TO: All Chartered Organization Representatives and Unit Leaders
The Boy Scouts of America has notified all councils that, effective April 1, 2017, filing the BSA Tour and Activity Plan for review by council offices will no longer be required. The purpose of this letter is to inform you of that change to the process for Scouting units planning activities and outings away from their scheduled meeting places, as well as how that affects the chartered organization.
A cross-functional team has completed an evaluation of the BSA’s Tour and Activity Plan, resulting in a recommendation to terminate the plan effective April 1. This team concluded that terminating the requirement would:
- Eliminate review and processing procedures by the council staff, thereby freeing staff to focus on membership and removing an administrative burden.
- Reduce complexity of planning activities and outings, thereby cutting back on processes and paperwork for unit leaders.
- Increase consistency with the Commitment to Safety, the Guide to Safe Scouting, Risk Assessment Strategy, as well as Camp Standards planning tools.
- Change the conversation, engaging everyone in risk-based planning vs. process.
This change does not remove the need for unit leaders and their chartered organizations to properly plan every aspect of outings, including ensuring that required trained leaders are present at all times during such outings, and the training dependent upon the activities being conducted (e.g., an activity involving water craft will still require leaders to be trained in the Youth Protection Program, Safe Swim Defense, Safety Afloat, Basic First Aid, and CPR). Similarly, vehicle insurance requirements remain unchanged.
A Tour and Activity Plan form and the LPC Float Plan will continue to be available on the forms page of the council website as recommended, excellent planning tools that units can use to continue to ensure that our young people are able to enjoy the planned activities and to return safely from them. We recommend that your units continue to use these forms as a tool within your unit leadership structure as a checklist of what is still required for safe outings and activities. All safety guidelines and requirements you need to follow are contained in the Guide to Safe Scouting, found online and in hard copy at your local scout shop. The potential liability of the leader, unit and chartered organization, should a preventable accident occur because the guidelines of the Guide to Safe Scouting were not followed, still exists. It is our desire through an increased awareness to minimize preventable situations and decrease risk for everyone.
As always, the Longs Peak Council stands ready to assist units with understanding this change in policy and with understanding the risk management guidelines available to them so that preventable injuries and accidents are minimized. You may always contact your district executive should you have questions.
John L. Coleman, Jr., Scout Executive/CEO
Jack Hess, Council President
Jeanene Gage, LPC Risk Management Chair