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Tour Permit vs Tour Plan...

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A few weeks ago, I posed a question looking for examples of situations in which the BSA denied liability coverage: http://www.scouter.com/forums/viewThread.asp?threadID=302725#id_302725


Not a single example was mentioned. National isn't going around denying coverage, and they certainly wouldn't do it in your hypothetical where, as Beavah points out, deviating from the plan would be the prudent thing to do.


Tell this person you're interested in learning more about the issue and would like a copy of the language from the insurance policy that backs this threat. I suspect you'll be waiting for quite a while.

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Thanks fellows!! I think the person giving me the info was either misinformed or trying to scare me into filling out the tour plan correctly. It is great to be able to ask questions and get answers from knowledgable Scouters. THANKS

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Our District Executive gave an example of a neighboring council that tried to esacpe from liability in a child abuse case.


The LDS Church that chartered the unit settled prior to a trial. The council claimed that it wasn't liable because the Chartered Organization had signed on, approving the adult as a Scout leader. The COUNCIL, was the claim, had no role in appointing the abuser to his position.



That didn't sell. The Council was found liable anyway.

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If this is supposed to take effect within a few weeks, I have to wonder how well our council is doing in getting the word out. From what I can tell (without me actually intruding on someone else's turf, which I try not to do), our activities coordinator seems blissfully unaware that something new is in the works. The only place I have heard about it is in this forum.

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I am always amazed at the variation in policies among Councils. Some required the old Tour Permits for many things, others not so many. This Tour Plan form does not say it is required for an overnight trip that does not involve those listed risky activities, so my Council just fixed that detail and said it does. My Council has interpreted the Tour Permit in many ways over the 18 years I've been a Scouter, to the most recent statements that you can submit a whole year's worth and then change the details at any time up to the day before the trip. I've never seen that in official BSA policy...


Beavah - thanks for your posts. Those are the most straightforward explanations I've ever seen on this topic.


This whole new concept arrived in my Council pretty much by surprise, I'm told...

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Well, I just submitted a Tour Permit at myscouting.org for our April camping trip to a near-by National Park which requires we submit both a "Tour Permit" & "Proof of Insurance" no later than 2 weeks before arrival. We'll see if it's approved!! I really don't have a problem submitting a Tour Plan as well, but don't want the camping trip scraped because the NP isn't up to date on the BSA protocol.


But this surprised me: there is nothing at myscouting.org on the Tour Plan change! No announcement or discussion of the impending March 1 change!


In the meantime, the Council sent this out last night:


Tour Plan FAQs


Many changes have been made in the filing and processing of Tour Plans (previously called Tour Permits) recently.


Here are the answers to some Frequently Asked Questions:


Q. When do I need to file a Tour Plan?

A. When any of the following apply:

*Trips of 500 miles or more

*Trips outside of council borders not to a council-owned property

*Trips to any national high-adventure base, National Scout Jamboree, National Order of the Arrow Conference, or regionally sponsored event

*When conducting the following activities outside of council or district events:

o Aquatics activities (swimming, boating, floating, scuba, etc.)

o Climbing and rappelling

o Orientation flights (process flying plan)

o Shooting sports

o Any activities involving motorized vehicles as part of the program (snowmobiles, boating, etc.)

*At the Councils request


Q. My unit is going to Scout camp. Do we need a Tour Plan?

A. If your unit is attending a Scout camp belonging to our council you do not need to file a tour plan. If your unit is attending an out of council camp, you will need to file a tour plan and a letter of proof of insurance will be provided with your approved Tour Plan to present to the camp attending.


Q. We are leaving for summer camp on Sunday. Can I get my tour plan processed the Friday before we depart when I pick up uniforms at the Scout Shop?

A. In order to properly process a tour plan, you must allow three weeks (21 days) lead time on filing the tour plan. We cannot expedite tour plan approvals or letters for proof of insurance for late submissions.


Q. Do we always need a Tour Plan?

A. Tour plans are not required for travel to/from and participation in a council camp or council/district event such as a training course, camporee, etc. Otherwise, follow the guidelines in the first FAQ above.


Q. Why do I need driver information?

A. Driver information shows that each driver has the minimum required insurance coverage for the state in which they are licensed. If you have a list of all the drivers in your unit, simply attach a copy and circle those who are driving for each

event as needed.


Q. What training should I have for my Tour Plan?

A. At least one registered member of each group must have Youth Protection Training, updated within the past two calendar years prior to the date of departure, as well as the new Planning and Preparing for Weather Hazards training,

also updated within the past two years. Other training may be required depending on the event for which the tour plan is requested (such as Safe Swim Defense, Safety Afloat, Wilderness first Aid, CPR, etc).


