camping MB

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camping MB

Postby Bob H » Sat Aug 28, 2004 12:12 pm

I have never had this question proposed to me before-

all scouts in my unit camp together- either by patrol or by the whole unit-
a new scout has come into the unit and states that he has camped with his family and or with friends in his backyard- and wants those night counted towards camping MB- I have never had this questioin proposed to me- the book does not specifically say ALWAYS with your unit or patrol- but patrol is mentioned . Has anyone else had this happen to them??
BH
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Re: camping MB

Postby Rick Tyler » Sat Aug 28, 2004 3:39 pm

Bob H wrote:all scouts in my unit camp together- either by patrol or by the whole unit-a new scout has come into the unit and states that he has camped with his family and or with friends in his backyard- and wants those night counted towards camping MB- I have never had this questioin proposed to me- the book does not specifically say ALWAYS with your unit or patrol- but patrol is mentioned . Has anyone else had this happen to them??


This comes up in adult leader forums periodically. Most Camping MB counselors say that if they sleep in a tent, it's a night of camping. If I were counseling this MB, I would only count nights since the boy joined Boy Scouts.

It's sure easier if it is patrol or troop campout, though.
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camping

Postby cballman » Sun Aug 29, 2004 10:21 am

If you look at the camping req. then when you group all the req. together and look at the big picture the wholw camping merit badge that scouct cannot just sleep out in the backyard for all of the campouts required. but then we have also never had that on come up in our troop because we have so many campouts troop wise that most kids dont need to in my on words fudge the requirements like that. but then if the merit badge counselor wants to let the scout use them then that is up to them.
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Postby Guneukitschik » Mon Aug 30, 2004 10:07 am

I would have to agree that it's up to the counselor...but what about a lone scout working on camping merit badge? he would have this same problem!
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Postby dparker » Mon Aug 30, 2004 12:23 pm

Interesting question and one that I had not considered! I would think that the intention of all merit badge and rank requirements could be prefaced by "While a Scout", but it doesn't say so explicitly. Some requirements specify a rank that must be held, like the service requirements on Star, Life and Eagle.

That being said, counselors are not supposed to modify (add to or remove from) the requirements. There must be some guidance on this issue from National.
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Postby optimist » Mon Aug 30, 2004 2:15 pm

"While a Scout" is generally implied but like all rules there are always exceptions. For instance, Music merit badge states "Serve for six months as a member of a school band, choir, or other local musical group; or perform as a soloist in public six times." I joined my first choir at age 6 and have been in choirs most of my life since. If I joined a troop that happened to have several Scouts working on Music merit badge, I'd jump right in. And if we did all the other requirements in 3-4 weeks and all I needed was six months as a member of a choir, I'd get pretty darn upset if they didn't count the previous five years towards that requirement. I've done the work, I'd want my reward.

As for requests from National for guidance, don't hold your breath. They don't give much guidance and I don't blame them. The amount of discussion that has appeared thus far in these forums doesn't even hold a candle to the number of direct requests for guidance I have received through email over the years. This huge number of requests is made despite the fact I clearly state I'm just a volunteer and have no authority to answer their questions. I can just image how many requests the BSA receives.
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Postby optimist » Mon Aug 30, 2004 2:23 pm

Guess I should have mentioned, all of the policies having to do with the Boy Scout advancement program are available on MeritBadge.com in the BSA Program Info section.
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Postby dparker » Mon Aug 30, 2004 2:50 pm

Good points optimist. I can see how this discussion could go on forever with views from both sides. Leaving it up to the counselor does open up the possibility of a disagreement of the requirements, though. That's certainly not unheard of!
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Postby evmori » Mon Aug 30, 2004 2:55 pm

There is nothing in the camping merit badge requirements that state "since joining Boy Scouts". I have always felt it is up to the counselor since he/she is the one signing that the badge is completed. However, I don't think a Scout could complete all the requirements (listed below) for this requirement for the merit badge in his backyard.

9. Show experience in camping by doing the following:

a. Camp a total of at least 20 days and nights. You may use a week of long-term camp toward this requirement. Sleep each night under the sky or in a tent you have pitched (long-term camp excluded).

b. On any of these camping experiences, you must do TWO of the following, only with proper preparation and under qualified supervision:
1. Hike up a mountain, gaining at least 2,000 vertical feet.
2. Backpack for at least four miles.
3. Take a bike trip of at least 15 miles or at least four hours.
4. Plan and carry out a float trip of at least four hours.
5. Rappel down a rappel route of 30 feet or more.

c. On one of your campouts, perform a conservation project approved in advance by the private landowner or public land management agency.
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Camping

Postby ICanCanoeCanU » Mon Aug 30, 2004 5:32 pm

Here’s another example of a “Rush to get through” that I don’t agree with. If a scout is active in a troop and camping with any regularity, then they will accomplish the 20 campouts in time.

