Our Policies

DEPLOYMENT POLICIES


EQUAL OPPORTUNITY


Soul River Inc (SRI) is committed to building a diverse community that is inclusive of people from all backgrounds. SRI does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, genetics information, disability unrelated to job or admission requirements, or status as a protected veteran. SRI nondiscrimination policy applies to all phases of its application process, its admission and financial aid, and to all other aspects of its educational programs and activities. Retaliation directed to any person who pursues a discrimination complaint or grievance, participates in a discrimination investigation, or otherwise opposes unlawful discrimination is prohibited.


PARTICIPANT APPLICATIONS & ADMISSION



The health and well-being of our participants, staff, volunteers and the effective education of our participants are important to us. The deployments environments we live in and travel through are remote, dynamic, and physically and emotionally challenging. These environments, along with the educational activities conducted and the living and traveling conditions encountered, require each student to be fully committed to and capable of working hard, taking responsibility for him or herself, and working effectively in the group to achieve the goals of the deployment.

It’s important that students provide accurate and honest health information so we can learn of conditions that our instructors need to be aware of in order to successfully support ALL participants. Our admissions staff may need to further discuss health (including mental health) issues or diagnosis with the youth, their parent/guardian, and/or their health care provider. SRI reserves the right to deny admission to anyone that SRI, in its sole discretion, believes is unable to meet the physical, psychological, cognitive, social or safety demands of our courses.

In the event that changes occur to a participant’s health or mental health between the application/admission period and the deployment, it is the responsibility of the participant (parents/guardians, if under 18) to properly notify SRI. You will be asked to update your Soul River Medical Treatment Authorization Form with a revised date. If SRI is not made aware of changes and SRI learns of the changes in the middle of a deployment, SRI holds the right to send the participant home and/or dismiss the participant from deployments for the remainder of the season. Withholding medical health and mental health information puts all other participants and the organization at risk and will not be tolerated.

Following is a Code of Conduct that each applicant signed and acknowledged on their original application. It is absolutely essential and critical that these basic codes be practiced at each Soul River Inc event, deployment, etc.

CODE OF CONDUCT – Our policy of conduct is based on the expectation that we will conduct ourselves in a safe and courteous manner during all activities

  1.     1. Respect, listen to, and cooperate with the youth and adult leaders. Respect for the facilities, equipment and the outdoors is expected always.

  2.     2. Respect each person and all property. Bullying will NOT be tolerated under any circumstances. We are committed to a safe and enjoyable environment for ALL youth, volunteers, veterans and visitors, free from harassment, intimidation or bullying.

  3.     3. Relationships or behavior of a sexual nature will not be tolerated. This will result in automatic dismissal from the outing, and result in no further involvement with Soul River, Inc.

  4.     4. Refrain from using profanity or exhibiting improper behavior (aggression, exclusion, unwanted physical contact, etc)

  5.     5. Zero tolerance policy for alcohol, using illegal substances and possessing drugs and/or weapons.

  6.     6. Youth and Veterans are expected to participate willingly in the planned activities. You are here to develop and explore the outdoors in many facets. There will be times that are fun, and times that are structured learning environments. This is very intentional and your participation is required, unless permission is given to you by a leader to not participate.

  7.     7. Respect the environment with proper removal of trash/recycling and leave no trace.

  8.     8. Cell phones are not allowed-on deployments. Assigned Soul River Inc. staff will have access to communications for deployments and emergencies.

Failure to comply with this Code of Conduct will result in immediate consequences up to and including being removed from the outing and sent home at your expense.

RISK MANAGEMENT


At SRI we embrace the physical and emotional challenge of the natural environment to attain our learning objectives. Deployment adventure involves hazards: rock fall, quickly-flowing rivers, and steep terrain can pose a risk to even the most experienced outdoor leader. Activities ranging from simple day hikes to climbing glaciers can, due to the unpredictable forces of nature or an error in judgment, become dangerous and potentially life-threatening. Students transport their own gear, sleep outdoors—possibly in mixed gender tent groups—prepare their own meals, and are expected to care for themselves in weather conditions that can be extreme. Each student plays an important role in the success of a SRI course. Good physical conditioning and a positive mental attitude are essential. Should unforeseen circumstances arise, such as weather, permit restrictions, unusual situations, risk management concerns, or if SRI deems it necessary, SRI reserves the right to make changes to course activities, curriculum and area locations.

