13 Youth Camp Activities That Have Been Discontinued for Not Meeting Safety Standards

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Youth camp activities were designed to be entertaining but challenging, enhancing the overall experience of the camp. Modern safety standards have established certain protocols that do not align with the once-cherished games. The risk of fractures, burns, and drowning associated with some of these activities has led to their discontinuation, highlighting a shift in modern safety standards. Here are 13 such activities discontinued for not meeting modern safety standards.

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American Eagle

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Well, the term “American” in this youth camp activity must have some correlation to the NFL, as there were too many tackles in this one. The concept of this activity was simple: Teams had to capture members from rival teams. However, the catch was that instead of merely tagging the person, you had to tackle them down to the ground. Some overly competitive people would hurt others. Such rules do not align with modern safety standards, which carry the risk of hurting others severely.

Log Rolling

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The primary reason for the ban on log rolling was the major drowning risk associated with it. Despite safety precautions and volunteers to help the participants who fell into the water, the experience wasn’t fun for all.

High Dive Towers

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Once popular in youth camps, diving platforms or high dive towers were designed to give children the exhilarating thrill of jumping into the pool. On the surface, the activity looks quite simple, but wrong dives may cause spinal injuries or broken bones. Without adequate training or supervision, such activities carry the risk of mishaps. Moreover, loss of control of the water could result in further complications.

Canoe Tilting

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Canoe Tilting originated about a century ago, followed by an official rulebook in 1922 by Ernest Thompson Seton. While this competitive activity transformed into a sport and gained widespread popularity, this practice in youth camps resulted in chaos. The fear of drowning is vast when someone tries to knock and hurt your legs with a log. The campers not equipped with strong swimming skills had to go through this dangerous, life-threatening activity.

Rope Swinging

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There are many variations of the Rope Swing. The risks associated with them are equally high, with people falling to the ground from great heights or, even worse, deep into the water. Moreover, if the rope breaks or falls apart, there is a high chance the participant will be hit against rocks or any other objects. This activity has been discontinued due to these factors without proper safety protocols.

Prize on the Tree

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As the name suggests, this activity in youth camps revolved around climbing up the tree and attaining objects/clues or prizes. Despite the participants wearing headgear, a fall from the tree is detrimental. It is expected to lose balance or slip due to the lack of attention and strength, leading to the risk of broken bones.

Mock Gun Shooting

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Some may argue it is the access to these kinds of mock firearms that takes the child into the rabbit hole of gun curiosity. Despite their friendly nature, the plastic bullets would be deadly if they hit sensitive body parts, such as the eye.

Zip Lines

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Transforming into a real-life Tarzan and swinging around is always fun, but it comes with certain risks. Zip lines were popular among youth camps but discontinued because of recorded accidents. Adopting safety nets has ruled out the risks, but damages caused by the high-speed impacts can never be nullified.

Raft Building

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Adapting to the survival of the fittest scenario, this activity revolved around collecting materials from the surroundings to build a raft. While this was a fun activity that brought out creativity and problem-solving skills, it was dangerous. There was always the risk of the raft breaking, followed by collisions against each other. There was no guarantee of stability, which often led to frequent capsizing, resulting in this game being discontinued.

Campfire Foraging

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This was one of those games in which the players were left to collect resources in the wild to prepare their meals. The dishes ranged from mushroom soups to various curries or even a simple fruit salad. The risk of food poisoning due to unidentified materials was a primary issue. This game was discontinued because of the risks associated with chopping, grinding, blending, and cooking, resulting in severe burns.

Animal Hunting

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This activity was banned a few decades ago when rigid forest laws and prohibitions to hunt animals were introduced. The targeted animals in this activity were usually harmless, like the deer, but carried several risks. The fear of getting jumped upon by other wild animals was always in the air, and any misfire could direct the attention of these creatures to you. Traps were frowned upon as it disrupted the wildlife, eventually leading to a ban on this activity.

Rock Climbing

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Regardless of the height of the rock structure, be it natural or artificial, such activities were discontinued. The addition of such activities was to improve strength but needed to be better suited to everyone. Players who could not climb the structures were looked upon, and those who did had to go through dangerous phases. These include falling and the unpredictable nature of rock formation.

Unsupervised Biking

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Activities revolving around bike rides were often assigned to youth camp participants, usually a race. These races on rough terrain, uneven surfaces, and rigid trails could not always be supervised. Disbalance or unexpected obstacles would harm the rider and topple several other bikes. Even with protective gear, these rides carry the risk of fractures and head trauma. Modern camps have discontinued such activities and provide structured rides in a controlled environment.

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