Tour Permit

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Guide to Safe Scouting

- See Guide to Safe Scouting, p. 51.

If a unit plans a trip within 500 miles of the home base it is important that the unit obtain a local tour permit. A national tour permit is required for trips in excess of 500 miles from home or outside the continental United States.
Tour permits have become recognized by national parks, military institutions, and other organizations as proof that a unit activity has been well planned and organized and is under capable and qualified leadership. These organizations may require the tour permit for entry.
Most short, in-town den trips of a few hours do not require a tour permit; however, it is recommended that dens obtain permission slips from parents.

Guide to Safe Scouting Appendix

- This new interactive form allows you to sign the form digitally and submit electronically.
- This new interactive form allows you to complete and store the form digitally.

Planning and Conducting a Safe Scout Outing

- See Planning and Conducting a Safe Scout Outing

Tour permits are an essential part of the safe Scout outing planning process.
The Local Tour Permit is used for trips of less than 500 miles and lets the local council know where your trip will be taking place. It describes activity training standards required for activities such as swimming, boating, or climbing. It explains the requirements for transportation and leadership training.
The tour leader signs the application, indicating that he or she has read the Guide to Safe Scouting.
The Local Tour Permit includes spaces for officials at facilities visited to sign indicating that cooperation and conduct were satisfactory, as well as vehicle insurance section to be completed for each vehicle used. There is a section outlining transportation requirements (required speeds and licensing). Lastly, the tour permit includes "Our Pledge of Performance handout," which covers best practices for a Scout outing.
When the Local Tour Permit is completed, send it to your local council office for approval. Allow the office about two weeks for approval.
The Local Tour Permit is an essential and valuable document for planning a Scout outing. Every adult leader and Scout should have a copy of this permit to study so that the obligations undertaken are well understood.
The National Tour Permit is used for trips 500 miles or more (one-way). It is similar to the Local Tour Permit in that it is sent to your local council and then to the BSA regional office for approval, so leave adequate lead time—at least a month—in submitting the application.
  • The National Tour Permit has space for the following information.
  • Leadership and personnel information
  • Transportation requirements (driver's licensing and insurance)
  • A copy of the itinerary
  • An application for an International Letter of Introduction (where desired)
The National Tour Permit describes BSA requirements for health, safety, aquatics, climbing/rappelling, sanitation, wilderness use, and Youth Protection training. The group leader is required to have a copy of the Guide to Safe Scouting and to sign that it has been read.
Both the Local and National Tour Permits are valuable planning and safety tools. Each of these permits refers to other BSA documents that discuss safety training:
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