Tuesday Talkback: How do you keep travel costs down on long Scout trips?

Tuesday-TalkbackUnless you live within a 10-hour drive from one of the BSA’s high-adventure bases, you’re in for a minimum two-day trip.

And staying overnight at a motel or state park increases everyone’s share of the travel costs.

Enter Zack, a Scout from Houston who contacted me last week. Zack’s troop must drive at least 12 hours to get to any one of what he calls the BSA’s “top-tier camps” but you and I call Philmont, the Summit, the Florida Sea Base and Northern Tier.

The concern among his troopmates, he writes, is that transportation costs threaten to be the biggest expense as his troop plans a visit to one of the BSA’s top national destinations next summer. Houston, we have a problem.

A quick aside: Scouts with similar concerns get some relief this summer when the Summit opens its new high-adventure base. The Beckley, W.Va., site was selected in part because it’s within a day’s drive for 60 percent of the U.S. population.

That doesn’t help Zack, though. He’s a 17-hour drive from the Summit. The BSA mandates that Scouts not travel more than 10 hours in one 24-hour period, regardless of the number of drivers available.

What would you suggest to Zack and his troopmates? How does your troop, team or crew reduce travel costs on multi-day trips? What works? Share your ideas in this latest edition of Tuesday Talkback.

Photo from Flickr: Some rights reserved by mischiru

49 thoughts on “Tuesday Talkback: How do you keep travel costs down on long Scout trips?

  1. We try to use Amtrak whenever possible, even choose our destinations with nearby stations in mind. Philmont and Summit are served by nearby stations. We have hiked a portion of the AT using the Harper’s Ferry station, and will be travelling by train to Glacier National Park this summer. While the trip can be long and tickets can be expensive, especially if you have a transfer, it is still usually less than airfare and the rental of vehicles once you get there. The train ride itself can be a high adventure trip for the scouts. Plus the Adults don’t have to drive (!) leaving them fresher and less grouchy when you arrive.

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