Chapter 1 explained what a tour plan is and Chapter 2, when to use one. In this article we will go through the two ways to submit a tour plan. (NOTE: with the use of Dummies in the title, there is no disrespect meant, this is just a primer for the neophyte.)
A month before your calendared activity or campout, present the proposal to the unit committee or Key 3 and ask who will be assigned to fill out the tour plan. Sometimes this will fall back to you, but in a healthy unit committee, a transportation specialist will do this for you. Since some activities will need Council, you’ll need to allow three weeks advance submission, so always try to get your Tour and Activity Plans in the queue a month ahead of time.
Using the online version removes the need to collect signatures. Complete the plan and certify that any missing requirements will be completed before the trip begins, then submit online. An email will be sent to the council, chartered organization, committee chair, and your designated emergency contact.
For quick instructions you can watch this video or use the written instructions just below.
Where can I find the paper version of the tour and activity plan?
Click on this tour and activity plan link . Please only use this format if you have a unit without access to MyScouting . We are encouraging everyone to use the online system.
Whoever has the job of preparing the Tour and Activity Plan, the first step is to sign into your MyScouting.org account, which means you will have to be registered. When you have logged in, select the Tour and Activity Plan under Unit Tools in the left side frame.
For a list of those who can submit a Tour Plan check Tour_Plan_Unit_Position_Access.
Once in, notice the box labeled “Important information.” These links outline the BSA’s policies which can be used as a preference as you prepare for trip.
To create a new Tour and Activity Plan, click on “Go.” The first screen presents a checklist of what you need to know or have on hand in order to complete the tour plan application. This includes a number of helpful links for important things like youth protection training, consent and approval forms and other activity training information.
Next, select your unit by clicking on the drop-down list. Some council in district information will automatically be displayed. Next select the type of trip you are taking; notice they’ve included links to download the required medical forms each participant must complete for the kind of trip you are planning.
Select your method of transportation and designate an emergency contact (an adult that’s not on the trip) by filling in all listed information.
Click “Next,” then fill out what type of trip you are planning by entering a short title for the trip, For example, enter a council summer camp by name in the description area. Then enter a short description of what your unit will be doing. In this example: canoeing, swimming, COPE Cube, Rifle and Archery. Next enter the number of adults going on the trip. Notice the requirements and what constitutes an adult. Then enter the number of youth going on the trip.
Once you’ve completed that part, click “Next” to post information on all of the adults going on this trip. On this screen, you’ll see the trip in the upper right hand corner. To add registered adults, click on the drop down arrow next to adult lookup. It will display only registered adults in the unit.
Now select an adult. You’ll see that person’s current information in the system displayed. Click either “Yes” or “No” if this person is the primary leader for this trip and “Yes” or “No” if this person has completed Youth Protection training. Also indicate “Yes” or “No” if this person will be driving; if they are driving select the vehicle type and enter the make, model and year of the vehicle.
Below this information, there’s a vehicle insurance check box. This changes if you choose a van or a bus as a vehicle type. Just click on the check box.
Now you’ve completed this section go to the top right corner and select add to include this adult on the trip. Because you selected this person as a driver, notice the car symbol next to their name. Keep in mind you can update this section and the person’s stored information by clicking on “Update” at any time and then save. You can click on “Delete” if they had to drop out of the trip. Continue this process until all registered adults on this trip have been added.
To enter an adult not registered in the unit or any other driver select “Add Other Adult.” Enter their information and answer the questions as before. Keep in mind these individuals are not considered tour or activity leaders. Continue this process until all other adults or drivers have been added. Once completed click “Add,” then “Next.”
This opens a window to fill in your departure information. Enter the date of the trip, select the country, (which defaults to the USA), then add the city and state.
Next click on the “Going to” section to open the form to enter destination information. Once again the date, country, city, and state. There’s also an area to fill in your overnight accommodations if necessary. Once filled in click on “Add Destination” on the far right if you’re continuing to another destination. Once you’ve added your final destination click on the returning section. Enter the necessary details.
A note section is provided to enter additional information about the trip, such as instructions to bring water bottles, sunscreen, etc. To the right of the notes section, you can upload map routes or tracking plans To upload select “Browse” and navigate to where the file is located on your computer. Select the file and then click on upload to attach it to the plan. With the map uploaded, click “Next.”
A new screen appears with the main BSA activities to select. Not all activities are included on the list, so if yours is missing, click on Other Activity and enter a short description (50 characters or less),
When you select listed activities with risk, related/required forms also appear in the window. When completed and signed, these can be signed, scanned and uploaded to your Trip Plan.
After clicking next, you’ll notice how the system automatically displaced the required training needed from a previously selected activity. Also, on each drop down list, adults you entered earlier are displayed for your selection. There is a link for each BSA required training course, with notes on how often they should be taken. But in any case, remember at least one adult must have completed the training listed.
There is a list of “Essential Reading” materials to further educate and assist you with safety rules and policies. There’s also a “Don’t Forget” area with questions to further ensure you have the necessary forms and emergency supplies needed for the trip.
It might be a good idea to print the Guide to Tour Planning Principles to take with you. At this point, everything is filled out, so you can click “Next.” The last screen shows the leaders and emergency contact that will receive a notification by email when the plan is submitted.
Click “Next” once more, for the Summary page, which details information the system has gathered based on your entries.
If there are any problems, the system will automatically flag any items in red which are incomplete; items in yellow indicate irregularities or insufficient information. If you click on any of the highlighted areas, the system automatically takes you back to that section for your corrections.
Print the Summary page to take with you by clicking in the upper right corner on the printer symbol.
Finally, click “Next” to certify your acceptance of the tour and activity plan and get a list of items you need to address prior to the date of the trip. This helps ensure that the appropriate planning has been conducted, qualified and trained supervision is in place and that permissions are secured. The system will not allow you to submit a plan without the certification.)
At this point you will see there’s an option to print a copy of the tour and activity plan for your records. Once you accept, click “Submit” and it’s all done. Each time you file a new Tour and Activity Plan this way, it will get easier and quicker. We promise!
You can we use the data for future trip plans by clicking on the plus sign here or by clicking the drop-down list next to “Create a Plan” and selecting a completed plan. Complete plans will be in this table for five years, after which they will be moved to the archive plan section.
One final note: there may be instances where you have incomplete information and you’ll need to come back at a later date to continue filling out a tour and activity plan. When you do come back and login, you’ll see your trip under the “Incomplete Plans” heading. Click on “Edit” to open the plan. You can go to where you left off by simply clicking on the progress buttons at the bottom of the screen, then continue editing your information.
Have a safe trip!
Author: Darryl Alder | Strategic Initiatives Director, Utah National Parks Council, BSA
This article was based on a transcript from the embedded training video posted above