Camping Merit Badge - Nights requirements

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Re: Camping Merit Badge - Nights requirements

Postby smtroop168 » Tue Feb 14, 2012 6:45 pm

Or we could go back to the 1958 requirement of 50 nights and no long term camps allowed. :D
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Re: Camping Merit Badge - Nights requirements

Postby Troop450_Sarge » Wed Jul 04, 2012 11:54 am

Could you take a second week (6 nights) of Summer camp and divide it to give him credit for 2 nights and 3 nights? Where he would just lose 1 night vs losing 6 nights? Kinda confused as to why this restriction is placed on the requirement?
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Re: Camping Merit Badge - Nights requirements

Postby smtroop168 » Wed Jul 04, 2012 12:34 pm

No. How would you split it? Aren't you staying in the same site in a camp provided tent?

The idea is to get the scouts and his troop out in the woods and experience different camping experiences. See Req 9b.

An active camping troop can have enough opportunities to complete the 20 nights in a year. Go out and enjoy!
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Re: Camping Merit Badge - Nights requirements

Postby FrankJ » Wed Jul 04, 2012 6:08 pm

Staying in a preselected site, tents set up, & eating in a dining hall really is not camping. The bigger question would be why count summer camp nights at all? :D One reason would be to encourage troops to go to summer camp. A good thing in & of itself.

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Re: Camping Merit Badge - Nights requirements

Postby DLMinKS » Thu Jun 04, 2015 5:23 pm

Two questions. I don't like being technical, but this one seems to require it.

1. So after counting 1 week of summer/long-term camp, additional long-term campouts (summer camp) count for NOTHING at all? Not even 1 night?

2. How long is long-term? So a 4-5-6 day high adventure trip does not count AT ALL (depending on the above answer), but an overnight at a local campground does count? This just doesn't seem to make sense.
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Re: Camping Merit Badge - Nights requirements

Postby scoutaholic » Thu Jun 04, 2015 11:08 pm

FrankJ wrote:Staying in a preselected site, tents set up, & eating in a dining hall really is not camping. ...

I have to agree that your description does not sound like camping, however, if that is the reason to not count long-term camps, maybe they should say it like that.
My council runs 8 summer camps and high adventure bases. None of them meet your criteria. All have designated camping sights, but none have tents supplied by council or setup for you. Some offer dining hall, but none require it. In all my years of summer camps, I've always slept in a tent I brought and setup myself, and have always planned and prepared our own food.
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Re: Camping Merit Badge - Nights requirements

Postby Quailman » Fri Jun 05, 2015 8:01 am

IMO, it's a matter of planning and going on more camp outs.
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Re: Camping Merit Badge - Nights requirements

Postby Mrw » Fri Jun 05, 2015 9:00 am

As far as camping nights for the Camping Merit Badge, only one week of regular summer camp counts. In our neck of the woods, that is 6 out of the 20 required nights. It really should not be a stretch for a Scout to manage another 14 nights with his troop. That is only 7 weekend camps!

High adventure camps are not the same as regular summer camp and would certainly count. Although I am going to suggest that the boy should have had the 20 nights on other camps completed before he is ready for that high adventure outing!
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Re: Camping Merit Badge - Nights requirements

Postby DLMinKS » Tue Jun 09, 2015 1:08 pm

Our troop - and a significant number of others - does not camp on Sundays (i.e. no Saturday nights, as this goes into Sunday; and no Sunday nights for scout camp - they check in Monday morning), so scout camp is 5 days maximum and "weekend" campouts are 1 night only - just Friday. Unfortunately, for the last 3 years, the scout leaders had a lot of conflicts (and just didn't seem interested in camping in general, IMO) and the troop has only camped a few times each year other than summer camp. This makes it hard for the boys to earn Camping in a reasonable period of time since all campouts must be Scouting related. :( It's not impossible, of course, we'll get there. But not being able to count additional summer camps for even 1 night does make a difference. After 3 years of scouting, attending every troop campout, my two sons have only 13 or 14 "nights". At this rate, it will be 2-3 more years of scouting to get to 20. Although he will soon be a Varsity Scout and the Varsity scouts do a high adventure trip each year, IF that counts. However, wouldn't high adventure campouts be "long term" camping???? Is "long term" ONLY traditional summer camp? If so, shouldn't it say it that way? Ugh ...

I'm not trying to be difficult, I just want to make sure we (our family) are doing this as truly intended and don't mess up by thinking we CAN count things (like High Adventure campouts) that we shouldn't, or NOT count things we can (like not counting ANYthing for additional summer camps, etc.) when we are already having a hard time getting to 20 nights of scout-related camping.

