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rraffalo

Tour Permits

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Well then you have four options as far as I can see.

 

1) What does council say.. If they will not allow a single adult for a plane trip, then it doesn't matter what your CC or COR think. If council is OK with it, then I would talk to the COR.. But, my suggestion is to add to the plan that one of the parents of another boy going go to the airport and get special ok to go to the plane & wait for take-off (if a minor is flying without a parent, one person can go with him to see him off on the plane. That means there are two adults until the plane takes off.. (hopefully the trip does not have a change-over).. Then for you to make sure your flight is on time and can meet them at the gate.. That will eliminate most of the "what if" worries..

 

2) Check what trip you booked, and what the maximum is that it can take.. If two more can be added, then add them.. Now you have two adults with the scouts from Illinois to Florida, and you & your son can meet up with them.. You two as father & son should not need to be added to the tour permit until you meet up in Ft. Lauderdale.. If Council is not good with the tour plan of only one adult on the trip to Florida, this may be your only hope.

 

3) If council is against the plan, or the COR sides with the CC (CO & COR does have a right to add their own rules & regulations as long as it is above & beyond BSA rules).. And the sea base tour is for a maximum of 8 people.. Then you fly back to Illinois.

 

4) Lastly, if 1, 2 or 3 are not an option, you give up your seat so that the trip for the others continue.. BUT I would insist that anything you paid into it you get back.. If it was all fundraised then this is not an issue, but you should not foot the bill for two other people to go for free.

 

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ScoutNut and Moose Tracks: I appreciate all of your help and suggestions... It turns out the trek we are taking has a limit of 8 people and so since we are at 8 already they would be replacing us vs. adding onto our existing group.

 

I will try to speak with Council but it is going to take me some research to find the right person to speak with. Is there a certain title at Council that handles Tour Plan approvals?

 

Our CC tells me it's not his rule and it's not Council's rule, it is actually National's rule and Council will not be able to over-ride National. He is using them as the bad cop, but it seems moreso that he does not want to be over-ridden. I'll try the second adult going to the gate in Chicago approach and see how that goes with him.

 

If that does not work, then he is being more difficult and stubborn than having concern for anyone's safety. And, at that point, as much as my son and I have really been looking forward to this trip I will have to recommend he replaces us because I do not have the money to pay twice as much for my airfare and my son's airfare. His suggestion that my son can fly alone from CT to FL but I have to be with the group is where I've drawn the line in the sand. That perplexes me... while it may be legit it is not good leadership or good judgement in my view. So, that is not an option. There is also a chance he cannot find people to take our place and then he'll either have to cancel the trip or he'll need to get behind me. His son is going on the trip too, so I'm going to leave that decision up to him. My son turning 14 one week before we are suppose to go on this trip, so he has several years left for high adventure. He is a young Life Scout and with all those merit badges already behind him we are going to have plenty of opportunity for high adventure over the next 2-4 years.

 

I'm sure I'm not the only person going through this and I believe this conversation will be very helpful to others. With the way people use air travel these days and have out-of-town family members and relatives I'm sure troops encounter this dilemma all the time. It's not like 30 years ago where most of your family (cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents) all lived in the same neighborhood. Now-a-days many people have to travel to other states on vacations, and family reunions, etc.

 

Any other thoughts guys? You have both been great! Thanks again, but please feel free to add more to this thread.

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Let us hope that if you can't go, someone can replace you.. If the trip is cancelled the money still is owed SeaBase, and if airfare etc is already purchased you most likely all lost that also.

 

Phone your council, don't email and as I stated start with the receptionist, if they do not do the tour permit they will know who it is that does do it and direct your call.. The person who does the tour permits is a very popular person those who phone in will be looking for..

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People coming and going from the trip shouldn't be an issue. When my son went to World Jamboree, if a family wanted to meet the troop in London, sign-out their son and continue with a family vacation, there were provisions to do that. That was set forth from National, so I don't see how it's a policy issue.

 

On the other hand, I do see your CC's point. What sort of contingency plans are place in the event of delays or emergencies? What if, for example, the flight from Chicago is diverted and the crew is forced to overnight in Atlanta? Or if your flight from CT is cancelled?

