By: CJ Rena Johnson
Club … We Could All Learn A Lesson From Them!
The Trailblazers Kids Club started in 2006
when two fathers, (Daryl Jones and Drew
Underwood who were anxious to take their kids
for an ATV adventure of their very own) decided
to do it right. They began forming a group of
other like-minded enthusiasts, who also wanted
to share their love of ATVing with their kids
and who were just as safety conscious as they
themselves were. What started out as one ride
has now turned into a movement.
Here comes the
One Way To Get
The Mud Off!
Founders Drew and
Son Toby, along with Daryl Jones and
Can't Wait To Get
adult group that is associated with this kids’
club is the Triad Trailblazers (TTB). They have
a lot of values and traits to pass on to the
kids. They are known around the local ATVing
community for some of the trail maintenance work
they have done, as well as the charity rides
they have been involved in. They also helped
raise money for the Ride for Life event held at
Busco Beach ATV Park earlier this year. As a
group, they made up safety brochures about
helmets and their proper use, and then passed
them out to many local ATV and bike shops, as
well as to some of the nearby riding areas.
These types of community service activities are
just some of what these adults pass on to the
kids in this group.
I spoke with
several club members, and they all raved about
the club and their experiences with it. Each of
them seemed to get something unique from it; and
all had their own talents, resources, and
experiences to bring to it.
One of those I talked to that really stood
out in my mind was Kevin Bennett. A long-time
member of the Triad Trailblazers (the adult
version of the Kids Club), as well as the kids’
club and a member of the Greensboro Police
Department for 28 years, Kevin Bennett worked
with the Guilford County Sheriffs Office and the
NC 4-H Council to form a task force. This task
force then joined with the NC Insurance
Commissioners Office, NC Safe Kids, the National
4-H, and the ASI (ATV Safety Institute) to put
together a team that is admirable in many
aspects and that brings a whole new level of
safety to our great sport that we all love and
want to preserve. They are also working to get
all the kids (and adults) involved in the
Trailblazers Kids Club certified in accordance
with the state mandated requirements.
In a personal statement
about the club Kevin said, “Our club is very
safety oriented. In fact, the reason I joined
was (because) they put safety first and
foremost. On the kids’ rides, all safety
equipment is a must and everyone looks after
(each of) the kids as if they are their own. The
kids have fun, but safety comes first and is
never compromised. I have always been impressed
with the care and planning that goes into every
one of the kids’ rides.”
The kids (and
adults) learn all sorts of great things while
out on the Trailblazers Kids Club rides. They
learn safety and responsibility. They learn how
to respect the parks and recreational areas they
visit. They are constantly improving their
skills. They learn about nature, ATVing, and
about working together as a team to have a great
adventure. They learn family values and how
spending quality time with those you love and
care about are some of the most important things
in life. They find something the whole family
can enjoy as they make memories that will last a
These adventures often
include overnight camping to really maximize the
quality time and bonding opportunities between
these kids and some of their favorite adults.
However, they do have some day rides throughout
the year. The pace of all these rides is slow,
but always fun and exciting for everyone that
takes part in them. They usually go on a ride
about every other month and more often when
possible. If you want to find out when the next
ride is, you can go to
Be sure to check out the calendar of events, the
forums, and the ride reports pages for some
great information. Click on the picture page for
some great photos as well. You can also register
for a free membership on the site to keep up to
date on what they are doing, when, and where.
Each ride usually has anywhere from 2
to 10 kids plus plenty of adult supervision.
They only ride on trails that have been
completely checked out before the ride to insure
they are appropriate for the children’s skill
level. The locations for the rides are typically
on private land in the Triad area of NC or at
places like Busco Beach ATV Park or the Hatfield
and McCoy Trail systems in West Virginia.
The main objective of these outings is to make
sure the kids have fun. Sometimes this means
that they stop and watch them play in the creek
for a little while or maybe a game of tag or
something. However, based on past experience, it
is hard to get these kids to turn the ATVs off
for very long at all.
The only thing
more important than making sure the kids have
fun is making sure they are safe. They usually
keep the kids grouped together in single file
with experienced adults leading and tailing the
group and with someone riding out in front to
keep a close eye on what’s coming up.
There are some requirements and safety
guidelines that must be followed before any
child is allowed to participate.
- Children must be on an age- and size-appropriate
ATV according to manufacturer’s restrictions.
- The ATVs must also be appropriate for the
child’s riding level and ability.
child’s parent or legal guardian must be present
on the ride. Each child’s parent is solely
responsible for their own child’s safety and
- Each child must have DOT approved
helmets, eye protection as well as chest
protectors, and must wear them at all times
- It is also strongly suggested
that they wear over the ankle boots, gloves and
they recommend an ATV safety flag on the quad.
- Kids should also be mature and
responsible enough to follow instructions.
The target members of this Kids Club are
children between the ages of 5 and 12, riders
who are very inexperienced or those who just
want to experience the sheer joy of watching
kids be kids while they enjoy the great sport of
Remember: There is no charge to be a
member of this group. It is simply a bunch of
fun-loving people, getting together with their
kids to go out and enjoy the great sport of
ATVing in the safest way possible.
(of all ages) love to get out, get dirty, and
have a great time! I know I do. So, grab your
kids, load up the ATVs, and head on out for an
awesome adventure the whole family will remember
As always, decide now to have
an awesome day!