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Traveling After Dark - policy or procedure?

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You wrote.

that the troop will depart from the same place at the same time.


If you look at the GTSS is says

Do not travel in convoy.

You will find this under TRANSPORTATION in the GTSS.


Now we can debate what travel in convoy means. ;)




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Yah, dan, and then we have


"A common departure site and a daily destination point are a must." and "Pre-arrange a schedule for periodic checkpoint stops as a group". (G2SS p. 4) :) So it seems we are supposed to start and stop at the same points at roughly the same time.


I disagree with FScouter. I don't think da conversations about the meanings of isolated words come up when people are tryin' to avoid the regs. I think they come up when beginners get caught up in the letter of the law rather than approachin' things from a perspective of common sense and good judgment. Mostly they just need to step back, take off their amateur lawyer hat, and put on a good ol' fashioned Scouter campaign hat in order to see the thing in da right light.




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BUT Beavah

If we travel in a convoy, we would not have to have periodic checkpoint stops. OH I see what you are saying, if we did convoys, we could cut out some stops.


Of course if a troop did not start and stop at the same points at roughly the same time it would proably make it a patrol outing or maybe a non troop event.


I feel a song coming on!


Cause we gotta little ol' convoy, rockin' through the night

Yeah we gotta little ol' convoy, ain't she a beautiful sight?

Come on an' join our convoy, ain't nothin' gonna git in our way

We're gonna roll this truckin' convoy, cross the USA

Convoy... Convoy...


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If the BSA wanted to ban traveling at night the wording should be something like this:


Traveling at night is forbidden.


Traveling after dark is not allowed.


Discussions about the meaning of these words begin when someone doesnt want to follow what the written page is saying.


Blanket statements are very seldom correct.


Ed Mori

1 Peter 4:10

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Yah, dan, great song, eh?! :)


Nah, I'm not in favor of convoyin'. Nuthin' but a road hazard, that. But I don't think LauraMO was talkin' about convoying, just the regular BSA bit about common departures and meet-ups for youth protection reasons.



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The first time I drove for my daughters Girl Scout troop I got yelled at for taking off and not traveling together.


I don't like convoying.

Having to pull over a wait for people who didn't get though lights or get lost just eats up too much time and often it was in a pretty bad palce to stop.


However I have had bad a experiance the BSA way when poor directions were given and everyone got lost on the way to the camping spot.



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I would not say it is a great song or even a good song.

But I guess we will also disagree on what she was saying when she typed,

in short, that the troop will depart from the same place at the same time.

But like I said we can discuss what is and what is not convoying like we have in the past.


10-4 good buddy.


whats your 10-20 good buddy?


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In my opinion, the guide is simply telling us that it's better and safer to travel by daylight. But to read it as a ban on driving after dark would essentially eliminate all two-night campouts during the school year around here. If we can assume the writers of the guide were being reasonably careful in their drafting, that's how we can interpret their decision to use the word "should."


As far as convoys, I dislike them because the person I am supposed to follow invariably turns out to be somebody who likes to speed and to go through yellow lights at the last second. We use cell phones to keep in touch and to coordinate stopping points.

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One way the BSA could "improve" the G2SS (and other documents) is to define some terms in the front of each manual.


The Navy does so in some flight manuals:


Note - A operating procedure, practice or condition which is essential to emphasize.


Warning - An operating procedure, practice or condition which pmay result in injury or death if not carefully observed or followed.


Should - has been used only when application of a procedure is recommended.


Shall - has been used only when application of a procedure is mandatory.


Other terms have been defined as well.

Source: OPNAVINST 3710 series



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The daylight "rule" or "suggestion" is primarily an attempt to combat fatigue, not improve visibility. Therefore, the "should" and "except for short trips" caviats. I've seen a few major accidents (rollovers) because of fatigue (Scouter just had to leave summer camp at the crack of dawn to get home early and ended up rolling his SUV after he fell asleep at the wheel about 10 miles from home around 8:30 AM.)


See below for an excerpt from G2SS.


General guidelines are as follows:


1. Seat belts are required for all occupants.


2. All drivers must have a valid driver's license that has not been suspended or revoked for any reason. If the vehicle to be used is designed to carry more than 15 persons, including the driver (more than 10 persons, including the driver, in California), the driver must have a commercial driver's license (CDL).


