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ATV, PWC Become Authorized Council-Level Programs

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OGE - Right, that's the part of the argument the Beavah and those in his camp never respond to. Why is discrimination based on age acceptable in some cases, but not others? A distraction by comparing it to racial prejudice is just an emotional appeal, a logical fallacy, and hardly worth getting frustrated over. An explanation of "you're not old enough to remember/understand" is a cop out at best.


Justification for basing decisions partly on a person's age is similar to racial prejudice only in that the general argument in both cases takes the form of "You can't do X because of Y." That's it. There would be the same similarities between these and an argument for discrimination against a convicted sexual offender applying for a Scoutmaster position. It's a fallacy to conclude that because the argument is invalid in some cases (discrimination based on skin color), that it must be invalid in ALL cases. And I think if Beavah wants to argue that the majority of the medical, psychological and legal communities are in the wrong, and a forum poster named Beavah who deliberately chooses to write using incorrect spelling and grammar is right, he's going to need an argument more convincing than "It sounds like a conversation I heard in the 50s that you're too young to remember."


More interesting to me, returning to the actual topic at hand, is - who is actually running these programs at the council level? Are they being run by the 14 year old CIT, or a more experienced adult? Are there any actual national or even local council policies to regulate who may supervise these activities?



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::Heaviest of Sighs Possible::


I do think we should take a breath and to paraphase the words of June Cleaver, "I think we are being awful tough on the Beavah"


He is free to express his opinions as are we. Argue the facts or your thoughts, not how lousy Liberals/Conservative are. Not that Conservatives/Liberals aren't lousy you understand


When Beavah first started posting, he and I would butt heads frequently and I can't say I always understood his thoughts. I am not so sure I understand a lot of what he says now, but he does get to say it and our reaction to it should be based on his words/ideas merit, not some arbitrary label we want to slap on it.


other than that, Party On !

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Why is discrimination based on age acceptable in some cases, but not others?


Yep, that's da question folks in your camp need to answer, KC9. Why is it acceptable for a 17 year old to fly young kids in an aircraft but not a JetSki? Why is it OK for an 18 year old to operate a 50mm in a densely populated area but not buy a beer or teach firearm safety to kids with BB guns?


Like da rest of your logic, KC9, it's muddle-headed.


The issue is not "can't do X because of Y". It's "Can't do X because despite ample evidence to the contrary I believe people in your demographic group are incapable of X.". Throw in an added subtext of "and I would prefer people in your demographic group would stay in their proper, subservient place" and now yeh have da real argument yeh missed.


Or, to flip it around on yeh, I maintain that nobody over the age of 35 should be permitted to be scoutmaster or ASM. Brain scan images show that intellectual capacity by then is decreasing along with brain size, as is ability to learn and adapt. They even have trouble interpreting simple arguments or accents, and have demonstrated an inability to cope with new technologies like laser tag toys. ;) In much of da world, people are "uneasy" with older SMs, and da serial molesters who are caught are always above age 35 when they do most of their harm. If yeh ever deal with 'em in divorces or other stressful proceedings, yeh can reliably predict that they will behave exceptionally poorly, and completely lose track of what's in da best interest of children.


Nope, none of 'em should be Scoutmasters, or for that matter employed in any youth-serving profession.



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I see what you're saying, Beavah. But I'm not here trying to defend specific examples of age-based restrictions - rather I'm arguing that it is acceptable to have age-based restrictions at all. That, I believe, is why you're accusing me of prejudice. There certainly is some inconsistency beyond age-based restrictions applied by different groups regarding different activities - but that's a separate issue from whether or not there's any legitimacy to use age as a consideration in general. And, by nature, some of the age restrictions will be arbitrary - why does Boy Scouts start at age 10.5, why not 9.5, or 11.5? Why does Venturing start at age 14 (or is it 13.5 now?) rather than 13 or 15? Why do we (generally) not accept Eagle candidates following their 18th birthday?


So my position is consistent - that it is acceptable to consider age as one basis for determining whether or not an individual is suited for a particular responsibility.


What I'm still trying to figure out, and what you still have not responded to, is why you are OK with using age restrictions in some cases, but not others. What makes it prejudicial in some cases, but not others? Or do I misunderstand your position, and you in fact would be OK with allowing 7 year olds to vote, 10 year olds to drive, 14 year olds to join Tiger Cubs...


Regarding your hypothetical on the maximum age of Scoutmasters - I'd point out that placing upper age limits on certain functions is not unprecedented. I'd willingly consider the idea of having an upper age limit on some volunteer positions, if it can be shown that the program will be stronger for it.


