Calgary Outdoor Club - RulesBy participating in any COC activities, you automatically agree to follow our rules. These rules are current as of Thursday, January 26, 2023 and are subject to change at any time with or without notice.
- CLUB REPRESENTATIVE'S AUTHORITY
Members (Participants) must recognize the authority of the trip coordinator(s)/organizer(s)/officer(s) (Club Representatives) and follow any additional rules they set up for Calgary Outdoor Club (Club) events/outings/activities (Event) - especially if the additional rules involve your safety. Events can be cancelled or modified at the discretion of the Club Representative (for lack of interest, inclement weather or having a personal conflict with the Event). The COC will attempt to replace a Club Representative on an Event should they be unable to attend and inform the Club in a timely manner. Club Representatives have the authority to:
- Remove or reject any person from participation if they are not in condition for the Event. This is a safety issue and also helps assure the enjoyment of the other Participants.
- Manage the group by adjusting the pace of the Event to meet everyone's needs.
- Participants are expected to expected to commit to the entire Event and stay together on the trip to/from as well as during the Event.
- Terminate the event if there is an emergency and/or injury or let someone help the injured back to transportation or medics. The volunteer will be required to be familiar with the way back.
- Report violations of Rules and Safety Policy to the Club Executive. Violations may result in a warning and/or suspension of membership privileges.
- Ban any member from attending their events for any reason. See banning for complete information. Bans which are considered to be for reasons relevant to future club events (ie. rule infractions, safety infractions) may be noted on the member's account to advise other club volunteers. See notations for complete information.
Remember that you are representing the Calgary Outdoor Club while participating in any Calgary Outdoor Club activity! Please conduct yourself in such a way as not to detract from the enjoyment of others, including other Participants (at all times). You may be removed or excluded from the activity should your behaviour warrant such an action.
All members are required to follow our Rules, Volunteer Regulations, and Safety Policy at all times while participating in Calgary Outdoor Club events. We also encourage all members to follow our Etiquette Guidelines.
- CANCELLATION POLICY
The Calgary Outdoor Club Cancellation Policy has been designed out of consideration for event attendees and coordinators, to ensure that we avoid the following as often as possible:
- Event "no shows" who prevent members on the waiting list from attending an event.
- Event coordinators and attendees being left to waste time waiting for those "no shows".
- Unnecessary last-minute drop-outs which result in people from the waiting list not being able to get onto the event.
- To cancel out of an event after the registration cut-off, you cannot remove your own registration from the website. You must phone the coordinator and follow up with an e-mail to confirm.
- If you cancel out of an event after the registration cut-off date, you must phone the event coordinator at least 2 hours in advance of that carpool/meeting time. If you don't, you may be recorded as a "no show" at the coordinator's discretion.
- If you are more than ten minutes late for a carpool or meeting place, you may be recorded as a "no show" at the coordinator's discretion. If you are uncertain as to where you're supposed to meet, make sure you ask the coordinator for clarification prior to the day of the event.
- If a person has two or more "no shows" in a year, their spot on future events cannot be guaranteed. The event coordinator may, at their discretion, move that person from the sign up list to the bottom of the event waiting list.
- If a person has two or more "no shows" in a year, and they put themselves on the waiting list for an event, other members on the waiting list may be added to the event first at the discretion of the event coordinator.
- If a person has five or more "no shows" in a year, they will receive a warning e-mail and may be removed from the club at the discretion of the club officers.
- Event attendees are responsible for having a valid e-mail address and for checking their e-mail prior to an event.
- Event coordinators will attempt to send out a reminder e-mail within 24 to 48 hours of the carpool/meeting time; HOWEVER, it is the responsibility of each attendee to be aware of their events and abide by the cancellation policy.
- Be careful with the waiting list and do not use the "Never Remove Me" option if you are not going to be able to check your e-mail or the website to see if you got on the event. You are responsible for knowing if you have been moved from the waiting list to an event. To be on the safe side, go with the "Remove me 2 days before" option, or log on to the website and remove your waiting list spots after the time when you won't be checking your internet again.
