This document contains policies that have been agreed upon by the Angeles ICO membership at monthly meetings.  All policies are indicated with a bullet.  Revisions may be made at any monthly meeting according to the decision-making policies of Angeles ICO.  In addition to these policies general information and advice is available in the following documents: “Guidelines for Agencies”, “Duties of an ICO Liaison”, and “Things to remember on an ICO Trip.”


  • Chair
  • Vice Chair
  • Bus Coordinator
  • Equipment Coordinator
  • Leader Certification Chair
  • Secretary/Newsletter Editor
  • Treasurer
  • Volunteer Coordinator
  • LEADERS Database Coordinator
  • Webmaster
  • Facebook Administrator

The chair and vice-chair are elected by ICO members attending the annual meeting in January.  The chair appoints all other officers.


  • Each ICO hike must have a minimum of two leaders, both must have passed and be current on a background check, CARP (Child Abuse Recognition and Prevention), and First Aid.  Sierra Club leaders serving as a co-leader on a trip on an emergency basis can complete the background check after the outing if there is not time to do so before.
  • All participants must bring a signed “Trip and Participant Information” form also known as a waiver prior to participation in any ICO outing.  Leaders collect the forms before the group leaves the trailhead and bring or mail them to the current ICO Chair or his or her designee.
  • For each participant under 18 the liability waivers must be signed by a parent or legal guardian.
  • Sierra Club Incident/Accident Reports must be sent to National, the local Angeles Chapter and the ICO Chair. The instructions on the form must be followed carefully.
  • There must be a vehicle available for emergencies.
  • ICO does not allow dogs unless it is an actual service dog for an individual.
  • If an emergency requires that an adult supervise a child alone, only a certified leader or authorized volunteer should take that responsibility.


  • ICO participants may only enter the ocean, even to wade, if a lifeguard is present. (Tide pooling is the one exception.)  If the beach visit is not anticipated, the leader will communicate with the lifeguard on duty.
  • Prior to an outing to the ocean, if the leader intends to permit the participants to enter the water that leader must contact the beach authorities to reserve a lifeguard.


  • Provisional hike leaders bear the responsibility for planning and implementing a trip from start to finish. This includes establishing contact with the participating agency and requesting a bus or arranging other means of transportation.
  • Provisional hike leaders associated with an agency must lead their provisional hike for an agency other than their own.
  • Prior to a candidate becoming a certified ICO hike leader, an attending certified ICO hike leader with at least one year’s experience will evaluate their provisional hike performance.  The provisional hike leader must have volunteered or co-led on at least two previous ICO hikes or outings as well.


  • Volunteers must submit an application including the names and contact information of three references prior to participating in an outing.
  • All volunteers who participate in ICO outings, including Angeles Chapter certified leaders, are required to have a background check.
  • If an ICO hike leader has a serious concern about a volunteer’s participation, then that leader must note that concern in the comments section of the Sierra Club ICO Trip Report.


  • For grades K – 8 there must be a minimum of one agency person per ten participants. For grades 9 – 12 there must be a minimum of one agency person per 15 participants. Adult relative participants help meet this requirement as long as there is one official agency representative.
  • Occasionally, ICO provides hikes, overnight camping trips, and snow trips to the San Gabriel Mts.  To be eligible for ANY camping trip, groups must have previously participated in at least three (3) ICO hikes. No child should go on a camping trip who has not participated in at least one day hike.
  • If a group/class wants more than 3 day hikes and 1 full overnight trip, the teacher needs to submit a proposal to the group at least 2 months in advance of when they will exceed the limit. The proposal should include how the school goes above and beyond, like the teacher becoming a leader, contributing, volunteering, helping with fundraising. It may also include information about the mission or vision of the agency and/or club.
  • For schools with multiple classes or groups, there should be no more than 3 hikes per group of students (or class), but there will be no limit on the total number of hikes at the school.
  • On camping trips, an adult will share a tent with other adults, occupy a tent singly, or share a tent with their own child only.
  • On an overnight outing, all Sierra Club and ICO leaders, co-leaders and volunteers must be cleared by a background check.
  • Schools and other agencies are responsible for getting the “Trip and Participant Information” also known as the waiver form from guardians. ICO requires a liability waiver for every participant, including, teachers, teacher aides, family members, and friends.  For each participant under 18, the liability waivers must be signed by a legal guardian.
  • Volunteers wishing to go on a scheduled hike are welcome, with the permission of the hike leader and provided that they have completed the requirements to become a volunteer.  Call the leader (see the “ICO Rosters and Leaders” list for phone numbers and e-mail addresses) to tell him or her you would like to volunteer.  For the protection of youthful participants, ICO outings are closed, that is, they are not published in the Sierra Club Schedule
  • If the total cost of a trip is $1200 or less, ICO will pay the total amount and no pre-approval is required other than the standard review of trips at the monthly meeting.
  • Trips which are likely to cost more than $1200 must be discussed and pre-approved at a regular meeting.
  • In addition to parents and agency personnel, the following adults are allowed to participate in day outings without having been cleared by a background check:
  1. docents or naturalists associated with the park visited or known to the leader to have  relevant knowledge.
  2. personal friends of the leader
  3. representatives of a business or foundation from whom we have received or are requesting funds.


