scouts-l Mail Archive for June of 2000: High Adventure Eligibility Question
Wed Jun 28 2000 - 13:00:33 CDT
A question for the list: Our troop is in the early planning stage of a High
Adventure trip out (from the East Coast) to The Grand Canyon. We will hike
down into the canyon, taking one of the more challenging trails both down
and back up (hike, no mules) rim to rim is a possibility. We took the same
trip 3 years ago and our East coast deciduous forest guys had the time of
their young lives! Please note, that the NPS limits the number of persons on
back country passes. So, spots on the trip are limited. It also goes
without saying that the hike requires advanced skill and fitness levels and
involves a high degree of risk.
Last time the troop was smaller and the line between those boys eligible to
go by virtue of age, rank and experience, was well defined. there was a
natural and indisputable cadre of boys who were eligible by virtue of all
the measures. However there was one boy who lagged far behind in everything
except age. In fact he was the only boy of his age not eligible to go. In
addition he was a boy who was a discipline problem at times and
unpredictable always. You get the picture.
The parents freaked, and despite a close friendship between our families,
the boy was removed from the Troop. My question is this, at the time, as I
do now, I believe that I am, as SM, and not incidentally the person in whose
name the back country pass is obtained, the final and sole arbiter of who
will be allowed the privilege of joining us on the trip. This includes
adults who are judged by physical fitness, hiking experience, and, if it
comes down to it, degree of past involvement with the troop.
My reason for this position is can be summed up in one word: Responsibility.
I am the one on whose shoulders the responsibility for everyone?s safety
lies and upon whose doorstep any lawsuit would fall.
So, how does your troop handle such situations? I would be especially
interested to know how other SMs feel, and how you handle similar
Bob Lazell SM
Valley Cottage, NY