By Darryl Alder
Apr 07, 2015

Tour Plans for Dummies FAQ

Sat­ur­day, April 1st, 2017, the Tour and Activ­i­ty Plan was dis­con­tin­ued. As part of the announce­ment, BSA stat­ed: The Scout­ing pro­gram, as con­tained in our hand­books and lit­er­a­ture, inher­ent­ly inte­grates safe­ty con­sid­er­a­tions. How­ev­er, no pol­i­cy or pro­ce­dure will replace the review and vig­i­lance of trust­ed adults and lead­ers at the point of pro­gram exe­cu­tion.”  Get details here 

Chapter 1  explained what a tour plan is and Chapter 2, when to use one. In Chapter 3 we described two ways to submit a tour plan, in Chapter 4 we explained common submission failures and in Chapter 5 we covered the principles you’ll need to follow on a tour or activity.  (NOTE: with the use of Dummies in the title, there is no disrespect meant, this is just a primer for the neophyte.)

FAQ: Tour and Activity Plan

Q. Since the LDS church has an activity plan, do I still need to file on with BSA?
A.
The LDS Church published this letter dated May 11, 2011, addressed to General Authorities; Area Seventies; Stake, Mission, and District Presidents; Bishops and Branch Presidents in the United States. From the Priesthood Department Young Men General Presidency, entitled “Boy Scouts of America Tour Plan”

As required by the Boy Scouts of America, Tour Permits have been replaced with a Tour Plan as of March 1, 2011. The Tour Plan is a checklist that will help leaders prepare for safe and fun activities by identifying health and safety risks. A Tour Plan also helps ensure that BSA liability insurance coverage is in place for official Scouting activities as defined by the Guide to Safe Scouting.

Stake presidencies and bishoprics should see that Young Men and Scouting leaders are familiar with the new Tour Plan and are properly using it as they plan Scout-related activities. Leaders should also ensure that the appropriate Scouting approval and consent forms are being used properly.

The Tour Plan should be submitted to the local BSA council for approval for the following:

  • Trips of 500 miles or more
  • Trips outside of council borders to property not owned by the council
  • Activities that include aquatics, climbing and rappelling, orientation flights, shooting sports, or approved motorized craft
  • if participating at a nationally or regionally sponsored camp or event

For more information about Tour Plans and other Scouting information for Church leaders, visit https://www.lds.org/callings/aaronic-priesthood/leader-resources/scouting/safety?lang=eng

Q. Where can I find the paper version of the tour and activity plan?
A. 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.

Q. Why can’t I see tour and activity plans on my MyScouting account?
A. The most common reason for not seeing tour and activity plans in your MyScouting account is that your member ID is not attached to your MyScouting account profile. Please contact the National Service Desk for assistance.

A second common reason is that your registration (position code) does not support the permission for the application. The application is not available to individuals registered only as merit badge counselors, Scout parents, or Tiger Cub adult partners. Please contact your unit leadership if you would like to update your unit position. Click here for a list of unit positions with tour and activity plan access.

Q. Why change to the online Tour and Activity Plan from former the tour permit?
A. This update replaces the former “online” tour permit with an interactive planning tool that allows you greater flexibility. It is the first phase to the online version—with more enhancements to come.

Q. What is the difference between a tour permit and the online version?
A. Several items. With the online version:

  • The unit leadership certifies the plan.
  • The local council reviews plans but does not approve them.
  • An email workflow can be used to notify the council, chartered organization, committee chair, and emergency contact that a plan has been submitted for review.
  • It contains interactive prompts and warnings.
  • It provides active links to program-required training and education.
  • It provides the ability to store, retrieve, copy, and reuse previously submitted tour and activity plans (not applicable to permits).
  • It provides the ability to update the plan up until the day before the tour and activity date.

Q. With the older version, we had a “permit” to take with us. What do we take now?
A. You can print a tour and activity plan summary at the end of your submission. Copies can be made if needed for your unit, emergency contact, parents, etc.

Q. What materials do I need to complete the online version?
A. You will need the following:

  • Leadership contact information
  • Vehicle information
  • Description of the activity
  • Travel itinerary

Q. Is planning and preparing for Hazardous Weather training required for all tours?
A. Yes, it has been required for all tours since Jan. 1, 2009. It should be repeated every two years and is appropriate for not only adults, but Boy Scout-aged youth as well. A CD is available for use at your unit, district, and council events where Internet access is not available. Search for item number 610642 at www.scoutstuff.org .

Q. What should we use for permission from parents?
A. The Activity Consent Form and Approval by Parents or Guardian is an appropriate resource.

Q. Do I need anything else if we are going on a discovery flight?
A. Yes, please complete the Flying Plan Application along with an Activity Consent Form and Approval by Parents or Guardian (for each participant).

Q. With whom do I discuss why we are required to have certain training before we do certain activities?
A. We suggest that program and qualified supervision requirements be discussed with your unit leadership, unit commissioner, district commissioner, or district executive—in that order. The tour and activity plan does not set these requirements, policies, or guidelines; it is a tool to help unit leadership identify qualified supervision requirements for the planned program. The Guide to Safe Scouting is a good compendium of information to start your research with as well. In contains information on training such as Safety Afloat, Safe Swim Defense, and Climb On Safely.