- Members who create a "new" account to avoid the consequences of no-shows on their existing account will have those no-shows transferred forward to the new account and may have their membership suspended for a period of time.
This policy is not designed to punish people, but only to be fair to all concerned parties. To that end, event coordinators may be convinced to reverse a "no show" flag if they are contacted within a reasonable period of time after the event and made aware of extenuating circumstances. This will be up to the discretion of the coordinator and will be handled on a case-by-case basis.
As well, exceptions may be made to this standard cancellation policy for any event. If there are exceptions to the policy, they will be stated as part of the event details. Make sure you read the event details carefully.
No-shows recorded on a member account remain on that account for 365 days and then are automatically removed.
Cancelling out of a Paid Event: Before the cut-off date, you may fill out the Refund Request Form to receive a full refund. After the cut-off date, you will only receive a refund if someone takes (and pays for) your spot on the event. Please contact the event coordinator, and Treasurer to see if you are eligible for a refund.
- COMPLAINT POLICY
- Complaint about a Coordinator/Event:
All event coordinators are volunteers. You are welcome to take part in their activities, but you do so at your own risk. Only written complaints against an event coordinator will be considered. Complaints about an event, or about the volunteer abilities of the coordinator, should be addressed to the Volunteer Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org and CC'd to our "Issues Corner" at email@example.com. The focus of the complaint policy is on improvement rather than discipline.
- Complaint about another Volunteer:
Complaints about another volunteer (ie. from the Officers and Administrators side of the Volunteer Team), in regards to their ability to perform their volunteer duties, should be sent to our "Issues Corner" at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Complaint about another Club Member (including volunteers if the complaint is not directly related to their ability to perform their volunteer duties):
The club strongly encourages members to deal with issues directly. If you are unable or unwilling to deal directly with the person (or persons) involved, please follow these guidelines:
- Complaints must be sent to our "Issues Corner" at email@example.com. Please include date(s), time(s), event(s), behavior(s), what your reactions/responses were, and any corroborating evidence (ie. e-mails) or witnesses.
- Complaints absolutely must come first-hand by the victim. No second- or third-hand information will be acted on or considered unless it is in corroboration with the original complaint.
- Complaints must be serious. Harrassment (sexual or otherwise), violence, illegal activities, dangerous driving, etc are valid complaints. Talking non-stop during carpool is not.
- Complaints must be specific. Vague accusations of being "creepy" or "annoying" are not valid complaints. In the event of vague complaints, the club may choose to hold off action until more evidence is produced, or the perpetrator acts inappropriately again.
- Complaints must stem from club activities. Actions of members interacting outside of club events, or who interact with members on an event without being signed up for that event themselves will not be reprimanded through the club.
- Complaints must be timely. You must contact the club executive within 48 hours of the event to make your complaint.
- Although the club executive will be discreet (ie. will not disclose your identity), they cannot guarantee anonymity because when communicating the nature of the complaint to the perpetrator, it may be possible for them to deduce who the complaint originated with.
- The club will not serve as a mediator for personal disputes.
- The club may choose not provide details on how the situation is handled, only that a warning was sent, etc.
- In the event of a first complaint against someone, they will likely receive a warning (unless the situation is very extreme). In the case that the club receives multiple complaints against the same person, they may be removed from the club.
- In the event of retaliation (ie. an attack via e-mail or phone) resulting from the complaint, the perpetrator may be suspended/expelled without question.
- If the club executive, or issues corner team, takes official action with regards to a complaint (for example, warnings issued, suspensions from the club), the action will be noted on the member's account to advise other club volunteers. See notations for complete information.
- Complaint about a Coordinator/Event:
- LOSS OF CLUB MEMBERSHIP
There are some cases in which membership with the Calgary Outdoor Club may be revoked or suspended:
- If a single complaint of enough severity is brought against an individual
- If multiple, lesser complaints are brought against an individual
- If an individual has five or more "no shows" on their account (see our "Cancellation Policy" on this page for complete information).
