Camping 9B, part 2, backpacking option

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Camping 9B, part 2, backpacking option

Postby adv_385 » Fri Nov 07, 2008 5:17 pm

I don't have the Camping MB book handy, but I've got a group of new Scouts and hyper active parents who want their sons to get as many merit badges as possible as quickly as they can (believe it or not we have a Scout who has not yet reached Tenderfoot with 11 merit badges). They feel a 4 mile backpack means wearing a backpack and hiking 4 miles, and they want to do it as soon as possible. I think it means really backpacking -- carrying every thing you need for an overnight. I'm encouraging the SM and PLC to plan such an overnight for the spring, but if I'm missing the point I'd like to know. These parents are planning this outside troop activities, so proper supervision is also a problem. A simple hike seems so much easier than the alternatives (cross country skiing or snowshoeing for 4 miles) that I really can' t believe they're interpreting it correctly. Comments, please.
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Re: Camping 9B, part 2, backpacking option

Postby PaulSWolf » Fri Nov 07, 2008 5:56 pm

You have to look at the entire requirement. In this case the actual requirement is:
9. Show experience in camping by doing the following:
a. Camp a total of at least 20 days and 20 nights. Sleep each night under the sky or in a tent you have pitched. The 20 days and 20 nights must be at a designated Scouting activity or event. You may use a week of long-term camp toward this requirement. If the camp provides a tent that has already been pitched, you need not pitch your own tent.
b. On any of these camping experiences, you must do TWO of the following, only with proper preparation and under qualified supervision:
2. Backpack, snowshoe, or cross-country ski for at least 4 miles.

Note that (b) says On any of these camping experiences, meaning one of the camping experiences discussed in (a). And (a) says The 20 days and 20 nights must be at a designated Scouting activity or event.
So the backpacking activity MUST be done during a designated Scouting activity or event (i.e. on a campout with the troop, at a Jamboree, or at a similar event.). It could, for example, be a 4 mile hike with full pack during a weekend campout. (e.g.. On Saturday afternoon between lunch and dinner, he and at least one buddy could hike 2 miles out and 2 miles back to the campsite).
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Re: Camping 9B, part 2, backpacking option

Postby ronin718 » Fri Nov 07, 2008 5:58 pm

My take on this is a summation of the requirements. First, they must do 20 nights of camping. Second, in those 20 nights of camping, the activity must include two of the activities listed in req. 9b. Backpacking would seem to entail packing the gear necessary for the overnighter, not toting a day pack with a lunch for a four-mile hike while leaving your gear behind. Now maybe they could forego packing the tents and stoves, but I see nothing wrong with requiring the boys to pack their sleeping bag and personal gear.
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Re: Camping 9B, part 2, backpacking option

Postby alex gregory » Fri Nov 07, 2008 8:02 pm

Why would you forgo tents and stoves? When I backpack I like a tent. A stove is also nice; it makes coffee so much more better (chewing the beans with a cold water chaser just does'nt quite do it for me). Heavens to Betsy - are you suggesting a support vehicle?!? That's not backpacking!

The whole point of backpacking is to leave all that cumbersome car camping stuff at home.

Req. 9(b)(2) is a great introduction to backpacking that hopefully will lead to the backpacking merit badge.

That said, a 4-mile trek is kinda, you know, lame. Try to work in a 15-mile trek over 3 days/2 nights that will satisify a backpacking merit badge requirement. At least have a longer trek option. My daughter has been able to trek 15 miles over three days since age 5; I would hope that big tough boy scouts can handle more than 4 miles if a little girl can do it.
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Re: Camping 9B, part 2, backpacking option

Postby AquilaNegra2 » Sat Nov 08, 2008 2:23 am

Paul's right -- "Designated Scouting activity" is going to blow a hole in the parents' plans. Of course, if the boys' patrol wants to hike in 2 miles and hike out 2 miles for an overnighter that's been approved by the Troop, that's a good night. What does your Camping MBC say?

There's nothing wrong with earning a lot of badges - the key word there is "earning".

Maybe the PLC wants to plan their camps with the Camping badge in mind -- if they're not actively thinking about it when they plan, getting the #9 choices doesn't just happen.
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Re: Camping 9B, part 2, backpacking option

Postby ThunderingWind » Sat Nov 08, 2008 11:30 am

AquilaNegra2 wrote:"Designated Scouting activity" is going to blow a hole in the parents' plans.
If the "new Scout" patrol designates this as a Patrol activity, it should count.