I can't imagine we are the only troop with this problem and these questions. Sadly, I know lots of troops don't function as ideally as the program is intended to function. Scouting leaders are, after all, volunteers who have other obligations and a life and family outside of scouting. Are others just glossing this over and counting things that really shouldn't count because the wording isn't crystal clear???
Last edited by DLMinKS on Thu Jun 11, 2015 8:37 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Camping Merit Badge - Nights requirements

Postby Mrw » Wed Jun 10, 2015 7:46 am

The intent behind allowing only one week of summer camp (long term camp) is that many, many summer camps provide platform tents and dining halls and so the boys are not doing for themselves and learning the skills they need.

High adventure camps, by definition, are NOT this way. Please feel free to count the high adventure nights.

I am sorry to hear your troop does not camp much. It sounds like they need to recruit a few more leaders so that there is a larger pool of adults to go on camps with the boys.
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Re: Camping Merit Badge - Nights requirements

Postby Quailman » Wed Jun 10, 2015 10:11 am

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Re: Camping Merit Badge - Nights requirements

Postby Mrw » Thu Jun 11, 2015 8:05 am

Our troop has a group of older boys that get in a high adventure trip or two each year. These are often 3-4 nights with backpacking and the like. High adventure means something the younger boys may not be ready for and that requires a bit of experience or extra training to do. These rarely meet the "long term camp" definition in the blog posted linked to above.
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Re: Camping Merit Badge - Nights requirements

Postby FrankJ » Tue Jun 16, 2015 3:32 pm

The camping merit badge really does not define "long term camp". So going by the GTA's guidance of not adding to or removing from the requirements... Bryan's blog definition does not carry more or less weight than any other reasonable merit badge councilor. The MBC is the final judge in the BSA eyes. Clearly things like a week long summer camp fit the long term definition. Other high adventure type camping less so. Especially if they are the roll your own varieties with the scouts doing the bulk of the planning. By the time a scout has reached the skill level of HA camping, he probably has had enough camping nights to meet the requirements anyway.

BTW I disagree (respectfully) with Bryan on many things.
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Re: Camping Merit Badge - Nights requirements

Postby FrankJ » Wed Jun 24, 2015 10:47 am

Another "Official" answer from Bryan's Blog about camping nights.
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Re: Camping Merit Badge - Nights requirements

Postby DLMinKS » Thu Jun 25, 2015 1:27 pm

The simplest fix for this entire issue would be to revise the merit badge requirement to specify “20 nights under the stars or a temporary shelter you helped set up on at least 10 (or whatever number BSA decides) separate camping outings at designated scouting activities or events”. If it’s felt necessary (and yeah, it probably is), it could be added that to count as separate camping outings, camping experiences must be separately designated events or activities with a 1 night minimum gap between the two. This would avoid any question of counting each time you set up camp on a long-term outing as a separate outing.

This way they can count high adventure trips, scout camps, Philmont, etc. (basically any camping where they set up their own shelter) toward the number of days, but they will necessarily get in a sufficient number of separate trips in the process of completing 10 (or ??) separate camping trips, many of which will almost certainly be shorter term. I really feel the intent of this merit badge is for the boy to set up camp enough times (and so far as possible under enough different conditions) that he becomes proficient. Requiring short term campouts was a way of ensuring that 1 or 2 long term trips where they set up a base camp and never relocate are not all that the boys does to earn this badge. This way, four 5-night campouts won’t do it. But I would argue that a boy who does 6 “long term” campouts and only 4 “short term” (as an example) has done enough camping that he has learned what he needs to learn (for the merit badge). Obviously, there is always more to learn. Merit badges represent a baseline level of knowledge and proficiency, not expertise.

About 1/3 of BSA’s registered units are LDS. To me, this is a large enough share of the “market” that differences are worth considering. LDS units do not do campouts beginning or ending on Sundays (except maybe in exceptional circumstances). This means these units must (typically) do 1 5-night campout plus 15 more individual Friday night campouts to be able to count 20 nights. That is 16 separate campouts. Non-LDS units would typically be able to count 1 6-night campout and 7 2-night campouts. Meaning non-LDS units will typically do 8 campouts to complete the requirement, while LDS units must do 16 (twice the number of campouts). I really think the important facets of developing camping skills have to do with the number of nights AND the number of separate campouts. It would be much simpler to just state it this way.
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Re: Camping Merit Badge - Nights requirements

Postby BartHumphries » Sun Jul 19, 2015 12:48 am

Probably exactly how the Jamboree and Camps all over the nation coincide. People who go to the Jamboree will go to the Jamboree, people who work at camp will stay at camp. Some Camp/Program Directors will have to struggle with some staff suddenly disappearing for a week or two during that time.
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