Will our students be safe and secure?
Pathways has been a trusted and proven operator of international & domestic multi-day trips for teenagers since 2007. Students are accompanied by adult chaperones and Pathways employees, never exceeding an 8:1 ratio of adults to students. All participants are provided preparation guidelines and are required to follow strict policies that ensure appropriate and safe behavior. We always put safety first!


What is the student:chaperone ratio?
We maintain a student to chaperone ratio of at least 8:1 for all of our trips. This includes Pathways Program Facilitators, Experiential Leadership Educators, and parent/teacher chaperones from the participating school.


How frequently are program opportunities made available?
The Ranch, Farm, Community Service, and Washington DC trips operate year-round, while College Tour operates fall through spring. International Trips are available upon request.


How many students are welcome on each trip?
Some programs are flexible, but general guidelines for maximum program capacity is as follows:

  • Blackbird Farm – 20
  • Rocky Mountain Pathways Ranch – 39
  • College Tour – 40
  • Community Service – 45
  • Washington, D.C. – 30
  • Community Gardens – Varies by client needs
  • International Trips – 30

What ages are welcome?
Programs are open to students ages 13-20


What if a participant wishes to return early from a program?
If a participant voluntarily decides to leave early, his or her parent/guardian will be responsible for the cost of return travel.


How does weather affect program activities?
Snow, rain, heat, and gloom generally don’t prevent Pathways participants from having fun and learning! In the case of severe weather conditions, Pathways reserves the right to cancel a program for safety concerns, issuing refunds when able.


If a student is 18 or older, do they need their parent or guardian’s permission to attend?
No, participants that are 18 and older do not need a parent/guardian signature, but we do recommend they accompany the student to program orientation.


Where do students sleep?
On all Pathways trips, safe and comfortable housing is provided. At the Ranch in Colorado, participants sleep in the ranch lodge. At Blackbird Farm in northern California, students sleep in a yurt. What is a “yurt”, you ask? A yurt is a round tent supported with a wooden structure (flooring, walls, rafters). Students love the experience of sleeping in the yurt! College Tour, Community Service, and Washington D.C. participants all stay in group-style housing or hotels. Students are always separated into gender-specific rooms and accompanied by a same-gender chaperone.


Can students request to be roommates/bunkmates?
No, students may not request bunkmates. Part of the Pathways experience is being pushed outside of one’s comfort zone and being introduced to new experiences that help students grow as individuals.


Can parents visit Rocky Mountain Pathways Ranch and Blackbird Farm?
For security reasons, non-chaperone visitors are not allowed. But parents and guardians can follow their children’s progress and activities on the Pathways blog which is updated daily during trips.


What is your policy on student misbehavior?
We take safety very seriously, and we do not allow behavior that could potentially endanger participants or staff. Furthermore, we require all staff and participants to use appropriate language and treat one another respectfully. We uphold a zero tolerance policy for possession or participation in any of the below:

  • Verbal/Physical abuse of any kind
  • Smoking (including possession of lighters, matches, tobacco products or paraphernalia)
  • Possession, use, or sale of alcohol or any controlled substances or drugs not prescribed by the participant’s personal physician
  • Vandalism/Theft of any property
  • Being in the opposite gender’s living area or bathroom
  • Sexual behavior
  • Possession of a firearm, knife, or weapon of any kind, unless provided by program staff and used in strict accordance with program activity

Do you offer assistance with transportation to and from the airport and final destination?
All participants will need to provide their own transportation to and from the airport. All other transportation will be taken care of by Pathways.


What documents or materials are needed from students to qualify for program participation?
Along with a completed intake packet (provided by a Pathways representative, the following materials must be turned in before participants can be approved for a trip:

  • Copy of health insurance card (front and back)
  • Copy of student’s ID
  • Under 18 – school ID
  • 18 or older – state issued ID
  • Proof of immunizations
  • Proof of physical examination within the past two years
  • Passports/Visas (International Trips)

If a student will be taking any prescription medication while on the trip, his or her personal physician will need to complete an additional form


Is there a suggested packing list for participants?
During the first orientation for each trip, a suggested packing list will be provided. Depending on the trip and time of year, these items will vary. Rocky Mountain Pathways Ranch and Blackbird Farm both keep some outdoor gear (shoes, gloves, etc.) on hand for students who are unable to bring their own.


Does a student need a physical to go on the trip?
Students must provide proof of having had a physical examination from a licensed physician within the past two years.


Does a student need to provide immunization records?
Yes, proof of immunizations is required


How do you handle dietary restrictions, medication, and health issues?
All restrictions, medications, health and behavioral issues must be stated clearly in the participants intake form. If medication is required, a signed note from the student’s physician must be included. With the exception of inhalers and insulin, all medication will be collected by a chaperone at the beginning of the trip and will be administered as prescribed by the doctor. All dietary restrictions are taken seriously and accounted for when designing meals for our participants. Pathways frequently services students who are vegetarian, kosher, gluten-free, or suffer from various food allergies.

For inquiries or general questions, please contact us for more information at info@pathwaysedu.org.

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