 

Sure, there is the chance that something could happen to one of the adults while at Seabase, but those odds are really rather remote. But the chance of flights being screwed up is comparatively high. I, too, would be concerned about only having one adult on the first leg of the trip.

 

And yes, frankly, this is the CC's call to make. If he is uncomfortable with the arrangements it's his job to question them. Technical compliance with BSA policies is the minimum. The unit is perfectly within it's right to set higher standards.

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Yah, hmmmm....

 

This again illustrates da lengths to which someone who doesn't really understand da guidelines will go. I confess a part of me is with CalicoPenn and da newspaper solution. :mad:

 

So, to be clear, the start and stop common departure stuff is a guideline for automobile transportation, eh? It was put into the guide at the time when we were discouraging "caravan" driving as an explanation of what to do instead of caravaning. It wasn't intended to be used or applied in the way the CC is. There are all kinds of situations one can imagine where it's appropriate to send an early crew or meet up at a destination.

 

Now, in fairness, there are some reasons why yeh might not want an adult traveling solo with the boys for the first leg, eh? Planes don't always make their destination, for one reason or another. It's possible to miss a connection and be stuck overnight at a hub airport. The logistics of hooking back up can be difficult sometimes. So travelin' with two adults for the first leg of the trip, even if it's a simple leg, has some merit, and a scouter who is trip leader for a trip might choose not to accommodate a family special request that puts a potential burden on all the other group members. Yeh only need to get caught once in a situation where you're waitin' around with a whole group for 4+ hours for the people that "promised" they would be there on time to swear yeh won't do that again.

 

That having been said, da role of a CC is one of service, eh? It's to support the program and gather the necessary resources to help the SM and the kids. If the CC imposes a higher burden, then he needs to find the resources to make the higher burden work. So if he doesn't feel that it's OK for the lads to take a plane flight with only one adult, then the fellow should purchase a round trip ticket for himself or someone else to accompany the group on the plane. As a CC, yeh break down barriers and provide resources to help a program run, yeh don't put up barriers.

 

I think yeh need to sit down with the fellow and the two adult trip leaders and come to some understanding for this trip and for future trips. Don't expect the council or the national office to referee a playground squabble. Troop adults should act like, well, adults, eh? :p

 

Beavah

 

 

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Beavah:

 

Great advice... thank you for taking the time.

 

Everyone:

 

Is there anyone else out there reading this that agrees with the main context of Beavah?

 

I have to say that if I had to hang around with the five scouts the other leader would be flying with for 4+ hours or even a day it would be no problem. All 5 of them are 15 years (or more) old and they would take better care of me than I could ever provide for them. Literally, they would be no inconvenience at all. We're talking about guys that have all slept on the ground at Philmont.

 

The hum dinger of it all is that the CC's son is probably the oldest and most mature of the 5 scouts that would be traveling with the other leader. Today, as I write this my son is still 13; he will be 14 in early July, and we are suppose to leave for the trip July 18th. So, it is my son that is the youngest. Did I mention that two of the 5 are the other leaders sons and the parents of the other two have given permission for their sons to fly alone with that one other leader. He's still not open to discussion. It's not a matter of the CC being uncomfortable it's that he likes the power and he is using it to try to make me spend approximately $600 more than I should have to. Because my son and I really would like to go I almost feel bullied...

 

Hope everyone else has a better time with their CC...

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All 5 of them are 15 years (or more) old and they would take better care of me than I could ever provide for them. Literally, they would be no inconvenience at all. We're talking about guys that have all slept on the ground at Philmont.

 

Da concern for two deep is not for the lads as much as it is for the adults, eh? Yeh can imagine scenarios where you'd put those boys in a bad spot. What if the adult had a medical issue (heart attack)? What if a lad had a sudden medical issue (appendicitis? compound fracture falling down da airport escalator?) that required the adult to accompany him to the hospital? The reason for two deep is to have a second adult when one adult gets taken out by somethin' like that.

 

Of course, yeh can dream up worst-case scenarios all night long, eh? I can think of ones where two-deep would be completely insufficient. Have even seen a couple. ;) There's a balance to be struck here, and if we're honest about it quite a few adults wouldn't cope well with da above scenarios. But I think in approachin' the thing as grown-ups, you do well to acknowledge where there's a reasonable point being made by the CC, just as yeh expect him to acknowledge when you're makin' reasonable points. Tone down the rhetoric, keep things on an even keel. Yeh all share a common interest in scouting and in doin' what's right, so sit down and talk in that vein.

