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Helmets and Skiing/Snowboarding

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The problem here is NOT if we agree that ski helments are needed or not.


Personally, I think that if you are skiing, on your own, or with your family, you can go bareheaded if that is what you wish.


However, contrary to what you stated, because you are going as a group of BSA Venturers, with a BSA Tour Permit, this IS, most definately, a BSA event.


Wheather we agree with them or not, as BSA Leaders we have promised to follow all BSA rules.


So, we are NOT "just spouting the BSA policy because that is all you know to do." Most of us know how to do a lot more. Most of us know how to set an example for the youth in our care. Most of us know how to make sure the youth in our care stay as safe as we, and BSA, can make them.


What do you plan on telling the parents of a child in your care if something happens to them because you did not want to follow a rule you consider "silly"?


Get over it. Rent the darn helmets.





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brodiew, you say I am not on BSA property, I am not participating in a BSA event.


If that's true, who is going to make you wear helmets? I don't think there are any Guide to Safe Scouting police in the general public. But if you are telling all the parents that you're taking their kids on a Scouting outing, then it pretty much is a BSA event, by definition.


You ask, It should be a personal choice for that person to decide. Do you feel that way about all Scouting safety rules? If so, then you would apparently support having no actual rules, just suggestions.


If you're asking for some official way to get around the rules, there won't be one. But could you ignore the rules? Sure. You could even write up waivers and have the parents sign them. I'm not sure what you'd be accomplishing, but you could do it.


You appear to have two separate points.

1. The rule is stupid.

2. I shouldn't have to follow stupid rules.


I think there could be an interesting debate about whether the rule makes sense. Not all the rules do, not all the time. Maybe this one does, maybe it doesn't. It does not, on the face of it, appear to be all that stupid of a rule, but you might be right.


As for point 2, there are lots of times when I'd advocate using your judgement to decide if a rule really applied. But it seems pretty clear that this rule does apply, and this is exactly the situation they were thinking about when they made the rule.


To counter the quotes you had, check out this:The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) staff is recommending skiers and snowboarders wear helmets to help prevent head injuries from falls and collisions. In a study released today (pdf format), the CPSC staff concluded that helmet use by skiers and snowboarders could prevent or reduce the severity of 44 percent of head injuries to adults, and 53 percent of head injuries to children under the age of 15. The proportion of skiing and snowboarding head injuries is higher in children than in any other age group.


In 1997, there were 17,500 head injuries associated with skiing and snowboarding. The CPSC study estimates that 7,700 head injuries -- including 2,600 head injuries to children -- could be prevented or reduced in severity each year by using skiing or snowboarding helmets. The study also shows that helmet use could prevent about 11 skiing- and snowboarding- related deaths annually.


"We know that helmet use can prevent serious head injuries in a wide variety of sports and activities, including bicycling and in-line skating," said CPSC Chairman Ann Brown. "This study of skiing and snowboarding shows that helmets can prevent or reduce the severity of head injuries on the slopes, just as they do on the streets."


The study of head injuries associated with skiing and snowboarding was conducted as part of CPSC's ongoing work to reduce head injuries in a variety of sports and activities.


In addition to the CPSC staff study, research in other countries has shown that helmets can help prevent head injuries to skiers. In Sweden, a national study found that head injuries among skiers wearing helmets were 50 percent lower than for skiers not wearing helmets.That's from http://www.hotelfun4kids.com/travelnews/safetynews/helmetsafe.htm




(This message has been edited by Oak Tree)

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brodiew tells us - "Seeing as we are from Fl, these boys and girls are not into speed, but into staying on their skis in an upright position."


For starters, yes. However, I've taken many groups of kids to the snow for first visits. By the second day I almost always find two or three out of every dozen wants to try straight down the fall line, and not just on the bunny slopes. Sometimes that even includes the girls. There was one who definitely terrified me. But she ended up working as an instructor and insists all the kids in her classes wear helmets. She has had a few injuries, and almost never skis without a helmet herself now. Oh, she's my daughter.


Look after those kids. Safety doesn't take away the fun.

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We took our troop skiing last winter. Our policy, Helmets had to be worn by the youths. After we came back we decided if we went again we would want to have the adults wear them too.


It wasn't that big a deal. Snowboarders wear them more than skiers. Most places have obstacle courser of small jumps and skid walls. Since you won't know when they are on these jumps or on a black diamond, just make everyone wear one.

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Just took my guys snow tubing at a commercial facility and no one there was wearing helmets. The facility did not rent helmets and I didn't even consider that they should bring and wear them for this activity. After reading the guideline "this includes the recommended use of helmets for all participants engaged in winter sports such as sledding and other sliding devices" it seems to me that helmets are recommended not required for snow tubing and sledding.