- Event Crashing (see below)
- If an individual is banned from three or more of our volunteers' events. We are a 100% volunteer-run club and as such our volunteers are within their rights to ban anyone from attending events that they coordinate if that individual is taking away from their own enjoyment of events.
- Violation of COC "Anti-Spam" policy - see below.
If your membership is revoked you must not attempt to re-join the club or attend events under a different name. If your membership is suspended you must not attend any club events until the time of the suspension expires.
- EVENT CRASHING POLICY
Event Crashing means attending (or attempting to attend) a club event that you are not registered for. Showing up at a club event, meeting spot, or carpool location with the intention or hope of attending without being on the official sign-up list (or having prior clearance from the event coordinator) is against club policy. Our event sizes are restricted for a number of reasons, and it is not fair to the event coordinator to show up and ask to attend (putting them, and the group, in an awkward position), nor to any members who may still be on the waiting list who would have liked to attend.
Of course, many of our events take place in public venues, accessible to anyone. If you happen to be in the same place as one of our events, this in itself does not constitute crashing, however, integrating into the event group and participating as a member of the group does. If you are simply participating in the same activity at the same place/time as a group, be sure to participate on your own rather than attempt to integrate with the club group.
Crashing a club event will result in a warning from the club executive, and a second incident may result in a three-month suspension of your club membership.
- MEMBER CONTACT INFORMATION - ANTI-SPAM POLICY
Contact information provided by members is solely intended for individual communication and may not be used by a member for mass emails, solicitation, direction to any other website or copied to any other mass email address list.
Members wishing to share relevant information may post on our Calendar (participating members see "Calendar Posting" under the "Events" menu), or, consider purchasing a Banner Ad on our site.
Any misuse of contact information by a member will result in a warning, and possibly a suspension or permanent loss of club membership.
The COC encourages responsible drinking. Some Events may allow for the purchase and/or consumption of alcohol. We simply ask that you do not overdo it. By consuming alcohol, you give permission to allow Club Representatives to find alternative ways to transport you home/get you to the remainder of the Event or exclude you from the remainder of the Event.
Dogs are permitted on SOME Events. This is at the discretion of the Club Representative and whether the area in which the Event occurs permits them. Please see a specific Event’s details to see if dogs are permitted. You must also register your dog on an Event that permits them so that the trip coordinator is prepared as far as carpool, etc. Your dog will need to be on leash at all times, except in Calgary's designated off-leash areas, and must be able to get along with other dogs which may be attending the event. When attending any COC event, including those in off-leash areas, owners are required to have on-hand a proper physical (not electronic) leash to restrain the dog in case it becomes necessary for some reason.
Hiking With Your Dog: All the Canadian Rocky Mountain national parks as well as the provincial parks in our vicinity (including the Kananaskis Country parks) allow dogs in the backcountry with the stipulation that they be physically restrained the entire time. COC Policy is to follow the rules or laws of the area that we are in at all times, and the COC and its Volunteers are not responsible for mishaps (or fines) that occur on an event due to the behavior of dogs (or their owners) who attend our events.
Carpooling With Your Dog: Dog owners must be able/willing to transport their own dog to the event, and in the case where a willing driver is not available, the dog and owner will be turned away. Dog owners must pay an extra (full) portion of the carpool amount in the event that their dog prevents a person from using a spot in a vehicle (ie. because the dog is using the spot, or because packs/equipment must use a spot because the dog is using the area that would normally hold it). If a dog is small enough to comfortably ride at its owner's feet or on their lap, the extra payment for carpool does not apply.
At this time, children are not allowed on COC events.
Currently, the COC does not permit guests on events. Membership (and, thus, attendance on events) is available only to adults, therefore child attendance is not permitted.
All Participants are encouraged to document the Event; however we stress you take extra measures to protect your equipment from undergoing damage. Also note that, during the Event, Club Representatives may be taking photos for use on the website, in newsletters, blogs, on social media or other promotional materials. By participating in a Club Event, you are granting the Club permission to reuse these photos of you in such a manner.
