Moving large groups and multiple vehicles is always slower than travel with a family in a single car. We have to work together to avoid significant loss of time. We want to be comfortable, but we don't want to be unnecessarily delayed either. Your cooperation on the following points is essential.
The trip leader is responsible for determining which vehicles will be going. If you want to drive, you must arrange that a minimum of TWO (2) WEEKS IN ADVANCE with the tour leader. The trip leader is responsible for seeing that we take the minimum vehicles necessary to comfortably accommodate everyone and everything.
All vehicles MUST be covered by a public liability and property damage liability insurance policy. The amount of this coverage must meet or exceed the insurance requirement of the state in which the vehicle is licensed. (It is recommended, however, that coverage limits are at least $50,000/$100,000/$50,000 or $100,000 combined single limit.) Any vehicle carrying 10 or more passengers is required to have limits of $100,000/$500,000/$100,000 or $500,000 combined single limit. In the case of rented vehicles the requirement of coverage limits can be met by combining the limits of personal coverage carried by the driver with coverage carried by the owner of the rented vehicle. All vehicles used in travel outside the United States must carry a public liability and property damage liability insurance policy that complies with or exceeds the requirements of that country.
Rules of the Road
Late Arrivals and Early Departures
If you need to leave early, or to arrive late, you must arrange this in advance with the trip leader. Please don't just pack up your Scout in the middle of the outing and leave. Remember that the outing is not over and the Scouts are not released until the SPL has closed the outing and dismissed the Scouts (usually by having the Scouts circle up in the Scout house or parking lot).
Communication on the Road
We'd like to have a cell phone number for each driver. If you are driving, please make sure all drivers have your number before departure. On long trips we also like to use long-range radios. If you have a set of these 20-50 mile radios, please bring them with you for travel communication. Please note these radios are not for Scout use.
Get extra keys for your vehicle. Give the extra to another adult. Each driver should have a counterpart (adult or driving age youth) who can move your vehicle if need be.
At pit stops, our goal will be to keep things moving, to leave as soon as the last Scout has been to the bathroom. These are not tourist stops. As soon as all the cars are ready, an assigned "loadmaster" will do a sweep of the station, check with all drivers to see that all Scouts are accounted for, and then signal departure. No one leaves until the loadmaster says, "GO!"
Unplanned pit stops
These do happen. That's one reason we want cell phones. When possible we will try to use roadside parks so we don't get bogged down in another round of drink and snack buying. If we must stop at a service station or fast food joint, we will make every effort to see that it is a pit stop, not a snack stop.
Unplanned side trips: the GROUP STAYS TOGETHER
As a driver, do not take it upon yourself to leave the group without approval from the trip leader and notification to the lead car and the "tail end Charlie." The trip leader is responsible for all the Scouts, including your Scout. If you have a vehicle problem, need other supplies, or whatever, discuss your need with the trip leader. If necessary, the entire group will go with you, wait for you, or alternate plans will be made. Please, do not leave the group; your independent action can negatively affect the entire trip.
Snacks, Drinks and Electronics
Each driver has the option to allow or not allow these items in the car. It's your call. Coolers are also your call. When we make stops, discourage the Scouts from purchasing the extra large drinks that will hasten their need for an unplanned pit stop. If you have a cooler in the car, please monitor drink consumption for the same reason. A common rule is that a Scout may use electronics to and from an activity but they MUST have headphones on and the volume low enough that no one else can hear them.
Snacks and Drinks for Scouts at Stops
We will allow reasonable purchases at gas stops, as long as the purchases do not delay the group. Sometimes a gas stop will occur just before a major event stop where food and drink will be available. We will coordinate these situations. At times we may ask you to keep the Scouts in the car except for the bathroom. In those cases, adults will be asked to police the situation so that we don't get bogged down at the register with snack purchases.
While we travel generally together, we don't want to be six or seven cars lined up on each others rear bumper. We want to spread out and leave plenty of room for other vehicles to move around us. A chain reaction would be a disaster. The radios will keep us in touch, and usually we will be in visual range of much of the group. Once we set up a pattern, keep the pattern so we are used to watching out for the vehicle in front and in back. The "tail end Charlie" needs to tell the lead car when all the group has made an exit, an entrance onto a major highway, turned a corner, pulled into a rest stop, etc. The lead car needs to have a good navigator that tells the others what is happening in enough time for all to follow. The lead car should set the pace and notify others of the pace. Please don't pass the lead car, and don't fall behind the "tail end Charlie."
Scouts will be assigned to the cars and they will travel in that vehicle the entire trip. The driver is responsible for ensuring that everyone is counted prior to departure. The loadmaster will know head counts in each car also. We don't even want to think about leaving a Scout behind at a stop.
We would all be fresher if we take turns driving
Please rotate drivers if you have an extra adult in your vehicle. Work with your passengers and other adults via radio to keep awake. The BSA refers to the Risk Zone - driver fatigue particularly after lunch when it is all too easy to fall asleep while driving.