Camping MB, Requirement 9 (a) Interpretation

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Camping MB, Requirement 9 (a) Interpretation

Postby HubertS » Sun Aug 27, 2006 6:38 pm

Camping Merit Badge requirement 9 (a) states: "Camp a total of at least 20 days and 20 nights..." Our Scoutmaster says he was told at a district roundtable that any troop camping does not count toward the requirement if it was done before he, the Scoutmaster, signs and dates the blue card to officially begin the Camping MB. We are a very active outdoor troop, so many of our boys just starting work on the Camping MB already have more than 20 nights of troop camping recorded in our troop records database. In my 35+ years of scouting, I have not encountered an problem with including all troop or patrol campouts to fulfill requirement 9(a). What is the correct interpretation?
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Postby WVBeaver05 » Sun Aug 27, 2006 7:14 pm

This is a recurring subject. However, it is not up to the SM. It is totally the MB Counselor's call.

I discuss this at some length with my Scouts as there is no guarantee that a MB Counselor will honor work of any sort done before he starts counseling the Scout. They often view the "blue cards" as "just paperwork" and not important. I have several stories from real life about "just paperwork" to try and show that while most people don't like it, paperwork can be VERY important.

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Postby cballman » Sun Aug 27, 2006 8:12 pm

well then if the MBC wont accept any previous night camping from the day the merit badge card was signed then not to be cruel but then why not sign and keep the cards on file when the scout joins the troop then their would be no question as to the twenty nights. or you could talk to the MBC and see how he would either accept or reject any previous nights camping. just my opinion. since this merit badge could be used for Eagle we need to figure out what ways the MBC teaches this and adapt to his or her methods.
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Postby FrankJ » Sun Aug 27, 2006 11:07 pm

We tell new scouts to pull the camping merit blue card when they join the troop for this reason. As a counselor for this merit badge I have no problem accepting camping nights before the blue card is signed as long as the scout as some kind of record of the nights. Other counselors may have other opinions (including some in my troop).
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Postby evmori » Mon Aug 28, 2006 7:42 am

Unless the SM is the Scout's camping MB counselor, he has no say.

This is up to the MB counselor.

And yes we have beat this horse before.
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Postby Mrw » Mon Aug 28, 2006 8:12 am

Our boys either see one of our ASM's who is a camping MB counselor (and an Eagle) or earn this at summer camp.

Both accept camping nights done before the boy gets a blue card.
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Postby PaulSWolf » Mon Aug 28, 2006 8:38 am

If the MBC won't accept camping nights done before the blue card was signed, find a different MBC that understands the concepts of BSA advancement. That's really about the stupidest "added rule" I've heard of. It's comparable to telling a Scout that has been collecting Stamps or coins to start over with a completely new collection, after getting the blue card for the Stamp or Coin Collecting MBs.
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Postby Chief J » Mon Aug 28, 2006 8:45 am

I agree with what ewveryone else has said. It is up to the MBC and not the SM (unless they are one and the same).

I also would state that as a Camping MB Counselor, I will accept camping completed before the date on the blue card as long as they can provide documentation.

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Postby evmori » Mon Aug 28, 2006 8:56 am

PaulSWolf wrote:If the MBC won't accept camping nights done before the blue card was signed, find a different MBC that understands the concepts of BSA advancement. That's really about the stupidest "added rule" I've heard of. It's comparable to telling a Scout that has been collecting Stamps or coins to start over with a completely new collection, after getting the blue card for the Stamp or Coin Collecting MBs.


The requirement states 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). There is nothing that states "since joining your Troop". That leaves it up to the counselor and if a counselor won't accept camping done prior to the blue card being signed that is not adding to the requirements. I agree that all camping with the Troop since joining the Troop should count.
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Postby Lynda J » Mon Aug 28, 2006 10:27 am

I agree with Paul. Find a different counselor. Do I always accept requirements done before a Scout gets a blue card. No. But it depends on the badge. Like others here two badges we have our boys get cards on asap are Camping and Cooking. They go hand in hand.