Although it was stated this is a new scout, no mention of age. Is this a new crossed over Webelos or an older scout new to the program? Either way, with the required time needed in the higher ranks, what’s the rush? I would make the scout camp with the troop, I would not take backyard campouts for the Boy Scout level of requirements
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Postby Guneukitschik » Mon Aug 30, 2004 6:15 pm

What about the "Lone Scout" who may have no choice but to go camping with the family...perhaps not backyard camping...but a campout at a state park, etc...
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camping

Postby cballman » Mon Aug 30, 2004 6:54 pm

Itis possible to have questions about this merit badge but in the boy scout requirements 2004 book on page 5 says age requirement eligibility


merit badges, badges of rank and Eagle palms are for boys who are registered Boy scouts or Varsity scouts. and may earn these awards until the 18 birthday.

now look at the reqirements for joiining boy scouts age 11 or or earned the arrow of light and which in my opinion should at least be 10 1/2 in second year weblos or completed fifth grade.

so if a scout went camping at age 8 he would not be able to use that campout at all beacuse he had not completed 5 grade or was 11 years old
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Postby gofer » Wed Sep 22, 2004 1:09 am

Our camping counselor uses the concept:
"It needs to be Boy Scout style camping",
which is described in the merit badge book.

Family camping may have mom making meals,
dad setting up the tent, older siblings cleaning
up, and the boy doesn't get the scout camping
experience. i.e. he doesn't have to do things
for himelsf. If a boy want's to camp in the
backyard himself or with a patrol member,
and camps "scout style", then it counts.

The parents have been very supportive of this,
and understand that it's a learning experience for
the boy. Yes, it does take quite a while to get the
badge, frequently more than a year. We start the
boy's blue card when they join.
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Postby Guneukitschik » Wed Sep 22, 2004 7:17 am

I don't agree with the fact that you just start a blue card for the scout when he joins. The scout should WANT to earn the merit badge and have to contact the counselor as well.
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Postby scoutmasterbob » Wed Sep 22, 2004 12:06 pm

Another point to consider is how much camping the troop does each year, if a troop only does the week long summer camp each year, it would take 4 years to accumulate enough camping nights for the badge.

This is an extreme example, but if this is so, the scout would have no choice but to get his camping nights elsewhere.

On the other hand, if a troop is very active in camping, it is possible to get all 20 nights in 1 year, we did 15 in one year while working toward the year round camping award.

I think every situation should be considered on its own merits. The only real problem I have is the campout in the backyard, I think camping is alot more than just sleeping in a tent.
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Postby Guneukitschik » Wed Sep 22, 2004 2:14 pm

To truly experience camping you definately have to do more than just sleep in a tent....there is the experience you gain from Planning, Packing, Cooking, Eating, Sleeping, Hiking, Forgeting stuff, Cleaning up...it's all a valuable part of camping.
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Postby ICanCanoeCanU » Wed Sep 22, 2004 5:27 pm

I wouldn't even call a group whose only campouts are at summer camp a Boy Scout Troop. Yes, I know the point that this was an extreme example but c'mon, even if it takes two years to participate in 20 nights of camping, so? For a scout to devote the time in leadership positions and required time between ranks, what's wrong with taking the time for the camping mb? If a scout camps on both Friday & Saturday night but only goes on 5 campouts in a year and never makes it to summer camp, he would have this requirement in 2 years, and we all know most scouts complete at least this much.

Advice - If your group only camps a few times a year - your in the wrong program. There are many other youth groups out there with plenty to offer but this should not be confused with the Boy Scout Program, which uses the outdoor program as the backbone (or at least it use to)!
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camping MB

Postby cballman » Wed Sep 22, 2004 7:35 pm

If you read the req. then you will understand that ONLY 1 week of long term camping can be used for this merit badge. yes it might take more than three months to earn this badge but it is one that teaches over and over. My son has been working on his for abour two years now and with band outings it is hard for a child to complete this merit badge quickly. alsoour troop goes camping at least once a month.
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Postby 52 » Sun Dec 26, 2004 5:45 am

Most Lone Scouts can earn their camping badge without "camping" in the backyard. They can join overnight campouts while traveling, plan campouts with other organizations they belong to, or go to a local campground. IMHO, the backyard is PRACTICE for actual camping.
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