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ChuckSt8er

GSS - Convoy Question

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OK, I'm sure there's a really simple explanation to this and my response will be "Well, DUH" but I'll ask anyway.

 

GSS says we're not supposed to travel in convoys, and refers to the "Leadership Requirements for Trips & Outings, Point #2" for reference. Point #2 simply says that you need two deep leadership or one adult and two or more scouts to be "safe"

 

So I get the two deep leadership (or no one on one confined space encounters) thang, but what in the name of pete does this have to do with a convoy? Sorry, don't get it.

 

Guidance, anyone?

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Here is a clue from the back of the Tour Permit Form in the Our Pledge of Performance section:

 

18. If more than one vehicle is used to transport the group, we will establish rendevous points at the start of each day and not attempt to have drivers closely follow the group vehicle in front of them.

 

Convoy driving is not something most people know how to do or do well.

- The tendency is for vehicles to follow each other too closely. "Close the gap!"

- Groups traveling in convoy frequently don't give each driver good directions/maps. "Follow the leader!" Now everybody else is more concerned about losing the leader than paying attention to safe driving.

- If the lead vehicle decides that the trip is a race, or a lane changing game, convoy driving forces all other drivers to drive in a manner that they are not accustomed to or desire to.

- Some people will do some very strange things when another vehicle or vehicles end up in the middle of the convoy.

- If there is an "emergency" such as a boy who gets sick to his stomach, or a boy with a need to take care of very important business, that driver feels obliged not to leave the convoy to address the problem.

- Another problem is when one vehicle makes a mistake (almost missing exit for instance) and tries to make a quick correction causing the rest of the convoy to maybe do something dumb also.

 

The recommended practice is to provide clear concise directions/maps, establish regular "pit stops" for regrouping and group checkups, and let each driver set their own pace.

 

Our troop uses a loose convoy.

- We all leave at the same time, but every driver is free to drive at their own pace.

- We establish regular rest stops/meeting points along the way to check that everybody is doing OK. Every driver knows where they are and that they are required to stop.

- With cell phones commonplace, if a driver needs to leave the established route for one reason or another, or has a breakdown, etc., that driver phones the caboose to make them aware (see next bullet).

- We usually have one of the seasoned leaders take the role of caboose or sweeper. This driver is always the last vehicle. If another vehicle leaves the route, gets lost, needs to make a stop or experiences trouble, the caboose provides assistance as needed. Or makes the two-deep if the situation dictates.

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Yah, many people who like convoys say they like them for safety. In a convoy, you never lose "2-deep." For example, if you travel in convoy, you will never have a situation where one adult is left alone with two kids because of a mechanical breakdown or wrong turn/gettin' lost. Kids will never be left alone because of (for example) an adult driver illness or injury.

 

Da reference to point #2 is to give the BSA's idea of how you maintain some loose form of 2-deep by designatin' stop and regroup points. But mostly it's to tell the pro-convoy contingent that two-deep is not required for driving.

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This is very close to home.

Over the holiday weekend we had a 300 mile each way trip.

At the start it seemed anything and everything that could go wrong did.

Mom of a Sea Scout who is learning to drive let her Daughter back out of the drive way (No she a driver on the trip!!)

Whatever she did she did something to the tire and it went down hill from there.

We had planned to be on the road by a little after 1500, but thanks to delay after delay it was almost 1700 and we still weren't on the turnpike!!

I'd E-mailed the address of where we were going to the drivers.

It seems they are all unable to use Mapquest.

So I E-mailed the printer friendly directions and the link.

I called to make sure that they had the directions.

Mom with tire seemed a little put out that I'd mailed them to her twice.

Needless to say when we were 20 miles from home she remembered that she had forgotten them!!

PA Turnpike is easy -No fear. Just had a Scout phone and tell her what exit to get off.

Informed her that we would all meet at the first rest stop in Maryland (She knew it well, it's the one where her Daughter lost her cell phone-She drove there 3 days later and it had been handed in.)

She was behind me when we pulled out of the rest stop.

But we got separated.

Out came the cell phones.

The beltway is about as close to driving in London as I know, only faster.

It's getting dark.

I'm not in the best of moods.

Mom calls informs me that Daughter is now hungry.

Like Queen Victoria, I am not amused.

I say we will find somewhere to stop when we are on Martland RTE. 5

They call -They are lost!!

"Where are you?"

"We don't know!"

"Have you gone past such and such?"

"We weren't paying attention!!"

"You need to find 5 south"

We drive until we find a landmark and call to tell them where we are.

We wait.

They arrive about ten minutes later.

Daughter is still hungry.

We find a Burger King. Wait ten minutes without even being asked what we want.

I get mad and walk out.

Go to McDonald's. Half of us get what we ordered. Some of the Scouts wait and are told they forgot to put the order in!!

Manager is having a problem with some older teenagers, he asks them to leave.

A fight brakes out. Passing Policeman arrives.

We leave.

I'm now in a really bad mood.

Sarah (Not the Daughter) needs to use the bathroom.

We stop at a gas station.

OJ decides peeing is a good idea!!

Comes out saying he can't use the bathroom it's to dirty!!