Of course two-deep and YPT rules must be met.

But there are some patrol events that can take place without any leadership around or so y'all have told me on this here forum.
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Re: Camping 9B, part 2, backpacking option

Postby kwildman » Mon Nov 10, 2008 10:19 am

Hiking with a pack on is not backpacking.

We are supposed to be teaching skills and providing opportunities for the youth to use these skills. As a camping MBC, I have had multiple scouts ask if they can just go on a hike with a backpack on while we are base camping somewhere and my answer is always "NO". Even if they take their tents and stoves are they taking the water, food, and other items required for a backpack trek? What are they learning about their gear? And they are missing out on the camping part of the backpacking - unpacking all of their gear, prepping meals, using the lightweight stoves, selecting campsites, LNT, being self-dependent. etc.
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Re: Camping 9B, part 2, backpacking option

Postby smtroop168 » Mon Nov 10, 2008 1:49 pm

Show experience in camping by doing the following:
a. Camp a total of at least 20 days and 20 nights. Sleep each night under the sky or in a tent you have pitched. The 20 days and 20 nights must be at a designated Scouting activity or event. You may use a week of long-term camp toward this requirement. If the camp provides a tent that has already been pitched, you need not pitch your own tent.
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 1,000 vertical feet.
2. Backpack, snowshoe, or cross-country ski for at least 4 miles.
3. Take a bike trip of at least 15 miles or at least four hours.
4. Take a nonmotorized trip on the water of at least four hours or 5 miles.
5. Plan and carry out an overnight snow camping experience.
6. Rappel down a rappel route of 30 feet or more.

So here's the requirement. It does not say you have to bring all your gear in for the applicable camping experience 4 miles on your back - It doesn't say you can't have a base camp and do 4 miles during the campout
For # 6, scouts have camped at Laurel Caverns and had the boys do the Climbing MB
For #4 and #3 scouts have camped at WW Challengers and done the raft trip for 4 hours or the 25 mile bike trail.
For #5, scouts have camped at the Klondikes

Don't add to the requirements and remember the MBC has the final say.
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Re: Camping 9B, part 2, backpacking option

Postby kwildman » Mon Nov 10, 2008 3:41 pm

SMtroop - We need to define the difference between backpack and hike then. As an avid backpacker and a scouter I don't think that letting a scout hike w/ a pack on qualifies as backpacking experience. Nothing wrong with any of your other examples but hiking does not equal backpacking. As a MBC I wont accept the hiking scenario posed in the original question. They are free to find someone else to complete their card.

If there isn't a difference between hiking and back packing why are there 2 different merit badges? The backpacking merit badge requirements clearly show the difference. Backpacking Req 9E states while carrying your pack complete a hike of at least 2 miles. Backpacking req 10 and 11a require overnight stays and that you carry everything.

The camping merit badge is eagle required so i choose take the more stringent interpretation and put the emphasis on doing backpacking as opposed to "hiking with a pack" on.
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Re: Camping 9B, part 2, backpacking option

Postby adv_385 » Mon Nov 10, 2008 4:08 pm

Thanks for your replies.

I agree with kwildman's first post: "Hiking with a pack on is not backpacking."

I think the definition used for "backpack" in the camping MB has to be the same as the definition of "backpack" for the backpacking MB. It seems, though, if a Scout throws some gear in a backpack and straps it on for a four mile hike on a campout that if the counselor he selects says that's not backpacking, he can shop around for one who feels it is.

Hopefully I can make the point that this must be a "Designated Scouting activity". Some badges are designed to be done as a Troop or Patrol, and, as I said in the original post, I hope to set up a campout for this activity.
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Re: Camping 9B, part 2, backpacking option

Postby smtroop168 » Mon Nov 10, 2008 5:14 pm

kwildman wrote:SMtroop - We need to define the difference between backpack and hike then. As an avid backpacker and a scouter I don't think that letting a scout hike w/ a pack on qualifies as backpacking experience. Nothing wrong with any of your other examples but hiking does not equal backpacking. As a MBC I wont accept the hiking scenario posed in the original question. They are free to find someone else to complete their card.

If there isn't a difference between hiking and back packing why are there 2 different merit badges? The backpacking merit badge requirements clearly show the difference. Backpacking Req 9E states while carrying your pack complete a hike of at least 2 miles. Backpacking req 10 and 11a require overnight stays and that you carry everything.

