Over the last couple of years, the Environmental Health and Safety Team has received requests from units wishing to do indoor bodyflight (skydiving) in a wind tunnel. We have also reviewed council agreements that included offering bodyflight experiences as prizes at fundraisers and, more recently, as a STEM program.
At this time, we point potential users to the preface of the Guide to Safe Scouting: “In situations not specifically covered in this guide, activity planners should evaluate the risk or potential risk of harm, and respond with action plans based on common sense, community standards, the Boy Scout motto, and safety policies and practices commonly prescribed for the activity by experienced providers and practitioners.”
If considering indoor bodyflight as an activity for your unit, district, or council, please consider the following guidelines:
- Verify that the facility being used follows the standards of the International Bodyflight Association (IBA) and that the tunnel is listed in the IBA directory.
- Confirm that instructors are qualified through the IBA training program.
- Be aware of restrictions that the facility has in place for bodyflight participants.
—No history of neck, back, or heart problems
—Body weight of less than 250 pounds
—No shoulder dislocations or injuries
- As you will be exposed to up to 165 mph air velocity, some safety measures are needed:
—Eye protection (safety glasses or a full-face helmet)
—Ear protection (noise exposure level higher than 100 dBA)
—Parents should sign any required consents, releases, risk acknowledgments, or waivers of liability on behalf of their children. This is not a leader’s responsibility.
- Unit leadership should not enter into contracts in the name of the unit, the council, or the Boy Scouts of America, nor can leaders or parents waive or release the rights of the council or the BSA.
The guidelines above apply only to indoor bodyflight. Be aware that skydiving and parachuting, as activities, are unauthorized and restricted by the Boy Scouts of America.