Our deployments are expeditions that travel through remote areas, which can create complex situations should an emergency arise. It is not uncommon to be days from medical help, but SRI veterans and staff are trained in wilderness first aid and backed by comprehensive wilderness emergency response and evacuation systems. Instructors carry first aid kits that include some specific medications for treating sick or injured students in remote locations. Many of the medical incidents that might occur are simple and often treated in the field. For more serious incidents or when a student is evacuated for a medical reason, they will be taken to a medical facility for evaluation or treatment.

Deployment leader will carry satellite telephones, radios, or other electronic communication devices on each deployment to use in the event of life-threatening emergencies, but this does not guarantee communication from the field to our support bases. Portable telephone and radio signals may be subject to interference caused by terrain, atmospheric conditions, and other variables and may not always work.

We are committed to promoting the physical and emotional well-being of all participants. The risk of injury, even serious injury or death, is always present in the outdoor environment. Indeed, much of the value of a SRI deployment lies in learning how to identify hazards and adapt behavior to strive to avoid injury or illness. We feel that the risks are manageable and that no organization is better equipped to manage them than SRI.


MEDICAL TREATMENT AND PROTOCOLS



As explained and signed on the Soul River Medical Treatment Authorization Form participants grant SRI authorization and consent for the designated deployment medical lead to administer general first aid treatment for any minor injuries or illnesses experienced by the participant. If the injury or illness is life threatening or in need of emergency treatment, the designated deployment medical lead will summon any and all professional emergency personnel to attend, transport, and treat the participant and to issue consent for any X-ray, anesthetic, blood transfusion, medication, or other medical diagnosis, treatment, or hospital care deemed advisable by, and to be rendered under the general supervision of, any licensed physician, surgeon, dentist, hospital, or other medical professional or institution duly licensed to practice in the state in which such treatment is to occur. The participant agrees to assume financial responsibility for all expenses of such care. It is understood that this authorization is given in advance of any such medical treatment, but is given to provide authority and power on the part of the Designated Adult in the exercise of his or her best judgment upon the advice of any such medical or emergency personnel.

The participant also grants consents for medication administration if needed for daily medication or as needed medication. All medications (aside from OTC, optional) should be given to the designated deployment medical lead. Adults over 21 may hold onto their medications and self-administer, unless it is a psychotropic or controlled medicine. In such case, the designated deployment medical lead must hold onto that medication until administration.

MENTAL HEALTH TREATMENT AND PROTOCOLS



A mental health crisis is a non-life threatening situation in which an individual is exhibiting extreme emotional disturbance or behavioral distress. They may be considering harm to themselves or others, be disoriented or out of touch with reality, have a compromised ability to function, or are otherwise agitated and unable to be calmed. On a Soul River deployment it may include not participating in the scheduled agenda, interpersonal difficulties, not following rules or expectations, or having trouble regulating emotions (ie, panic attacks, crying, screaming, or isolating from the group). The volunteer Mental Health Therapist will be the designated lead when decisions need to be made on how to most effectively handle a mental health crisis. The steps below will be used when a mental health crisis presents itself on a deployment:

  1.     1. A change is noticed in the participant and is brought to the attention of the volunteer Licensed Mental Health Therapist.Make sure to state clear, observable facts that were witnessed by yourself or others.

  2.     2. The volunteer Mental Health Therapist will consult with the administration on the deployment for opinions, perspectives, witnessing, and potentially more information. A plan will be made as a team on how to proceed.

  3.     3. The volunteer Mental Health Therapist will approach the person and ask to speak with them privately away from the group. If this person is a harm to others, another team member will be asked to accompany the volunteer Therapist while they speak with the individual.

  4.     4. A goal of the conversation will be stated up front, such as “I am hoping to speak about some behaviors that have been brought to our attention.”

  5.     5. The concern will be voiced, and then space given for the participant to respond about what is happening for them, personally.

  6.     6. The expectations will be stated for the deployment, and then problem solving will take place to get the participant back participating in the group again. If there are safety concerns, they will be addressed.

  7.     7. Consequences of not following through on the agreed upon problem solving will be stated.

  8.     8. The team will be communicated with, and the participant will be monitored minimum the next 24 hours, with check-ins throughout the day.

