People sign all sorts of things - that doesn’t mean they are worth anything.
The law is clear - It says that you cannot get someone to sign away your liability for death or personal injury through negligence.
This isn’t something new - a reflection of the modern world and the influence of American litigation culture… It’s been ratified in law this way for the past 42 years.
So parent signs your “no comeback on the ATC” waiver and sends Little Johnny off on your unauthorised event.
You don’t really know what you’re doing and little Johhny breaks himself. You are negligent… and that “waiver” isn’t worth the paper it was written on.
The very best it might be worth is to remove liability from the ATC and place it squarely on the individual who foolishly ran the event without top cover.
The idea that one can get parents to sign a waiver is still scarily prevalent.
It doesn’t work like that. We still owe them a duty of care and the parent, and indeed the cadet themself, still has a legitimate expectation that we are going to look after them.
Anyone who runs an unauthorised activity, especially one of increased risk (which is where these “waivers” were/are routeinly employed) is a total fool! They are personally liable if anything goes wrong.
Not even individuals who run their own outdoor activities take personal liability - they have insurance.
As a CFAV who just didn’t bother to follow the rules you’d have absolutely NOTHING. No top cover, no insurance… You’d be in the dock facing prison, compensation, and very hefty fines.
The reason we aren’t permitted to “do our own thing” is two fold:
To protect our CFAVs - if it’s properly authorised and run in accordance with that authorisation then they are protected from personal liability.
But primarily it’s to protect our cadets! By requiring proper authorisation we can reasonably ensure that the event will be run properly and safely by people who know what they’re doing and thus we are doing our best to keep our cadets safe.
You really might want to think about all of that Instead of grumbling about “the good old days”.