Driving an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) can be an exhilarating experience for Scouts and Venturers. To ensure everyone has a fun, safe time, you must adhere to the “Golden Rules.”
First, Scouts and Venturers ages 14 and older may drive ATV equipment only at council-run ATV programs after receiving safety instruction from a trained instructor. Unit use of motorized vehicles, including ATVs, is prohibited.
Instructors can be found at select camps, where Polaris, the official ATV provider of the Boy Scouts of America, annually donates ATVs to provide ASI Safety Training and off-road adventures.
Part of that training is making sure the “Golden Rules” are followed. Polaris is a member of the ATV Safety Institute and strongly encourages the institute’s “Golden Rules”:
- Always wear a Department of Transportation-compliant helmet, goggles, long sleeves, long pants, over-the-ankle boots and gloves.
- Never ride on paved roads except to cross when done safely and permitted by law.
- Never ride under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Never carry a passenger on a single-rider ATV. In the BSA, passengers are never permitted.
- Ride an ATV that’s right for your age.
- Supervise riders younger than 16; ATVs are not toys.
- Ride only on designated trails and at a safe speed. Follow speed limits and trail conditions for which they are meant to operate.
Certain ATVs are designed for riders as young as 6 — riders that young shouldn’t be operating an adult-sized ATV. For Scouts, riders must be at least age 14 to be in the Scouts BSA ATV Program, and any rider must be supervised. The BSA’s Barriers to Abuse and two-deep leadership always apply.
They must also ride at BSA-approved, council-run ATV programs. Participants, as well as any ATV user at camp, like staff, must complete ATV safety training (see section FA-711 of the National Camp Standards).
The camps offering an ATV program this year are:
- Camp Horne, Cottondale, Ala.
- Warner Scout Reservation, Prattville, Ala.
- Camp Royaneh, Cazadero, Calif.
- Peaceful Valley Scout Ranch, Elbert, Colo.
- June Norcross Webster Scout Reservation, Ashford, Conn.
- Henson Scout Reservation, Seaford, Del.
- Camp Shands, Hawthorne, Fla.
- Camp La-No-Che, Paisley, Fla.
- Camp Lowden, Oregon, Ill.
- Ransburg Scout Reservation, Bloomington, Ind.
- Falley Scout Reservation, Oskaloosa, Kan.
- Camp Crooked Creek, Shepherdsville, Ky.
- Camp T.L. James, Downsville, La.
- Kinsey Scout Reservation, Stonewall, La.
- Horace Moses Scout Reservation, Russell, Mass.
- Cole Canoe Base, Alger, Mich.
- Many Point Scout Camp, Ponsford, Minn.
- Camp Lewallen, Silva, Mo.
- K-M Scout Ranch, Hilger, Mont.
- Camp Cedars, Cedar Bluffs, Neb.
- Camp Turrell, Cuddebackville, N.J.
- Gorham Scout Ranch, Chimayo, N.M.
- Wehinahpay Mountain Camp, Sacramento, N.M.
- Philmont Scout Ranch, Cimarron, N.M.
- Ten Mile River Scout Camps, Narrowsburg, N.Y.
- Massawepie Scout Camps, Tupper Lake, N.Y.
- Camp John J. Barnhardt, New London, N.C.
- Cherokee Scout Reservation, Yanceyville, N.C.
- Camp Raven Knob, Mount Airy, N.C.
- Beaumont Scout Reservation, Rock Creek, Ohio
- Resica Falls Scout Reservation, East Stroudsby, Pa.
- Heritage Reservation, Farmington, Pa.
- Camp Acahela, Blakeslee, Pa.
- Yawgoog Scout Reservation, Rockville, R.I.
- Medicine Mountain Scout Ranch, Custer, S.D.
- Lewis and Clark Scout Reservation, Yankton, S.D.
- Skymont Scout Reservation, Altamont, Tenn.
- Boxwell Reservation, Lebanon, Tenn.
- Trevor Rees-Jones Scout Camp, Athens, Texas
- Camp Strake, Coldspring, Texas
- Camp Powhatan, Hiwassee, Va.
- Goshen Scout Reservation, Goshen, Va.
- Camp Parsons, Brinnon, Wash.
- Summit Bechtel Reserve, Glen Jean, W.Va.
- Camp Long Lake, Dundee, Wis.
- Ed Bryant Scout Reservation, Mauston, Wis.
- Tesomas Scout Camp, Rhinelander, Wis.
- Tomahawk Scout Reservation, Birchwood, Wis.
For more ATV safety tips, check out these resources: