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ATV, PWC Become Authorized Council-Level Programs

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Lisabob, I wasn't accusin' yeh of racism, which is unjust discrimination based on race. I was accusin' yeh of unjust discrimination based on age. The difference is what da excuse is that's being offered for unjust discrimination. ;)


I'm an old fellow, eh? I remember what it was like when people felt it was OK to discriminate based on race. They sounded exactly like what you sound like when yeh (and others) talk about young people. It was OK and expected in polite white society back then, just as da age thing is OK and expected in adult society now. Very few people back then spoke against it, just as few do now. If yeh did speak against it, people felt yeh were "over the top" and rejected da notion that they were discriminating, or that it was da same thing as discriminating against, say, Catholics.


If that makes yeh uncomfortable, then, well, good. It should. Hopefully it'll also make yeh think. It's easy to "oppose" discrimination when da key struggle was won 40+ years ago. It doesn't challenge da way yeh look at the world, so it's easy to be "liberal". Much harder to recognize and avoid da discrimination that's viewed as OK in your society. I remember. And just as KC9 points out about my one post, even when yeh are trying yeh sometimes slip.




(This message has been edited by Beavah)

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So Beavah,



Is any distinction based on age then an example of being an ignorant bigot? I might point out that the laws of the United States are shot through with such distinctions.


Are age limits for driving motor vehicles, voting or buying alcohol laws motivated by ignorant bigots?


Thank you for providing yet another example of why liberals like you are so often hated by people who resent their condescending attitudes.

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Whoa whoa there, Seattle. I am a liberal. Beavah is not. Don't insult me by calling that nonsense that he just wrote, "liberal."


Beavah, your example is absurd and I suspect you know it. Equating unease about the maturity level of teenagers with racism is silly (or worse). By connecting the two, as you've done, you suggest that any parent who tells their kid "no you can't do that, because you're too young." is every bit as wrong as, say, the pro-segregation parties of the 1950s. Puh-lease.

Get a grip on yourself, man, before you declare parenting itself to be vile discrimination of the worst sort.



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Yah, I assure yeh I have an absolutely marvelous grip on myself. :). Nuthin' in da least absurd or silly about the comparison. You're just not old enough to remember da arguments that used to be made.


There's a difference between "I know my son well, and can make an objective and informed judgment about his particular abilities" and "I am uncomfortable with any young person doin' something".


Da first might be good (or bad) parenting; da second is just da same discrimination that I remember from my younger years. I'm uncomfortable with a black doctor/lawyer/mailman. When yeh turn that generic statement of "unease" into regulations about who is "acceptable" as an employee for certain jobs you are doing exactly da same thing as the segregationists of the 1950s. I remember 'em. Their arguments were identical to yours.


If 18 year olds can and do get paid to teach others to fly airplanes then 17 year olds are perfectly capable of teaching someone how to use a Jet Ski. Prohibiting them from holding such jobs just because yeh happen to be "uneasy" is exactly da same thing as prohibiting capable people from holding other jobs by virtue of some other irrelevant feature that makes yeh "uneasy.".


Remember, da parents of the 17 year old in question may be just fine with it, eh? So don't pretend it's da same thing as parenting.


SP, Lisabob's da liberal, not me. I'm an old-school GOPer, from da party that freed the slaves and opposed discrimination. As a conservative, I want to hand down to future generations da good features of society that can be preserved, and I'm skeptical of government intrusiveness and change. And this age thing, if you're old enough to have watched it, is just full of government intrusiveness and change. We have more restrictions, legal and social, on young people than we have ever had before. All yeh need to do to convince yourself of that is count da number of pages in anything from G2SS to student handbooks to da juvenile code in your state. :p


It's da liberals who want government restrictions because they feel citizens of various types (young or old) aren't capable of gettin' by without a rule or restriction. ;)







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I think Beavah likes to toss around terms like "prejudice" and "discrimination" just for the shock value, without really understanding what they mean, and how they apply to the point at hand. Or maybe he does understand their meaning, but just prefers to make an emotional attack, rather than a rational one.


