By Del Albright
One primary way to save our sports and keep our trails open is to always set a good example for others...especially for those who are not members of organized recreation and might not know the rules of the road. Your club or group should have a list of rules/ethics to play by. It's not a hard thing to build (the list) and it just takes education to get folks to follow along. Well, some folks might never get it and they just need to be busted by the law if needed.
But for most of us, given a simple set of common sense rules (trail ethics), we will follow them. If you don't want to build your own, use something like these samples. If you want to build your own and adapt it to your specific area, just sift and sort through these and pick the ones that make the most sense to your club.
Let's bring in the kids too! Don't expect public schools, for the most part, to teach your kid common sense or even common courtesy....let alone manners. It's just not happening in most places. Seems like a lot of schools would rather indoctrinate your kid into hugging a tree or loving liberalism. Be that as it may, include your kids in the ethics you use for your club/group. Teach them young.
A lot of what folks think about us comes from our "image." And image is perception sometimes....what people perceive; they believe. So be careful when it comes to our image. The minute we get lazy and don't stop for some trail trash, there will be someone who wants to blame that trash on us!
Here are some links to great Trail Ethics and some common courtesy stuff that will help you find the best list for you and your club/group.
Some Basic Training Rules for Life:
More on common sense and courtesy:
BRC Recreation Code of Ethics:
About the Image of Recreationists:
Set the example; help save our sports and trails.