  • The food allowance for overnights is $3.00 per participant per meal.
  • It is the responsibility of the outings leader to arrange for the pick up and return of equipment and supplies.  The person who picks up the equipment should complete a check out form, detailing what has been borrowed. Tents and other supplies should be returned clean and dry.  If anything is damaged, that should be noted and mentioned upon return.


  • Bus reservations must be submitted through the online form or in writing to the bus coordinator and the secretary at least four (4) weeks prior to the date of a trip.  If this is a rescheduled trip, it does not need to be 4 weeks in advance.
  • An ICO leader, no matter what the cause, must make all bus cancellations 48 hours prior to the date of the trip. To cancel a bus, the leader contacts the bus coordinator, Dan Butler, at dncbutler1@socal.rr.com.
  • When a bus must be canceled due to rain, at the time of the cancellation, the leader should let the Bus Coordinator know if he or she will reschedule and give the new date if known.  Notify the bus coordinator, the treasurer, and the secretary of all cancellations.
  • A minimum of 20 participants (other than leaders and volunteers) is needed to justify hiring a bus for an outing.  Schools who misses the minimum number of participants on the next trip, may not be able participate in any future ICO outings.
  • A minimum of 15 participants (other than leaders and volunteers) for camping trips
  • No more than one mountain trip per school year for Saturday hikes.
  • The Sierra Club policy regarding automobile liability policy can be found at https://community.sierraclub.org/page/policy-transportation-outings.  There is a section on rental cars on that page.  People considering using a rental car to transport participants also need to review the Outings Leader Handbook and ICO Addendum to the OLH, both on the extranet site.  People will need to register for the Sierra Club Campfire website to have access.
  • When renting a vehicle, one should write “Sierra Club/their name” in order to be covered by Sierra Club’s liability insurance.
  • With a Commercial Drivers License (CDL) one can transport only ten passengers if any of them are children.

Policy for Obtaining and Safeguarding Photograph and Video Permissions for LA ICO Outings:

  1. The primary person responsible for obtaining the photograph and video permission is the outing leader.
  2. The “Inspiring Connections Outdoor Trip and Participant Information” form contains a “Publicity Permission.” By signing this Permission, the parent or guardian authorizes his/her child’s words or photograph to appear in ICO promotional materials. A signed Publicity Permission is not required in order for participants to participate in the outing.
  3. If the outing leader intends to use photographs from the outing as promotional material for ICO, he/she must assure that a Publicity Permission is signed by the parent or guardian of each youth participant who is photographed.
  4. Within seven days after the outing, the outing leader must send an email to the LA ICO Chair and the LA ICO web masters stating that he/she has obtained Publicity Permissions for each of the youth participants who were photographed during the outing. The leader must also state in the email that he/she has sent the originals of the Publicity Permissions to Elizabeth Neat for safekeeping.

View the ICO national policy. (You will need the login and password.)


Visit the Sierra Club’s Terms of Use page & Privacy Policy page.

Related Pages:

CHECK US OUT ON: Facebook iconInstagram icon


15 + 15 =