Re: Convoying to Summer Camp
(no name) ((no email))
Wed, 31 Jul 1996 00:41:15 -0500
Pete Farnham, dazed and confused in Virginia (and that's okay!) asked:
>Having been away at scout camp the past week, I'm obviously coming in >on
the middle or toward the end of this thread, but just what exactly is
>"convoying?" I've read the section on trasnportation in the Guide to
>Safe Scouting, and sure enough, it says, "Do not travel in convoy."
>Well, I'm not sure I know what this means.
Webster defines "convoy" as "travelling together for protection" or
"escorting vehicles or ships" to a destination.
Those of us old (young) enough to remember the 1974 movie
"Convoy" have a image of 18-wheeler trucks lined up one after another, going
to the same destination on the same roadway within eyesight of each other
and "Smokey" (the (state) police).
I can't find a BSA defination for what constitutes a convoy anywhere....it's
another one of those great questions to ask out at Philmont (Kathie....!!).
The safest working definition for a convoy would be similar to the movie
description: vehicles travelling together in almost a single-file, with
everyone within eye range or bumper-range and all leaving at the same time.
This is dangerous for several reasons, the largest of which is something
called the "competion complex". When we travel as part of an organized
group, there's always this tendancy to want to "get there first"
or to "get their in the shortest amount of time". While we can
say that we try not to, the addition of youth in our vehicles that don't
understand the need to get their safely may mean that we don't get their
"first" and want us to "pass 'em up!!", may influnce us to do risky things
while travelling in a vehicle.
So, the BSA (and several Scouters here now and before when this topic was
first brought up) suggest that you stagger out the group of vehicles so that
no two vehicles leave exactly at the same time; that everyone has a roadmap,
important information and phone numbers; that everyone understands where to
meet at and in the case of longer trips, where to rest and refuel at; and
most importantly, where you are going and what time period you should be
there in (evening, morning, afternoon). There were other things suggested:
mobile radios or cell phones, packing additional emergency gear; insuring
that everyone is advised of the weather conditions and the impending changes
in weather which comes with travel throughout the nation and at various
elevations; advising the
chartered partner organization and the camp or facility of your
departure and arrival at both ends.
In Pete's case, eventually the second car would have caught up and passed
Pete in Front Royal on the way to camp. But at the Shell gas station, the
checkpoint you established in advance of the trip, when Pete didn't show,
would have given him a high sign to call back to the unit, listen to Pete's
voice on the answering machine telling of the situation and the fact that
he's in Front Royal getting the car repaired, and then waiting the
additional time for Pete and his crew to "catch up" before leaving again
from the Shell station enroute to the camp.
When I took units camping by vehicle, there was a five-minute "overlap
time" between vehicles pulling into the gas/food mart. This gives the
departing vehicle a "head's up" and start corralling Scouts and Scouters
into the vehicle, a quick exchange of "what have you heard" from the other
driver (whom may or may not be listening to the same radio station as you
have been listening to during that leg of the trip), and allows for a quick
confirmation that this WAS the place to stop at. After that five minutes,
give or take a few minutes depending on weather, I would call back and
listen for any messages from anyone connected to the unit before I would
start to worry excessively.
>In addition, the local tour permit forms, which we fill out every time we
>go on a troop outing, have on the back a section where you are supposed
>to list the cars going on the trip, driv ers, amount of insurance, etc.
>Doesn't that imply a "convoy"?
No. It provides the Council office with a listing of vehicles going and
insures that YOU as the trip leader has placed some thought into how
you will get there and who will be doing the driving.
I know why you're dazed and confused, Pete...your unit had a GREAT time
at camp and you're disappointed that everything can't work like it does at
camp!! I'm glad you had a great time!
(MAJ) Mike L. Walton (Settummanque, the blackeagle) (
co-Owner, Blackeagle Services of Kentucky (502.826.7046) __)_
174 Chapelwood Drive, Henderson, Kentucky 42420-5036 | ** |]
(H) 502.827.9201 (F) 502.826.7046 (W) 888.284.4848 (yea!) coffee?
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