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Here's my recommendation FWIW:


If the issue is that ski/snow board helmets aren't cool, tell your crew "too bad, we're going to wear them on the slopes". Actually, most of the helmets I've seen look pretty cool!


If the issue is that helmets cost too much, have the crew's treasury fund the purchase or rental of the helmets just like it funds other safety equipment.


If the issue is a civil liberties issue, tell them the BSA is not a democracy; if crew members want to ski at a BSA activity, they must wear helmets.

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" Doesn't matter what happens to you . Therefore, I want the absolute worst thing to happen to you if you have an UNINTENTIONAL event. No need for padding or knee pads or helmets, they just impede your motion and don't allow the wind in your hair. Please go for the 4 diamond slope , cut close to the tree line, mogul, rad it, and generally raise your adreniline level. Don't worry. go fast."


"I love you. Please train and practice and gradually increase the challenge you face so you can meet those challenges with skill and take pride in your accomplishments. Oh, just in case some UNINTENTIONAL event happens, wear the pads, the helmet, the knee pads 'cause ya never can tell when a loose patch of ice may come up, or some other fool cuts across your line, or a misplaced piece of lift tower appears closer to your cut than you thought.I know you don't need to worry about the PLANNED stuff. It's the UNPLANNED stuff we wear helmets for. Have fun."

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"Does anyone else see a way around this?"


What you're asking for is a loophole through this policy:


"The use of helmets is required for the following activities: downhill skiing, snowboarding and operation of snowmobiles (full face helmets)."


So, nope.


Your first instincts are absolutely right. This event is a BSA event and your Venturers can't get around BSA's rules by simply registering individually.


If you don't want to follow the BSA's rules, then don't get involved in the program or attend the activities. It's that simple. But if you want to play, you have to follow the rules.

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When you are performing your duties as an CA, you are expected to follow the G2SS. While I believe the BSA accident insurance will cover it, the liability will not. You will be completely on you own if a negligence lawsuit is brought up.


Yep sometimes rules suck. Heck I rememeber one company I worked for required everyone withing x amount of feet from a body of water to wear a lifejacket. So the entire group of 3 adults and 9 youth go to a aquarium and the accompanying beach for their display, wearing lifejackets without ever goign into the water.



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I don't ski and have never been on a snowboard.

But as ever it kinda seems that the discussion has become about the rule.

As ever the people who follow the rules will do so and those who don't will not.

Lord knows the rules about Paint Ball have been looked at, discussed and moaned about for years.

I think that looking for the "Loop-hole" and finding ways to skirt around the rules does more harm than maybe we might know!

What kind of example does it set for the kids we are serving?


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When you are performing your duties as an CA, you are expected to follow the G2SS. While I believe the BSA accident insurance will cover it, the liability will not. You will be completely on you own if a negligence lawsuit is brought up.


Yah, once again, please do not repeat this false statement to others. The BSA's General Liability coverage is independent of its internal documents like the G2SS, and we do not leave our volunteers "completely on their own." We provide insurance for CO's and registered leaders to protect them even when they make bad choices and mistakes.


Lying or giving false information to people about the terms of the general liability coverage does a disservice to Scouting volunteers everywhere. It harms our relationships with Chartered Organizations and harms our ability to recruit adults as leaders.


The reasons to pay heed to the G2SS are because we care about kids and we want to do the best we can reasonably do to keep the lads (and young ladies) safe during our activities, not because of fear for loss of our insurance umbrella.


Your auto insurance still applies if you run a red light or miss a stop sign or don't maintain clear distance and rear end another vehicle on an icy road. Similarly, general liability coverage still applies even if yeh break the law (like the camp in Utah that permitted fires during a burn ban) or fail to follow one of the internal guidelines of the BSA.


As to ski helmets, I reckon that in some areas they're still hard to find in enough quantities for a scout event, eh? Especially ones in good repair and properly sized. Do the best yeh can, be a good example, and do your best to be safe and have fun.



(This message has been edited by Beavah)

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Beavah J.D.,


Could you shed a little light on the subject for us ... my understanding of the principle generally has always been that if you were negligent or didn't follow the law or rules, yes, the insurer may cover the incident and pay out, but it can also go after you for a piece of your hide.


Is that a bit of urban legend, a gross misunderstanding of the general principles of the law, or does it have a hint of truth?

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A whiles back, when my son was 9-1 years old, he will be 25 this year. he was in a neighborhood sports team. Whether it was Soccer or Baseball, it was the same group of kids and families, we got friendly with each other. This was about the time Bike Helmets were a hot topic and none of the kids wanted to wear a bike helmet. Then an orthopedic surgeon moved into the area and was on the team. We had a team pic nic scheduled and a bike ride along the Mississippi was scheduled. The doc showed up with helmet, gloves, knee pads and his son was similarly equiped as was jis little girl and wife. The message was obvious, if the Doc would know, there is no, "Ill be safe"

Biking or Snow Sports






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