Re: Tour Permits
Bruce E. Cobern (bec@PIPELINE.COM)
Tue, 18 Aug 1998 19:06:40 -0400
At 01:56 PM 8/17/98 -0400, Chuck Batteau wrote:
>Actually, this is nothing new -- your council apparently just discovered
>the rule and decided that it had better start enforcing it. ANYTIME the
>troop has an activity away from its meeting place that requires drivers
>carrying boys to the activity, you have to have a tour permit UNLESS it is
>an activity sponsored by the local council. This would apply to a
>non-council-sponsored campout at the local council reservation, a trip to
>your favorite local campsite as well as a summer camp in another council.
>The requirements are spelled out in the Guide to Safe Scouting (page 33).
>They've been around at least as long as I have (4+ years).
I've been watching this discussion and seeing everyone cite rules, etc. that
I don't believe exist, at least not nationally. The entire text of the
section on Tour Permits from page 40 of the 1998 G2SS reads as follows:
<bold> "If a unit plans a trip within 500 miles of the home base, it is
important that the unit obtain a local tour permit. A national tour permit
is required for trips in excess of 500 miles from home or outside the
continental United States. (See samples of both in the appendix.) </bold>
"Tour permits have become recognized by national parks, military
institutions, and other organizations as proof that a unit activity has been
well planned and organized and is under capable and qualified leadership.
These organizations may require the tour permit for entry.
<bold> "Most shore, in-town den trips of a few hours do not require a tour
permit; however, it is recommended that dens obtain permission slips from
That's it. Only the first and last paragraphs are in bold and, therefore,
represent policy. In the first paragraph it is REQUIRED that trips over 500
miles have a national tour permit. It is only IMPORTANT (and, therefore NOT
required) that local tour permits be obtained for trips under 500 miles.
Note that the first paragraph talks about trips X miles from "home base" but
does not define home base. Is it the particular building you meet in, the
city, the county, the council?
However, it is clear that many councils have specific rules regarding
requirements for local tour permits and that these rules differ from council
to council. We must follow our council's policies.
Let me also note that all the tour permit does is record that you are
following the rules. You are required to follow the rules, like drivers,
insurance, leadership, etc. whether the tour permit is filed or not. I
would venture that even if you have the permit, you will have trouble with
the BSA insurance if it turns out you were violating the rules and,
conversely, even if you don't have the permit you would probably NOT have
trouble with the BSA insurance if you were following all the rules. In
other words, I believe the substance would prevail over the form.
Bruce E. Cobern
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City