Camping Merit Badge - Conservation Project?

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Camping Merit Badge - Conservation Project?

Postby kennethburgener » Tue Nov 08, 2016 7:42 pm

The Camping Merit badge requirement 9.c says: (http://www.scouting.org/filestore/Merit ... amping.pdf)

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"9. c. Perform a conservation project approved by the landowner or land managing agency. This can be done alone or with others."


What constitutes a "conservation project"? School taught me that "conservation" is the 3 Rs: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. We usually do service hours at the Food Bank to cover "conservation" related service hours. I am not sure how to apply that to a project we could do on a camping trip. Would this also include just picking up trash? What examples are others using?

Also the line about "This can be done alone" seems to imply that it doesn't have to be done with the troop. So does this requirement have to be done on a camping trip with the troop, or on any camping trip? Does this requirement even have to be done on a camping trip at all? If not, could doing the obvious conservation service hours at the Food Bank cover this?

Thoughts?
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Re: Camping Merit Badge - Conservation Project?

Postby Quailman » Sun Nov 13, 2016 6:29 pm

If you're at a state park, ask the rangers for guidance. It might include removing invasive species or shoring up part of a trail to prevent further erosion. For more information, read up on the BSA Hornaday Award. For the 50 miler award, my son and I applied a coat of varnish to a backcountry ranger cabin in the Teton Wilderness.

There's a lot more to conservation than the three Rs. And frankly, I wouldn't classify food bank service hours as conservation.
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Re: Camping Merit Badge - Conservation Project?

Postby kennethburgener » Mon Nov 14, 2016 12:54 am

Thank you for your response.


If you're at a state park, ask the rangers for guidance.

Most of the state parks are a bit more pricey than the other options, such as the forest service, so we usually avoid them for campouts, especially with larger groups. Although asking their counterpart forest service ranger is still a good idea. Thanks.


It might include removing invasive species or shoring up part of a trail to prevent further erosion. For more information, read up on the BSA Hornaday Award.

The BSA Horaday Award does give a nice list for projects in natural resource conservation or environmental improvements:
  • Energy conservation
  • Soil and water conservation
  • Fish and wildlife management
  • Forestry and range management
  • Air and water pollution control
  • Resource recovery (recycling)
  • Hazardous material disposal and management
  • Invasive species control


my son and I applied a coat of varnish to a backcountry ranger cabin in the Teton Wilderness

That does sound like a good service project, but for my understanding, how would that be described as conservation? Would that fall under indirectly supporting the rangers who do fish and wildlife management?


There's a lot more to conservation than the three Rs. And frankly, I wouldn't classify food bank service hours as conservation.

I am confused. Are you saying the 3 Rs are not part of conservation then? Or that the Food Bank doesn't do the 3 Rs? I think the Food Bank (and EPA) would disagree, considering the EPA uses food donations as a direct example of the 3 Rs: https://www.epa.gov/recycle/donating-food


Thanks again for your responses.
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Re: Camping Merit Badge - Conservation Project?

Postby Quailman » Mon Nov 14, 2016 7:07 pm

Most state parks in Texas will waive the camping fees (group campsites, not ones the can rent to families) in return for a service project. Some seem more conservation-oriented than others. The key wherever you are is to have the project approved by the landowner.

Applying the varnish to the cabin was what the NFS needed at the time, and it helped to preserve a cabin used by a ranger who enforced hunting and fishing regs.

I see what the EPA says about keeping food out of landfills. I had in mind my own experience of getting a flyer from a Cub Scout and going to my grocery store to buy cases of canned goods to donate.
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