I tell him it's pee or die!!

Allen remembers he has Internet access on his cell phone. He has been listening to the music he down-loaded on it for the last 200 miles. (OJ and TJ are watching movies on my laptop in the back seat)

I hand over my directions.Allen is now directing me.

We arrive only almost 3 hours later than planned.

They left for home on Sunday night.

I waited till Monday.

Kinda gives new meaning to "Be Prepared"

Mom and Daughter are coming to Georgia with us.

I'm driving.

We are packing sandwiches.

I'm buying OJ a toilet brush for his birthday. And I love cell phones.

Eamonn.

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We use the FRS radios...we always have at least one per car. If we get out of range, cell phones are a back-up.

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"I'm buying OJ a toilet brush for his birthday"

 

Thank you, Eamonn, for a good laugh!

 

(I hope the experience once you got there made up for the drive.)

 

And FYI for others - it is illegal in some places (like, in my area) to use hand-held radios/walkie talkies or cell phones while driving. So unless you've got kids in the car upon whom you can rely for accurate relaying of info, I wouldn't count on those technologies in lieu of written directions to where ever you are going. As back-ups, sure, but not as substitutes.

 

Lisa'bob

 

 

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It's hard to get totally away from doing the convoy thing but at least with most people having cell phones now, it's a bit easier to not do it so much...though using them can cause safety issues of their own sometimes!!

 

The one thing that we do try to do though is to at least have one vehicle "escort" for the troop trailer in case something happens to it. Last year, on our way out to Blue Ridge to Summer Camp and the trailer had a flat tire on the Interstate. One adult and 4 boys in his truck..his son was among them and we've been told by our DE that as long as you at least have your own child in the vehicle with the other boys, then we didn't need 2 adults in every vehicle. It would have caused major problems if there would not have been other close by leadership to not only lend a hand with the tire situation but to help keep the boys safe until they could get the tire changed, fixed and back on the road.

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Two deep leadership per vehicle is NOT a BSA requirement. No one-on-one contact with youth (unless you own) IS a BSA requirement. That is a big difference. Many a time, we travel to outings and my sons go but their preference is to ride in the vehicles with built in DVD players (i.e. not dad). So many a time, I've had other boys in my vehicle but never just one (unless they are my own).

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GSS says we're not supposed to travel in convoys, and refers to the Leadership Requirements for Trips & Outings, Point #2 for reference. Point #2 simply says that you need two deep leadership or one adult and two or more scouts to be safe

 

Point #2 deals with transportation to and from outings, which is why the convoy section refers to this point for more info. Paraphrasing:

A. Have a common departure spot.

B. Have periodic checkpoint stops.

C. Plan a daily destination point; and at least 2 youth and one adult per vehicle.

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ChuckSt8er - You asked for a "Well DUH" and FScouter is right on the money.

 

Two deep leadership is Point #1, NOT Point #2.

 

Hope this clears things up for you!

 

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Great story Eamonn! Lisabob; we always put one senior scout in each vehicle with the responsibility for keeping the other boys behaving appropriately. Also, if there is not another adult in the car as the navigator, the senior scout is in the front passenger seat as the navigator and communications person (cell phone, FSR radio, etc.) so that the driver can concentrate on driving.

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I should have been more specific...I meant that if it was a situation with just an adult having to take a single scout somewhere and no other adults were available.

 

sue m.

 

>Two deep leadership per vehicle is NOT a BSA >requirement. No one-on-one contact with youth (unless >you own) IS a BSA requirement. That is a big >difference. Many a time, we travel to outings and my >sons go but their preference is to ride in the >vehicles with built in DVD players (i.e. not dad). So >many a time, I've had other boys in my vehicle but >never just one (unless they are my own).

 

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Two deep... Printed out directions... Check points... FRS radios... Cell phones... Lunch/dinner schedules... aha...

* May I present a personal story to illustrate another unmentioned need? HEADCOUNTS.

* Pre cell phone era... Our Troop had attended a Camporee at a rather remote camp, some distance from our home grounds. Three days two nights. On sunday afternoon, we are the last Troop out of the camp. A three hour drive home ahead of us. My dad is the last car of our Troop 'convoy'. Lo,what's this? Here's a lone Scout, all his gear stacked beside him. His Troop was long gone. No one else around. No pay phone (no one would be at home any way). Well, he's not far from our area. Always room for one more. Old Ford Station wagon. One adult. Six boys. All the backpacks, tents, poles, Patrol cook gear. I volunteered to be shoehorned in with the packs in the back. (seat belts? wadda they?) Lots of stuff on laps. We had a good time on the way back, but our new friend learned what "the brotherhood of Scouts" really meant. YiS

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OK, I certainly got my well, duh moment.

 

I also got a bit of enlightenment. When they say "convoy", what they mean is cars literally traveling in a group, as a unit. If one stops, then all must stop.

 

This doesn't apply to the informal "let's all meet at the church and drive to point X together" - where all drivers know where they're going, there's a good phone tree in place in case of trouble, etc. Because these cars can be a little bit more autonomous in their starting and stopping, technically they're not a convoy in the defined sense.

 

Thanks, all.

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