Camping Merit Badge - Nights requirements

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Re: Camping Merit Badge - Nights requirements

Postby smtroop168 » Wed Mar 11, 2009 7:47 pm

Here's the requirement (AGAIN):
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.
c. Perform a conservation project approved by the landowner or land managing agency.

Here's the MB rules (AGAIN):
Requirements. You are expected to meet the requirements as they are stated -- no more and no less. You are expected to do exactly what is stated in the requirements. If it says "show or demonstrate," that is what you must do. Just telling about it isn't enough. The same thing holds true for such words as "make," "list," "in the field," and "collect," "identify," and "label." Does a 25 foot rappel count - NO; 3.75 mi backpack - NO; Overnight snow camping experience with out snow - NO

So Cowboy the "polecat" all the examples you list would be long term camps and I hope he has fun at all of them but only a week's worth would count.

5 nights, 6 or 7 who cares, Camping MB is a heck of a lot more than counting to 20. Requirement 9b is the one that takes some planning. The other requirements make a scout a better camper, not a total of 20 days and nights. IMHO...take Summer Camp credit out of the MB. Most Summer Camps do not make the scout do much in camping planning.
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Re: Camping Merit Badge - Nights requirements

Postby kwildman » Thu Mar 12, 2009 7:43 am

smtroop168 closes his eyes, swings hard, and smacks the nail right on the head.

The intent of the camping merit badge is to get the scouts camping under a variety of circumstances and let them develop skills. Trying to interpret the requirements by focusing on a specific word (in this case week, or long term) is not productive. If anyone has tried to write a manual, work plan, or standard operating procedure you will know how hard it is to convey requirements and rules so that they will not be misunderstood.

The only way around this is to include a list of definitions such as a week means a maximum of x nights and long term means a total of x consecutive nights. The merit badge manuals would also need to list every possible circumstance and a determination of their applicability. What if i camp in a Quinzee or Igloo that I made? It is not a tent and is not under the open sky? Do we really want the merit badge manuals to read like a legal document?
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Re: Camping Merit Badge - Nights requirements

Postby wagionvigil » Thu Mar 12, 2009 7:48 am

Definition long term camp is when it exceeds 72 hours from start to finish!
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Re: Camping Merit Badge - Nights requirements

Postby smtroop168 » Thu Mar 12, 2009 11:56 am

kwildman wrote:smtroop168 closes his eyes, swings hard, and smacks the nail right on the head.


It was either that or continue to bite through my lip.
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Re: Camping Merit Badge - Nights requirements

Postby cballman » Thu Mar 12, 2009 1:02 pm

Great clarification on the req. Didnt say it better because sometimes I want to explain to much indepth to some people.

Thank you Smtroop168
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Re: Camping Merit Badge - Nights requirements

Postby ronin718 » Thu Mar 12, 2009 1:14 pm

wagionvigil wrote:
ronin718 wrote:
wagionvigil wrote:I know of no BSA camp that runs a 7 night camp. SO that being said A week of summer camp! ANd that is Sunday Night through Friday Night


Goshen Scout Reservation (National Capitol Area Council camp and the newly-named home of the National Jamboree) has seven-night camps. You go in on Saturday and you come home on Saturday.

Do the Boys Have Program on Sunday or is this a convience night due to long travel? I am trying to figure How summer camp and the Jamboree are going to coincide.


Program starts Sunday afternoon and runs through Friday morning. Sunday AM is swim checks, med checks, and MB sign-ups. Friday afternoon is camp-wide activities.

My guess is during the years that there is a Jambo the camp won't be available for regular camp.
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Re: Camping Merit Badge - Nights requirements

Postby FrankJ » Thu Mar 12, 2009 5:05 pm

So CBrock: did you get your question answered or just get confused? :)

As you can see there is more than one opinion on this. The bottom line is you as the MBC ultimately decides how the requirement reads. The rest is just opinion.

And welcome to the board.
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Re: Camping Merit Badge - Nights requirements

Postby Billiken » Thu Mar 12, 2009 8:03 pm

ronin718 wrote:Goshen Scout Reservation (National Capitol Area Council camp and the newly-named home of the National Jamboree) has seven-night camps.


My commish, and father of one of our 2nd class scouts, attended Goshen for summer camp as a Scout.
He's not going to the Jamboree in 2010, but I'd bet my much smaller IRA he's going in 2013. :D
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Re: Camping Merit Badge - Nights requirements

Postby smtroop168 » Fri Mar 13, 2009 8:27 am

FrankJ wrote:The bottom line is you as the MBC ultimately decides how the requirement reads. The rest is just opinion.


