Ever since I became an adult Scouter, tour permits have been required for certain troop outings-typically those beyond council borders, although local rules varied. I long ago lost count of the tour permit applications I filled out.
But no more. Tour permits-both the local and national variety-have been replaced by the tour plan form. The change is more than just a semantic one. The new form is quite different from the old one. In fact, it brings several significant changes. Among them:
* The pledge of performance has been updated.
* The council now reviews all plans; there's no national version that must go to the regional office.
* The required timeframe for submitting forms is 21 days out, although I assume most councils will accept forms closer to departure dates.
* The form can be printed on standard letter-size paper.
* You can save your completed form in PDF format, which will make updates easier.
Best of all, the new form clearly states when a tour plan is required (although councils can still set their own policies). Specifically, you'll need to submit a tour plan in these cases:
* When a trip exceeds 500 miles
* When a trip goes outside of council borders and not to a council-owned property
* When you're headed to a national high-adventure base, national jamboree, National Order of the Arrow Conference or regionally sponsored event
* When you're conducting one of the following activities on your own:
* Aquatics activities (swimming, boating, floating, scuba, etc.)
* Climbing and rappelling
* Orientation flights (which require a separate flying plan)
* Shooting sports
* Any activities involving motorized vehicles as part of the program (snowmobiles, boating, etc.)
For more information-and a link to the new form-visit http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/HealthandSafety/TourPlanFAQ.aspx.
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