GCA Trip Sign-up Guidelines
Be considerate of our trip coordinators (TCs) when signing up for GCA trips and activities.
1. Avoid calling late at night, or at the last minute, to sign up for a club trip. Calling early in the week, or even earlier, helps to ensure you get a spot on the trip and helps the TC to make plans.
2. Avoid just showing up for a club trip without signing up with the trip coordinator.
3. Calling and leaving a voice mail message or sending an email does not constitute signing up. TCs often do not get last minute messages or emails before leaving for their trips. Participation in club trips is not guaranteed. Two major reasons for this are that trip sizes may be limited because of many factors, and there is a de facto screening process that takes place when someone calls to sign up for a club trip. Boaters are allowed to participate in a club trip solely at the discretion of the trip coordinator.
4. Trip size limitations may take place due to river conditions, river characteristics, safety considerations, governmental agency regulations, permit systems, parking availability at put-ins & take-outs, or trip coordinator preference (not wanting to deal with the logistics of a 40 person trip). Many of the more popular trips fill up very quickly.
5. The screening process for potential trip participants is a tool to help avoid putting TCs, other trip participants, and indeed the callers themselves, in the awkward and often unsafe position of dealing with trip participants who may not be a good fit for the requirements of a particular trip. TCs may decline to have a caller participate in a trip if they suspect that the caller may not have the necessary skills, experience, proper type of boat or outfitting, adequate paddling or rescue equipment, proper protective clothing, or any number of other things that may affect the caller’s ability to participate in the trip without placing him- or herself in an unsafe position. This avoids affecting the quality of the trip experience for the TC and the other participants, as well as not jeopardizing the safety of the “screenee”. If you find yourself “screened out” of a trip, try to ascertain why, so you can work toward remedying the conditions that cast doubts on your ability to participate safely. Ask for suggestions that may help you prepare for future trips of a particular difficulty level.
Trip coordinators should be honest but tactful when screening potential participants for trips. Paddlers’ egos bruise very easily — we are mostly a proud and independent lot. A bruised ego is better than a lost boat, a severe injury, or worse. No one wants their ego to cause problems for an entire group.One thing that should NEVER be done — Do not signup for a trip and then invite or allow other people to come with you on the trip. The correct protocol is to have the other people individually contact the trip coordinator directly to sign up for the trip. Again, we want to be considerate of the TCs so they will continue to coordinate trips, and “surprises” are not a good way to do this.
Lastly, be on time at the designated meeting place. The club has a 15 minute rule regarding waiting for late-comers for club events. It is more of a guideline than a rule so be on time. Your cooperation and adherence to these guidelines is very much appreciated.