Booking for the equivalent of a ‘junior member’

When we drafted the Blue Sky requirement for a guest to expire after 12 months, we forgot to cater for people under 18 who regularly accompany their parents on need-to-book activities. People under 18 can only participate with the Club as Guests.

Some parents may, at the time they first book for their child, register their child as a Guest, which will work fine for 12 months. But at 11 months, the child will receive an email saying their Guest Registration is about to expire and cannot be renewed, and inviting them to apply for membership. The email will also say: ‘If you are a Guest under 18, please ask your parent or guardian to contact the Membership Secretary or the Walks Secretary so we can arrange for you to continue to participate in Club activities.’

If you are contacted, as Walks Secretary, in these circumstances, there are three possible solutions:

(a) Tell the parent, when booking, to add their child’s full name and age in the ‘Comments’ field. There should not be any major issues with this. The leader will see the Comment on their Edit Booking Requests page, and the Comments will be printed on the leader’s trip list.  In an emergency, the data in the Comments field can be seen by authorised committee members. The parent will still sign the Acknowledgment of Risks form, on their own behalf and on behalf of the child, at the start of the activity, so the insurance angle is covered. The only downside is that the count in the leader’s trip list will be one short.

(b) Ask the parent to use ‘Continue as guest’ when they next want to book their child on a walk, and to type in a new (‘new’ as in not previously used on the CBC system) email address for their child. A fake email address will also work. That will allow the child to be booked in as a Guest for another 12 months. This would work for 17 year-olds.

(c) Another way round it could be to make the child a Life Member and make a note to change them back to member when they turn 18.

The above workarounds are not a brilliant solution. But the only ways round this were either too costly (a new membership category of Junior Guest with an extended expiry date would have been an enhancement and cost several hundred dollars) or were rejected by Zealous as likely to cause logic issues (giving the Membership Secretary the power to edit an expiry date).

Meadow vegetation, near Martins Lakes, Olympic NP, USA

Meadow vegetation, near Martins Lakes, Olympic NP, USA