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ATV, PWC Become Authorized Council-Level Programs

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Well, call me an old fogey, I guess. Huh. I believe that ATVs and PWCS are both incompatible with Scouting and the outdoor ethics we teach. They're loud, smelly, polluting and dangerous, and serve almost no practical purpose. (I know ATVs are often used by hunters, but Boy Scouts don't hunt.) PWCs are just useless. At least motorboats serve a purpose.




The resident camp standards don't provide a lot of detail... The standards are M-52B -


Four-wheel, all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) used for program must be owned or leased by the council. Personal ATVs are not authorized. The program must comply with local and state laws and adhere to manufacturers instructions at all times. The use of ATVs for program must be approved in writing by Outdoor Programs using form No. 430-044, and a copy must be available for the visitation team. The staff must be certified by the All-Terrain Vehicle Safety Institute (ASI) and follow the ASI safety training program in its entirety. No deviation is permitted from the course outline.


and M-60B -


Personal watercraft (PWC) used for program must be approved in writing from Outdoor Programs using form No. 430-045, and a copy must be available for the visitation team. The program follows the BSA PWC Operation Manual and successfully completes the prescribed state safe boating training program. The council must adhere to the BSAs approved operational plan. No deviation is permitted from the course outline. Personal watercraft used for program must be owned or leased by the council. Personal PWCs are not authorized. The program must comply with local and state laws and adhere to manufacturers instructions at all times. The program must follow the BSA-approved lesson plan for instruction and practical experience.



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Heh, heh! I call PWCs the crotch rockets of the water!


If someone wants to zoom around in a PWC, personally I wouldn't stand in their way (I'd want to be well out of the way!)


All I've seen them used for is to zoom around at 30-40 MPH speeds with people jumping their own wakes in high speed turns for entertainment.


Usually I notice that when I have my own boat tied up and am enjoying a quiet evening, or trying to.


I'm nor in favor of regulating PWCs off the water, but neither do they seem like much of a Scouting program.


Boats, yes! Motorboats, yes! PWCs seem pretty doubtful to me. But I'd like to see the program described in detail --- perhaps I'd be surprised.

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It looks like it'll be pricey for camps to run the ATV program, unless National has set up some training discount.


The ATV Safety Institute says that its instructor courses (specifically required) cost $615 and last four days. Sites are in Georgia, California, Ohio, Arizona and Maryland. Oh, and Texas ... a little town called Irving ... anyone heard of it?


So if your camp has, say, three staff members, and each has to take the course, that's $1,800+ for the first year. Figure $600-$1,200 each succeeding year to account for staff turnover. And that's just training costs - roughly the entire salary of a senior staff member sucked up in one swoop. Worth it?

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You know, it is sad the negativity of a small group of regular posters on the boards. If everything in the program is either already going to pot, is likely to do so with National direction, or is over priced and hyped, then why are you involved at all? If the attitude expressed on here is what it seems, you should not be a leader anyway, in my opinion; and I would not expose my youth to you.


Think about this, please, before your biases and fears rub off on the youth and other adults with whom you come in contact.







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I prefer to think of myself as a traditional realist. I'm pretty skeptical myself about the capabilities of most councils, having seen summer camp from the staff side. And I also believe firmly that we ought to get back to basics when it comes to Scouting and the outdoor program.


If that translates into a fear or bias in someone's eyes, so be it.

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I would also assume, Beav, that we're a LOOOONG way from troops jumping on their own ATVs or PWCs and riding off into the sunset.


Surely yeh jest. Troops are jumpin' on ATVs or PWCs all the time. :)


As for da rest, criticism is something only people who care take the time to do, eh? At da point when people don't care enough about scouting to be critical, then it'll finally be time to say goodbye to da movement.



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Ok as an "aqua rat" and former Sea Scout, I don't know what the problem is with jet skis. I admit I've never ridden on one, but I remember having a blast earning motorboating back in the day. I also had a blast with my ship sailing under power.


So I don't see what the problem is.


