During any WilSkills trip, safety is a top priority. Our organization adheres to a comprehensive set of safety policies enforced by our student instructors. Collectively, our instructors demonstrate expertise in all WilSkills activities and hold numerous certifications such as Wilderness First Responder (WFR), Wilderness First Aid (WFA), First Aid, CPR, and Lifeguard. Student instructors are chosen based on their knowledge of WilSkills activities and locations, safety, problem solving and leadership skills.

Qualifications for Student Instructors

  • Have passed the WilSkills course as student participant.
  • Have participated in a minimum of four WilSkills trips before becoming an instructor.
  • Demonstrate advanced competency for WilSkills activities (paddling, climbing, backpacking)
  • Attend formal instructor training weekends and other training events throughout the semester.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of nearest hospitals to trip area in the event of an emergency.

General Policies (applicable to all trips)

  • All student trips are alcohol, drug, and tobacco free.
  • Anyone in a WilSkills vehicle or private vehicle used for a WilSkills trip must wear a seatbelt whenever the vehicle is in motion.
  • When possible, at least one instructor must be present in every tent.
  • Students may not drive the WilSkills vans.
  • When possible, at least 2 instructors should be present in each van.
  • First aid kits must be carried at all times during a trip.
  • The equipment chair is responsible for ensuring that all safety gear used on trips is properly maintained and fully functional.

Paddling Specific Policies

  • All students and instructors must wear helmets and life jackets while paddling.
  • When possible, beginner students will be paired with instructors or with experienced students.

Climbing Specific Policies

  • Students and instructors must wear helmets when climbing or belaying.
  • Students are not permitted to lead or clean climbs.
  • Students may belay an instructor leading or cleaning a route at the discretion of the instructor.
  • No student is permitted to belay another person unsupervised without first demonstrating proficiency in basic belay technique.
  • Persons not associated with WilSkills may not use WilSkills climbing gear in weight-bearing situations, nor may students and instructors use the gear of such persons in weight-bearing situations and associated safety policies.