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Tour and Activity Plan Terminated

A cross-functional team has completed an evaluation of the BSA's Tour and Activity Plan (Tour Permits), resulting in a recommendation to terminate the plan effective April 1, 2017. We recognize that those who were using the tool may wish to know why so the following FAQs have been developed.

The following FAQ provides answers to the questions we anticipate most people using the tool might have regarding the rationale and process for the termination.

Q. Why are you terminating the plan? What does this mean for me, my unit, and the Scouting family? 
A. 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. We expect that the elimination of the BSA Tour and Activity Plan will:

  • Reduce complexity, cutting back on processes and paperwork for unit leaders.
  • Increase consistency with the Commitment to Safety, the Guide to Safe ScoutingRisk Assessment Strategy, as well as Camp Standards planning tools.
  • Change the conversation, engaging everyone in risk-based planning vs. process.
  • Eliminate processing, freeing staff to focus on membership and removing administrative burden.

In addition to the above reasons, the BSA has adopted a flexible risk assessment strategy for your use.  This is summarized in the Guide to Safe Scouting.

Q. What is the new process?
A. There is no required process, Scouters are reminded to conduct the Scouting program consistent with BSA rules, regulations, and policies. Flexible risk assessment tools are summarized in the Guide to Safe Scouting.

Q. Will there be a replacement for the Tour and Activity Plan? 
A. No.

Q. Will the entire activity plan idea go away? 
A. No, having a plan is part of “Be Prepared”. Planning is integral into the program literature.

Q. Will units have to file any trip forms of any kind?  Is there any REQUIRED notification to council for trips? 
A. No, however the BSA Program includes several planning tools (ChecklistsThe Sweet 16 of BSA Safety, Flying Plan) which are designed not for “filing” but to prompt discussions / conversations about risks.

Q. Is the change simply - Don't have to fill out a Tour and Activity Plan anymore?  All the other steps are the same? 
A. The program hasn’t changed. For example, permission from parents is still needed to take youth on a trip, as would be program requirements for annual health and medical records for all participants. The Cub Scouts camping program is still limited to council approved locations, and so on.

Q. What is an official scouting activity?
A. An official scouting activity is defined in the insurance policy as consistent with the values, Charter and Bylaws, Rules and Regulations, the operations manuals, and applicable literature of the Boy Scouts of America. Link.

 Samoset Council, Boy Scouts of America
 3511 Camp Phillips Rd, Weston WI 54476
 715-355-1450 (phone) | 715-355-9849 (fax)

Samoset Vision: Every youth prepared for tomorrow's challenges.