Actually no. The MBC doesn't decide how the requirement reads. The BSA advancement guys do that.
The problem is that MBCs think they can make up their own requirements.

smtroop168 wrote:Here's the MB rules (AGAIN):
Requirements. You are expected to meet the requirements as they are stated -- no more and no less. You are expected to do exactly what is stated in the requirements. If it says "show or demonstrate," that is what you must do. Just telling about it isn't enough. The same thing holds true for such words as "make," "list," "in the field," and "collect," "identify," and "label." Does a 25 foot rappel count - NO; 3.75 mi backpack - NO; Overnight snow camping experience with out snow - NO
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Re: Camping Merit Badge - Nights requirements

Postby FrankJ » Fri Mar 13, 2009 10:42 am

Actually no. The MBC doesn't decide how the requirement reads. The BSA advancement guys do that.
The problem is that MBCs think they can make up their own requirements.


Since most mortals do not have the phone number of the BSA advancement guys it is really kind of hard to call them up and ask them what they meant. So MBCs are the final interpreter of what is written. It says as much in the advancement committee guidelines. This does not mean they change change or rewrite the requirements. Write is still write. 25 feet is still 25 feet, make is still make & a week is still somewhere between 5 & 7 days. :) But if you would would go through this board you will find a lot of examples of different people of good faith reading the same requirement differently.
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Re: Camping Merit Badge - Nights requirements

Postby smtroop168 » Fri Mar 13, 2009 11:18 am

FrankJ wrote:So MBCs are the final interpreter of what is written. It says as much in the advancement committee guidelines.


I can't find that wording in the #33088. What I do find is quoted from the online Guide for Merit Badge Counselors, No. 34532 is "Your duty is to be satisfied that each Scout who comes to you meets all the requirements for the merit badge you are coaching." If you define "satisfied = interpret", then I guess you're good to go.

Don't have to have super-human powers to find an answer from National if you make an effort. The folks I have spoken to have bent over backwards to help.
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Re: Camping Merit Badge - Nights requirements

Postby FrankJ » Fri Mar 13, 2009 12:07 pm

I was thinking more in terms of clause 13. ...The merit badge counselor shall prepare and qualify youth members. There shall be no board of review procedure for merit badges, ... So once the MBC signs off on the merit badge, it is pretty much done.

This is why it is important to carefully select MBCs & make sure they understand the program & policies. You do not want counselors that are so nitpicky they frustrate the scout or so loose they will accept anything.

I do agree that the MBC should be following the requirements & not making up their own, but they are the ones that are deciding if the scouts has met the requirements so in that sense they are interpreting them.
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Re: Camping Merit Badge - Nights requirements

Postby smtroop168 » Fri Mar 13, 2009 12:46 pm

FrankJ wrote:This is why it is important to carefully select MBCs & make sure they understand the program & policies. You do not want counselors that are so nitpicky they frustrate the scout or so loose they will accept anything.


No argument from me!

The issue is the MBC not following the requirements and making up their own interpretation but given the discussion on "what a week is or isn't" it's amazing that we don't all run out of the building screaming. :lol:

FYI...the dictionary says a week is a period of seven successive days but also says a workweek is a five day week. :?

I'm taking two weeks off to figure it out. :lol:
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Re: Camping Merit Badge - Nights requirements

Postby Cowboy » Fri Mar 13, 2009 4:09 pm

Not being an approved Camping MBC, I never paid a lot of attention to the requirements before this. Sad to say, few of our boys are allowed to count any of the Summer Camp stay toward this MB. Most of the sites at our camp have permenant "bunks". Not much more than a steel roof, wood floor, and screen walls, but NOT a tent. Makes me wonder how many Scouts get this MB without actually meeting the 20 day/night requirement. Our Troop does due to the number of regular overnight campouts we do, but........ Maybe I need to mention this to our DE.
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Re: Camping Merit Badge - Nights requirements

Postby Billiken » Tue Apr 28, 2009 7:57 am

REMOVE WHIP
HIT DEAD HORSE


So.....after earning the 7 nights from summer camp no other nights from events in excess of 72 hrs may count???

What about a high adventure trip?
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Re: Camping Merit Badge - Nights requirements

Postby FrankJ » Tue Apr 28, 2009 12:47 pm

What about a high adventure trip?