I have heard of counselors refusing to accept partial card signed off by another counselor. I can understand in some badges where there are skills needed that could cause danger if not completed. But for most I don't have a problem. I normally talk to the boy about what he has already done on the badge just to see how he feels about what he has done so far.
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Postby ICanCanoeCanU » Mon Aug 28, 2006 4:47 pm

Although I agree with all of you and think a MBC should accept camping nights before the blue card has been signed (provided there is proof of the camping). I think where the problem comes in as the fact that it is constantly written and spoken, that a scout must have a blue card before starting any work. Most people would understand there can always be acceptions to this and the 20 days of camping would certainly fall into this.
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Postby vpalango » Mon Aug 28, 2006 7:10 pm

While I saw a post from someone else who says they got a letter from National saying that the camping had to be Troop camping, I don't think that meets the spirit of the requirement either (otherwise a Lone scout would have a VERY hard time finishing it).

When I work with boys on this MB, I do interview them about thier camping experiences. I make sure they were really camping, and not just sleeping in the woods with thier parents doing all the work. So as long as they really are doing the work of camping, I see no reason some family camping can't be part of the requirement.

However, I do want to see it as mostly Troop/Patrol camping. The place where I've let boys use family camping the most is to fill in on the activities they need (like a bike hike, etc...) as part of a camping trip. Otherwise, most of the scouts I work with fill in the requirement quite easily with troop camping.
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Postby Fünfte Adler » Sun Sep 17, 2006 5:52 pm

Just so we are on the same page here, and maybe I'm not the person you are taking about. I didn't say that the camping had to be done with the Troop. I said that the Director of Advancement of the National Council, Terry Lawson, said "the camping must be Scout activity related...Backyard camping and family camping are not acceptable to meet the 20 days and nights." That's all. As a Camping MBC, I don't agree with it, but it seems that both my Troop and my Council do. It is also my Council's impression that the Scoutmaster, and not the MBC, is the only person who signs off on the 9a reguirement being met. A note from the SM saying that the boy has met the 20 nights.
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Postby FrankJ » Sun Sep 17, 2006 6:15 pm

It is also my Council's impression that the Scoutmaster, and not the MBC, is the only person who signs off on the 9a reguirement being met. A note from the SM saying that the boy has met the 20 nights.


That goes against pretty much everything I have seen published by the BSA on merit badge counciling. If that is really the way national wants it, fine, They should follow their own rules & put it in the requirements.

Sorry if I am perceived as blunt, I am not doubting anyone’s words or criticizing their opinion. I am a technical person by education and tend to direct in my writing.
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Postby ASM-142 » Mon Sep 18, 2006 7:50 am

Fünfte Adler wrote:It is also my Council's impression that the Scoutmaster, and not the MBC, is the only person who signs off on the 9a reguirement being met. A note from the SM saying that the boy has met the 20 nights.

It really does not matter what a SM thinks (unless s/he is a registered MBC) about this. If the MBC knows the scouts has satisfied a requirement it is her/his obligation to sign off on the requirement.
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Postby Fünfte Adler » Mon Sep 18, 2006 9:13 am

ASM-142 wrote:
It really does not matter what a SM thinks (unless s/he is a registered MBC) about this. If the MBC knows the scouts has satisfied a requirement it is her/his obligation to sign off on the requirement.


This is true, and as Camping MBC I feel the same way. But there are several signed blue cards in our Troop that are being held and the badges are not being given out.
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Postby ASM-142 » Mon Sep 18, 2006 3:08 pm

Fünfte Adler wrote:ASM-142 wrote:
It really does not matter what a SM thinks (unless s/he is a registered MBC) about this. If the MBC knows the scouts has satisfied a requirement it is her/his obligation to sign off on the requirement.


This is true, and as Camping MBC I feel the same way. But there are several signed blue cards in our Troop that are being held and the badges are not being given out.


The SM needs to be made aware that he can not hold back MBs once the MBC has signed off on them. :evil:
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Postby JVCXXVI » Wed Oct 11, 2006 11:27 am

Can someone tell me what Long Term Camping is considered?
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Postby JazerNorth » Wed Oct 11, 2006 12:09 pm

JVCXXVI wrote:Can someone tell me what Long Term Camping is considered?

From the requirement wrote: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).


As a camping merit badge counselor, I accept almost all camping where the scout set up a tent or slept under the sky. I even count all long-term camps (counted as 4 days, 3 nights, or more), even if the scout didn't set up the tent. I ask lots of questions to determine if and how he was camping. Usually it fits within the requirement above.

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Postby FrankJ » Wed Oct 11, 2006 12:15 pm

I consider long term camp to mean summer camp where the tents are all ready set up. Camping like Philmont & Nothern tier where the scouts are setting up their own tents I would count outside of the long term camp.
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