Age is a reasonably reliable indicator of various developmental and personality traits and maturity. No, it's not 100% accurate for each and every one of the 7 billion people on the planet, but it's a reliable enough indicator that it's used extensively throughout medicine, the law, psychology, education and other areas. We make generalizations of the behavior we can expect of an individual based on his or her age. Again, the expectation is not that these generalizations are 100% accurate - that's what they're called "generalizations" - but rather that they are accurate enough that we can use them as at least a starting point for making predictions regarding some attributes of a person.


"Generalizations" are not the same as "prejudice." Even Beavah makes generalizations all the time - that councils will run less effective programs that units or third party outfitters, that council summer camp staff are typically younger people, that there's more risk of behavior problems at council level events, that liberals and conservatives hold different view points.... And that's just from this thread! And there's nothing wrong with that - we use generalizations all the time to make decisions.


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Part of the maturity issue is directly related to our not allowing them to grow up normally anymore, the exact thing that the recent article talks about. There was a time in this country where by 16 you often were already raising a family and working your land, or in a mill, or some other type of gainful employment. While I understand that many "experts" today say that the adolescent brain is not fully developed until the late teens to early twenties, I sometimes wonder if that was always the case. Is it possible, that by NOT allowing kids to challenge themselves as much as was common a hundred years or more ago, we have simply set the development back? Just a thought. Am not a psychologist, but I did not see any indications that my grandparents or great grandmother were particularly ill effected by fending at an early age. My GGM was married at 14 to the 15 year old neighbor, and they were in the Oklahoma Territory soon after. Only my maternal grandmother went past 8th grade, but they seemed to be able to function very well. One grandfather ran his own business for 40 years with a 3rd grade school level, the other eventually an electrical forman and worked at Cal Tech. Point is, they all had to scramble to survive around the turn of the 20th century, and they were better for it. We are possibly out of balance a bit today.

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Pinky, are you pondering what I'm Pondering?


That age distinction by any entity private or public and is ageist, which has been declared bad and should be eliminated.


Therefore, there should be no such thing as Statutory Rape, there is no valid reason for prohibiting alcohol consumption by age. Not allowing those who can read from voting needs to end....



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Ah, KC9, but there is a difference between generalizations and discrimination, eh?


Yeh might have said back in da early 50s that in general, African-Americans were less well educated and socially/economically equipped than da average U.S. anglo, and that would have been correct.


But there's a difference between that and sayin' that yeh don't think African Americans should be permitted to be teachers, or that yeh would be "uneasy" having a black person teach your child in school.


One is just a demographic characteristic caused by societal inequities. Da second is unjust discrimination against individuals. I'm glad yeh never got to see it, but once you've seen it once it's easy to recognize again. What was being suggested was that individuals should be deprived of an opportunity for employment because of someone's notion that their class of people isn't capable.


That's not emotional, it's not shock value, it is what it is. All the moreso because in this particular case there isn't even a valid generalization goin' on. Instead it's da made-up post-hoc nonsense that was also common back in the day, eh? That there must be a "scientific" reason to justify us. African-Ameican brain size is smaller or all that drivel. Teenagers just aren't capable of anything so challenging as piloting a vessel.


Neglectin' da fact that illiterate teens off of Somalia are regularly engaging in blue water piracy despite da presence of the mightiest navies of da world. Yep, they're incapable of that because of their age. ;)


And yep, OGE, I remember all those arguments too, eh? If we allow 'em into our neighborhoods then they might rape our women, eh? Allow 'em into our restaurants and there won't be any such thing as private property anymore. If we were to stop discriminatin' terrible things would befall da Earth. But most of da world does just fine without gettin' all Prohibitionist. Outside of da countries that adhere to Sharia, I reckon we're again da most extreme when it comes to young people and alcohol.


In fact, da truth is we regulate and restrict teenagers more than any other nation in the history of the world. And yeh think that's not discrimination? And that somehow da approach is conservative?


I know what those words mean. Do you?



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I have been an instructor at a local yacht club's youth sailing summer program.


I have delivered several boats from one port to another, including one trip up the entire coast of Mexico, and another trip covering most of the east coast.


I have the knowledge and sea time to get a captains license that would allow me to take paying customers up to 200 nautical miles offshore.


I have somewhere in the neighborhood of 10,000 miles at sea under my belt.


I have spent several years teaching teenagers how to safely operate everything from PWC and Zodiaks, to 50 foot power and sailing vessels.


