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Question about trips and drivers...

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I understand the requirement to have two adults at every activity, but what do I do for trips where we won't all fit in one car? Can I have each adult drive some cubs in their car (so there is only one adult in a car with several cubs)? Or do I have to find two adults for every car?


Also, can I double up Cubs in a seat belt, or do they have to each have their own?



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We agree on the two questions in the original post.


But on the side question of requiring parental attendance, I'm not sure you've got that one right. The Guide to Safe Scouting says "In most cases, each youth member will be under the supervision of a parent or guardian. In all cases, each youth participant is responsible to a specific adult." Certainly it's preferable for the parents to be there, but under extenuating circumstances we'll allow another parent to take responsibility for a boy, which seems to be in line with these guidelines.


Oak Tree

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Working in the scout shop, and being one of the persons to approve tour applications, I can tell you, that one adult in each car is fine, but the one seat belt per PERSON is required. We always check the # of adults and # of boys attending, and if the seat belt # 's are not the same as the # of people attending, you can bet your bottom dollar the tour application will not be approved! I have turned down applications for that very reason until they can secure another driver with all the necessary requirements. Have a great trip! (Don't forget, if the cub scout isn't 8 yrs old yet, he still should be in a booster seat too!)

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You may be right; I'm a couple of years removed from Cubs now. The idea of one parent/Scout usually came up in the area of overnights, and I remember where we did make exceptions in a case or two where another parent stepped up to act as guardian for a Scout who's parents couldn't come, in addition to their own. I think for day outings, the requirement may be different. But, happy to go with your interpretation since I'm not 100% sure.

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Cineburk, while you're counting seat belts and scouts, make sure to consider the passenger side air bag issue and whether or not the boys are legally allowed to ride in the front seat (with or without air bags) too.



jens3sons, doesn't the booster seat laws vary from state to state? Also, when reviewing tour permit apps, do you ever check the license status of the drivers? I ask because I know of one unit where a parent frequently helped drive kids to and from events, and after about a year of this, the parent let slip that their license had been revoked some time ago! Yikes! The unit leaders had no idea and were just really lucky nothing bad happened.


Gosh, I don't think I've ever heard of our council failing to approve a tour permit app, as long as all the blanks are filled in. Perhaps they don't check the details as carefully as you do.



A good old bobwhite too!

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Good question about the booster seats, and quite frankly, I don't know the answer to that one, and mentioned it more as something to consider. As far as checking the status of a driver's license, there is no way for us to check that. As it is, I am surprised at how old the computers and programs that we work with are! (But then again, a lot of that is based on that we are working for a non for profit organization.) All I know is, it is my name that is signing off on those applications, and if every "i" is not dotted and every "t" crossed, technically, if there was some sort of accident, I could potentially be sued. We have turned down applications for a # of different reasons. Sometimes it has to do with not enough seats for passengers, but usually it has to do with a person not having the proper training required for a group to go on a trip.

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Please, PLEASE do some research into your state's child passanger safety laws.


Seat belts should NEVER be shared.


As for booster seats, most state's laws have not caught up with recognized risks and therefore, even if you are compliant with the law, you may be putting a child at risk.


Most kids, even those who weigh over 40 lbs, really need to be in a booster seat in order to properly position the belt over the hip bones.


You are not really "big enough" for an adult belt until you can sit properly with your feet on the floor and the belt on your chest (not neck).


Further, lap belt-only seating positions (middle seats) ARE VERY DANGEROUS. A child secured by only a lapbelt will jackknife over that belt in a crash and could sustain serious internal injury.


From my state's website:





Take this 5-step test to find out.

Remember - By Law - Children 4 to under 8 years of age are required to use a booster seat.



1. When the child sits all the way back against the vehicle seat back does his/her knees bend comfortably at the edge of the vehicle seat?



2. Does the shoulder belt cross between the childs neck and arm?



3. Does the lap belt cross the childs body as low as possible? Does it cross the childs thighs?



4. Is the child able to sit comfortably in this position for the length of the trip?



5. Is the child 8 years of age or older?



If the answer to any of these questions is:



NO- Then your child needs to remain in a booster seat in order to ride safely in the vehicle.



YES- Then your child is ready to graduate from the booster seat to a lap and shoulder belt.





