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Camden OKs trip policy revisions

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By Reggie Ponder
Staff Writer

Monday, October 14, 2019

CAMDEN — All trips sponsored by Camden County’s senior center now require trip-takers to provide both a signed waiver form and a deposit, according to an updated policy approved last week by county officials.

All future trips, including both day trips and overnight excursions, will require trip-takers to pay a deposit to reserve a space. In addition, all overnight trips will have a specified, non-refundable deposit included in the cost.

Other provisions of the new policy, approved by the Camden Board of Commissioners, include:

Roommate and travel companion preferences are to be stated at time of registration.

Full payment is required by the final payment deadline established by the Camden County Center for Active Adults.

Trips will depart on time.

All overnight and shopping day trips will leave from and return to the Camden County Center for Active Adults and there will be no other pickup or drop-off points.

Participants must be self-sufficient to go on trips. In some cases, center for active adults staff may require a physician’s certification to approve a participant’s travel.

Participants having to cancel can receive a refund, based on the tour company’s policy, if the trip is full and their place can be filled from the waiting list.

All trips will require a Camden County Center for Active Adults staff member to be the primary group leader.

The one trip comp (if applicable) will only be for the Camden County Center for Active Adults staff member leading the trip.

In addition, all trip participants must exhibit the following conduct: be considerate and treat others with kindness, courtesy and respect; be calm and patient and refrain from using abusive, obscene, threatening, harassing, insulting, or suggestive language; not engage in or threaten physical violence; follow non-smoking policies while on motor coach or Camden County van; not possess weapons or firearms while participating in a Camde-sponsored trip; and be on time.

The motion by Commissioner Randy Krainiak to approve the revised policy was passed unanimously.

The revised trip policy is part of a comprehensive review of county policies undertaken by County Manager Ken Bowman.

The need for a revised policy for senior center trips received a lot of attention — and generated some controversy — earlier this year when the county manager canceled a planned trip to Ireland.

Bowman explained in February that he canceled the trip because it would have meant too much time overseas for the senior center’s full-time staff, which at that time was short an assistant director.

Bowman said at the time that he was working on a policy on out-of-town trips for the senior center that among other things would balance the public’s interest in taking the trips with the need to have center staff available for other programs.

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