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Policies and Procedures

General Facilities Policies

The OEC and associated facilities (Westvaco Center, etc.) are West Virginia University facilities. Alcoholic beverages and smoking are strictly prohibited. The OEC is open to education, outdoor recreation, and research- based functions only. All programs must be scheduled through a reservation and fall within permitted programmatic guidelines. The OEC may be opened as early as 7:30am. Technology capabilities are limited to guest Wi-Fi use and are otherwise not provided.

Program Contact, Group, and Participant Responsibilities

Once a program has been scheduled, a program packet will be sent to the respective program contact (e.g. the person who scheduled the event). This packet will include copies of the WVU OEC Acknowledgement of Risk, Emergency Information, and Participant Guidelines (Canopy Tour Only) forms. It is the responsibility of the program contact to ensure these forms are completed by each participant upon arriving at the OEC. All participants under 18 years of age must have their form signed by a legal guardian. Anyone without these completed forms will not be able to participate in the activities and will be asked to leave due to liability.

Patrons are responsible for being adequately prepared for their experience at the OEC, while group or program contacts are responsible for informing fellow participants to come adequately prepared for your experience at the OEC. Adequate preparation includes: wearing closed toe shoes while on site, having proper clothing for a variety of weather, making sure that participants bring their own water bottle and snacks, if appropriate. The weather on Chestnut Ridge tends to be different from surrounding areas and is often unexpected and temperatures tend to be several degrees cooler than lower lying areas such as Morgantown. Group or program contacts are responsible for communicating any special needs that may need accommodated by the OEC Management Team. The OEC and associated facilities do not provide meals as part of any event.

Groups are responsible for arranging all meals associated with their reservation. No food is to be left behind and should be thrown away upon the conclusion of the event. All visiting patrons are responsible for personal items and belongings while using the OEC and associated facilities. Adventure WV, the School of Forestry and Natural Resources and the OEC Management Team are not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged property. Patrons are responsible for the general cleanliness of the facilities used, including but not limited to: trash put in proper receptacles, room arrangements in original form, personal gear removed from facilities once event is complete, water is off in bathroom and kitchen facilities. Patrons must report any maintenance issues immediately by contacting the OEC Management Team or designated reservation contact.

Cancellation/Rescheduling Policies

If you need to make changes to your reservation, please contact the OEC office as soon as possible. Cancellations made less than 5 business days prior to the program date are subject to a cancellation fee. This fee will reflect up to 25% of the program agreement fee and is determined by the OEC Management Team. Normal business days are Monday-Friday, 8AM-5PM. Cancellations made by the Organization and/or the Program Contact within 48 hours of the established program date are subject to pay the entire portion of the program agreement. This fee is determined by the Program Manager.

Cancellations due to weather or other extenuating circumstances (as determined by the Management Team) may reschedule. Note: The OEC is an outdoor classroom which operates in a wide variety of safe weather. Dangerous weather during the scheduled program allows for rescheduling or cancelation without accruing a fee. Dangerous weather includes electrical storms, extreme temperatures, high winds, etc. This will be determined by the on-site course manager.

All programmatic changes (i.e. element choice, program duration, participant numbers, etc.) must be made a full five days prior to the established program date and during normal business hours (Monday-Friday, 8AM-5PM). Failure to report any programmatic changes may result in a full charge of the program agreement fee. This fee is determined by the OEC Management Team.

WV Policy 49 - Children on Campus

All WVU OEC staff are required to complete training and a background check in compliance with WVU Board of Governors Policy 49 - Children on Campus upon employment. The purpose of Policy 49 is to protect children on WVU’s premises or involved in University sponsored programs at all geographic locations by providing guidance on reporting requirements for child abuse or neglect; providing guidelines for appropriate supervision of children; and ensuring that WVU and its divisional campuses comply with all federal and state laws and regulations regarding the employment of children. The OEC has set in place specific local operating procedures, including appropriate adult to child ratios, to ensure the safety of children at the OEC as it pertains to Policy 49. Specific to the WVU Canopy Tour, the OEC recognizes that a child may be left with an individual guide staff member while on platform. These circumstances are limited in time and frequency, while participants wait their turn to zip, and occur in clear sight of other platforms and ground view. Please refer to your guide or facilitator on the day of your event for OEC participant guidelines regarding Policy 49.

Acknowledgement of Receipt and Understanding of Policies and Information By signing your program agreement, you agree to the policies and information listed above. You accept responsibility for your group and payment of your program fee. Please submit your program agreement signed via email or fax by the due date provided.

Please contact us with any questions or to learn more about our educational adventures. We look forward to having your group at the WVU Outdoor Education Center!

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