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General Policies and Restrictions

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.

  • Participants must be comfortable with participating in activities at heights from 10’ to 60’. 
  • Participants must be in moderate to good health; active participation is required. Participants must be able to pull themselves along the cable, and slow themselves using a glove to create friction on the cable. Participants should be able to walk at least one mile. 
  • Participants must be able to understand and follow the guide’s instructions. 
  • Closed-toe shoes are required while participating in the program. 
  • Participants must meet the following weight requirements— minimum weight: 70lbs; maximum weight: 250lbs. 
  • An Acknowledgement of Risk and Assumption of Responsibility form must be signed prior to participation. 
  • It is recommended that you consult your physician before engaging in this activity to ensure that you do not have a physical condition that may increase your risk of injury or death during this activity. Participants should notify a staff member if he or she has any of the following conditions as participation is not advised and may be denied: 
    • Pregnancy; 
    • Recent, reoccurring, or existing injuries and serious musculoskeletal disorders that would prohibit full participation; 
    • Medical conditions that could require immediate medical attention such as a seizure disorder. 
  • Groups must arrive 15 minutes prior to the scheduled tour time. 
  • Groups will proceed at scheduled times with those present, late arrivals will forfeit their spot and will not receive a refund. 
  • Participants who are under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs, or legal drugs that impair participant in any way will be prohibited from participation. 
  • Adventure West Virginia staff members reserve the right to deny participation to any participant if his or her physical or mental condition could endanger self or others. 
  • It is the participant’s responsibility to wear appropriate clothing for the weather. Please note that weather patterns tend to be different than lower lying areas such as Morgantown. Expect colder and windier weather. Canopy Tours operate rain or shine; however, the course may be closed due to severe weather (lightning or high wind). If a Canopy Tour is closed due to severe weather, participants will receive a rain check (or refund if they are unable to reschedule).

  • Par ticipants should be comfortable with participating in activities at heights from 10’ to 50’ if participating on our aerial ropes courses.  
  • Participants must be in moderate to good health. 
  • Participants must be able to understand and follow the staff’s instructions. 
  • Closed-toe shoes are required while participating in the program. 
  • Participants must meet the following weight requirements for Giant Swing and Odyssey TruBlue Rappel events — maximum weight: 300lbs. 
  • An Acknowledgement of Risk and Assumption of Responsibility form must be signed prior to participation. 
  • It is recommended that you consult your physician before engaging in this activity to ensure that you do not have a physical condition that may increase your risk of injury or death during this activity. Participants should notify a staff member if he or she has any of the following conditions as participation is not advised and may be denied: 
    • Pregnancy; 
    • Recent, reoccurring, or existing injuries and serious musculoskeletal disorders that would inhibit participation or cause further injury; 
    • Participants should arrive no later than 15 minutes prior to the scheduled event time. 
    • Participants who are under the influence of alcohol, illegal drugs, or legal drugs that impair participant in any way will be prohibited from participation. 
    • Adventure West Virginia staff members reserve the right to deny participation to any participant if his or her physical or mental condition could endanger self or others. 
    • It is the participant’s responsibility to wear appropriate clothing for the weather. Please note that weather patterns tend to be different than lower lying areas such as Morgantown. Expect colder and windier weather. Programs can operate rain or shine; however, the course may be closed due to severe weather (lightning or high wind). If the course is closed due to severe weather, Participants will receive a rain check (or refund if they are unable to reschedule).

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.

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.

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.

Essential Eligibility Criteria 

Adventure WV & WVU Outdoor Education Center Programs
Essential Eligibility Criteria

Adventure WV (AWV) & Outdoor Education Center (OEC) programs are challenge and adventure based experiential programs that are designed to serve a variety of populations.  Many of the sites and venues for the activities included in Adventure WV’s programs are challenging, remote and exposed to nature’s elements. 

The health and safety of our participants and staff are a top priority, along with the educative quality of the program experience. To achieve essential group goals, the individuals on each program must be fully capable of and committed to learning and using outdoor skills, meeting physical and social challenges, and taking care of themselves and each other. 

The Essential Eligibility (EEC) are applied to all  participants on AWV & OEC programs and events.  A qualified person meets the general EEC's for AWV as well as the EEC's for the specific OEC activities and program areas. If an applicant does not meet specific criteria, AWV might be able to accommodate an applicant, but will not do so if it significantly alters the fundamental nature of the program activity, jeopardizes the health and safety of program participants or staff, or places an undue administrative or financial burden on WVU or Adventure WV. Requests for accommodations must be submitted in writing to Adventure WV (to: AdventureWV@mail.wvu.edu or WVUChallengeCourse@mail.wvu.edu) at least one month prior to a program. 

