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Permission Slips

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I know that it is common practice for a unit to require a permission slip for each trip, but I have a question for any real Scouting lawyers out there. Since the annual medical form has a blanket permission slip to participate in Scouting activities, why are additional ones for each trip necessary?

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Within the past year I was told at both SM specific training (by a trainer from a neighboring council) and by my DE that permission slips are not REQUIRED unless you are seeking a National Tour Permit or an aviation activity. (I know I'm not using the exact terms on aviation, I was going to look at the wording on the form, but as is common the scouting.org website has a problem right now). I was also told that at least in our council local tour permits were not necessary unless you were traveling out of council. I recently searched the forums and couldn't find a definitive answer on that. So as the lawyers jump in please add REQUIRED times that you need a Local Tour Permit.

 

Thanks,

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Additional permission slips are not necessary. There may be various reasons why you want one, but there is no such requirement that I've ever seen - can you point to one in any Scouting literature?

 

Furthermore, it's not clear what the actual penalty is for not filing a tour permit. Councils can set their own rules for when they are supposed to be filed, but from all the previous discussion on the board, I've never seen any official implications of what happens if you don't file one.

 

 

 

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Permission slips can serve more purposes than just the permission to participate in an outing/activity.

 

They can serve as a communications device and reminder for parents and Scouts. If designed with a top portion with the event details and a bottom portion which is detached and turned in, the family now has a reminder of the event, the drop off and pick up times, and how to contact their Scout in the event of an emergency.

 

They can also serve as a committment form for the event/outing. The Scout who turns in a permission slip for a particular event is committing to participate in that event (thus becoming a sign up mechanism for the event)

 

So they may not be neccessary, but if designed and used effectively they can serve a good purpose.

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I know a scout who ran away from home and joined a camping trip. Parents had no idea where he went or when he'd come back. That's the number 1 reason I use them.

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The only time my sea scout ship ever required a permission slip for an event was when we did safety at sea at the coast guard base, and I think it was the coast guard that required it.

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We use them for several purposes.

 

First is to let the parents and Scout know the who, what, when, where, why and how. Along with the cost and equipment needed and restrictions, basically a a sign up for the event

 

Its also used to solicit adults to help drive

 

Each permission slip for each event includes a liability waiver that our Chartering Org requires for any activity from any group sponsored by the church does.

 

 

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Oak Tree, There is no official implications if you don't file one. Each council would deal with it in thier own way. As councils cut back on expenses and staff, LTP will be one of those things that get looked at less. Thats why councils are not really beating leaders up over them as they don't have the staff to handle them anymore.

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I love what Wingnut said about a boy ". . .running away and joining a camping trip." This can be a real issue,especially in a large troop where scouts can become lost.

 

Another potential problem could arise if there is a custody/visitation issue with a scout.

 

We have a small troop of just 11 boys, and Im always watching how other troops operate, and they all seem to require permission slips. Wanting to do everything the right way I went to the trouble of printing some permission slips up ahead of time for the outing wed planneda few of the parents scoffed and didnt sign. After reading the posts here, Ive come to the conclusion that I was being the silly one by creating needless paper work.

 

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In our pack, we really don't put much signifigance on permission slips, even though we send them out. It is our veiw that by having a parent bring their cub scout to a meeting, pack campout,field trip, or paying for an event, etc....they are giving permission.

 

 

But in a few cases, it's different: We had a Bear scoutlast year who lives with his grandparents. Both parents died way back when somehow.

 

Well, the grandparents were not about to go camping. They knew the cubmaster pretty well personally, so that particular permission slip said that the cub scout could go to the family pack campout.

 

CM was responcible for the Cub scout ( being due to the friendship, not CM duty or expectation), and all YPG were followed( privacy, seperate tents, public/in view at all times).

 

Nothing happened to challenge the scout from being there...but a signed permission slip was on file just in case any issue arose.(This message has been edited by scoutfish)

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We have always required permission slips. Last April, we had a scout cut his finger on the trip. Taking him to the hospital, the permission slip was scrutinized and copied before medical treatment was administered. I was glad to have had it.

 

Likewise, our permission slips include (when possible) a specific detail of our activities such as "boating and swimming with manatees" or "rock climing and repelling." This way the parent is understanding and agreeing that the activity is one in which they are giving their permission to participate.

