Crawford ranger claims boating award
Scott Rist, a senior ranger for the Crawford State Parks Complex, has been selected the State Boating Educator of the Year for Colorado for 2013.
The honor was given to Rist by the National Association of Boating Law Administrators, a nonprofit organization that works to develop public policy for recreational boating safety.
Rist, a nine-year veteran with Colorado Parks and Wildlife and one of only 16 such honorees across the nation, has taken a lead role in boating safety at the three-park complex of Crawford State Park, Paonia State Park and Sweitzer Lake State Park.
“Scott is a great teacher who loves to pass along his boating and safety knowledge,” said Ed Keleher, manager for the park complex. “He helps make boating safer in Colorado.”
Rist also serves as the youth boating-safety instructor for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. Working with local schools to provide boating- and water-safety classes, Rist has provided instruction for about 1,500 young students in three school districts at the parks during the past eight years and regularly talks about boating safety to park visitors during boating season.
“It’s really great working with 4th and 5th graders because they’re still excited about learning and participating in these events,” Rist said. “It’s an honor to receive this award because we don’t usually get a lot of recognition for the work we do teaching boating safety.”
Colorado law has a minimum age of 16 years old to operate a motorized watercraft, but it allows 14- and 15-year-olds to receive an operator’s certificate if they pass a boating-safety course.
“Scott’s been very active in promoting boating safety here and earlier in his career when he was at Ridgway State Park,” Keleher said.
Rist, a lead instructor for the Parks and Wildlife boat training academy, has developed a specialized boating-safety training course for seasonal park rangers.
Rist is an instructor for the American Canoe Association.
“Scott is enthusiastically proactive about boat safety,” said Patt Dorsey, southwest regional manager for Colorado Parks and Wildlife. “We’re proud that the association chose him to receive the award. It’s well-deserved.”