By Tom Carr, VP Patrol Operations (


One of the perks of CSP membership is the many connections we make and often we invite patrollers to patrol with us. There is a disconnect between the invitation to visit and the reality that area procedures, resort specific training and a volunteer patrol that doesn’t always make visitation possible, even within a zone. Zones and divisions may have specific rules beyond what national regulations and guidance state.

The CSP administration manual, Section 3 states:

Visiting privilegesAny patroller authorized by her or his own patrol leader may visit any other area provided she or he meets all the local requirements and has permission from the local patrol leader. The patroller then comes under the authority of the local patrol leader.

That means:

  1. Never show up unannounced; it can put the host patrol in an awkward position. It’s also bad manners.
  2. You must ask your patrol leader for permission; your patrol leaders has the authority to say no.
  3. Your patrol leader’s permission implies that you may then call ahead; if they say no, you may not visit. It may be an area-specific training issue. There might be a special event that day or maybe the area manager has strict policies about who can patrol.
  4. If the host patrol leader accepts your request, ask what is expected. When you go, be prepared, early, helpful and enjoy.
  5. It would be a good idea to include a reference from your patrol leader or zone president when you visit, once all the permissions are in place.

This is an unusual year. COVID-19 creates daily challenges. In many places resorts are operating with staffing numbers including patrollers similar to last season. Other are closed for part or all of the season; in others patroller numbers are lower to fulfil the same duties. Some patrols may need visiting patrollers to supplement their numbers (with visitors following safe pandemic practices), while others will be completely closed to visitors. All patrolling activities must adhere strictly to local health authority guidelines and rules of the host resort.

Remember, visiting is a privilege granted by the host patrol leader and resort. Perks are for home patrollers, not visitors. If perks are offered, accept with gratitude. Be a good guest, ask early, be prepared to be denied, be gracious, and if invited be a good guest.

Visiting patroller etiquette

This post is also available in: Français