 

And yes, it also seves a very functional purpose as a communication tool. Remember, communication is a two way process. This way we know that the parent is informed of our intent.

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Buffalo Skipper beat me to it. If a kid is dropped off for a trip, I know he has permission to be there. When he needs stiches, the hospital doesn't know that. The permission slip gives the troop permission to seek medical attention for a boy who is hurt, but who does not have a parent there.

 

They also work when we need to fill out legal paperwork for something like going whitewater rafting, canoeing (when we need to rent some) kayaking, rock climbing, etc, anything where we are working with an outside organization. I feel safe signing off on the paperwork under "parent/guardian" for the boys to participate because I have a stack of signed permission slips in my car giving the boys permission to participate in that event. If I didn't have that slip, legally, I couldn't sign that paper.

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There are certain activities where a scout may need to register to participate. These registrations require a signature from parent or guardian and thus a permission slip is necessary to fulfill the registration. These registrations are over and above any local or national tour permit requirements.

 

Stosh

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Our troop uses permission slips as a form of committment. The scouts must have the signed permission slip in a week before the campout so that enough drivers are available to transport. It also helps the person reserving the campsite to arrange sites of proper size and space.

 

We use a top/bottom slip. The top lists the location, date, activities, packing list, items to leave behind. The bottom portion lists boys name, parents signature and if the parent wants to drive or not along with vehicle information for planning purposes.

 

We have a 3-ring binder with copies of all the medical forms of all scouts and registered adults in the troop. Goes on every outing. The permission slip is not used as a medical waiver.

 

Tour permit from council is a completely seperate activity.

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Yah, to summarize and expand:

 

1) Lots of units use permission slips for each outing as a communications and planning device. Tells the parent what's up, tells the troop who's coming. That can work fine, if yeh have the volunteers to deal with the paperwork and mostly intact families who actually read and respond to paperwork.

 

2) Local tour permits are handled by the local council, and each council can and does treat 'em differently. They're meant to be a helpful thing, eh? Help you plan, help yeh think about issues, force yeh to check training, that sort of thing. Lots of councils don't accept 'em for council events, or events in the council service area. Lots of councils ask for LTPs for any outing. Don't know any that expect 'em for meetings. Most councils rubber-stamp the things if you've checked all the boxes. A few look 'em over a bit and might come back with some questions or helpful advice. As nld says, it's a staffing issue.

 

3) There is merit to having a permission form which authorizes medical treatment, and designates da scout leader as a personal representative under HIPAA. Almost all health care stuff is a matter of state law, so what's appropriate for your state or region just depends, eh? There's no reason why such a form has to be filled out for every outing, though. It can be annual with no loss of effectiveness.

 

4) There is some merit in havin' a specific permission slip for each outing which specifies the activities and the particular risks associated with that outing if you're usin' the form as a waiver of liability/assumption of risk document. Again, this stuff is a function of state law, eh? And the particulars for each state tend to be a function of case law rather than statute. Loosely speakin', though, such waivers are more effective if they are explicit about stating the risks which the person is assuming. To my mind, though, it's still perfectly possible to write an annual document which would work fine. It might just sound scarier is all. :p

 

Various BSA documents ask for specific permissions for high adventure, rock climbing, aviation, a few other things - stuff where it may be good practice to enumerate the specific activity and risks.

 

5) JerseyScout, a lot of outfitters accept scout leader signatures, and a lot of scout leaders sign outfitter forms as "parent", eh? But it isn't really kosher even if yeh have permission slips. Those liability waivers and such are contractual things, and unless your permission slip assigns you as limited power of attorney for the parents you can't be entering into contracts on their behalf.

 

Now in some ways it's up to the outfitter not to accept such things, eh? Especially when it's clear to the outfitter that you're only the youth group leader. But in other ways you're committing fraud signing as a lad's parent/guardian if you're not. It's not somethin' I think any competent legal folk would recommend to yeh as a practice.

 

Beavah

 

Nothing in this post or anything written by an anonymous furry internet critter should be taken or construed as legal advice or opinion. If you feel your circumstances truly merit consultation with a "real Scouting lawyer", then you must seek out an attorney in your jurisdiction who specializes in the area. Despite what yeh may think, most attorneys don't bite, and are happy to offer some simple guidance for youth volunteers pro-bono. ;) (This message has been edited by Beavah)

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