Sports and Activities
The following activities have been declared unauthorized and restricted:
vehicles (ATVs) are banned from program use. ATVs are defined as
motorized recreational cycles with three or four large, soft tires,
designed for off-road use on a variety of terrains.
Boxing, karate, and related martial arts—except judo, aikido, and tai chi—are not authorized activities.
saws and mechanical log splitters may be authorized for use only by
trained individuals over the age of 18, using proper protective gear in
accordance with local laws.
Exploration of abandoned mines is an unauthorized activity.
Varsity football teams and interscholastic or club football competition and activities are unauthorized activities.
secured, used, or displayed in conjunction with program and activities
are unauthorized except where the fireworks display is conducted under
the auspices of a certified or licensed fireworks control expert.
selling of fireworks as a fund-raising or money-earning activity by any
group acting for or on behalf of participants, units, or districts may
not be authorized by local offices.
in hang gliders, ultra-light airplanes, experimental-class aircraft, or
hot-air balloons (whether or not they are tethered); parachuting; and
flying in aircraft as part of a search-and-rescue mission are
go-carts and motorbike activities are unauthorized. All motorized speed
events, including motorcycles, boats, drag racing, demolition derbies,
and related events, are not authorized activities for any program level.
Participation in amateur or professional rodeo events is not authorized.
any type of firearm (which includes paintball, lasers and pepper spray)
at any individual is unacceptable. However, law enforcement departments
and agencies using firearms in standard officer/agent training may use
their training agenda when accompanied with appropriate safety
equipment in the Law Enforcement Exploring program. Explorers may not
point firearms, including paintball, lasers and pepper spray at other
Explorers or Participants. Tasering and pepper spraying of Explorers or
Participants are prohibited.
personal watercraft, such as jet skis, are not authorized for use in
aquatics activities, and their use should not be permitted in or near
Learning for Life program areas.
is not an authorized Learning for Life school-based program activity,
although hunting safety is part of the program curriculum.
purpose of this policy is to restrict school-based programs from
conducting hunting trips. However, this policy does not restrict
Explorer posts from conducting hunting trips or special adult hunting
expeditions provided that adequate safety procedures are followed and
that all participants have obtained necessary permits and/or licenses
from either state or federal agencies. While hunter safety education
might not be required prior to obtaining a hunting license, successful
completion of the respective state voluntary program is required before
participating in the activity.)
for (1) law enforcement officers required to carry firearms within
their jurisdiction, and (2) circumstances within the scope of the
Learning for Life hunting policy statement, firearms should not be in
the possession of any person engaged in camping, hiking, backpacking,
or any other Learning for Life activity other than those specially
planned for target shooting under the supervision of a certified
firearms instructor. (Among the purposes of this policy is to prohibit
adult leaders from bringing firearms on camping and hiking activities
or to group/post meetings.)
or any activity in which a person is carried aloft by a parachute,
parasail, kite, or other device towed by a motorboat or by any other
means, is unauthorized.
All activities related to bungee cord jumping (sometimes called shock-cord jumping) are unauthorized.
tree-climbing with ropes and harnesses is unauthorized Learning for
Life activity. There are no uniform standards. There is no
available method to measure the weight bearing capacity of the tree
limb and no backup procedure if the limb breaks
Learning for Life prohibits the transportation of passengers in the backs
of trucks or on trailers. This rule may be tempered for parade floats or
hayrides, however, provided that the following guidelines are strictly followed
to prevent injuries:
- Transportation on the truck or trailer to and from the
parade or hayride site is not allowed.
- Those people riding, whether seated or standing, must
be able to hold on to something stationary.
- Legs should not hang over the side.
- Flashing lights must illuminate a vehicle used for a
hayride after dark, or the vehicle must be followed
by a vehicle with flashing lights.
Include these safety considerations when planning a unit
- Money-earning projects should be suited to the ages
and abilities of youth participants.
- Proper adult supervision should be provided.
- Youth should engage in money-earning projects only in
neighborhoods that are safe and familiar and should
use the buddy system.
- Leaders must train youth participants never to enter
the home of a stranger and to know whom to contact
in case of an emergency.
- Youth participants should be familiar with safe pedestrian
practices and participate during daylight hours only.
- Adhere to all compliance requirements:
- Check local statutes regarding solicitation rules
- A fund-raising permit must be obtained from the
local Learning for Life executive.