Also isn't "Outing three-fourths of Scouting?" Kids are in the outdoors, so what's the problem.

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For everyother activity, one needs:

1) Trained, capable leaders to TEACH and OVERSEE the Scouts safe, responsible behavior that follows the Sweet Sixteen and the Scout Promise and Law (Courteous, kind...)

2) A designated, dedicated LARGE ENOUGH area. You're not going to see archery happening just anywhere? Waterfront and lifeguards?

3) Well maintained equipment. Frayed bow strings? Rusty .22 barrels?

4) Ummmm... What did I forget?


These new activities will need all the above and more. They will take up space, time and pelf. But we are beyond the days of merely making presentations with markers on newsprint pads on an easle . We use and teach with modern implements, but also remember to use the old style stuff too. Woodfire and propane stove. Candle (flint and steel) and LEDs.

Oars and jet compressors. Feet, backpack and 2 stroke.

We do have to keep up, just don't forget to teach what to do when the power goes out...

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Offering consructive criticism is definately a sign of a healthy organization, individuals who can do nothing but whine, wheedle, complain moan and **** about just about anything the organization does does give one pause to wonder about the stability of the person doing the whining, wheedling, complaining, moaning, and **** ing. Its like comming upon somebody poking themselves with a pin and screaming about the pain and then poking themselves again with the same pin. It doesnt take long to decide that is someone you want to give a lot of distance to


Skeptic has a point, if something is such a source of pain, why stay around it?

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Well, I don't know about the youth in everybody else's areas, but in my neck of the woods, boys never do anything on their own personal time that isn't offered in scouting. No dirt bikes, no trail bikes, no four wheelers( ATV) no four wheelers ( pickup truck)


They do not hunt anything that resembles living creature ( they hunt the elusive bull's eyed, paperback target dragon) , they do not use powertools of any sort, and they do not drive.


Poor things are stuck living with all their non scout friends who drive them everywhere.


Now, I suppose that if you haven't figured it out yet, I am being a smart ass.


In my area, boys hunt, shoot, and dress out deer by age nine ( with mom or dad of course). By age 16, they can hunt on their own. Some will drive a 4X4 truck, others stay on their own property and use ATVs.


I have seen ATV's used for fun, but they are being used more and more for work.


In my area, there are real idiots who zip all over the water way, weaving through boats just for the chance to jump the wakes left behind the boats. But they are also used by guides for sight casting in shallow creeks and bays, and by salt water fly fisherman. They will creep along in a creek who's water is only 9 inches deep. They fit in tight places too. All the local water rescue agencies use them too.


As far as polluting, Every PWC I have seen is a four stoke. The boats that travel down the waterway are a mix of 4 stroke and 2 stroke, with 2 stroke prevailing right now( yeah, that's slowly changing - but still, the 2 strokes out number the 4).


And I suppose you know that 2 syroles spit ALOT oil out of their exhaust.


But then, I think about all the idiots who have driver's licenses. They zip around the highways , driving way over the speed limit,radios blaring, exhaust systems roaring, too fast in residential neighborhoods, drinking and driving, thinking all the rules do not aply to them. They pass around curves and other no passing areas, fly past stopped school buses, road rage and all.


So, the only difference between ATV's PWC's and Motor Vehicles is basically the dreiver and how he operates his vehicle.


And trust me - as a person who argueably spends too much time on the water way - the real idiots are the upper class dad's who are out in their 24 foot pontoons boats with their social elite queen wives who are drinking mixed drinks while pulling their kids around on oversized innertubes.


They will do a 180 in the middle of the waterway without even glancing around to see who is where.


Of course, since they own a beach house, they know the water that connects to both sides of the beach belongs to them. Besides, they make 6 figures so they can do whatever they want!

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Yep--- my reaction is to be sceptical of a PWC/ATV program.


Perhaps that's a lack of imagination on my part. Generally, my aim is to run a frugal program.



But others may find ways to run a great Scouting program using this equipment. I can't say I've seen how to do that described so far in this thread, but I invite innovators with experience with this equipment to explain what that kind of program would look like!

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