All-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are defined as “motorized recreational cycles with three or four large, soft tires, designed for off-road use on a variety of terrains.” While all-terrain vehicles—including ATVs, utility task vehicles (UTVs), and side-bysides—are fun and exciting to navigate through a forest course, they are also under the watchful eye of the Consumer Product Safety Commission and have a reputation of scarring the environment.
With the exception of council-run ATV programs, ATVs, UTVs, and side-by-sides are banned from program use, a restriction that includes their use within units.
ATV programs have been used in council-run programs following National Camp Accreditation Program (NCAP) standards for some time now. When an approved program is offered, the camp provides a safe introductory program into all-terrain vehicle use and operation following the safety training program of the ATV Safety Institute (ASI).
- The course or program must follow the ASI’s RiderCourse program in its entirety. No deviation is permitted from the course outline. Go online at atvsafety.org to review the section they have for parents. It details what you may want to know about riding ATVs safely.
- In the camp program, a qualified staff member will be present at all times that participants are riding. Unsupervised riding is not allowed. Manufacturer restrictions on the age, weight, and height of riders shall be followed, with no exceptions.
- Parents and/or guardians must complete a permission slip, inclusive of hold-harmless language, prior to beginning the program.
- The ATVs may not carry passengers except for the designated rider, and the ATV may not be used to pull anyone or anything.
- Should your council use ATVs, please understand the speed limits and trail conditions at which they are meant to operate, keep your limbs inside of the ATV, and maintain the use of all necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) while riding.
The ATVs are council-owned and used for program. The ATVs may not be leased to third parties during the off-season. Personal ATVs are not authorized for use.
NCAP standards allow for a fun time on ATVs while keeping Scouts safe.