Personally I look at what they are doing. If they are setting & breaking camp every day then it is not a long term camp. So I do not consider philmont & N tier to be a "long term camp". The ones that do high adventure camps tend not to have a problem with this anyway.

Added by me:
For the definition police, Philmont & N Tier would be consider touring camps rather than long term camps. At least as defined by our program center.
Last edited by FrankJ on Tue Apr 28, 2009 3:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Camping Merit Badge - Nights requirements

Postby cballman » Tue Apr 28, 2009 3:17 pm

Most of those kids already have the merit badge anyway.
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Re: Camping Merit Badge - Nights requirements

Postby alex gregory » Tue Apr 28, 2009 4:13 pm

cballman wrote:Most of those kids already have the merit badge anyway.


"Most"??? I be surprised if more than 3% of Boy Scouts who choose to participate in a high-adventure program have yet to earn the Camping MB. It's not like the Camping MB is all that hard.

I think a Scout has to try not to earn Camping MB within 18 to 24 months of joining a troop. The extraordinary Scout who flat out hates camping is not likely to be first in line for high adventure.
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Re: Camping Merit Badge - Nights requirements

Postby scoutaholic » Tue Apr 28, 2009 5:16 pm

alex gregory wrote:...I think a Scout has to try not to earn Camping MB within 18 to 24 months of joining a troop. The extraordinary Scout who flat out hates camping is not likely to be first in line for high adventure.


I've seen plenty of boys go longer than that to get their 20 nights.

In Utah scouting, most units have rules limiting camping, and who can attend.
11-year-old-scouts can only camp 3 nights in their 11-year-old-year (and never with the rest of the troop).
Weekend campouts are only 1 night, because we don't stay over to camp on Sunday.

Those units that camp regularly (which unfortunately are few) get 5 nights at summer camp, and 8-10 nights of weekend camps in a year.
5 nights for 1 summer camp
3 nights while 11
8 nights of weekend camping while 12
8 nights of weekend camping while 13
= 24-28 opportunities for camp nights in 3 years.

If the boy comes to every camp, he can finish his 20 nights after about 30 months in scouts.
Boys who are involved in other activities, or who don't want to camp as often, or who don't like to camp because it is 'too cold' or 'too rainy', or 'too ...' will take longer if they ever get to 20.

I had a boy a few years ago who was almost 15 and had been in the troop for about 4 years. Camping was the last MB he needed for Eagle, and he only had 19 nights.

I know of a boy who is currently 17, (6 years in scouts) and working towards finishing up MBs for Eagle. Camping is one that is not finished, and I can only count about 10 nights of scout camping. For him to complete this MB, we may have to go with the older requirements that didn't specify that the camping had to be scout camping. (As long as he started when the old requirements were valid, he can finish those requirements.)
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Re: Camping Merit Badge - Nights requirements

Postby alex gregory » Tue Apr 28, 2009 6:31 pm

Scoutaholic, Utah scouting is apparently very different from what we're doing in Oregon.

Camping MB should be one of the easier merit badges to earn, since camping is so fundamental to ScOUTING.

Our troop schedules 1 to 2 night campouts almost every month + summer camp every year. Figure the average scout over 18 to 24 months in our troop camps an average of 1.5 overnights x 9 weekends = 14 overnights + 6 nights summer camp = 20. A scout who crosses over in 5th grade with only 50% participation over the course of 18 to 24 months should easily surpass the 20 night requirement by the time he is finishing 7th grade, and usually a lot sooner. Between Spring Camporee and first year summer camp, a typical scout should have at least 8 overnights before starting 6th grade! My son had his 20 nights done by October of his 7th grade year, including two backtripping trips, one biking trip, and a kayaking trip. So no, it's not always car-camping.

Obviously, I believe a Scout may apply overnights to both rank advancement and Camping MB.

I can't imagine a program that would limit camping to only 3 nights a year for 11-year olds, or refusing to let the younger guys camp with older scouts on all but the most adventurous outings. That's just so different from my experience in Scouting; but hey, if it works for you that's fine with me.

Wow, I could easily spend a week of overnights at Arches. Oh yeah, I have spent a week of awesome (although very hot) overnights at Arches! Now, for the next trip do we go to Zion or Canyonlands, or perhaps Great Sand Dunes and a side trip to Mesa Verde . . .
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