Petersburg, VA asked in Business Law and Business Formation for Virginia

Q: Is a license/registration required to give a three day Survival Class with one overnight camping required in Virginia?

I want to provide a basic wilderness survival class to minors and adults, age 12+, that involves one day lecture (8 hours) and one day (overnight) practical experience (total of three days) in the wilderness (though, not the backcountry as medical services are readily near). Are there any requirements for teaching skills or chaperoning a group of students (with other chaperone adults) for an overnight (one night) camping trip?

1 Lawyer Answer
Timothy R Johnson
Timothy R Johnson
  • Berryville, VA
  • Licensed in Virginia

A: I can't possibly think of a department or 'professional license' that this would apply to.

If anything, the bigger issue is working out possible areas of liability such as if someone is injured while hiking or while engaged in any of the survivalist activities. You would probably want to create a liability waiver for all participants to be aware of the risks associated with the activity; requirements to follow all of your instructions including not wander off; and explain any critical policies in effect during genuine emergencies.

Just make sure that the location you do the classes on is a place that you are permitted to go (ex: no trespassing; may want to check with park services about your activities and whereabouts when doing these events if taking place in state or national parks).

If you intend to make this a regular business activity (rather than a one night thing), you may want to consider actually forming a business (corporation or LLC) to further mitigate your personal liability.

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