The camping merit badge is eagle required so i choose take the more stringent interpretation and put the emphasis on doing backpacking as opposed to "hiking with a pack" on.
SMtroop - We need to define the difference between backpack and hike then. As an avid backpacker and a scouter I don't think that letting a scout hike w/ a pack on qualifies as backpacking experience. Nothing wrong with any of your other examples but hiking does not equal backpacking. As a MBC I wont accept the hiking scenario posed in the original question. They are free to find someone else to complete their card.

If there isn't a difference between hiking and back packing why are there 2 different merit badges? The backpacking merit badge requirements clearly show the difference. Backpacking Req 9E states while carrying your pack complete a hike of at least 2 miles. Backpacking req 10 and 11a require overnight stays and that you carry everything.

The camping merit badge is eagle required so i choose take the more stringent interpretation and put the emphasis on doing backpacking as opposed to "hiking with a pack" on.


Backpacking#9
Do the following:
a. Write a plan for a patrol backpacking hike that includes a time control plan.
b. Show that you know how to properly pack your personal gear and your share of the crew’s gear and food.
c. Show you can properly shoulder your pack and adjust it for proper wear.
d. Conduct a prehike inspection of the patrol and its equipment.
e. While carrying your pack, complete a hike of at least 2 miles.


I'm just reading the Camping requirements and they can be interpreted as a Backpack without full gear whereas the above Backpacking requirements are more specific. The Backpack is also lumped in with snowshoes and cross country skiing and makes no further requirement on what you need to bring plus it's twice as long. Wonder why?

There are lots of "similar" MBs but they require different skill levels. Examples would be Swimming/Lifesaving; Canoeing/Rowing/Whitewater/SB Sailing; Photography/Cinematography; Fishing/Fly Fishing; Safety/Fire Safety/Traffic Safety; Wood Carving/Woodwork etc etc etc so it's not surprising that Camping and Backpacking have different twists.
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Re: Camping 9B, part 2, backpacking option

Postby kwildman » Tue Nov 11, 2008 10:36 am

i think the key is that it is interpretation and if the MBC says it counts it does. Hopefully, the MBC is consistent and doesn't cave to a few parents who want to push their kids through an eagle req MB as quick as possible.
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Re: Camping 9B, part 2, backpacking option

Postby smtroop168 » Tue Nov 11, 2008 5:31 pm

kwildman wrote:i think the key is that it is interpretation and if the MBC says it counts it does. Hopefully, the MBC is consistent and doesn't cave to a few parents who want to push their kids through an eagle req MB as quick as possible.


Agree as long as the MBC does not add to the requirements.
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Re: Camping 9B, part 2, backpacking option

Postby SMTroop240 » Mon Mar 02, 2009 9:22 am

I require that the scouts wishing to complete this requirement carry all of their personal gear, and that they also carry patrol food, cooking equipment, a stove, and a tent. If they want the split this up amongst 2 or 3 scouts, that’s just fine.

When ever a parent questions this, my reply is, how do you backpack without these items? The scout is always free to choose a different MB counselor if they wish.

Prior to my joining the troop, it was ridiculously lax with MB requirements. I had a scout tell me at a scoutmaster conference that his first Merit badge was camping, and that he earned it at his first year of summer camp. Now, I was aware that this scout had only joined in April of that year, and I was intrigued. So I ask him how he fulfilled the 20 nights of camping. His reply, Mr. XXX the asst. SM and MB counselor let me count camping with my parents from before I was a scout.

Needless to say, this troop was an eagle mill, with a ton of issues. After 5 years of work, it is on the right foot now, but a few of the older scouts that are still around still whine when they have to cook their own food. Seems that the parents would bring pre-cooked food with them on camping trips, and the troop would go to diners for breakfast.
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Re: Camping 9B, part 2, backpacking option

Postby wagionvigil » Mon Mar 02, 2009 9:26 am

We have troops that when at Camp and they must cook Thursdays Dinner.Load up and head out to a local Buffet rather than cook. This same troop are poster kids for CLass A uniform display.
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Re: Camping 9B, part 2, backpacking option

Postby kwildman » Mon Mar 02, 2009 9:52 am

:roll: I guess we are fortunate in that our adults like to cook and that has rubbed off on the kids. We always do the adult meal versus the kids meal and it has challenged them to the point where they actually beat us sometimes. :)
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