Jump directly to the content

Q&A: Sponsoring Hayrides at Church

Should our church be concerned about sponsoring events like hayrides?

Q&A: Sponsoring Hayrides at Church

Our church sponsors hayrides a couple of times each year for our congregation. One is for the youth group, and another is for adults. Several members of the congregation have expressed concerns about the safety of such events. Should we be concerned? Should we stop offering them? This would be a big disappointment to many in our congregation.

Hayrides are inherently risky activities that have resulted in injuries and deaths to many persons. Many courts have found the sponsors of these events, including churches, liable for any deaths or injuries that may occur, usually on the basis of negligent selection of the driver of the truck or tractor that pulls the wagon, or negligent supervision of the event itself. Churches should not authorize or schedule such events (for minors or adults) without stringent safeguards to protect against injury and death. Here are 18 precautions to consider:

  1. If minors are among the passengers, be sure that an adequate number of adult supervisors are present. Appropriate background checks should be performed on each one. Remember, hayrides sometimes occur partly or entirely at night, when darkness may conceal the conduct of child molesters on board a hay wagon. A similar risk occurs whenever movies are shown at church events with the lights dimmed or turned off. Check with other local charities, and the public school district, for their input regarding the appropriate number of adult supervisors when minors are present on hayrides.

Join now to access this member-only content

Become a Member

Already a member? for full access.

Related Topics:
Posted:
  • May 14, 2008

Related ResourcesVisit Store

Board Member Orientation
Board Member Orientation
The concise and complete guide to nonprofit board service
Church Board Guide to Developing a Risk Management Strategy
Church Board Guide to Developing a Risk Management Strategy
Learn how to develop and implement a risk management strategy in your church.
Church Board Guide to a Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Policy
Church Board Guide to a Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Policy
Church leaders and boards can take relatively simple, yet effective steps to reduce the likelihood of child sexual abuse.
Sex Offenders in the Church
Sex Offenders in the Church
Legal and safety concerns to address when dealing with a sex offender.