There are two types of booster seats to use depending on your vehicle and your childs weight



High-back Belt-Positioning Booster

If your vehicle's seat back is lower than your child's ears, use this seat to PROTECT your child's head and neck. Some booster seats have a harness system for children under 40 pounds. The harness is removed at 40 pounds and then used as a belt-positioning booster.



Backless Booster Seat

If your vehicle's seat back is higher than your child's ears, use this seat.

Prices for booster seats range from $20 - $65.




* Vehicles must be equipped with lap/shoulder belts in order to use a booster seat.





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  • 2 weeks later...

erksh, good point. It is really not about age or weight. Or even the law-- it's about safety-- the amount of injuries attributed to children not properly restrained is staggering.


It is generally recommended a booster seat be used until a child is 57 inches tall (4'9"). A child must be able to sit against the seat back and bend their knees over the edge of the seat. The CDC states, "In most cases, this means that children 10 years old and younger should be using a booster seat".


There are plenty of manufactures making booster seats up to 100lbs / 57 inches. But how many parents are using them?

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Here is some info from the Guide to Safe Scouting on Cub camping. Bottom Line: Generally a 1/1 experience, with the adult being a parent or legal guardian. BOLDFACE material is BSA mandated, in other words, follow the rules or you won't get a tour permit:


III. Camping

Age Guidelines

The Boy Scouts of America has established the following guidelines for its members' participation in camping activities:


Overnight camping by Tiger, Wolf, and Bear Cub Scout dens is not approved, and certificates of liability insurance will not be provided by the Boy Scouts of America.

Tiger Cubs may participate in boy-parent excursions, day camps, pack overnighters, or council-organized family camping.

Wolf and Bear Cub Scouts and Webelos Scouts may participate in a resident overnight camping program covering operating under BSA National Camp School-trained leadership and managed by the council.

A Webelos Scout may participate in overnight den camping when supervised by his parent or guardian. It is essential that each Webelos Scout be under the supervision of an adult. Joint Webelos den-troop campouts including the parents of the Webelos Scouts are encouraged to strengthen ties between the pack and troop. Den leaders, pack leaders, and parents are expected to accompany the boys on approved trips.


[snippage of Boy Scout, Varsity and Venturing guidelines]



If a well-meaning leader brings along a child who does not meet these age guidelines, disservice is done to the unit because of distractions often caused by younger children. A disservice is done to the child, who is not trained to participate in such an activity and who, as a nonmember of the group, may be ignored by the older campers.


Family Camping

Family camping: an outdoor camping experience, other than resident camping that involves Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, or Venturing program elements in overnight settings with two or more family members including at least one BSA member of that family. Parents are responsible for the supervision of their children, and Youth Protection guidelines apply.


Recreational family camping

Recreational family camping: when Scouting families camp as a family unit outside of an organized program. It is a non-structured camping experience, but is conducted within a Scouting framework on local council-owned or -managed property. Local councils may have family camping grounds available for rental at reasonable rates. Other resources may include equipment, information, and training.


Cub Scout Overnight Opportunities

Cub Scouts may experience overnight activities in venues other than accredited resident camping. There are two categories of Cub Scout overnighters:


Council-Organized Family Camp

Council-organized family camps are overnight events involving more than one pack. The local council provides all of the elements of the outdoor experience, such as staffing, food service, housing, and program. These are often referred to as Parent/Pal or Adventure weekends. Council-organized family camps should be conducted by trained leaders at sites approved by the local council. In most cases, the youth member will be under the supervision of a parent or guardian. In all cases, each youth participant is responsible to a specific adult.


Overnight activities involving more than one pack must be approved by the council. Council-organized family camps must be conducted in accordance with established standards as given in National Standards for Council-Organized Family Camping, No. 13-408.


Pack Overnighters

These are pack-organized overnight events involving more than one family from a single pack, focused on age-appropriate Cub Scout activities and conducted at council-approved locations (councils use Site Approval Standards, No. 13-508). If nonmembers (siblings) participate, the event must be structured accordingly to accommodate them. BSA health and safety and youth protection guidelines apply. In most cases, each youth participant will be under the supervision of a parent or guardian. In all cases, each youth participant is responsible to a specific adult.


Adults giving leadership to a pack overnighter must complete Basic Adult Leader Outdoor Orientation (BALOO, No. 34162A) to properly understand the importance of program intent, youth protection guidelines, health and safety, site selection, age-appropriate activities, and sufficient adult participation. Permits for campouts shall be issued locally. Packs use Local Tour Permit Application, No. 34426B.



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