I've been using the IPDE process since I was about 16. Mention of the process is sure to cause some eye-rolling in my nuclear family -- my wife, seven-year-old son and three-year-old daughter (who's less likely to roll her eyes, but will say, "You're crazy, Daddy." To which I reply, "You're crazier." Which elicits the response, "No. You're craziest..." and on and on).
This IPDE process is usually described, in detail, when someone says, "Be careful on your drive."
"Of course I will," I say, "I'll be using the IPDE process." Cue eye-rolling and the who's-the-craziest contest.
By now, everyone knows what the IPDE process is, because I've explained it more than is probably necessary. But that's half the fun, isn't it?
Anyway, in driver's ed we were taught to Identify, Predict, Decide and Execute. Fully explained, drivers are supposed to Identify hazards, Predict what they might do, Decide to mitigate the potential hazard and Execute by getting out of harm's way or "leaving yourself an out," as the instructor would say (such as making sure no one's in the lane next to you should you have to swerve suddenly to avoid the identified trailer swinging dangerously behind the flowered VW bus).
This is basically the same type of process you use at camp to manage and mitigate risk. You'll find the variations on this theme in a number of articles found within this magazine, particularly Gregg Champlin's piece on the Incident Command System (page 48), and Ann-Marie Gallo's article about instilling staff ownership in risk management (page 54).
A couple of items have come to light recently that demand an IPDE-type process. We'll cover them more fully in future issues, but I'd like to get the dialogue going and receive your feedback about them.
First is camp access. How tightly controlled is the access to your camp? If someone had bad intentions, could they get in easily? Have you identified access points, predicted how someone could get in through it, decided to control it and executed a plan that protects your campers, thereby further limiting your liability?
The second is bullying. Does your camp have a policy on bullying, and are you training staff how to identify and deal with bullying?
I look forward to your feedback on these and other issues. Thanks again for your input and for reading...
Regan D. Dickinson
Phone: (830) 257-1012
Fax: (830) 257-1020
PO Box 291773, Kerrville, TX 78029