  9.     9. If the participant is not complying with the stated agenda, a phone call back home will be made with a loved one (or parent) for accountability and an attempt to get them engaged again.

  10.     10. If it is decided they are a threat to themselves or others, or the larger group as a whole, arrangements will be made to send the participant back home again.

If the participant is experiencing an emotion which is making it difficult for them to participate in the activities, the volunteer Mental Health Therapist will use a variety of emotion regulation and distraction techniques in order to help them regulate the emotion in the moment. This can include and is not limited to mindfulness techniques, breathing, going on a walk, making sure biological vulnerabilities are attended to (such as eating), processing, or one on one time as long as necessary to get the participant back in the program, which is the main objective. Although the therapist is a licensed professional, the aim is not to have therapy sessions with the participant but rather get them back in the program as soon as possible.

Health Crisis at Home
If there is an emergency at home having to due with the health, safety, or well being of a participant's loved one or family member, the steps below will be followed:
    1. The loved one will notify a Soul River Home Base administrator in Portland, OR and communicate about the situation. You can reach them at:
    2. The administrator will contact the deployment leader via satellite phone, GPS, email, call, or text. The situation will be communicated thoroughly to them, and then directly to the volunteer Licensed Mental Health therapist.
    3. A plan will be made to communicate to the particular participant.
    4. The participant will be communicated to away from the group, in private, with the volunteer therapist. If a phone call can suffice until the return of the trip, the participant will be put in contact with their loved one.
    5. Support in whatever way will be offered to the participant, such as one on one time or a break from the agenda if necessary.
    6. In case of an emergency where the participant must return home, arrangements will be made for the participant to return home as soon as possible.
    7. Pertinent information will be shared with the group as a whole if necessary.

DEPLOYMENT SPECIFIC HEALTH AND SAFETY PLAN


On all deployments SRI has adopted the Health & Safety Plan (HASP) specifically written to address the associated risks of each SRI deployment. The HASP document outlines SRI’s site specific health and safety planning for situational awareness and is to be read and signed by all SRI deployment participants to acknowledge the participants understanding of this guidance document.

Deployment HASP Execution Goals - The goal of this document is to implement all SRI Deployments in a safe efficient manner without incident to personnel, property, or the community. This includes;
    • No Injuries or Illnesses during the Deployment
    • No Environmental Damage during the Deployment
    • No Host Permit Violation during the Deployment
    • Incident Free Deployment Execution
    • Drug and Alcohol Free Deployment
The Deployment Specific HASP may be used, when deemed necessary to address specific policies and procedures to be instituted for deployments that SRI organizes and participates in. All SRI deployment participants will review and familiarize themselves with this Site Health & Safety Plan, as applicable, prior to commencement of the deployment. All SRI deployment participants will also sign the acknowledgement form at the end of this document after reviewing the HASP.

SRI participants shall perform all duties in strict accordance with standards, regulations and other protocols as directed on site by SRI Directors, Deployment Hosts, and SRI collaborative organizations and agencies for the Deployment.


CELL PHONE USE



You are more than welcome to travel to and from the SRI deployment with items such as cell phones, iPods, tablets and laptops. Once you arrive we will ask you to leave it all in your parent/guardian’s possession or with SRI Deployment staff, as you are not allowed to take it on your deployment. We ask students not to bring emergency response technology. Cameras are welcome on course as long as they are not part of a cellular phone. You might want to consider purchasing a waterproof bag or box for your camera, film, batteries and memory cards. A zip lock bag works well too. We also suggest disposable waterproof cameras.

There are no cell phones on all Soul River Inc deployments. Participants are not allowed to use cell phones while on a SRI deployment. Participants are not permitted to carry cell phones, even just to use as cameras, or their own satellite phones or trackers. We limit the use of personal technology because we believe in the value of time spent away from the constant connectivity of daily life. Instructors of SRI (i.e., veterans, volunteers, or staff) will carry communication technology they know how to use in the event of an emergency and to also maintain steady communication to SRI home base staff to provide update status reports for families.

    1. If for any reason a cell phone is needed for participants, the staff cell phone (establish deployment cell phone) can be of use for emergency only.
    2. In the event that a cell phone is needed due to a diagnosis of anxiety, depression, or another diagnosed disability this will need to be supported by a written letter from a therapist or physician. Such diagnosis should be documented on the emergency form at the time of application. In the event of a cell phone being prescribed by a therapist or physician,
    a. the participant is to notify SRI within seven (7) days of departure.
    b. the participant (along with parents/guardians, if under 18) must collaborate with SRI staff and board to create a plan of appropriate use that will not interfere with programming.