- LEAVE NO TRACE
Leave No Trace is about respecting and caring for wildlands, doing your part to protect our limited resources and future recreation opportunities. Members are therefore asked to respect and follow the following principles of outdoor ethics:
- Plan Ahead and Prepare:
- Know the regulations and special concerns for the area you'll visit.
- Prepare for extreme weather, hazards, and emergencies.
- Schedule your trip to avoid times of high use.
- Visit in small groups. Split larger parties into groups of 4-6.
- Repackage food to minimize waste.
- Use a map and compass to eliminate the use of marking paint, rock cairns or flagging.
- Be Considerate of Others:
- Respect other visitors and protect the quality of their experience.
- Be courteous. Yield to other users on the trail.
- Step to the downhill side of the trail when encountering pack stock.
- Take breaks and camp away from trails and other visitors.
- Let nature's sounds prevail. Avoid loud voices and noises
- Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces:
- Durable surfaces include established trails and campsites, rock, gravel, dry grasses or snow.
- Protect riparian areas by camping at least 70 meters from lakes and streams.
- Good campsites are found, not made. Altering a site is not necessary.
- In popular areas:
- Concentrate use on existing trails and campsites.
- Walk single file in the middle of the trail, even when wet or muddy.
- Stay on the trail. Do not create shortcuts. Shortcuts can cause erosion and damages the trail and trail environment.
- Keep campsites small. Focus activity in areas where vegetation is absent.
- In pristine areas:
- Disperse use to prevent the creation of campsites and trails.
- Avoid places where impacts are just beginning.
- Protect water sources
- Leave What You Find:
- Preserve the past: examine, but do not touch, cultural or historic structures and artifacts.
- Leave rocks, plants and other natural objects as you find them.
- Avoid introducing or transporting non-native species.
- Do not build structures, furniture, or dig trenches.
- Dispose of Waste Properly:
- Leave the campsite and trail cleaner than you found it.
- Pack it in, pack it out. Inspect your campsite and rest areas for trash or spilled foods. Pack out all trash, leftover food, and litter.
- Deposit solid human waste in catholes dug 15 to 20 centimeters deep at least 70 meters from water, camp, and trails. Cover and disguise the cathole when finished.
- Pack out toilet paper and hygiene products.
- To wash yourself or your dishes, carry water 70 meters away from streams or lakes and use small amounts of biodegradable soap. Scatter strained dishwater.
- Minimize Campfire Impacts:
- Campfires can cause lasting impacts to the backcountry. Use a lightweight stove for cooking and enjoy a candle lantern for light.
- Where fires are permitted, use established fire rings, fire pans, or mound fires.
- Keep fires small. Use small pieces of deadwood wherever possible.
- Burn all wood and coals to ash, put out campfires completely, then scatter cool ashes. Some areas have fire bans along the trail, so be sure to check before starting a fire.
- Respect Wildlife:
- Observe wildlife from a distance. Do not follow or approach them.
- Never feed animals. Feeding wildlife damages their health, alters natural behaviors, and exposes them to predators and other dangers.
- Protect wildlife and your food by storing rations and trash securely. When camping do not leave food lying around or in your tent. Animals frequent camp/picnic areas. If staying overnight, hang food at least 10 feet above ground and away from the trunk of the tree or your automobile. Never leave scented products (like toothpaste) in your tent.
- Control pets at all times, or leave them at home.
- Avoid wildlife during sensitive times: mating, nesting, raising young, or winter.
- Plan Ahead and Prepare:
- FIRST AID
Event Attendees are responsible for their own First Aid care and are encouraged to carry a first aid kit, and have first aid training.
Waivers are required from all persons participating in COC events. No exceptions. If you do not understand, agree to, or sign the COC waiver, you will be unable to participate in any COC events. This is for the Club's protection.
The electronic Online Event Waiver can be read here.
If you have any questions about the waiver, please contact the Legal Coordinator for clarification at firstname.lastname@example.org
Firearms/weapons are prohibited on all Events.
Please see the COC FAQs should you need more information before joining us on an Event.
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