Safety Moment: Bidding Farewell to the Tour & Activity Plan

by | Apr 5, 2017

For more than 50 years the BSA has used some form of planning and review tool, which was submitted to the local council or BSA National offices for review. Effective April 1, 2017, Tour and Activity Plans (T&AP) will no longer be used.  This is the result of recent evaluation by cross-functional team within BSA, which determined T&APs were significantly underutilized, added complexity, and limited the “safety planning” components of the planning process to a few leaders.

BSA expects that the elimination of the BSA Tour and Activity Plan will:

  • Reduce complexity, cutting back on processes and paperwork for unit leaders.
  • Increase or improve consistency with existing planning resources –
    • BSA National Offices – Commitment to Safety,
    • The Guide to Safe Scouting,
    • The Activity Planning and Risk Assessment Strategy
    • National Camp Standards (NCAP) planning tools
  • Change the conversation, engaging everyone in risk-based planning vs. process.

For some leaders, this may not mean much because they were not familiar with the tools and resources the Tour and Activity Plan provided or how to properly use it.  Others may shout for joy, as they are not required to complete one more form or online application before their unit goes on a high adventure activity. Some leaders felt the T&AP was an indispensable part of the activity planning process (we applaud you). 

Regardless of which camp (pun intended) you were in, we have learned that solid and effective planning is the best way to help ensure an outing is Christ- centered, fun, and safe.  There is something very beneficial about sitting down, counseling together and planning out an activity that helps identify potential risks and hazards; in some instances those risks seem to jump right off the page…in some cases, the hazards are more subtle and need to be coaxed into the light. After we take time to identify them, then those risks can be mitigated or avoided. 

Over the next several months, we will continue to focus blog articles on our ongoing responsibilities to follow the programs and guidelines of the Boy Scouts of America and what resources are readily available to support us in those efforts.

In the end, we want you to know that safety is important to the First Presidency “…both to preserve the safety of participants and to protect the Church… (Safety in Church Activities, May 19, 2016)” and to your local and national BSA leaders as stated in The BSA’s Commitment to Safety; “We want you to know that the safety of our youth, volunteers, staff, and employees is an important part of the Scouting experience.”

Remember – The “Adventure is Waiting…Build Yours” Safely!

Additional upcoming topics –

  • Chartering Organization & BSA Responsibilities
  • Be[ing] Prepared! (planning and planning tools)
  • Flexible Risk Assessment Strategies
  • The Adventure Planning Guide (TAP)
  • Effectively Using Safety Moments
  • Battling Myths & Legends with Knowledge


Contributed by LDS Church Risk Management