Frequently Asked Questions About Paddle Prattle Policy
Notice and Assumption of Risk
Canoeing or kayaking (paddling) can be physically demanding and/or dangerous. Canoeists and kayakers (paddlers) take personal responsibility for their personal safety. By participating in trips or other activities sponsored or scheduled by the Monocacy Canoe Club, you acknowledge an assumption of the risk involved in paddling, which could involve risk of serious injury or death.
What is Paddle Prattle?
Paddle Prattle is a message board provided by the Monocacy Canoe Club (MCC) as a service to the paddling community. It is offered as an open communications forum for paddling related topics. Opinions posted are those of the POSTER and NOT of the MCC. Many posts offer useful information and others are best ignored. Most posts are personal opinions -- don't rely on them as "fact". Paddle Prattle should not be used as a sole resource for making any decisions related to paddling. You will find much good information in the posts, but please take it all with a grain of salt. Judge for yourself the validity and truth of each message.
I've heard some users were banned from posting. What's up?
We have had a rash of inappropriate posts recently, in an effort to stem this tide we have instituted a system of IP tracking and blocking. Frequent and/or severe violations of our published posting policy can result in a user being blocked from posting to Paddle Prattle. To prevent being blocked a user need only pay attention to the Paddle Prattle policy (as stated in this FAQ) and obey general rules of internet etiquette. 
How can I be sure I won't be blocked from posting?
One hard and fast rule that has been violated lately is NEVER use another persons name, handle or email address in an attempt to imply that you are that person. Though not required, yet, it really helps if you use your real email address. You may use a device to stop "email address harvesting" such as using (dot) instead of (.) in your address. Please use your real name or, at least, a "handle" or "alias" that is known to Paddle Prattle's regular visitors. Stick with one alias and don't post several messages under different names. Don't be a "troll" or try to act as the "troll police." A troll WANTS us to respond, all of their fun is gone if we just ignore them. It boils down to what Jay posted recently "play nice, like your mother taught you."
Help, I've been blocked from posting!
Well, it could be a mistake. Human analysis and input is required to generate the blocking list. If you have lost access to the Paddle Prattle posting script, and want to be allowed back, just ask. Learn your IP (available here) and send it in an email to Jay. You can be reinstated and notified within a day or so. If the blocking was our mistake, we apologize. If it was your mistake, we will assume it won't happen again.

Who runs Paddle Prattle?

This message board is running on software licensed to Mel Neef for his use on behalf of the Monocacy Canoe Club. The board is now being administered by Jay Herbig. The Monocacy Canoe Club "Operating Committee" oversees operation and retains full right to alter or cease operation at anytime. Day to day operating decisions are made by Jay. Please email your complaints to Jay, there is an email button on the main Paddle Prattle page for that purpose.

What can I post on Paddle Prattle?

Most anything that is paddling related that would be of interest to local paddlers. Boats or gear wanted to buy or sell; river level questions or suggestions; new boat reviews; trips being planned or taken; campground information; if it is about paddling its probably ok.

You can add links to your posts with the boxes on the posting form. In the "Optional Link URL:" box, put the entire URL you wish to link to and be sure to include "http://". The "Link Title;" box is obvious, what is typed here is the link that will appear in your message.

You can add a small image to your post by putting the URL for the image in the "Optional Image URL" box. Use the entire URL of an image that exists on the web. http://www.xxx.yyy/canoe.jpg would cause the canoe.jpg image to appear in your message. PLEASE limit the use of this feature to an occasional, small image. It can be annoying to readers with slow connections.

Can I post commercial messages?

Unless the policy becomes abused we are allowing limited commercial posts. Posts should be relatively short and contain text only. Please limit your commercial posts to 1 or 2 per week. MCC & Paddle Prattle are based in Frederick, MD and posts should be relevant to our users. We may be interested in a festival in New Jersey but would not be likely to travel there for roll sessions. Commercial posts that meet these simple guidelines will be accepted without regard to MCC membership or other factor. The presence of a post does not represent any endorsement or judgment by the MCC.

What about 'pick-up trips'?

Only paddling trips or other activities that appear on the MCC Cruise Schedule (see "Cruise Schedule" link from main page) are sponsored or scheduled by the MCC. In particular, unscheduled "pick-up" trips that may appear on this message board are the responsibility of the individual making the post and shall not be the responsibility of the MCC and/or the operators of the message board. The MCC and/or the operators of the message board do not verify the veracity of any poster, their paddling ability, or their knowledge of river safety. It is the individual paddler's responsibility to know who you are planning to boat with .. don't blindly go with anyone who posts on the message board.

Must posts be civil and friendly? After all, it is the internet.

Please respect the fact that this message board is visited by a wide range of users. MCC is a family oriented club and the language and tone of posts should reflect that. If you wouldn't say something to a fellow paddler face to face on the river bank, you probably shouldn't say it here. Think twice before you hit the "post" button. Messages will be removed if it is thought that a majority of the users of the board would find them offensive.

Do MCC members have a special responsibility here?

They do! Members should take notice that this message board is a very public face of the MCC. Many paddlers or would-be-paddlers first learn of the MCC here and a few may have taken away bad first impressions from what they read. Most people who have been around for a while know that the MCC is an open and friendly group that just wants to spread the fun of paddling around. Anyone who visits Paddle Prattle long enough will see that. We need to prevent the cases where a prospective member stops in, reads one series of posts that amount to a pointless & impolite argument and decides to look for another group of paddlers.

Operating Committee members

should take special care when posting. Correctly or not, what you say may be taken as an "official" statement.

How long will my post be visible?

It varies. Average life span is about 2 weeks. If the Paddle Prattle main (or index) page becomes too long it gets slow to load and will begin to cause problems. Most messages, after removal from the main page, will remain available through the search feature of the archive. Commercial posts tend to have a shorter life span and may not be available through search. Inappropriate posts may be removed as soon as they are noticed and, unfortunately, an entire thread may have to be removed because of one bad post.

I find a post to be improper or offensive, what can I do about it?

Please don't respond on the message board! Email Jay at jay.herbig@earthlink.net and tell him about the problem. He tries to keep a close eye on the message board but doesn't see everything. One post made by a "troll" or other annoying person does not have to lead to a string of like messages. Publicly ignore the problem poster and ask Jay to take a look at it.