Q. Do I need to hand deliver my tour plan? Can I email it?

A. Tour Plans may be hand-delivered, emailed, faxed, or mailed to the council office.


Q. How do I receive my copy of the approved Tour Plan?

A. Your approval will be emailed please include an email address on the Tour Plan OR, to the primary address on the Tour Plan. We can also fax the approved tour plan if you provide a fax number.


Q. What is the most common mistake on a Tour Plans?

A. Missing signatures. Please be sure to affix the required signatures before submitting your Tour Plan.

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"I was told if we swiched days we would not be covered by Scout insurance."


Wonder if our Council will try to perpetuate the myth that TPs are required for insurance in an effort to scare volunteers into compliance.


After reviewing Council's insurance policy and accident from I find no mention of a requirement for a tour plan or permit in order to effect coverage. What our policy does state is that "The insured will be covered while participating in an OFFICIAL (emphasis mine) Scouting activity".


Seems that in addition to a Tour Plan there are many ways to prove an activity is official including published unit schedules, trip permission slips, statements from attendees, etc.

(This message has been edited by Eagle732)

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I can't understand why a Council would want to add to National's categories under that last catch-all. Why would a council require plans, for example, any time a unit does something away from its regular meeting place, despite the fact that National does not think that is necessary? It appears that a fair amount of thought went into the categories provided by National, where there is, to some degree, a greater risk of something going wrong.


Why would a council want to create more work for its staff? Does such a council's leadership really distrust its volunteers so much that it believes, absent their sage supervision, people would send Scouts riding around with unlicensed, uninsured drivers? I just can't see what a council hopes to accomplish by micromanaging, for example, a Pack's trip to a bowling alley a couple miles from home.(This message has been edited by The blancmange)

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As Council Vice President of Program, the change over to the Tour Plan has fallen onto my shoulders. My take so far on the reasons why they changed boils down to 2: closing the Region offices, and shifting responsibility to the Council for review. We will make the change on March 1 as required, but I still need to sit with risk management people and decide on our Council policy/procedure. I've already had the question arise about liability if the Council doesn't ensure that the unit is meeting all the standards fro youth protection, hazardous weather, seat belts, auto insurance limits, etc.


Selfishly and with a smidgeon of vindicativeness, I'm temtpted to deny a Tour Plan to any Council unit that wants to go to any summer camp not our own :) In reality, I wouldn't set that as a policy, but it is tempting.

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Tokala - unless your camps are run down, you should not feel threatened by boys going to other camps for variety of program.. You will get others from outside council coming to your for the variety.. Give a little, get a little, and it is a win-win for the boys without hurting the camps at all, because they get variety and stay enthusiatic and active in scouting longer..


You can't be possessive, or you will just plain loose the boy all together..


Look at yourself more like a time share, someone may buy your timeshare, but they will continually trade it in to go other places.. Others will pick up that timeshare.. Why? Because who wants to vacation in the same place all the time.

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Tokala, you shouldn't even joke about something like that. Frankly, if I was your SE, we'd have a little conference if I found you you suggested such a thing.


And if my unit was in your council, I'd probably let the SE know that FOS was on hold until the VP of Program straighted up. Screwing around with things like that will cost you volunteers, dollars, respect, etc. Even joking about it, especially the way you ended the joke, will cause people to lose respect for your council.


The paper work is a pain for the volunteers who make this whole thing work. The folks at National and Council better to their best to make sure it's necessary and improves the program. Using it to ensure safety and training = okay. Using it to force units to kowtow to the Council = unscoutlike coucil bleeding units.



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As the OP of this discussion, I'm still wondering about the online version of the soon to be defunct "Tour Permit". Did folks have specific problems with it? Is that part of the reason for the change?


In the "Tour Plan" FAQs, there is a statement that the new and better "Tour Plan" will be on "standard 8.5 x 11-inch paper" as if this is a major benefit. Why? Or is it really that signatures will be on the Tour Plan? Something that could not happen with the electronically submitted Tour Permit.


Or will the Tour Plan become electronic?

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moose and JW, you lack the background knowledge to appreciate my comments.


And, my SE loves my sense of humor, lack of tact, because I say the things that need to be said so people don't keep making the same mistakes.(This message has been edited by Tokala)

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...you lack the background knowledge to appreciate my comments.


An excellent reason that you shouldn't make that sort of a joke, Tokala. Someone who doesn't know you (like probably 95%+ of the volunteers in your council) might take you seriously when you say that you're tempted to behave in a selfish, vindictive manner, acting as a petty tyrant and abusing your authority.


I'm all in favor of a good sense of humor. Joking about abusing your authoirity in an organization dedicated to teaching citizenship to impressionable youngers perhaps doesn't qualify as "good", eh?

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