 

B

 

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Question -- when did the trip to CT come up? The Seabase trip has probably been in the works for a year-and-a-half or two, right? How long has the CC known about the situation?

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Beavah... more great commentary thanks. Cooler heads will prevail. In all those bad spots you mentioned, hopefully the CC will realize that while all of that could happen, even if it did the boys are in a public airport and their parents could easily go pick them up. It's not like they are in the Everglades alone at night! :-)

 

Twocubdad:

 

We latched on to an open trip this past winter ~ January I believe, and the trip to CT is actually a family reunion and the date may have been selected in February or early March. Just one of those Murphy's Law type of things where the family reunion is the weekend just prior to our Sea Base trip beginning the following Monday. Many relatives are flying in from Texas, and coming in from N.H., etc., so it's not a small reunion where the date could have been shifted just for me and my immediate family. In the beginning, I did not think anything of it. I'm active as an adult leader in the troop but I am not an assistant scout master, so I don't live and breathe all of the rules. I do what the SM and the others need me to, I participate for Board of Reviews, etc. I also often go on camping trips and attend to the adult duties there just to be involved with my son. So, during our first Sea Base crew meeting, which was in early May (the trip being late July) we had all the crew members and their parents attend. One of the parents is also the CC. After that meeting he learned that I was planning to meeting the others in Fort Lauderdale and he looked at me and said, "that may be a problem" - So he looked over the rules and got back to me the following week and told me I needed to fly back but my son could fly alone from CT to FL if I was ok with that. In essence he was telling me that so that I would know that it would only cost me one additional airfare (for me only, not my son if I was ok with him flying directly to FL from CT). So, he's known for a bit over a month, but it was just coincidence he learned about it. Otherwise, we would not have had this issue with him until we filed for the Tour Plan and sought his approval. I did not think anything of it, until he brought it up. I just figured we'd meet in Fort Lauderdale and go on our merry way from there. Never thought it would get raveled in this red tape and never considered that our plan would violate the travel policy. As it turns out it does not violate any rules or policies, rather it's merely hung up in the higher burden that the CC is imposing. Does that clear it up a bit?

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I know the issue is more the CC suggesting the lone flight for your son is better then the flight of the 6 with the one adult.. But barring that, our son flew alone to Florida and back every year from about 12 yo to about 16 yo.. A little bit of extra caution on our part was that we would drive 1.5 miles to a certain airport when another was .5 miles away, due to the fact it was the only airport offering non-stop, non-change over flights.

 

One of us was allowed into the gate with him to watch him get on the plane, and take off.. His Grandparents were on the otherside to pick him up.. And the flight attendents were made aware he was a minor traveling alone, so that they kept an eye on him during the flight, and accomidations would be made to watch him should the flight get forced by emergancy into redirecting and landing in somewhere other the Florida..

 

Done right it is fine for a minor to travel.. Is it better for him to travel alone over the 6 with one adult. No.. But, it isn't awful provided the flight is non-stop.. As you can tell from our extra travel to the airport on our part, there was no way I would put him on a plane that had him change flights mid-way though..

 

What makes your CC think the Council interpretation of the Tour plan if it does not meet with yours is over-riding the Tour plan?.. It is just that they either interpret the Tour plan the same or different then they do, not that they would think that they have the power to over-ride it.. And dealing with Tour plans from many units they have probably been hit with similar problems..

 

Beavah - the intent of having him contact the Council about the rules.. Is not to get them involved in the fight, and try to tell the CC she has no ground to do what they are doing. True they will not do that. The intent is for him to get a more official interpretation of what the Tour permits intent is about. The council could interpret it the same way as the CC or not..

 

Well rraffalo - If you are sure about your convictions, you can bump it up a notch and go and ask National Health & Saftey (those who penned the Tour plan) what their interpretation is.. Again their is a chance they will interpret similar to the CC, or not.. But would your CC care to say that National is overriding Nationals meaning of the Tour Plans intent??