- Qualified Supervision
All climbing and rappelling must be supervised by a mature, conscientious
adult who is at least 21 years of age and understands the risks inherent
to these activities. This person knowingly accepts responsibility for the
well-being and safety of the youth in his or her care. This adult supervisor
is trained in and committed to compliance with the eight points of the
Climb On Safely procedure. One additional adult who is at least 18 years
of age must also accompany the unit. Units with more than 10 youth in the
same climbing/rappelling session must have an additional adult leader at
least 18 years of age for each 10 additional youth participants. In other
words, a group of 11 to 20 youths requires at least three adult leaders;
a group of 21 to 30 youths would require four adult leaders, and so
The adult supervisor is responsible for ensuring that someone in the group
is currently certified in American Red Cross Standard First Aid and CPR (a
6.5-hour course). In addition, the two-hour module "First Aid—When
Help Is Delayed" is required. A course of equivalent length and content
from another nationally recognized organization can be substituted. A
higher level of certification such as emergency medical technician (EMT),
licensed practical nurse (LPN), registered nurse (RN), and licensed
health-care practitioner is also acceptable. American Red Cross Emergency
Response, a 43.5-hour course that includes CPR, is highly
- Qualified Instructors
A qualified rock climbing/rappelling instructor who is at least 21 years
of age must supervise all climbing/rappelling activities. The
climbing/rappelling instructor has successfully completed a minimum of 10
hours of climbing/rappelling instructor training from a nationally or
regionally recognized organization, climbing school, college-level
climbing/rappelling course, or is a qualified climbing/rappelling
instructor. Local Youth Protection training is required for all
instructors. A Project COPE director or instruction fulfills this
- Physical Fitness
Any climbing/rappelling activity requires evidence of fitness—at
least a current Personal Health and Medical Record, Class 1, or a
complete health history from a parent or legal guardian. The adult
supervisor should adapt all supervision, discipline, and precautions
to anticipate any potential risks associated with individual health
If a significant health condition is present, an examination by a
licensed health-care practitioner should be required by the adult
supervisor before permitting participation in climbing/rappelling.
The adult supervisor should inform the climbing/rappelling instructor
about each participant's medical conditions.
- Safe Area
All climbing/rappelling activities must be conducted using an
established or developed climbing/rappelling site or facility. A
qualified climbing/rappelling instructor should survey the site
in advance of the activity to identify and evaluate possible
hazards and to determine whether the site is suitable for the age,
maturity, and skill level of the participants. The instructor
should also verify that the site is sufficient to safely and
comfortably accommodate the number of participants in the activity
within the available time. An emergency evacuation route must be
identified in advance.
The climbing/rappelling instructor should verify that proper equipment
is available for the size and ability level of participants. Helmets,
rope, and climbing hardware must be approved by the UIAA (Union
Internationale des Associations d'Alpinisme) and/or ASTM (American
Society for Testing and Materials). All equipment must be acquired
new or furnished by the instructor.
Records must be kept on the use and stresses (the number of hard
falls) on each item of equipment, which must be specifically designed
for climbing/rappelling. Outside providers should be asked if they
are aware of any stresses that have been put on their equipment. Any
rope or webbing that has been subjected to more than three hard falls
or that is four years old (whatever its use) must not be used. Refer
to the Climb on Safely and Project COPE manuals concerning records
that must be kept and made available even by outside providers.
When planning, remember the following:
- Obtain written parental consent to participate in
climbing/rappelling activities for each participant.
- In the event of severe weather or other problems, share the
climbing/rappelling plan and an alternate with parents and
- Secure the necessary permits or written permission for using
private or public lands.
- Enlist the help of a qualified climbing/rappelling instructor.
- Be sure the instructor has a topographic map for the area
being used and obtains a current weather report for the
area before the group's departure.
- It is suggested that at least one of the adult leaders has
an electronic means of communication in case of an
- Environmental Conditions
The instructor assumes responsibility for monitoring potentially
dangerous environmental conditions that may include loose, crumbly
rock; poisonous plants; wildlife; and inclement weather. Use the
buddy system to monitor concerns such as dehydration, hypothermia,
and an unusually high degree of fear or apprehension. The adult
supervisor is responsible for ensuring that the group leaves no
trace of its presence at the site.
Each participant knows, understands, and respects the rules and
procedures for safely climbing and rappelling and has been oriented
in Climb On Safely. All participants should respect and follow all
instructions and rules of the climbing instructor. The applicable
rules should be presented and learned prior to the outing and
should be reviewed for all participants before climbing or rappelling
begins. When participants know the reasons for rules and procedures,
they are more likely to follow them. The climbing instructor must be
strict and fair, showing no favoritism.
Learning for Life limits climbing to top roping. A separate relay safety
rope with a separate anchor system is used for all rappelling activities. A
UIAA- and/or ASTM-approved climbing helmet must be worn during all
Safety First Learning for Life Guidelines
Copyright © 2002 by Learning for Life