It is important to note that all requests are not guaranteed. 

For WVU specific events that include faculty, staff or students, Adventure WV & the WVU Outdoor Education Center will work with the requestor and WVU’s Office of Accessibility Services (OAS) to determine the feasibility of the request. A final plan for accommodations must be reviewed and approved of by AWV, the requestor, and OAS at least one week prior to the program for the WVU specific events. Requestors are also encouraged to consult directly with OAS: https://accessibilityservices.wvu.edu/.

Adventure WV and Outdoor Education Center participants are responsible for consulting the itinerary of their selected program and reviewing the relevant Essential Eligibility Criteria. General Eligibility 

Criteria for ALL AWV & OEC program participants and activities

  • Able to understand verbal and visual instructions individually and in a group setting, and follow such instructions whether supervised or not. 
  • Able to comprehend hazards and safety concerns when explained, and to adhere to safety policies and procedures even when staff and contracted guides are not present. 
  • Learn and practice Leave No Trace (LNT) outdoor ethics and techniques. 
  • Able to identify and recognize hazards posed by t he environment (e.g., steep or uneven terrain, moving water, sun, wind, cold, etc.) and other participants (e.g., fatigue, state of mind and other influencers of judgment and decision making). 
  • Able to effectively communicate to others personal distress, injury or need for assistance, and communicate to others any hazards and dangers that they perceive. 
  • Able to stay properly hydrated and nourished, by day or night, and learn skills for self-care, including proper hygiene and use of clothing and equipment. 
  • Maintain pace with the group. 
  • Able to refrain from the use of alcohol, tobacco, controlled substances, and any misuse of prescription or OTC drugs. If using prescription drugs, able to follow correct dosage and usage and keep them in good condition between resupplies (up to eight days) with or without instructor assistance. 
  • Able to contribute to a safe social and learning environment and maintain appropriate relationships with other group members and instructors, refrain from sexual activity, harassment and bullying, and all other behavior that disrupts the learning of others or the cohesion of the group. 
  • Able to abstain from cell phone use for the duration of the program (note Adventure WV staff carries communication devices for emergency situation but is otherwise a cell phone free program) 
Camping Activities
  • Able to live and function in an outdoor camp setting without access to electricity for up to 6 days. Note that no prior camping experience is expected nor necessary. This criterion is meant to address students who have medications or other medical interventions that require access to electricity. 
Hiking Activities

  • Able to walk continuously for 1 mile at a moderate pace over uneven terrain unassisted while carrying a small daypack weighing 10 – 15 lbs. 
Backpacking Activities 
  • Camping and Hiking activities criteria PLUS the following: 
  • Able to walk continuously for 1 mile at a moderate pace over uneven terrain unassisted while carrying a large pack (35-40 pounds), and then repeat following 15-30 minutes of rest. 
  • Ability to not have access to advanced medical care facilities for the duration of the backpacking portion of a program 
Aerial Challenge & Zip-Line Activities
  • Able to wear all safety equipment as instructed.
  • All participants are subject to manufacturing and installation guidelines set forth by 3rd party vendors, WV State Law and equipment manufacturers. 
  • See Zip-Line, Challenge Course, Aerial Trekking and Team-building policies above , or contact the WVU Outdoor Education Center for more information ( WVUChallengeCourse@mail.wvu.edu)
Rock Climbing Activities 
  • Able to wear a climbing harness and helmet correctly. 
  • Able to participate in belaying and climbing activities independently or with minimal assistance.

Whitewater Rafting Activities  

  • Wear all protective equipment recommended/required by rafting outfitter and/or state law.
  • Independently maintain sealed airway passages while under water 
  • Be able to swim or be comfortable in the water, including fast moving water while wearing a personal flotation device. 
  • Independently maintain a seated body position with limited back support while paddling raft in turbulent whitewater. Adaptive equipment may be used, if needed this equipment cannot impede nor lessen the effectiveness of safety procedures or equipment. No participant may be strapped or belted into a raft or adaptive equipment while on water. 
  • Get in and out of raft from shore independently or with a reasonable amount of assistance 
  • If in water, independently turn from face-down to face-up and remain floating face-up while wearing a properly fitted life jacket 
  •  Reenter the raft on water independently or with a reasonable amount of assistance 
  •  In the event of a capsize, independently get out from under capsized raft, remain face up in water with personal flotation device, and identify, make progress to and ascend shoreline with or without instruction. 
Please Note: 
Adventure WV is a program designed to meet the needs of students enrolled at WVU and not necessarily designed to meet the needs of the public at large. If you have any questions on these Essential Eligibility Criteria or on your ability to meet one or more criteria please contact Adventure WV at 304-293-5221 or AdventureWV@mail.wvu.edu.

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