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  • Jeff Baierlein

Viristar Presents at International Camping Fellowship’s International Camping Congress 2023

Viristar’s Director, Jeff Baierlein, will present a workshop entitled “From Theory to Practice: Applying Current Research in Systems-Based Risk Management to Camp Safety” at the 12th International Camping Congress (ICC 2023) in Tarragona, Spain, this October. ICC 2023 is organized by the International Camping Fellowship, and is normally held every three years.

The workshop brings the science of risk management to safety at camp. Although many camps are rightfully proud of their safety systems, not all take advantage of recent research and theoretical models regarding error causation and incident prevention.

The workshop will help conferees learn practical techniques for how their camp can improve safety through applying best practices derived from complex socio-technical systems theory, Safety-I/Safety-II, ‘Safety Differently,’ and resilience engineering.

Attendees will practice applying one theoretical incident causation/mitigation model, the Risk Domains model, which is designed for camp and outdoor programs, to their camp’s over-arching approach to management of risk. Participants are expected to develop an awareness of strengths and improvement opportunities regarding their camp’s risk management architecture.

Viristar Presents and Exhibits

Viristar also plans to have a presence at the ICC exhibit hall. Viristar’s Outreach and Operations Coordinator, Annie Linhart, will be on hand to explain to conference-goers the consulting and training services that Viristar offers camps and other experiential, travel and adventure programs.

These include risk management reviews (safety audits), incident review services, and safety program development services, where Viristar creates or updates safety documents and procedures.

International Camping Fellowship and Viristar

Viristar has collaborated with ICF in the past to bring risk management training to camps around the world. This partnership has led to ICF member camps from locations including China and Hong Kong to participate in Viristar’s Risk Management for Outdoor Programs training, a 40-hour online course with graduates from over 50 countries on six continents.

The training, which was educationally endorsed by the American Camp Association in 2021, is part of Viristar’s long connection to the camp world. Camps from Taiwan, the USA, Singapore and elsewhere have participated in the training and gone through the safety audit process from Viristar.

Viristar’s Risk Management for Outdoor Programs training was educationally endorsed by ACA in 2021

About International Camping Fellowship

Founded in 1987, the International Camping Fellowship is a world-wide assembly of camp and experiential education professionals committed to a vision of “a better world through outdoor experience.”

The ICF hosts its triennial International Camping Congress in different countries around the world; previous Congresses have been held in Australia, Turkey, Hong Kong, Mexico, the USA, and Canada. The most recent ICC was held six years ago in Sochi, Russia. Much has changed in the world since then, and the need for camps and outdoor programs to support character development, international cooperation and environmental sustainability has only increased since that time.

The ICC is anticipated to have over 500 participants, including academics, researchers and practitioners.

The 2023 event is organized in collaboration with La Asociación Nacional de Empresas de Actividades y Campamentos (ANEACAMP), the national association of summer camps in Spain. ANEACAMP also represents outdoor education centres and youth hostels involved in camp education. Spain has a strong camping history and culture, including in the Catalunya region, where the Congress will be held.

Camping in the foothills of the Torres del Paine, Chile


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