I'm not trying to be tough on Beavah, but I am trying to be tough on his position. Historically, Beavah makes very "tough" arguments himself, so I feel comfortable being direct in my response to those arguments. And, historically, I've found myself agreeing with many of his positions on other issues. But I apologize if I have come across as rude, as that is not my intent.

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Yah, KC9, my reaction was a specific one that had to do with Lisabob's willingness to discriminate in employment because of her personal "unease.". It's that employment discrimination that set all da Beavah's fur on end, because I've heard it all before. Seen it plenty, too. :mad:


I don't think you've ever found me anywhere on these forums advocating for an age-based restriction, despite my tongue-in-cheek notion of not allowin' scouters over da age of 35. ;) Quite frankly, I'm not sure why parents, employers, and others should not be trusted to make reasonable decisions based on da qualifications of da person standing in front of 'em.



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OK, finished with experiment.

Beavah seems to be taking some heat here so I'll follow up on some of his observations.

I too saw the really bad days in the 1950s and I was in the South. I saw and experienced that discrimination so I know it well, first hand. While I see his point about setting limits based on age, that hardly attains the same status of the intimidation and violence I observed directed toward black people. I made careful mental notes about who perpetrated that intimidation and violence. Today they label themselves as 'conservative'.


At the same time, at the age of 16 I was a school bus driver. I transported two routes every morning and again in the afternoon, driving the elementary kids to school really early and then the high school kids to my high school. I drove a full-sized bus with a manual transmission that you had to double-clutch.

The safety record at that time was as good as it is today with 'adult' drivers.

Yes, there were lapses of judgment. Same as today. The selection process was careful and the test was hard. Those of us who passed were completely proficient and even today I would have been as confident with us as drivers as I am with today's drivers.

So I'm with Beavah on the ATV thing as far as who can operate or teach the skills.


On the other hand, I'm somewhat of a neo-Luddite. I wish the concept of a PWC still elicited an image of a canoe. A canoe is far more versatile than a PWC, far more fun, far more compatible with the kinds of outdoor activities and skills that I think scouting is about. But like I just wrote (and I know I'm in a minority opinion) I just have a personal, perhaps sentimental, tendency to reject things like PWCs in favor of the far-more-romantic relationship that can be formed with a canoe.


As far as ATVs go, I still ride an enduro from time to time. The only difference is that you don't need much skill or a sense of balance for an ATV.

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Unfortunately, Beavah can not only remember arguments used to justify race discrimination, it's the ONLY kind of argument he can understand.


He suggests that youths can obtain pilot licenses to sustain his argument. In order to obatin a pilots license a person of any age has to pass significant practical and technical exams, not true for those using PWCs.


There is an age test to obtain a private pilot's license --16.

The extensive list of requirements, practical experience and technical exams is listed here:




If PWC users had similar requirements I don't think anyone would have objections. They don't. And you can't be an ionstructor or fly for pay with a Private Pilot License.


If you want pretty much any kind of license to operate vessels at sea for pay from the Coast Guard, there is an age test. Here's probably the simplest to obtain, which requires a minimum age of 18 for carrying small numbers of passengers:




Unfortunately, I'd have to describe Beavah's judgment in such matters as being ludicrously impaired. He's just warped by his insistance that racial tests and age tests are the same thing.


Of course, while once liberals and the Supreme Court attacked racial tests in the most stringent terms, for many decades now they extenuate racial quotas for employment, college admissions and government contracting and other areas. So even in this area, race discrimination remains in fashion by the liberal left. Indeed, the liberal left attacks those who oppose quotas as being racist these days.


As a matter of fact, the Obama Administration has just rolled out a new campaign to revitalize racial discrimination in college admissions.(This message has been edited by seattlepioneer)

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If PWC users had similar requirements I don't think anyone would have objections


Then if yeh feel it's necessary, put in place similar requirements instead of bein' lazy. And apply da requirements equally to those of any age. Neither I nor anybody else has a problem with having requirements of demonstrated skill or experience. Situation solved!


Yep, packsaddle, I was in da north, so the issues with violence were reduced. I'm not suggesting that we're intent on lynching uppity young people (though a few in law enforcement seem to be enamoured of using weapons on unarmed, peaceful students :(). But da more insidious types of discrimination are their own forms of violence, with perhaps more catastrophic long term social consequences.


And yep, those folks yeh are talking about were all Democrats back then. Never did have much truck with da Democratic party of that day.



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"If you want pretty much any kind of license to operate vessels at sea for pay from the Coast Guard, there is an age test. Here's probably the simplest to obtain, which requires a minimum age of 18 for carrying small numbers of passengers: "


As someone who is waiting to be able to take that test, I must say that the sea time requirements and the knowledge that you must have to get that license are much harder than the age restriction. I don't even have a problem with saying you have to be 18 to get a license. I don't like that they let you get one license when you turn 18, then most of the rest when you turn 19.

