Re: Inner Tube Raft Race
Michael F. Bowman (mfbowman@CAPACCESS.ORG)
Fri, 25 Aug 1995 02:52:23 -0400
>Here in the Cherokee Area Council we have had a raft race
>down the Hiwassee River at Reliance, TN for 12 ? years.
>The scouts lash a framework to inner tubes and 'race'
>2 miles or so to the finish. It was just cancelled because
>according to the 'Guide to Safe Scouting' ( g2ss.txt in AOL
>Scouting library ) under Safety Afloat <each> raft must have an
>accompanying canoe with water-trained adults in it. I can't seem to
>find this particular bit of information.
The most recent edition of "Guide to Safe Scouting" does impose a number of
safety requirements on trips afloat; e.g. adults participating must
complete Safety Afloat Training. Safety Afloat requires one adult to
every ten Scouts with a minimum of two adults. The ratio for cub Scouts
is one adult to every five Cubs with a minimum of two adults. Cubs are
also restricted to flat water ponds - no river trips. The "Guide to Safe
Scouting" uses this ratio for "a BSA group" but does not define what a
group is, could it be that they didn't use the word "unit" to allow for
regatta or other larger activities or camp waterfronts?
Apparently your Council has decided that a group is a any small group on
a single watercraft or so it would sound. Even if this is so, the "Guide
to Safe Scouting" does not say they have to be in an accompanying canoe. It
just says there must be two adults supervising the activity. Presumably they
could do so in a rowboat, riding the raft, etc.
Does your Council require an accompanying boat for each boat of Scouts on
it camp property? I suspect not. You might want to start with that as a
question and find out how they operate a waterfront for camp. Most
likely they will tell you that they count the aquatics staff and adult
leaders in getting the ratios met to allow several canoes, rowboats, etc.
out on the water. The next question, is why something similar could not
be done here. Sounds like the same logic should apply. If there is
enough adult supervision all along the course for the larger group, maybe
this is a possibility.
However, I would have to defer to your Council's concerns with liability
and any local laws. But, it is certainly worth talking to your Council's
BTW the file you cited G2ss.txt does not appear to be on AOL. I used the
file search gizmo and scanned through the Scouting Library and did not
find it. The only text file on Scout Safety was a 1994 version of the
Guide to Safe Scouting which may have been edited. Sit down with your
folks with a current edition in hand to go through the rules and how they
have been interpreted.
Speaking only for myself in the Scouting Spirit, Michael F. Bowman
DDC-Training, GW Dist. Nat Capital Area Council mfbowman@CAPACCESS.ORG
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City