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ATV, PWC Become Authorized Council-Level Programs

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That seems a trifle open ended. The training your describe is fine as far as it goes, but it doesn't really go very far.


Pointing Scouts to a major waterway after minimal training and with no supervision by an experienced leader sounds unwise to me.



Leading a supervised outing to some interesting location would sound like a better activity to me.



A PWC can travel 40 MPH. Suppose after an hour one or more don't come back. What do you do?


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I believe Green Bar Bill said "Train them, trust them, let them lead." At 16, kids can have a license to drive a car and go wherever they want, and depending upoin the the state your are in, with or without formal driver's ed training. I know I didn't do driver's ed until AFTER my license, and that was to save $ on insurance.

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So, Skeptic and OGE......


Is it against the scout oath and promise to wonder how it is going to pay for itself??????



Not trashing the program, just asking questions........


how many acres will be consumed by the program?????


I am going to bet that all of the mufflers and emissions will be kept in a stock state this will keep the noise down, well they will be quieter than the rifle range.


I have no experience with jet skis beyond seeing the fools getting killed on our states waterways every summer. Usually speed and alcohol are involved.




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In my state, kids can start driving at age 14 and 9 months. We have a graduated driver's license law that limits them for a while, but still - under 15 and driving on the road.


I don't care what the law is, and I don't care how wonderful the kids are. I think 14 + 9 months is too young to be responsible for a couple thousand pounds of metal hurtling down the road at 70 mph (speed limit around here). In my view, 16-17-18 is plenty young enough to start driving and even then, I'm nervous about it. The reason we have graduated driving laws is because every year, a bunch of mid/late teens die because somebody was trying to impress his or her other teenage buddies in the car and tragically misjudged something.


No way in the world am I ever, and I mean ever, going to be ok with the notion that some 16-17 year old kid is capable, not only of driving, but possibly also of instructing other teens to operate a PWC or ATV. The potential for kids to get carried away and tragically misjudge is just too great.

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" No way in the world am I ever, and I mean ever, going to be ok with the notion that some 16-17 year old kid is capable, not only of driving, but possibly also of instructing other teens to operate a PWC or ATV. The potential for kids to get carried away and tragically misjudge is just too great."




I agree and disagree.


I guess it dpends on who is teaching the scouts and comparing it to who else would be teaching the scout if they didn't get taught at camp.


Okay, heres a pro for the program:


Since another yout of the same age shows the scout what to do, and a certain amount of peer respect will kick in. Or at the least, you don't have the automatic "You're an old fogey and don't get us so your way is sooooo dumb" factor.


Know what I mean? If an adult tells you something, you have to just nod in a patronizing way because we all know they are not cool and things are different now.


Another thing to consider is if the scout doesn't learn from a trained scout...who does he learn from?


Mom and dad? Yaeh, another automatic case of patronizing the parents - right up til they are not looking again and then you throw all safety to the wind in order to do something cool.


Now, while I am not suggesting all or even half of souther adult ATV riders are irresponcible, I do want to tell you what I have seen in my area in particular:


Dads pulling young kids on upside down car hoods at high speeds through the wter after a flooding rainstorm or hurricane. Same parent pulling same kids on same car hood through snow. Same parents battling with 2X4's in four wheeler "jousting events".


Again, not saying all, or ewven half of ATV owners are that careless or stupid. But at least in my area, a good proportion of the youth have those wonderful mentors to teach them how to handle using ATV and during the summer, PWC's too.


And that's the kicker of it too. Age itself does not automatically ensure responcibility and or garantee any level of maturity.



On the CON side of things:


A yout instructor may not hold alot of authority or credibility woith other scouts of the same or close age.


There is always a chance that a big sized 17 year old scout may think he just knows more than the insructor or could handle things better because he's bigger and/or stronger than the instructor.


But let's be honest, he'd act that way to any instructor withy that kind of mentality.



So what it comes down to is this: Is BSA sayin g they are going to make youth into safe operators who always use the best judgement and that from noiw on out they will be so mature as to never ever need any guidance from now on?


No, of course not, otrher wise our jobs as parents would have been over already due to all the other things taught during scouting.


All BSA is doing is offerening a fun oppertuinity to participate in an event at campm in order to keep camping ( and ultimately, scouting ) more fun in order to help keep boys in the program.


From a personal perspective: If scouts have to pass a basic boating skils class in order to ride a PWC, then they have by far surpassed what skills are required to go whitewater rafting, mountain climbing or flying that I or any other adult would be required to have if I were to go rafting , mountain climbing or flying right now as part of a commercial activity.


