Scouts-L Mail Archive for August of 1999: Re: Tour permits and Chain of command (venting)
Re: Tour permits and Chain of command (venting)
Settummanque, the blackeagle
Thu, 12 Aug 1999 16:18:00 CDT
Sorry about your Pack's planning meeting being awful...
Thomas Tokar wrote in part:
>Also, we were told that the camping trip is already booked with the
>council, even though neither the committee chairperson or Cubmaster >was
made aware of the trip - and neither signed the tour permit.
The Tour Permit is to be signed by the Tour Leader. That could be the
Cubmaster, a Committeemember or Chair, or other registered person in charge
of the tour. The other signature on the Tour Permit is that of A MEMBER of
the unit's committee.
(what a loophole, right??)
This is why EVERY UNIT needs to establish how and whom SPECIFICALLY will
sign and forward the local tour permit to the Council office.
Why is it set up that way? Why doesn't the Tour Permit ask for the name or
signature of the UNIT LEADER??
Tradition. Back in those "old days" when Patrols used to be able to take
off and go camping on their owns, all was needed then was a signature of
someone from the Troop's Committee and the "tour leader" which back then,
didn't have to be 21 but rather the "responsible party". We entrusted our
older boys with that responsibility....so the "tour leader" would be anyone
leading the "tour."
When the BSA revised the requirements for adults to lead ALL trips, and
furthermore for adult REGISTERED individuals to lead ALL trips, nobody
bothered with the Tour Permit form. The form has been revised twice since
the introduction of the BSA's Youth Protection policies, and both times they
have failed to add a line somewhere whereby the local Council is aware that
the UNIT LEADER or UNIT COMMITTEE or best the CHARTERED ORGANIZATION is
aware of and approves of this event or trip to take place. They are acting
on faith that the unit leader and the tour leader are either one and the
same or has knowledge of the event taking place.
Your concern is shared by me and other Scouters, whom constantly have been
asking the Programs professionals and volunteers at National to re-create
the Local Tour Permit to add lines which prevents things like this....one
line for the unit leaders' signature and another line for the unit chair or
chartered organizational representative signature and a statement that
states that "the tour leader is a registered member of the Boy Scouts of
America and has been approved by us (me) to conduct this tour or trip."
As a former Scoutmaster, I talked with my Committee Chair and together we
signed all of the paperwork that needed to be signed by both of us. While I
didn't sign the Advancement Reports, I was always invited to 'witness it' so
that I too, would be aware of which Scouts advanced and which didn't. This
took all of the guesswork out of whether or not someone signed or not. And
if the Committee Chair was gone on exercise or just on vacation somewhere,
there was always an "acting Committee Chair" to do the signing in his or her
The ONLY time that a committeemember or assistant unit leader should be
signing ANYTHING BY THEMSELVES is under an extreme emergency situation and
there is NO WAY (drive, phone, fax, email, carrier pigeon) that a
confirmation can be obtained from the unit leader and the Chair of the
unit's Committee or someone representing the chartering organization. Such
confirmation can be attached to the Tour Permit by a unit-generated form, a
printed statement, or a hand-written note with the date, time and persons
talked with to gain the approval.
Without those two lines, things like what you've described will continue to
go onward, and local Councils will continue to stamp and sign them off
without insuring that the UNIT is aware that the event is going to take
place and the people listed on the tour permit has the UNIT's permission
to lead and take those Scouts on the tour or trip listed.
I'm the LAST person to sound the alarmist bell, Thomas. I believe that if
my Senior Patrol Leader wants to take his Troop on a day hike someplace,
that he should be able to do so with minimal paperwork and with maximum
opportunities for fun. But since the policy is established, we ALL should
be using it the way it's designed.
I would strongly urge your Pack and all other units to ESTABLISH WHO IS
GOING TO BE AUTHORIZED TO SIGN LOCAL TOUR PERMITS AND OTHER DOCUMENTS WHICH
ARE SENT TO THE LOCAL COUNCIL FOR ACTION OR APPROVAL IN WRITING.
And then follow it.
(sorry for yelling; this topic is one of those several few topics that I
cover during Commissioner College sessions when I'm invited to attend and
put on a session!)
(MAJ) Mike L. Walton (settummanque, the blackeagle)
Joint Information Bureau Deputy Director
US SOUTHCOM FCE (Enhanced New Horizons)
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