DEPLOYMENT COMMUNICATION BETWEEN SRI DEPLOYMENT TEAM & SRI HOME BASE STAFF


On all deployments SRI Deployment Director, SRI Deployment Staff, SRI Volunteer or Veteran Leader will have access to one or more communication devices at all times. These communication devices include cell phones, satellite phones, satellite communication and messaging devices to be used for maintaining open and productive communication with contacting SRI Homebase staff so SRI Homebase staff/volunteer can distribute regular updates to all of the parents and significant others of Deployment Participants. This will include the communication devices serving as communication from campsites, waypoint locations and quick general information from weather to agenda chances to be communicated back to SRI Home base staff. One or more SRI staff/volunteers will be established as SRI Homebase volunteer based on the length of the deployment and the SRI Homebase staffing needs.

SRI Homebase staff volunteers will be the main source of communication between the deployment team and the parents and significant others of deployment participants. The designated on-call SRI Homebase staff/volunteer will provide regular status updates to the designated parent or significant other of deployment participants. The purposed of this communication is to provide a check in of deployment progress and locations and possible difficulties with weather that could create delays and or changes to itineraries of the deployments.

MANDATORY DEPLOYMENT MEETINGS


Participants are required to attend all mandatory meetings ( including, clinics, discussion sections, lectures, and other types of deployment meetings pertaining to the deployment you are signed up) In addition, because participants, apply online, the list of registered participants fluctuates. A participant's presence at the first mandatory meeting is required to clearly indicate the number of students who are committed to go on a deployment. We as an organization of SRI takes this very seriously! It is very critical for the participant to receive the right information and to be full inform and prepared. It is critical that all parents and guardians to be fully informed and aware of every detail about your participant. Lastly it is crucial and responsible we adhere to ALL in respect to our partners, sponsors and donors and all the in between of individuals of thousands of man hours and financial are uphold and supported by SRI mission to make these lifetime opportunities happen for our veterans and our youth. Our sponsors, supporters, donors and partners believes in our mission and it is SRI responsibility to follow thru respectfully by showing their support ingratitude at full 100% attendance as this is an investment for youth and veterans.

    1. Participants are required to attend the first orientation meeting before the season starts in order to receive important information about the season deployments from SRI SRI Deployment Director, SRI Deployment Staff, SRI Volunteer or Veteran Leader.. Participants must attend ALL mandatory meeting that are scheduled pertaining to your deployment (including, clinics, discussion sections, lectures, and other types of deployment meetings), unless you have obtained prior approval from the President, SRI Deployment Director, SRI Deployment Staff, for an intended absence before the first class meeting. Without such prior approval, a student may lose their place in the class to another student and will be disqualified from that deployment.
    2. If a participant's wishes to remain in a deployment from which the student has been absent the first day without prior approval, the student must contact the President, SRI Deployment Director, SRI Deployment Staff, as soon as possible. In this circumstance, President, SRI Deployment Director, SRI Deployment Staff, have the right to deny access to the class if other participants have been added and the course is full. However, President, SRI Deployment Director, SRI Deployment Staff, should consider extenuating circumstances that may have prevented a student from attending the first class session and from notifying the President, SRI Deployment Director, SRI Deployment Staff, in advance.
    3. Absence from the first class session that falls during a recognized religious holiday (e.g., Rosh Hashanah) does not require President, SRI Deployment Director, SRI Deployment Staff, approval, but the participants must notify SRI in advance regarding the absence and the reason for the absence. In this instance, the place for the student will be retained.

Please sign anywhere below the line acknowledging you agree to Soul River Inc. Deployment Policies.


Hours

Monday10:00AM - 6:00PM
Tuesday10:00AM - 6:00PM
Wednesday10:00AM - 6:00PM
Thursday10:00AM - 6:00PM
Friday10:00AM - 6:00PM
SaturdayCLOSED
SundayCLOSED

Contact us

keep in touch

Soul River Inc

1926 N Kilpatrick St,

Suite B,

Portland, OR 97217

Phone. 503-954-7625

Email. info@soulriverinc.org