Safety & Health
Growth and discovery are often found outside of comfort zones.
SUPPORTING SAFETY WHILE LEANING INTO RISK
At Dragons, we challenge our participants intellectually, emotionally, and physically because we believe growth and discovery are often found outside of comfort zones. Our job is to create opportunities for meaningful challenge while professionally and transparently managing the risks of travel.
In our 25+ years of experience in the field, we’ve successfully trained over 1,000 Dragons Instructors and stewarded over 300,000 “in-field” days. Over that time, we’ve built robust risk management systems, extensive local contacts, and a practiced understanding of regional safety issues. This experience helps us offer the most innovative and intentional programming.
Dragons has been vetted by key partners, including Princeton University, the US Secret Service under the Obama Administration, and the Gap Year Association. Dragons also presents regularly at the Wilderness Risk Management Conference and is a leader in the field of Risk Management for International Programming.
THERE ARE FOUR FOUNDATIONAL ASPECTS OF OUR RISK MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS THAT KEEP SAFETY AS OUR TOP PRIORITY:
1. WE HIRE EXPERIENCED INSTRUCTORS
Typically, a Dragons instructor team collectively represents multiple languages, ten or more years of in-country experience, and years managing groups in remote settings. Every instructor team has Wilderness First Aid/Responder, or higher, medical certifications. Instructors are also adept at working with participants to manage medical issues. Dragons Instructors average 30+ years in age and typically work with us for three to ten, or more, years. When needed, Instructors call on their linguistic fluency, local contacts, and regional expertise to deftly navigate unexpected issues.
2. WE PLACE A PREMIUM ON INSTRUCTOR TRAINING AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT
Each year, we facilitate a 2-week all-staff training focused on group management, physical and emotional safety, cross-cultural communication, experiential education, leadership development, and international risk management. We also lead trainings on best practices in international programming for outside faculty, schools, and organizations. For these reasons, schools and universities such as Princeton University, Thacher School, Milton Academy, and over 50 other institutions have chosen Dragons to design and facilitate custom programming.
3. WE HAVE AN EXPERIENCED 24/7 SUPPORT TEAM
With experienced administrators based domestically and internationally, Dragons Risk Management Team is dedicated to ensuring the highest-quality international programming, with careful attention to the safety and security of our participants, instructors, and in-country partners. Dragons Emergency Response Team is ready and on-call 24/7 while participants are in the field.
4. WE HAVE A ROBUST NETWORK OF INTERNATIONAL RESOURCES
Our organization is built on 25+ years of personal connections. We often receive word of security issues before they are taken to public channels. We supplement word-of-mouth updates with reports from the US State Department, the Overseas Security Advisory Council, the World Health Organization, and the Center for Disease Control. We work closely with International SOS to receive access to 24/7 medical consultation and emergency support services. We have carefully researched in-country medical facilities and our instructors also go into the field with comprehensive emergency management tools.