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By: CJ Rena Johnson

Trailblazers Kids Club … We Could All Learn A Lesson From Them!

Here comes the kids!
Here comes the kids!

Group Of Trailblazers Kids Club Kids on Bridge

One Way To Get The Mud Off!
One Way To Get The Mud Off!

Founders Drew and Son Toby, along with Daryl Jones and daughter Emily.
Founders Drew and Son Toby, along with Daryl Jones and daughter Emily.

Can't Wait To Get Started!
Can't Wait To Get Started!
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.

The 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 lifetime.

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 http://www.triadtrailblazers.com/kids_club/kidsclub.htm. 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.
  • The 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 actions.
  • Each child must have DOT approved helmets, eye protection as well as chest protectors, and must wear them at all times while riding.
  • 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 ATVing.

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.

Kids (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 forever!

As always, decide now to have an awesome day!


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