Q. What should I tell the parents in my unit, who always question why they have to furnish insurance or driver information for their vehicles?
A. We suggest that you review the Scouting Safely alert on insurance information . For auto liability, the coverage provided by Scouting is secondary when those non-owned vehicles are used for an official Scouting activity. We get many reports that parents want to exclude their information since they are transporting their own children to and from an event. Recognize that in this scenario, the official Scouting activity for those youth and their parents would not start until arrival at the location and would end when they left the location; their travel is not an official Scouting activity.

Q. What kind of insurance coverage does the BSA provide for the Scouting program?
A. We suggest that you review the Scouting Safely alert on insurance information.

Q. Do we really need an Annual Health and Medical Record, No. 680-001, for all participants?
A. Yes, and while this is a frequently asked question, it is not a new policy. Information on the Annual Health and Medical Record, including FAQs, can be found at this link.

Q. What must be included in the emergency roadside kit?
A. The type of emergency roadside kit needed can vary depending on, for example, where you live, where the unit is traveling to/from, or the season (summer, winter). An emergency roadside kit may include items such as a reflective safety vest, tire jack and lug wrench, jumper cables, emergency flares, triangle reflective warning signs, fire extinguisher, flashlight with extra batteries, shovel, work gloves, space blanket, bottled water, whistle, basic tools (e.g., wrenches, multitip screwdrivers, and pliers), and a utility knife. You may choose to build your own emergency roadside kit or purchase one from a local general or hardware store.

Q. We don’t know who the commercial carrier or charter bus driver will be for our trip, so what do we enter for driver and insurance information?
A. Enter the name of the company and make sure the commercial carrier provides you with proof of insurance: $5 million CSL for 16 or more passengers or at least $1.5 million CSL for vehicles designed to transport nine to 15 passengers. It is not expected that this information will be furnished for commercial airline transportation.

Q. Is it common for a council to set up a rigorous review of the tour and activity plan or have our unit submit a plan anytime we meet other than at our weekly meeting place?
A. Your local council knows your local conditions, common tours, and activies best. We find that many councils set their policies based on those known risks. We suggest you contact your council if it choses to exceed the above policy on when and for what reasons a tour and activity plan should be filed for review.

Q. What if my trip or activity is as a council contingent or is an OA activity?
A. Contingent planners can either use the paper version of the tour and activity plan or the tour leader can record the plan under his or her primary unit affiliation and council, adding in other adult leadership as needed.

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4 thoughts on “Tour Plans for Dummies FAQ

  1. AvatarSteve Faber

    “The most common reason for not seeing tour and activity plans in your MyScouting account is that your member ID is not attached to your MyScouting account profile.”

    Are there plans to eliminate this barrier to make it easier to fully implement scouting? I suspect that this one barrier impacts a bunch of adult scouters, whether computer savvy or computer neophyte. And the biggest challenge is that the adult scouter must sign into myscouting and fix this themselves. Until the BSA “Member ID” is “Added” to the UNPC in the adult scouters “User Profile” page, the unit committee, the COR, the Organizational Head, etc., does not know they can use these adults to implement the program because their training is missing, most importantly, their Youth Protection Training. Sure, the adult scouter can print off their YPT certificate and serve in their position, but the system is unaware. I know there has been talk in the past of eliminating this barrier, but can you update if and when improvements to the system will be made?

    Reply
  2. AvatarClaralyn Sant

    Hi Darryl,
    Thanks for all your great info on Tour and Activity Plans. I put it in a Power Point for University of Scouting. If you would like a copy to see, I would gladly share. It was extremely helpful so I felt I should credit you at the end as a source.
    : – )

    Reply
  3. John GaileyJohn Gailey

    Q. Why should I complete a tour and activity plan?
    A. The tour and activity plan is a planning tool for best practices to be prepared for safe and fun adventure. Completing the plan may not address all possible challenges, but it can help ensure that appropriate planning has been conducted, that qualified and trained leadership is in place, and that the right equipment is available for the adventure.
    In addition, the plan helps to organize safe and appropriate transportation to and from an event, and defines driver qualifications and minimum limits of insurance coverage for drivers and vehicles used to transport participants.
    Please complete and submit this plan at least 21 days in advance (check with your local council) to ensure your council has enough time to review the plan and assist as necessary.
    Q. When do I need to complete a tour and activity plan?
    A. Times when a tour and activity plan must be submitted for council review include the following:
    § Trips of 500 miles or more; or
    § Trips outside of council borders (exception: not to your council-owned property); or
    § Trips to Florida Sea Base, Northern Tier, Philmont Scout Ranch, Summit Bechtel Reserve (you will be asked to present a copy of your tour and activity plan upon arrival), national Scout jamboree, National Order of the Arrow Conference, or a regionally sponsored event; or
    § When conducting any of the following activities outside of council or district events:
    § Aquatics activities (swimming, boating, floating, scuba, etc.)
    § Climbing and rappelling
    § Orientation flights (process flying plan)
    § Shooting sports
    § Any activities involving motorized vehicles as part of the program (snowmobiles, boating, etc.); or
    § At a council’s request (Contact your local council for additional guidelines or regulations concerning tour and activity plans; many have set guidelines for events or activities within council boundaries such as for Cub Scout overnight camping.)
    Regardless, the tour and activity plan is an excellent tool that should be included in preparation for all activities, even those not requiring it. It guides a tour leader through itineraries, travel arrangements, two-deep leadership, supervision qualifications, and transportation.

    Reply

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