Youth FAQ - Minimum Age

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Youth FAQ - Minimum Age

Postby lookingaround » Nov 6, 2005 11:07 pm

Here is another FAQ question. This is a challenging one! Please post suggestions for improvements/comments/feedback/etc. Thanks!

--
How old do you need to be to go caving?
This is one of the most common questions and one of the most difficult to answer. There is no single right answer. It depends upon many factors; the most important one is the individual child.

Caving can be an exhilarating and fun activity for children. Children as young as three years old have enjoyed wild caving in the proper circumstances. But, there are also many adults that act like immature children and should not go caving!

Many US National Parks, National Monuments and commercial caves and will have a minimum age for their “wildâ€
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Postby Patricia Bingham » Nov 11, 2005 5:35 am

This is great! I love this approach. Especially #13. :)
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Postby Cheryl Jones » Nov 11, 2005 11:57 am

:yeah that: Good work!

However I don't get this one
11) What about other cavers? Will the individual child’s parents be on the trip? If so, will the child’s parent be in the cave with the child? Will the child in question be significantly younger than other members of the group? Are there pre-existing hostilities between your individual child and others going on the trip?


I don't understand why there is a "child in question," or who s/he is. Also, who is the "individual child" in the second sentence? Evidently not the same "individual child" in the other numbered items, so this makes it confusing.

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Postby lookingaround » Nov 13, 2005 8:41 pm

Thanks for the positive comments. We appreciate it!

Cheryl Jones wrote:However I don't get this one
11) What about other cavers? Will the individual child’s parents be on the trip? If so, will the child’s parent be in the cave with the child? Will the child in question be significantly younger than other members of the group? Are there pre-existing hostilities between your individual child and others going on the trip?


I don't understand why there is a "child in question," or who s/he is. Also, who is the "individual child" in the second sentence? Evidently not the same "individual child" in the other numbered items, so this makes it confusing.

Cheryl


You are right. That answer was a bit confusing. Here is another try:

11) What about other cavers? Will your individual child be significantly younger than other members of the group? Will the individual child’s parents be in the cave also? Are there pre-existing hostilities between your individual child and others going on the trip?
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Postby Cheryl Jones » Nov 13, 2005 11:12 pm

Better, but I'm still confused. I don't know who "the" individual child is in the second sentence.
Will the individual child’s parents be in the cave also?


The document is speaking to parents and refers to "your" child. Now we suddenly have a "the" child. Who is this kid, and what is his significance?

What are you really asking -- whether the parents of other children on the trip will be in the cave as well? Are you asking if the parents reading the document will be going with their child? (What are the answers you're looking for? Usually a good way to come up with a question to match! Maybe we can help.)

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Postby Plethodon » Nov 14, 2005 3:03 pm

Not speak good english, but confusing read this first post. Much less confusing if take out word 'individual' everywhere. All childs unique, but cannot devide child. Maybe leave in first time to make point, but gone after that.
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Postby kvart » Nov 14, 2005 7:05 pm

Plethodon wrote:Not speak good english, but confusing read this first post. Much less confusing if take out word 'individual' everywhere. All childs unique, but cannot devide child. Maybe leave in first time to make point, but gone after that.


I agree with Plethodon. Having the word individual appear over and over is redundant and makes it hard to read. Consider changing the statement
"The appropriate minimum age depends upon many factors. Parents/Guardians should consider the following questions: " to
"Since each child is unique, t heappropriate minimum age depends upon many factors. Parents/Guardians should consider the following questions about their individual child:"

Then get rid of the rest of the "individuals"
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correction

Postby mgmills » Nov 14, 2005 7:09 pm

The post by Kvart was actually made by me (Martha Mills aka Kvart's wife). We share a computer and I didn't notice which of us was logged in. :oops:
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Postby lookingaround » Nov 20, 2005 6:26 pm

Cheryl Jones wrote:Better, but I'm still confused. I don't know who "the" individual child is in the second sentence.
Will the individual child’s parents be in the cave also?


The document is speaking to parents and refers to "your" child. Now we suddenly have a "the" child. Who is this kid, and what is his significance?

What are you really asking -- whether the parents of other children on the trip will be in the cave as well? Are you asking if the parents reading the document will be going with their child? (What are the answers you're looking for? Usually a good way to come up with a question to match!

You are right. It is still confusing...

We are trying to ask if there are hostilities (or bullying) between the child who is caving and other cavers on the trip. If so, having the caving child's parent/guardian along might make it easier on the caver.

Cheryl Jones wrote: [Maybe we can help.)

Please do! We really appreciate everybody's suggestions.
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Postby mgmills » Nov 20, 2005 8:47 pm

lookingaround wrote:You are right. It is still confusing...

