A Canada where citizens enjoy a high quality of life during and following their youth, including adoption of healthy, active outdoor lifestyles undertaken within an accepted culture of safety and security.
Mission of YouthSafe Outdoors
YouthSafe Outdoors provides world-class risk management and safety education resources and services to central and site-level decision makers, teachers/leaders and parents/guardians to help them provide and model safe off-site experiences for students.
The YouthSafe Outdoors logo symbolizes our mission. We see young people being active in nature (under the sun by a river), capturing the joy they experience being alive there. However, the river can also be viewed as an adult’s sheltering arm, demonstrating the need to protect youth from unwarranted risks when we take them off-site.
The need for YSO is based on a number of ten interacting factors, including:
- the need to increase physical activity levels of youth to combat obesity and disease;
- the great physical, social and economic toll of overweight, obesity and preventable injuries;
- a record of injury incidents involving youth engaged in physical activities and travel;
- the impact and costs (financial and social) of avoidable legal liability actions and public inquiries;
- the need for current, comprehensive, integrated risk management policies, procedures and practices in schools;
- the need to address occupational health and safety of staff and volunteers;
- recognition of the autonomy and values of organizations;
- need for exposure of youth to activities that interest them (e.g., outdoor pursuits, sports, aquatics, travel);
- need for youth to receive age-appropriate safety and self-reliance training; and
- a need for relevant home support resources for parents/guardians.
YouthSafe Outdoors helps schools build the four Cs:
Capacity – consistent performance of risk management functions within and across schools.
Competence – personnel with the knowledge, skills and judgment they need to understand and fulfill their risk management related obligations.
Confidence – positive, affirmative, systems-based action to enhance organization and community peace of mind that activities are sufficiently safe.
Culture – leadership, modelling and instruction of students and families toward developing a strong culture of shared responsibility for safety and security.
Schools use YSO to enhance the risk management related effectiveness, efficiency, economy of effort and peace of mind of all partners in the equation of the safe school program.