Caravans and Convoys
- In the Guide to Safe Scouting, see the BSA's official web site:
the word "caravan" doesn't show up. The word "convoy" does.
I've always been led to believe that what is being discouraged is
traveling in a single file order on the highway, similar to military
units, so that no other vehicles can get in between, perhaps on the
shoulder of the highway. Even though it can be argued that this is
an efficient and safe way to travel, specialized skills are required.
Many units travel in what is often called "caravan" in which a
reasonable distance is placed between vehicles, 1/4 to 1/2 mile or
more, so that if anyone required assistance, another could help. The
use of radios for communication facilitates traveling in "caravan" so
that visual contact with the car in front isn't necessary and
distances can be increased.
I've always preferred that units travel as Patrols, with at least two
vehicles per Patrol. The Patrols set their own departure time, plan
rest stops and meals, and have a joint planned arrival time at the
overnight stop or final destination. After all, this is the Patrol
method. It's important to plan and establish appropriate
communications systems (i.e., point of contact, cell phone numbers,
frequencies, etc.) to facilitate emergency or operational messaging.
Troops and Crews often use a single trailer to carry gear and cars to
carry passengers. Because of this, there is typically a single
meeting place for loading the trailer and assigning rides to cars and
No matter what method is used, this discussion should have prompted
all of us to review the BSA "Guide to Safe Scouting."
Yours in Scouting,
Frank Krizan, KR1ZAN
Advisor, Venturer Crew 73 - K5BSA