scouts-l Mail Archive for April of 2000: JLT accident
Fri Apr 14 2000 - 02:09:30 CDT
I was away from the email for a few days but I couldn't let this one go by.
As a COPE Director (National Camp School for COPE) I have used the Trust Fall
on course and in our troop JLT.
It is a very worthwhile event, BUT, you need to know what you are doing and
instruct the participants properly. I have seen several adults who have the
catchers: holding their hands wrong (not in a "zipper" pattern), grab the
opposite persons wrist, not in a strong stance (one foot forward slightly,
one back slightly) not have the catchers lean their heads back slightly
(reduces chance of contact) etc. etc.
These ill-trained facilitators sometimes do not properly line-up the faller
to be in-line with the catching line or properly teaching the faller how to
interlock fingers to minimize flying elbows (Extend arms in front, elbows out
and thumbs down. Cross arms at the wrist and interlock fingers. Bring hands
up under the chin.)
The post said that several kids were dropped. Where was the facilitator who
should have stopped the action and reviewed what just happened, and corrected
any deviations from what should have happened? This sounds to me like the
facilitator (SM?) was not properly familiar with the correct way to run this
Note: The material supplied with the JLT kit could put more of these
recommended practices into the kit, thus improving the chances of the average
SM to run the event properly.
Trust Fall is a great event but it works best as part of a series, begin by
teaching spotting techniques (strong stance, hands out in front, thumbs in
fingers up, elbows slightly bent). Practicing catching a partner as they
stand stiff and fall back where the catcher stops their fall in a controlled
manner and sets them upright again. This also introduces the idea of keeping
yourself stiff as you fall, instead of "piking" (sticking your butt out, as
if to sit down).
Then the "Willow in the Wind" exercise someone described in another post.
THEN the trust fall is a natural extension of those buildup exercises. For
any new group that seems the least bit unsure of whether they can actually
catch someone, I am the first faller - to show them it can be done. BTW I am
6'-0" 210# and I have not been dropped yet.
If we scare into believeing that we need to protect them from all things
dangerous, time to gather up those knives, hatchets, and axes. Probably need
to ban hiking boots too. I have seen where they cause blisters, which can
lead to infection, which can lead to ......<G>
Pacific Skyline Council, CA