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I'm reminded of the thread on movies appropriate for scouts. The film Master and Commander was recommended, particularly the scene where the captain had asked the young, one-armed midshipman, age around 13 - 14, to stay on the ship and not accompany the boarding party. The young lad was quite dissappointed until the captain explained he wanted the young mid-shipman to take command of the ship while the other officers were involved with the boarding party.


Today we tend to coddle our youngsters and then complain they don't seem ready to take on the rigors of college, life or whatever. Personally I'm amazed at what some of the young men in the unit I serve accomplish and are capable of when given a chance.


I know our council camp is virtually run by staff under the age of 22, most are under 17. Sure there is an older camp director, and other "adults" in some positions but the report to a 22 yo, Asst. Camp Director. By and large this operation is run by youth. This is a multi-million dollar enterprise serving thousands of scouts every summer. No where outside the military will you find such responsiblity given to young men and they generally respond. Sure there are some problem staff, employee/management issues etc. but frankly from what I've observed, no more or less than the adult >40 world.





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Hello Scouting,



Your point is well taken.


Last summer I was a Camp Commissioner at one of our council camps. It was an interesting look at how things work.


The Camp Director was a former camp Program Director who had three years in as my District Executive. At the end of the summer, his Program Director was hired to be a council District Executive.


Some areas of the camp, notably shooting sports and aquatics, run at high standards by capable people.


However, I found the Trail to First Class program poorly run mostly by 13 year old Commissioners in Training who hadn't learned the skills they were supposed to teach, and didn't have the materials they needed to teach either.


I imagine a PWC program can be done well or poorly too. While 16 year olds are capable of a lot more than younger Scouts, whether it is wise to give people modest levels of training and turn them loose in areas of open water is a reasonable question, in my mind.


I'd want to look at how it works in practice. If Scouts head out for riding the wake of 600 foot container ships steaming past at 20 knots, perhaps some limitations are in order.


Also, there may be destinations suitable for exploring using a PWC. That might be suitable for an outing by a group of PWCs under an experienced leader.


There are plenty of hazards on the water that someone can get into trouble with, regardless of age. Not just training, but experience is needed to deal with those hazards wisely.


Just for openers, what would you do if you were ten miles from your Scout Camp on a mile wide waterway and your PWC swamped and would no longer start or run? Suppose you are passing a rocky shore when the engine quits and you are being blown onto the rocks? By the way, it's starting to get dark and the wind is now kicking up white caps. Suddenly you are cold with incipient hypothermia and FEAR. Your teeth are chattering.


Around here, even small power boats traveling on open water often have combinations of anchors, radios, oars and outboard kickers to help deal with such problems. It's not just an issue of age.


You need to look at the variety of ways someone can get into trouble with such equipment and consider how well anyone, regardless of age, will be able to deal with problems.



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"Just for openers, what would you do if you were ten miles from your Scout Camp on a mile wide waterway and your PWC swamped and would no longer start or run? Suppose you are passing a rocky shore when the engine quits and you are being blown onto the rocks? By the way, it's starting to get dark and the wind is now kicking up white caps. Suddenly you are cold with incipient hypothermia and FEAR. Your teeth are chattering."


This is why the program would need to be set up responsibly.


This shouldn't happen if the program is run in accordance with the application. Note:


No unsupervised riding. A qualified staff member must be present at all times.


Additional things that can be done include:


1. Limit range of operation. 10 miles x 1 mile or 10 square miles would be reasonable.

2. Buddy system, strickly enforced.

3. Issue handheld VHF radios. Not that expensive and should work well within authorized range of operation. Train operators in proper use.

4. Keep chase boat available for those that get in trouble.

5. Limit no. of PWC that need to be kept track of.

6. Not much more $ but you could tag each PWC with a GPS unit and track them on a PC.

7. Limit HP and speed of the PWCs. For first timers or those with limited experience, they don't need access to real high end, high HP PWCs to have fun.


There are sailing clubs in Boston Harbor that pretty much operate this way. The point is, a program can be done to allow youth to have this experience and limit the risks. This is all on top of training them to use the craft properly.


Most of all you have to set expectations to the youth involved. Let them know use of the equipment is a priviledge and that to participate they need to operate in accordance with the rules and training they get. Then enforce those expectations.







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Thank SP.


Although as a recreational cruising sailor I agree with Pack. I'd rather not encourage the use of these machines on the water, but if they're going to do it should be done right.


I'd rather this approach be applied to a sail training program than PWC's. I could envision a program that would involve three days of on the water instruction in 25 - 30 foot sailboats, capped by an overnight cruise on their own. Not too much different than what many charter companies do. Hmm, maybe I just described my own retirement gig.



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