Preparing for college and the world beyond occurs through the essential feedback generated with the help of direct experience. More specifically, this critical growth process is fostered when students are encouraged to take developmentally appropriate physical, social, and emotional risks. As participants in our dynamic active curriculum, students live and learn in the outdoors throughout the year. These encounters are wonderfully challenging and rewarding. At CRMS there is an underlying conviction that the benefits of venturing into uncertain territory with appropriate guidance yields precisely the holistic developmental gains that are needed in this world.
Understanding our conception of risk is essential in appreciating a CRMS education. Risk can be understood as the potential to lose something of value. Mountain Safety Expert Jed Williamson informs us that “what we need to remember is that our motivation for risk is to gain something of value—good health, self-confidence, recognition, spiritual growth, money, friends, relationships, career move, whatever it might be. But in short, it comes out to a life worth living.”
At CRMS, these motivations, or benefits, of taking risks in the outdoors, for example, are varied. They include an emerging ability to manage oneself and make decisions, to learn to manage one’s thoughts and feelings (i.e., impulsivity, fear, bravado, etc.), to learn to manage one’s physical body during a time of maturation and physical exercise, and to learn about personal judgment, being part of a team, etc.
A vital dimension of risk is inherent risk. Inherent risk is the type of risk that is a natural part of conducting an activity. If one were to drive to the grocery store, one must acknowledge the inherent risk of collision with another automobile. With knowledge and planning, the inherent risks of activities can be managed and practices can be put into place to respond appropriately. If asked, "Why not eliminate risk from your programs altogether?" We would contend that eliminating the risk associated with an activity would transform the experience into something different entirely. That is, we endeavor in the outdoors in large part because of the risk—because of the developmental benefits that await us in those rich moments.
CRMS takes immense pride in the heritage and the excellence that inform its active curriculum. Our faculty leaders are trained and certified in wilderness medicine. We work diligently to ensure that our practices in the Outdoor Program and within our sports reflect contemporary and accepted practices in the field. The school has been fully accredited by the Association for Experiential Education since 2006 and remains a member of this leading organization.
To reiterate, CRMS cannot assure students' safety or eliminate said inherent risks. CRMS students and their parents must understand that students share in the responsibility for the well-being of themselves and others in the program. Students and their parents are required to sign, in addition to other forms, an Acknowledgment and Assumption of Risks and Release of Indemnity Agreement form before participating in our programs. Please review this release form
or contact us for additional information about activities, associated risks, and student and parent responsibilities.
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