Matter of fact, the first time I ever rode a ATV was when I was 18 and I was given a 5 minute run down before being turned loose on a race track on the Outer Banks of NC. Next time I rode one was from an EMS standpoint during a huge Christmas parade.


Firts time I piloted a waverunner was during a water rescue class where it was assumed that I should just know what to do as an adult. Flying? Well, never been in a plane, but been in many helicopters for rescue or firefighting purposes. Luckily for everybody involved, I just rode and did not piulot.


And who knows, maybe some of tose yuoth are just like me: Naturally able to just operate almost any kind of equipment. I have been told I am a natural at it wether it be backhoes, excavators, fire engines and pumps, cascade systems, scizzor lifts, boats, ATV's and PWC's , hydrofoils, dumptrucks and big equipment.


It comes down to this though: BSA is not issuing a state recognized operations license, they are just showing the scouts safe operation.

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A couple of weeks ago, my usually-sensible, level-headed, and coolly analytical 17 year old son kicked a wall. It made a hole. He was totally surprised. We had a "boy was that dumb" conversation about it that revealed his momentary lack of acquaintance with the notion of cause & effect. (He has since learned the fine art of repairing holes in walls, which should prevent future wall-kicking from occurring!)


Bottom line for me is that 16-17 year olds sometimes lack maturity, experience, and judgment - even the mature, responsible ones! I don't think it is appropriate for kids to be instructing other kids when it comes to motorized vehicles. The kinds of errors that could occur are so quick and so potentially devastating that there is not enough room for lack of judgment or inexperience, and really, it isn't fair to put that sort of responsibility on kids.


Any of us who have been to a boy scout summer camp have probably seen examples of youth staff who are outstanding, but also youth staff who are in way over their heads and were assigned to "teach" something with almost no background knowledge or training. I get annoyed when that happens but I can still sleep at night if we're talking about, say, basketry or astronomy. Not so, when it comes to motor vehicle safety. If camps are going to have these programs, then I would expect instructional positions to be limited to some certified adults. If a camp could not promise that (and deliver on that promise) then I wouldn't allow my son to sign up for that program. I guess others might come to different conclusions about that.

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I was a farm kid growing up....drove tractors from the time I could reach the pedals and the farm truck at 11....I had mini bikes at 7, dirt bikes at 10 and 3 wheelers at 15. I know they are a blast, but I also know what I did riding it in the wood lot and to some fields....I also know how much money I spent keeping my equipment going.....Now I accept that it was very used when I bought it, but I spent every penny on repairing it......maybe that was my parents design????????????


The point is some kids will be ready and mature enough to handle it, others will not.


I think other than legal ramifications, it is irrelevant who is the instructor, I have had horrible 60 year olds and I have had fantastic 10 year olds. just sayin

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Yah, hmmm...


Yeh know, a 14-year old can operate a sailplane solo in da U.S. An 18-year-old can get a CFI and teach other people how to fly airplanes. In fact, one of the best CFI's I've had was a young college student.


I don't care what anyone might claim, flying an aircraft of any type is an order of magnitude harder than operating an ATV or a boat, and da consequences of most in-flight mistakes are fatal, which isn't true of most land-based mistakes. And yeh know what? Young people do no worse than adults, and often better.


Da notion that teens can't or shouldn't do something by virtue of their age is just discriminatory BS pure and simple. It is exactly the same sort of thing that was once said about blacks. Oh, look at [anecdote about black person]. Oh, I would never trust [black person]. Oh, my [black person] once kicked a wall. Oh, [black people] have a different brain structure, they must be inherently inferior.


Do yeh know how many adults goin' through divorces or experiencing other person frustration do a lot more than just putting a hole in a wall?


It's just nonsense. And it's perpetrated for da same reasons that all discrimination is perpetrated, eh? To keep someone beholden, dependent, and subservient.


Shame on us. We in scouting should know and do better.



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Beav - a couple posts back, didn't you opine:


Da council staff are typically young folk, don't know the boys or families, and they usually don't know as much about an activity as a competent adult hobbyist.


So... is the supposed youth of the council instructors a problem or not?

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Just last week in my area a 50 year old man was sentenced to 8 years in jail for operating a vehicle after loosing his drivers license for life.


Apparently he lost his license to drive several years ago after repeated driving under the influence convictions. He was arrested again this year when he crashed his vehicle into a large rock. He freely admitted to police he had been drinking and said he was glad no one got hurt.


It seems that maturity and judgement do not necessarily correspond with age. And though experience comes with age the right type of experience is what matters.

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