PARTICIPATING IN A PROGRAM, INHERENT OR OTHERWISE, AND WHETHER OR NOT DESCRIBED ABOVE.
AGREEMENTS AND RELEASE OF INDEMNITY
If I am an ADULT participant, or the parent of a minor participant I agree, for myself and on behalf of the minor participant for whom I sign, as follows:
I HEREBY RELEASE AND HOLD HARMLESS AND AGREE NOT TO SUE KALAMAZOO COLLEGE AND THE LANDSEA PROGRAM, ITS OFFICERS, TRUSTEES, AGENTS, AND STAFF INCLUDING EMPLOYEES, VOLUNTEERS AND INTERNS (“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 me or by a minor participant for whom I sign, arising in whole or part from my, or the minor participant’s, enrollment or participation in any activity of the Kalamazoo College LandSea Program. I AGREE FURTHER TO INDEMNIFY (“INDEMNIFY” MEANING TO DEFEND, AND TO 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 by the minor Participant, in connection with my, or the minor participant’s enrollment or participation in an activity of the Kalamazoo College LandSea Program.
THESE AGREEMENTS OF RELEASE AND INDEMNITY INCLUDE CLAIMS OF NEGLIGENCE.
If I am an ADULT participant or the parent of a minor participant I further agree, for myself and on behalf of the minor participant for whom I sign, as follows:
I have verified with my or the minor participant’s physician and other medical professionals, or otherwise satisfied the Kalamazoo College LandSea Program, that I, or the minor participant, have no past or current physical or psychological condition that might affect my, or the minor’s, participation in the program, other than as described on the health form submitted. I am, or the minor is, able to participate without causing harm to myself, or to himself or herself, or to others. The medical information given is accurate and all pertinent medical conditions have been disclosed. Prior to the commencement of the course, the Kalamazoo College LandSea Program will be informed of any medical condition that has not been previously disclosed. I understand that admission of me or the minor participant to the course is not intended as a representation that the Kalamazoo College LandSea Program staff will be able to manage successfully a medical event or emergency related to a disclosed, or undisclosed, medical condition. The responsibility for determining a participant’s ability for a course is not Kalamazoo College’s or LandSea’s but, rather, the participant’s, guided by family and her or his physician. The Kalamazoo College LandSea Program reserves the right to refuse admission or remove a participant from a course for any reason it deems in the best interests of the participant or the school.
The Kalamazoo College LandSea Program is authorized to obtain or provide emergency hospitalization, surgical or other medical care for me, or for the minor participant. 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 advanced procedures, employing Wilderness First Responder training. Any third-party medical care provider is authorized to exchange pertinent medical information with the Kalamazoo College LandSea Program. Costs reasonably associated with the medical services, including evacuation, shall be borne by me.
Kalamazoo College may use my or the minor participant’s name and photo or other image in promotional materials and press releases.
Damages, loss or theft:
I agree to be responsible for any damage I, or the minor participant, may cause to facilities gear. Kalamazoo College LandSea Program is not responsible for loss, theft or damage to a participant’s personal belongings stored at Kalamazoo College LandSea Program facilities.
This agreement shall be governed, construed and enforced in accordance with the laws of the State of Michigan. Any action concerning any dispute arising hereunder shall be filed and maintained only in a state or federal court sitting in the State of Michigan. The parties’ execution of this agreement shall be considered as consent and submission to the jurisdiction of the state and federal courts in Michigan.
This agreement constitutes the entire agreement and understanding between the parties regarding the subject matter described, shall be considered a complete and exclusive statement of the terms thereof, and supersedes all previous agreements with respect to the subject matters covered by this Agreement. No modification or amendment to the agreement shall be valid unless in writing, signed by the party against whom such alteration or modification is sought.
If any provision of this agreement is determined to be invalid or unenforceable, the other provisions of the agreement shall remain valid and enforceable in accordance with their respective terms, and any such invalid or unenforceable provision shall be modified by a court of competent jurisdiction to render such provision valid and enforceable.
This Agreement may be executed and delivered by facsimile or electronic transmission, in one or more separate counterparts, each of which when executed and delivered shall be deemed an original, but all of which together shall constitute the same agreement.
THE PARTICIPANT AND THE PARENT(S) OR GUARDIAN OF A MINOR PARTICIPANT HAVE READ THIS PAGE AND THE PREVIOUS PAGES OF THIS DOCUMENT AND UNDERSTAND AND VOLUNTARILY AGREE TO ITS TERMS, WHICH SHALL BE BINDING UPON THEM, THEIR HEIRS, ESTATE, EXECUTORS AND ADMINISTRATORS. THE AGREEMENT MAY BE MODIFIED ONLY IN WRITING.
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