I have also spent a year and a half teaching math at a middle school; and I am working on my third year of college education.


Based solely on those qualifications would any of you have a problem with me teaching your children how to operate a jetski?






















Now what do you think when I tell you I am 18? Does that change anything?


Edited to add:

btw, the only reason I don't have that captains license is because the Coast Guard won't give me the license I want, and qualify for, until I turn 19.


As for the original topic, I think that most council camps probably won't have the resources to run a PWC, or ATV program.


While I think that any program that strive to teach PWC operators how to be safe is a good thing, I don't think that it really has a place in scouting yet. That is not to say that there can't be a place for them, but the program has to be put on correctly.(This message has been edited by sailingpj)

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You know what, sailingpj, I probably wouldn't have much of a problem with you doing that. The problem is that you are quite unusual (as I suspect you know), and the likelihood of councils finding a person like you is kind of low. So if the rules allow a 16 year old camp counselor to teach ATV-driving to a bunch of other 16 year olds, the risk is that the camp director assigns some kid to teach on the basis that "well he's ridden one of these things before..." and don't tell me it wouldn't happen, because we see it happen all the time with other program instruction at summer camps.


On the other side of things - I don't doubt your personal credentials, sailingpj. I also don't think it is right, as a matter of policy, to intentionally put youth in positions where they will be responsible on a frequent basis for split-second judgments that can result in serious injury or death of other youth in their care. Adding motors to the matter increases the responsibility and risk involved. I just think a person should be a legal adult (at a minimum) before taking on that responsibility and risk - or having it put on them by their boss (program director).


OGE - so you need to be 21 to be a waterfront director - how about range instructors? COPE directors? Any other positions where BSA dictates a somewhat higher age threshold?



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Range Instructor = SHooting Sports Director


The Head Rangemaster has to be 21 or older, instructors may be less, but they work under the Supervision of the Shooting Sports Director


What about reverse ageism? Why should I have to be a certain age to qualify for a Senior Citizen discount on Mass Transportation ?


Is not AARP discriminating based on age for membership and insurance products?


WHy are we talking about this anyway?

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I'm not that unique. I personally know a couple dozen people under 18 who are plenty qualified to teach others how to safely drive a jetski. Many Sea Scouts have the necessary skills.


Beavah brought it up, and I am still frustrated with a group of adult leaders that seem to think that just because someone is a third their age that person must not be worth listening to. Especially when they have no clue what they are doing and can't drive a boat without breaking it or hitting something.

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So if the rules allow a 16 year old camp counselor to teach ATV-driving to a bunch of other 16 year olds, the risk is that the camp director assigns some kid to teach on the basis that "well he's ridden one of these things before..."


Yah, see there, SesttlePioneer? That's da liberal mentality in a nutshell, eh? :). Because of a fear that someone somewhere might behave irresponsibly, it is necessary to pass regulations on everyone everywhere. Nanny State to da rescue! Even though it will likely also mean that someone with sailingpj's credentials from years as a Sea Scout gets passed up in favor of trusting a bunch of kids to an out of work adult who may have ridden a JetSki a couple of times on vacation 5 years ago.


I also don't think it is right, as a matter of policy, to intentionally put youth in positions where they will be responsible on a frequent basis for split-second judgments that can result in serious injury or death of other youth in their care.


Like, for example, babysitting? Or lifeguarding?


In da split-second judgment department, da young folks are usually far better than us old timers. I'd rather trust youth to a 16 year old swim team lifeguard than most adults who nominally hold "certifications."


Fact is, we routinely trust young people with these things, eh? They drive carpools to school, drive younger siblings to activities. In da rural areas of my state they ride snowmobiles to school, and older kids keep an eye on and help da younger ones. Same with playin' pond hockey. ;) Seventeen year olds can take kids on airplane rides as pilot-in-command. Back in da day as an 8th grader at our small school I used to teach and supervise peers usin' shop equipment, and it was routine for 6th-8th graders to supervise younger kids on da playground.


Aside from prejudice, there simply is no issue of capability. Da issue is one of individual skill or experience, which is best evaluated individually.


Or, put another way, if da Camp Director can't be trusted to hire decent staff, then there ain't a thing yeh can do with age or policy that will make things safe. Yeh need to replace da Camp Director.


Beavah(This message has been edited by Beavah)

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