The first time I spotted a rent-able motorized scooter on the massive midwestern campus serving as the venue for my denomination’s every-three-year youth conference last week, I thought, “Oh, kids are definitely going to want to ride those.” Check that. The thought was more, “Oh no! Kids are definitely going to want to ride those!”
The first time I spotted one of the event’s teenagers riding one of them it was actually two of the event’s teenagers, and both of them were from my church and thus my responsibility, and one of them was in a sling from a month-old broken clavicle. I thought–no, I don’t actually want to confess what I thought.
I shut down the scooter riding among my students. I gave two reasons. 1) there are no helmets, and 2) renting them involves waiving liability for injury, and, as one of my fellow leaders pointed out, minors can’t legally do that. I leaned more heavily on the first reason. For the remaining three days of the conference, my students had to watch their peers from other groups speed and weave down the street while they themselves trudged countless miles in sticky humid heat. Sometimes it stinks to have me as your youth leader.
By week’s end tales were being told of two conference attendees hospitalized from scooter accidents, one of them reportedly hit by a car but both of them okay. Still, sometimes it stinks to have me as your youth leader.