We are trying to ask if there are hostilities (or bullying) between the child who is caving and other cavers on the trip. If so, having the caving child's parent/guardian along might make it easier on the caver.


This is the original statement 11) What about other cavers? Will the individual child’s parents be on the trip? If so, will the child’s parent be in the cave with the child? Will the child in question be significantly younger than other members of the group? Are there pre-existing hostilities between your individual child and others going on the trip?

Try this instead 11) What about other cavers? Are there pre-existing hostilities between your [color=blue][individual] child and others going on the trip? Will your child [in question] be significantly younger than other members of the group? If so, please discuss this with the trip leader.[/color]

I'd avoid suggesting the parent might want to tag along. From my past experiences in taking scouts caving the one who have a parent on the trip have often (though not always) been the most problematic. Also, encouraging parents who are non-cavers to go along give the caver leading the trip another "newbie caver" to have to look out for. :wink:
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Postby lookingaround » Nov 20, 2005 9:25 pm

kvart wrote:
Plethodon wrote:Not speak good english, but confusing read this first post. Much less confusing if take out word 'individual' everywhere. All childs unique, but cannot devide child. Maybe leave in first time to make point, but gone after that.


I agree with Plethodon. Having the word individual appear over and over is redundant and makes it hard to read. Consider changing the statement
"The appropriate minimum age depends upon many factors. Parents/Guardians should consider the following questions: " to
"Since each child is unique, t heappropriate minimum age depends upon many factors. Parents/Guardians should consider the following questions about their individual child:"

Then get rid of the rest of the "individuals"


Most parents (us included) tend to compare our kids to other children in their age range/grade/family/neighborhood/whatever. Our competitive society tends to encourage these types of comparisons. The concern is that a parent/guardian will hear something like "all of the X graders are going" on a trip and send their child for the wrong reasons.

The "individuals" are included intentionally to try to encourage parents to think about their child's individual traits when making the decision whether to send them. Perhaps the "individuals" are too annoying? :-) What if we removed all of the underlining and then reduce the duplication of the word individual in some of the answers? What does everybody think?
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Postby Cheryl Jones » Nov 20, 2005 10:22 pm

Yeah, I think that the repetition of individual and the underlining is over the top. What about saying "your child"? That's pretty individual and speaks clearly to the parent.

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Postby lookingaround » Nov 24, 2005 9:01 pm

Here is another try with the suggested wording from mgmills and reduction of the "individual"s in the answers. Please give us feedback!

---
How old do you need to be to go caving?
This is one of the most common questions and one of the most difficult to answer. There is no single right answer. It depends upon many factors; the most important one is the individual child.

Caving can be an exhilarating and fun activity for children. Children as young as three years old have enjoyed wild caving in the proper circumstances. But, there are also many adults that act like immature children and should not go caving!

Many US National Parks, National Monuments and commercial caves and will have a minimum age for their “wildâ€
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Postby Patricia Bingham » Nov 25, 2005 6:23 am

Howdy,

I see you have addressed this to parents and guardians. Could this somehow be written to include youth group leaders?

I think perhaps the wording in #2 from "don't lie" to something positive, like "give accurate information" might look better. I find folks respond to positives (not "positively don't lie"!) better than negatives.

#1; Change "should" to "must". So many adult leaders have told me, "Well, "should" means I can decide to follow this or not and whatever I do is ok". Same with "guidlelines" vs regulations for some reason. Go figure.

Perhaps something like (for inclusion of youth group leaders) "Does each individual child..." or "each child". I think I understand your concern, and it is a good one.
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Postby lookingaround » Dec 6, 2005 4:50 am

Patricia Bingham wrote:I see you have addressed this to parents and guardians. Could this somehow be written to include youth group leaders?

I think perhaps the wording in #2 from "don't lie" to something positive, like "give accurate information" might look better. I find folks respond to positives (not "positively don't lie"!) better than negatives.

#1; Change "should" to "must". So many adult leaders have told me, "Well, "should" means I can decide to follow this or not and whatever I do is ok". Same with "guidlelines" vs regulations for some reason. Go figure.


How about the following changes:

As most parents know, children may behave differently when their parents are not nearby! Youth group leaders that have worked with a child may have a unique perspective on how that child might react in a caving environment. Parents and the youth group leader(s) should be in agreement about which children attend the trip and should consider the questions below for each child:
    1) If there is a sponsoring organization (scouts, church, school, etc), does it have any minimum age requirements? You must comply with these requirements.
    2) What does your guide recommend? Follow their advice – be honest and realistic about your child’s maturity level, age, or pre-existing medical conditions (see FAQ question #X).
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