“In youth we learn; in age we understand” ~Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach
This quote speaks volumes as to what we may need to look at when setting up a Youth Policy. Youth are important to our communities and to the growth of our clubs and facilities. For the purposes of this youth policy, we are clarifying youth as between 12-16 years of age. The youth policy would be in place for when a child is attending the facility without being accompanied by an adult. It is also recommended to have a policy in place and clearly stated regarding requirements for minors to be accompanied up to age 15 or 16.
When we reached out to the NIHCA Networking Group there is one thing that stands out – requiring a class, orientation, or walk through with a trainer before youth can access the facility. This is huge for two reasons. First, it gives you, the facility, an opportunity to teach the youth how to use the equipment properly. Second, it shows the youth that you, the facility, are willing to take the time to invest in them. We recommend this be a requirement for youth memberships and for daily pass approval.
There were also recommendations of youth having to wear a badge or wristband clearing visible that distinguishes the area of the facility the youth can access. This is also extremely helpful for when youth does not look their age.
Do you currently have a youth policy in place? Share with us what is working at your facility.