 

http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/HealthandSafety/GotQuestions.aspx

 

 

I both cases you should just word the scenario, to council and to National and leave anything about the conflict between you & the CC out of it.. As Beavah said they will not intervine in that and you will probably get a response to follow you CC's rules.. What you want is if they see a problem with your travel plans from two destinations with only one adult on the first leg of the journey.. That is it, their basic interpretation of the Tour plan in this scenerio.

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My suggestion: If the CC wants two adults on the first part of the journey, he can put up the money and travel with the group down to Florida!

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Yeah, sure, I agree with Beavah on this. I also agree with Calico and want a newspaper.

 

We wouldn't even give this a second thought. We're actually doing this for Philmont this summer. People are mostly going as a group, but some are going early and some are going to meet us there. Good grief - it's a father and son! Just makes you shake your head.

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Guys, it is not the father/son travels that is the issue. It is the lack of two-deep leadership with the units travels that has the CC concerned.. And the CC does have legitimate concern based on the iffyness of air travel.. If for some reason the Father/son do not make it to Florida on time due to weather, that leaves one adult for the seabase trip, and Sea base will not let them go without the 2 deep.. Waste of time, money and total frustration & disappointment for the kids.. I am sure if there were 3 Adults on this trip, 2 with the the unit then the Father/son meeting up would not be an issue.

 

I will be curious to see what National does in interpreting it, because to me the answer is a 50/50 shot either way..

 

I see both sides of the coin on this one, and both have legitimate arguments.

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Wow! Such great advice from everyone. Thank you all very much!

 

Oak Tree: I appreciate that you shared the common experience with your Philmont trip. In some of the travel instances you described is there only going to be one adult with two or more scouts?

 

Now that I have all the great background from Beavah, Moose Tracks, Scout Nut, TwoCubDad, and the others...

 

Is there anyone else out there that is going to have or has had this same scenario occur, as I am going through right now? Here's the Summary: One leader and multiple scouts, traveling and meeting another leader and one or more scouts, out of their troops Council limits to connect for a camping trip or other high adventure outing? Is anyone else planning trips like this and finding that their Council is fine with their Tour Plan?

 

I would like to pile up as many similar situations as my experience so that I can accumulate examples and aggregate precedent that what I'm seeking here is not way out-of-bounds and in violation of National's rule. I understand my CC has the right to create a higher burden for safety reasons, but he has stated that I am violating National's rules by suggesting that there will only be one leader on the first leg of our Sea Base trip. And, as all of you that have contributed here know the only place there will be only one leader is on the plane ride from Illinois to Fort Lauderdale and on the plane ride returning from Fort Lauderdale to Illinois.

 

Examples PLEASE ! Bring 'em on!

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Moose Tracker:

 

I like Beavah's explanation on this... first of all we are all taking early morning, non-stop flights. Early morning flights experience less delays because they do not get backed up by other flights. We are talking 6-7am flights. Also, non-stops have no connection worries. I'm even willing to go to Fort Lauderdale the morning before the trip (a whole day early) in the event there is a snag that we would all be together as we trek in the car to Sea Base.

 

Where I like Beavah's thoughts is that we can all imagine all the bad stuff that could happen. Heart Attacks of the sole leader, hurricanes and tornadoes, etc. But, I think for the kids we are obligated to be practical in our thinking, and run with the high probability maneuvers. Otherwise, none of us would go anywhere, because we can all dream up what could happen or what might happen and paralyze everyone in not wanting to do anything. That's not my son's reason for being in scouting, and I'm not going to teach my son to be overly paranoid. Could something happen to the other leader on the plane? Yes, and when everyone gets to Fort Lauderdale we'll deal with it then. If we do not get another leader then none of us go to Sea Base, we return home. If another leader takes her place, then we continue on to Sea Base. If something happens to (her), the other leader, in the airport in Illinois, then their parents come pick them up, and my son and I return to CT, unless another leader jumps in to help us. If something happens to me, then the same solutions would prevail as noted above. On top of all that we all have physicals and taken swim tests and I'm almost in the best shape of my life for this trip. So Yes, we can all imagine the awful things that could happen, but I'm not going to live my life paralyzed by those things. Even with the best planning some things are unavoidable, and I do not believe we are leaving very much to chance with the plan I'm suggesting. If the plane goes down, then it would be just as tragic as the tornado that killed a group of scouts in Wisconsin two years ago, but two deep would likely not save the day in that situation.

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