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Essential Eligibility Criteria

All Adventure WV program participants must meet Essential Eligibility Criteria.  Many of the sites and venues for the activities included in Adventure WV’s program are challenging, remote and exposed to nature’s elements.

The health and safety of our students and staff are a top priority, along with the educative quality of the program experience for all participants. To achieve essential group goals, the individuals on each program must be fully capable of and committed to learning and using outdoor skills, meeting physical and social challenges and taking care of themselves and each other.

The Essential Eligibility (EEC) are applied to all students participating in Adventure WV programs. A qualified person meets the general EEC for AWV as well as the EEC for the specific program activities and program areas. If an applicant does not meet specific criteria, AWV might be able to accommodate an applicant, but will not do so if it significantly alters the fundamental nature of the program activity, jeopardizes the health and safety of program participants or staff or places an undue administrative or financial burden on WVU or Adventure WV. Requests for accommodations must be submitted in writing to Adventure WV (to: at least one month prior to a program. Requests are not guaranteed; Adventure WV will work with the requestor and WVU’s Office of Accessibility Services (OAS) to determine the feasibility of the request. A final plan for accommodations must be reviewed and approved of by AWV, the requestor and OAS at least one week prior to the program. Requestors are also encouraged to consult directly with OAS:

Adventure WV participants are responsible for consulting the itinerary of their selected program and reviewing the relevant Essential Eligibility Criteria.

General Eligibility Criteria for ALL AWV Program Participants and Activities

  • Able to understand verbal and visual instructions individually and in a group setting, and follow such instructions whether supervised or not.
  • Able to comprehend hazards and safety concerns when explained, and to adhere to safety policies and procedures even when staff and contracted guides are not present.
  • Learn and practice Leave No Trace (LNT) outdoor ethics and techniques.
  • Able to identify and recognize hazards posed by the environment (e.g., steep or uneven terrain, moving water, sun, wind, cold, etc.) and other participants (e.g., fatigue, state of mind and other influencers of judgment and decision making).
  • Able to effectively communicate to others personal distress, injury or need for assistance, and communicate to others any hazards and dangers that they perceive.
  • Able to stay properly hydrated and nourished, by day or night, and learn skills for self-care, including proper hygiene and use of clothing and equipment.
  • Maintain pace with the group.
  • Able to refrain from the use of alcohol, tobacco, controlled substances and any misuse of prescription or over the counter drugs. If using prescription drugs, able to follow correct dosage and usage and keep them in good condition between resupplies (up to 8 days) with or without instructor assistance.
  • Able to contribute to a safe social and learning environment and maintain appropriate relationships with other group members and instructors, refrain from sexual activity, harassment and bullying and all other behavior that disrupts the learning of others or the cohesion of the group.
  • Able to abstain from cell phone use for the duration of the program. ( Adventure WV staff carries communication devices for emergency situations but is otherwise a cell phone free program)

Camping Activities

  • Able to live and function in an outdoor camp setting without access to electricity for 6 days. Note that no prior camping experience is expected nor necessary. This criterion is meant to address students who have medications or other medical interventions that require access to electricity.

Hiking Activities

  • Able to walk continuously for 1 mile at a moderate pace over uneven terrain unassisted while carrying a small daypack weighing 10 – 15 pounds.

Backpacking Activities

  • Camping and hiking activities criteria PLUS the following:
    • Able to walk continuously for 1 mile at a moderate pace over uneven terrain unassisted while carrying a large pack (35-40 pounds), and then repeat following 15-30 minutes of rest.
    • Ability to not have access to advanced medical care facilities for the duration of the backpacking portion of a program.

Aerial Challenge and Zip-Line Activities

Rock Climbing Activities

  • Able to wear a climbing harness and helmet correctly.
  • Able to participate in belaying and climbing activities independently or with minimal assistance.

Whitewater Rafting Activities

  • Wear all protective equipment recommended/required by rafting outfitter and/or state law.
  • Independently maintain sealed airway passages while under water.
  • Be able to swim or be comfortable in the water, including fast moving water while wearing a personal floatation device.
  • Independently maintain a seated body position with limited back support while paddling raft in turbulent whitewater. Adaptive equipment may be used; if needed this equipment cannot impede nor lessen the effectiveness of safety procedures or equipment. No participant may be strapped or belted into a raft or adaptive equipment while on water.
  • Get in and out of raft from shore independently or with a reasonable amount of assistance.
  • If in water, independently turn from face-down to face-up and remain floating face-up while wearing a properly fitted life jacket.
  • Reenter the raft on water independently or with a reasonable amount of assistance.
  • In the event of a capsize, independently get out from under capsized raft, remain face-up in water with personal floatation device, and identify, make progress to and ascend shoreline with or without instruction.

Please Note: Adventure WV is a program designed to meet the needs of students enrolled at WVU and is not intended for the public at large.

If you have any questions on these Essential Eligibility Criteria or on your ability to meet one or more criteria please contact Adventure WV at 304-293-5221 or