Reader Rendezvous Code of Conduct for Attendees, Leaders, and Guides

Revised January 14, 2020

Bird Watcher’s Digest

Wendy Clark, President & Publisher
149 Acme St.
Marietta, OH 45750

Black, McCuskey, Souers, and Arbough, LPA

C. Jason Deeds, Attorney
149 Garland Dr. SW
New Philadelphia, OH 44663

Overview

Because we live in a world where a variety of opinions, experiences, behaviors, and expectations are deemed acceptable in various social, cultural, and travel situations, we would like to clarify our expectations for attendee conduct during our Reader Rendezvous bird watching tours. In order to provide the most enjoyable and safe experience possible for everyone, and to ensure respect for the people and cultures we encounter during our travels, we ask that this Code of Conduct be signed by each individual tour attendee, guide, and leader beginning in January 2020.

Specifications

The information within this document is generic to all of our tours. Before each tour we will also provide any up-to-date information that may be needed regarding the current socio-political or religious environment in the locations we visit, both domestically and internationally.

Conduct and Behavior

  • We expect all of our attendees, guides, and leaders to be both polite and respectful to locals, fellow travelers, guides, drivers, tour leaders, and anyone else we may encounter during our tour.
  • We expect all travelers to be respectful of local customs. Our tour leaders will discuss important cultural information and guidance on what to do/not do. We expect all travelers to listen to this information and act accordingly. Please work to understand your own cultural views and how they might affect your judgment of others. In some of the destinations in which we travel, there are differing concepts of time, personal space, communication, politics, religion, human sexuality, physical appearance, and gender, etc. Be understanding that these are not wrong, but may be different from your own personal experiences or views. If you are unsure, unhappy, or uncomfortable regarding any experience during a tour, please seek the advice of one of the leaders. Although we understand that, at times, there may be differences of opinion, we expect all travelers to be understanding and tolerant of everyone.
  • Please don’t hand out sweets, money, or small gifts without seeking advice from our guides and leaders before doing so. In many places this creates a problem when the giver’s intent was otherwise.
  • Be flexible. All of our tours are designed to allow you the best and safest experience possible. Schedules can change unexpectedly because of weather or other variables, and we need to be flexible with our itinerary and expectations.
  • Take the opportunity to be an ambassador for your country. For many of the people we meet, this may be their first experience meeting a traveler from your country. Stereotypes formed from the news and media are commonplace around the world. Make it your aim to be a good example for fellow travelers, as well as the locals we meet.

ZERO Tolerance

We take a zero tolerance approach to the following acts. Failure to adhere to these will result in immediate expulsion from the tour and inability to join future tours. Where the acts are also criminal in nature, we will inform the relevant authorities.

  • Rude, inappropriate, or disrespectful behavior toward fellow travelers, guides, leaders, or anyone else we encounter during our travels. We take rude, unkind, or socially inappropriate behavior seriously and will not tolerate it at any point during a tour. If you’re uncertain about what behavior is appropriate vs. inappropriate, please ask your leaders and guides for clarification. If a leader or guide speaks to you personally regarding perceived inappropriate behavior, that behavior will be documented and may result in your expulsion from the tour. It also may result in rejection from all future tours.
  • Bird Watcher’s Digest (Pardson, Inc.) does not and shall not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, gender expression, age, national origin (ancestry), disability, marital status, sexual orientation, or military status in any of its activities or operations. These activities include, but are not limited to the Bird Watcher’s Digest publication, the Watching Backyard Birds publication, podcasts, all advertising and communication channels, our Reader Rendezvous tours, Redstart Birding, staff, clients, volunteers, subcontractors, and vendors. During a tour, any words or behaviors shown by attendees, guides, or leaders that are not in keeping with our anti-discrimination policy will result in removal from the tour, and exclusion from future tours.
  • Excessive consumption of alcohol.
  • Sexually inappropriate behavior.
  • Socially inappropriate behavior.
  • Excessive negativity, complaining, and visible discontent.
  • Physical aggression of any kind.
  • The purchase and/or removal of archaeological artifacts.
  • The purchase and/or removal of trafficking items made from or containing protected or endangered animal products.
  • Any and all illegal behavior.

Environmental Considerations

On rare occasions, we may visit areas that suffer from intermittent power and water shortages. We believe that as visitors, we should be mindful of the impact we have on the areas we visit. Our tour leaders will advise you regarding any areas that require us to limit our water usage, power usage, and waste during a specific segment of a tour.

We design our tours to be as comfortable as possible, but accommodations may not be in keeping with those in the United States or Canada. If necessary, we may ask you to make adjustments such as:

  • Turn off the faucet while brushing teeth, washing, shaving.
  • Avoid cleaning clothes in the shower.
  • Turn off electrical devices when out of the room.
  • Avoid leaving lights on during the day or when out of the room.
  • Minimize the use of air conditioning.
  • Recycle bottles to avoid excess plastic waste.
  • Use reusable bags or bottles when possible.
  • Dispose of all waste in an appropriate manner.
  • Avoid littering even in regions where rubbish is regularly discarded on the streets by locals.

Grievances

Please inform a tour leader if you experience or witness situations or behaviors described above, or otherwise wish to express dissatisfaction with the tour. We ask that you do so as soon as possible, privately, and politely. All grievances will be documented, taken seriously, and handled appropriately and professionally.

I Agree To These Terms and Conditions

I, , clearly understand the Reader Rendezvous Code of Conduct and agree to follow it to the best of my ability. I understand that my attitude and behavior, whether positive or negative, affects the experience of my fellow travelers, and I will make every effort to contribute to the success and enjoyment of the tour. I understand the consequences should I fail to follow this Code of Conduct. I agree to follow this Code of Conduct on this tour, and all future tours in which I participate.

Signed,

Date

Email Address