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Tour Guide Permits - is it necessary....

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Texas Motor Speedway offers a scout discount for one day and we're going to take advantage of that as a Pack. However, since we will all be going separately and just sitting together to watch the race.. is a tour permit required?


I guess I don't really understand when to use these and when to not.

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It doesn't cost you anything and it can't hurt. Tells the folks at HQ where you are going and gives them a chance to give you a call if theres a problem with that location/activity...


Tell me again why you wouldn't file a tour permit.

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Is the speedway inside the Council?


Our summer camp was requiring local tour permits for all activities in the camp whether parents dropped the kids off or we took them in leader vehicles. The camp was within our council and for our troop, most of the boys' parents drove further to the troop meeting than they did to summer campsite. Still the camp required it. Strangely enough, the Council did not.


One of the problems with "BSA Rules" is that they change from day to day and and from council to council and for the most part people don't know what they are at any given time. I find it quite useful to do what you think is best and change it if they yell at you.


I was told by a council employee once that the reason the permit is used is because it has the insurance type info, itinerary, etc. just in case something goes wrong on the trip, the council has information available to begin dealing with the problem. Did the boys return on time? Do all the drivers have valid driver's licenses? Do they carry insurance? etc. Sometimes a signed tour permit allows troops access to campgrounds, etc. when the people know that things are all on the up-and-up. It kinda works like a letter of introduction and may help in opening doors along the way.



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I'm with Wingnut--why would you not?


In the training I received, we were given the guidance that a tour permit is appropriate whenever we are going somewhere other than our regular meeting place. I call this "guidance" because I don't remember it being put forth as a rule or policy, just a good idea. The way it was put to us, the council likes to know what the units are up to, and it gives them a record if someone calls the Scout office to comment on the Scouts they encountered out and about.


Our district gives out "Tired Boot" awards every year to the most active pack and troop as measured by the number of tour permits filed. The awards are actual, beat-up old boots mounted on stands like trophies. Our pack received the award last year, and we use it during our spring and fall recruiting drives to show that we are an active pack that does a lot of fun activities.


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Why not? Because, like most paperwork, they are a pain in the neck.


Have to be turned in at least a week in advance, that messes with short notice trips. All cars must be listed. What if my regular car breaks down? What if extra boys decide to go? Sorry, no more cars on the list.


My old council onnly required tour permits if you were going over 50 miles from your regular meeting place. We could go some pretty cool places with 50 miles and still be in the council.


New council supposedly requires tour permits for all activities. Go down the block to the fire station and you need a tour permit. The question came up, why? The answer was the old "So we know where eveyone is in case something goes wrong." Followed by the standard, "There's no one to answer the phone." To which the DE replied, "I always carry copies of all current tour permits."


Let's look at a scenario which supports BSA's reasoning. Something goes wrong and the troop needs to be contacted.


Troop 994 has gone on a hike of Mount Reallihi. Johnny Scout's mom is watching the news and hears that a freak typhoon is headed for Mount Reallihi. She knows that the BSA knows right where her son is so she grabs the phone book, looks up the local council's phone number and calls. And gets a recording.


That's why the DE carries the tour permits. Hmmmm . . . does Johnny's mom know the DE? Or the DE's cell phone number?


In the real world, Johnny's mom will call the SM's wife and tell her what she had heard. The wife may say, "Hey, glad you called. I just heard from Tom and the boys are coming home early."


If the wife isn't available, she'll call another adult from the troop. Two things may happen at this point. They'll call the SM on his cell phone. If he answers they'll tell him what's on the news. The other possibility is that they can't get through by cell and a few parents chat and one bright soul says, "let's call the state police."


Here's the big question. Does anyone know of a REAL situation in the last 20 years in which a tour permit allowed a troop to be contacted in an emergency?



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While you might all be going individualy, you must purchase the tickets as a group. This is a Pack outing.


The bottom line is that each council has the right to decide when a Local Tour Permit is necessary. Each council can very well have a different set of rules concerning Local Tour Permits.


To be certain call your council service center.


However, it is simple enough to do and costs nothing. So why not file one anyway to cover all bases.

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It probably varies by council, but I am able to turn in tour permits the same day as the event. I usually just take it into the office myself during my lunch break, and the secretary processes it while I wait. If needed, I could fax it in and presumably get it back in a couple hours.


My council does not require listing cars and drivers if everyone is driving their own kids, which is common in our pack.


As for the reason tour permits exist, I always thought it was so the council could review trip plans to make sure the activities are following BSA rules and guidelines. It also provides a record of what unit was where when, so if someone calls the council, hopefully with positive comments rather than complaints, the office can forward those messages to the appropriate people.


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it must be just a council by council thing because I finally got through to a person and she said if it's just someplace local to us only for a few hours, we don't need one so that answered my question... I didn't realize things were just council by council... it seems like it'd make more sense to just be black and white but there are so many grays with scouting it's just mind boggling!

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Most councils I think would say 'no you do not'.

Why would you not want to? Well for one thing, if it is not a pack or den activity you are not required to.


Secondly, lets say your council does a Scouit night at a triple A baseball game. Any scout who goes in uniform gets a discout for him and his family members. So the council announces it to all units as an invitation to the families to attend. The pack simply announces the opportunity but does not ccordinate travel as a pack or den outing.


In a pack of 90 plus families why would you want to gather 90+ driver licenses and insurance info when you are not required or even asked to?


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Beavah, this is in your area. What does the TP do for us here?


Nuthin'. ;)


In terms of institutional risk management, the risk is driving, eh? And to some extent supervising kids that aren't your own, but in this particular environment that's probably not a big risk element.


If they're all just goin' as separate families, you and Bob have the right of it. There's no institutional risk to guard against where a tour permit would be helpful.




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Here is what I was told by my DE when I asked a similar question.


Fill it out, and where it wants the vehicle information just write, parents providing transportation.


Your council should be able to tell you exactly what you need to get done. Yes paperwork is a hassle, but the one time you don't do it and something goes wrong, you will need it.


We are leaders here. It means filling out the proper paperwork, and doing things right. It does not take days to fill it out, just for them to get it back to you.


I would say fill it out just to be on the safe side.

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