3. An adult leader (at least 21 years of age) must be in charge and accompany the group.


4. The driver must be currently licensed and at least 18 years of age. Youth member exception: When traveling to and from an area, regional, or national Boy Scout activity or any Venturing event under the leadership of an adult (at least 21 years of age) tour leader, a youth member at least 16 years of age may be a driver, subject to the following conditions:

a. Six months' driving experience as a licensed driver (time on a learner's permit or equivalent is not to be counted)

b. No record of accidents or moving violations

c. Parental permission granted to the leader, driver, and riders


5. Passenger cars or station wagons may be used for transporting passengers, but passengers should not ride on the rear deck of station wagons.


6. Trucks may not be used for transporting passengers except in the cab.


7. All driving, except short trips, should be done in daylight.


8. All vehicles must be covered by automobile liability insurance with limits that meet or exceed requirements of the state in which the vehicle is licensed. It is recommended that coverage limits are at least $50,000/$100,000/$50,000. Any vehicle designed to carry 10 or more passengers is required to have limits of $100,000/$500,000/$100,000.


9. Do not exceed the speed limit.


10. Do not travel in convoy (see "Leadership Requirements for Trips and Outings," No. 2).


11. Driving time is limited to a maximum of 10 hours and must be interrupted by frequent rest, food, and recreation stops. If there is only one driver, the driving time should be reduced and stops should be made more frequently.


Don't drive drowsy. Stop for rest and stretch breaks as needed. Fatigue is a major cause of highway accident fatalities.



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While I agree with Gonzo1 on the word usage in this case, I think Beavah has a really good general approach to these regulations and guidelines (Thanks Acco40 for posting them again.)

Driving a few hours after dark, if necessary, is fine although setting up camp in the dark can be interesting, especially if it's about to rain all night. Driving all night, on the other hand, is too risky...at least for me, I'd never do it with the boys in tow.

To me there are only two main goals to meet, getting there and back safely and having fun on the trip. The regulations and guidelines can help with both if leaders just apply some common sense like Beavah says.

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You mean camp can be set up in something other than the dark? What a novel idea! Who'd a thunk it? ;) Not only do we do it in the dark, we have done it in the dark while sleeting. Scout camp setup is why God created headlamps, the absolute best invention since sliced bread.

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I can't think of a single troop that doesn't drive sometimes at night.


One thing I've seen several times is trips that were suppose to leave Friday night were punted until Saturday early morning because of the weather. There is no value to setting you self up for a lousy weekend, and unhappy kids by setting up in the pouring rain, in the dark, in 38 degree weather.


I think convoying is much less of a problem now with cellphones. I know on the way home, the kids all call their parents when they are about 1/2 hour away from the pickup point.


Usually someone travels behind the trailer, in case there are problems, but not right behind.



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Anyone familiar with The Risk Zone in Scouting?


The Risk Zone is a state of mental and physical fatigue that is a major cause of highway crash fatalities. Part of The Risk Zone checklist is "Avoid night driving." The training states "Don't drive long distances at night."


The training and literature mainly deal with avoiding the fatigue - getting several good nights of sleep before the trip and avoiding last minute preparations that can reduce sleep and rest. To me, the bottom line is that while driving in the day is generally safer than driving at night, driving at night well-rested is safer than driving during the day fatigued. Avoiding long trips at night, which would push past midnight and into the early morning hours, should be the main focus.


What the training doesn't cover is the return trip home. Many of us don't get a lot of sleep on camping trips and we are fatigued on the way home. The boys sometimes fall asleep and we are left driving with no one else awake in the vehicle, to help keep us awake. The return trips are usually during daylight hours, but are probably more dangerous due to fatigue.





Stay safe out there!

Risk Zone flyer



Risk Zone PowerPoint Training

http://www.tac-bsa.org/training/selfstudy.shtml Training #7.

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I don't know Brent, maybe it was a local addition, but when I did Risk Zone training the first time (about 4 years ago) I remember them talking very clearly about the drive home. In fact we watched a movie where I am pretty sure they said something about pulling over and sleeping a couple of hours if need be. Not that I think very many people would actually follow that advice, mind you (a whole different problem)

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