Health and Safety
Living through COVID-19 has taught us just how important fresh air, exercise and laughter is in order to maintain a happy and healthy life. This is true for all of us, but especially for teenagers, who are creating lasting habits out of the experiences they have today. The great thing about bike touring with Teen Treks is that it naturally lends itself to a socially distanced atmosphere, with small groups and wide-open spaces.
Our average group sizes are kept small to create more intimate experiences and most of the days on a Teen Trek trip is spent outside, biking on the open road. Unlike a traditional summer camp, the isolated nature of a Teen Treks bike tour means that teens will only ever be in contact with the handful of people in their group, while still experiencing a fun and life-changing summer adventure.
We’ve been busy implementing new procedures and protocols in addition to what is already a safe, outdoor summer experience for teenagers. Read on for further details on the new safety measures that we have put in place.
Pre- Trip Preparations
We are requesting that trekkers come into their bike trip as safely as possible to guarantee the health of all group members. In order to ensure this, we ask that trekkers undergo 14-days of social distancing practices prior to their trip. This means keeping distance from others and wearing a mask when a safe distance is not possible. We will also be sending a Health Screening Form where trekkers will undergo a 7-day temperature trek prior to participating in their scheduled bike tour.
We request that every trekker arrive with several face coverings and use it when indoors and in close proximity with others. While Teen Treks trips are mostly outdoors, there will be times when the group will enter buildings such as, grocery stores, hotel facilities and campground bath houses. Face coverings will be required anytime the group is in an indoor facility, or in an environment that is in close proximity to others.
While the nature of our bike tours is small, isolated groups travelling together, we have implemented a limit on group size to maximize the safety of our trekkers. In accordance to CDC guidelines, groups will not surpass 10 individuals. This includes two leaders and no more than 8 trekkers on each individual trip.
Group sizes will not exceed ten people. Though this meets CDC guidelines for a safe group size, personal distancing will still be implemented. This means, practicing social distance within the group and staying appropriately apart from others not in our group. Tour groups will be treated as a family, or “cohort,” so safe social distancing and face coverings will be exercised with those not in our group.
Trekkers will each be issued a personal container of hand sanitizer at the beginning of the tour. Larger bottles of sanitizer for the group will be around all day, every day. Leaders will ensure regular stops for hand washing and sanitation throughout the day and before meals. We request that trekkers keep their personal gear and items contained to their individual use only.
Teen Treks trips meals typically happen outdoors, whether it is campfire dinners or lunch picnics in the park, social distancing is naturally worked into meal times. We like eating in this style because it allows teens the opportunity to learn how to grocery shop for a group and exercise creativity while cooking for others.
Though it is less frequent, we also love stopping at local restaurants when travelling through cities. On a typical Teen Treks tour, groups will likely stop 2-plus times at a restaurant. While this is minimal public exposure, just as stated in our face covering guideline, trekkers will be required to wear masks while entering indoor facilities. Once they are seated at the restaurant, face coverings will no longer be required.
Other Indoor Stops
Grocery shopping is one of the very few times that trekkers will be inside a public building. On a Teen Treks trip, trekkers are split into multiple meal groups, rotating between cooking duties and cleaning duties. This already eliminates the number of trekkers entering grocery stores, as only those with cooking duties need to shop for groceries. To minimize exposure as much as possible, we will require that only two trekkers and one leader are in a grocery store at a time.
Ice cream stops are a must on a Teen Treks bike tour. As with the grocery store, will use the same guidelines of no more than one leader and two trekkers in the indoor facility at a time.
While the majority of lodging arrangements during a Teen Treks trip take place outdoors at campgrounds, we do enjoy visiting big cities and staying in a hotel or hostel for a change. Groups will continue to implement regular face covering behaviors when inside public buildings until they are in the safety of their own room.
This year, trekkers we will only be using two-person tents. We request that trekkers find a camping buddy to stick with through the remainder of the trip, and sleep head to toe, in accordance to CDC camp guidelines.
We ask that trekkers limit contact with equipment they are not personally using. We will have a cleaning and disinfecting schedule throughout the day that involves cleaning group and individual equipment.
Transportation/ Isolation if Teen Gets Sick
In 2021, we are requiring that trekkers do not sign up for a trip more than an 8-hour distance from their home. In the event of a situation where a trekker shows symptoms of COVID-19, we have protocols in place to safely isolate and coordinate arrangements for the teen to be picked up by their parents and leave the trip. In order for this to happen, trekkers must only participate in a trip that is a drivable distance from their home. Parents are responsible for transporting their child home.
As a guideline for safely returning home, we recommend 14-days of safe social distancing practices after the trip has finished.