Camping MB, Requirement 9 (a) Interpretation

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Postby gwd-scouter » Fri Oct 13, 2006 9:49 am

I'm not saying doing a summer camp once a year for four years is a rush to finish. But that suggests that it is the ONLY camping the Scout is doing and therefore, there is something lacking in the program for the rest of the year.

The twenty nights of camping is easy to do if your program has a good outdoor program with a campout at least once a month, a week of summer camp, and your scouts are attending those campouts.

My opinion here, but if it so necessary to count more than one week of summer camp or a family campout for a scout to reach the 20 nights of camping, it suggests to me that the scout is not very active in the troop and is probably missing many other advancement opportunities, not just camping merit badge.
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Postby JVCXXVI » Fri Oct 13, 2006 10:08 am

That exactly whay you said. (Why such a rush to finish the camping MB) Thanks for "your" opinion. If you go back and read the question I asked you'll see it doesn't say anything about what you think is missing from other troop's programs. Try to stay positive or just say nothing.
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Postby FrankJ » Fri Oct 13, 2006 10:25 am

I didn't read gwd-scouter post as anything but positive. Probally because I mostly agree. :)

Just doing long term summer camps doesn't accomplish the intent requirements of the merit badge.

In answer to JVCXXVI's question; I know more than one scout that does multiple summer camps in a year & could earn the merit badge in a summer if you counted all summer camps.
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Postby JVCXXVI » Fri Oct 13, 2006 10:37 am

Look back at what I asked --(Our troop goes to summer camp for 7 days 6 nights and sets their our tents up. This happens every year. Would you count the 7 days 6 nights every year or only once towards the 20?) I said nothing about mutiple summer camps. It's probably pretty easy to go camping every month in South Carolina. It's more difficult to do the same in Minnesota. Suggesting that "there is something lacking in a program" is not positive. I joined this website to get questions answered, not to have our troop's programs questioned. It just puts a person on guard to have statements like that posted. Sorry to T anyone off.
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Postby JazerNorth » Fri Oct 13, 2006 10:45 am

Which is why it should be left up to the merit badge counselor to determine. I have counted and not counted a family camp out for the badge. I have also counted a scout camping in his back yard (It was worse than camping where we usually go). Would I count more than 1 summer camp in a year? I don't know, depends on the boy's experience, though I would lean towards counting them all since they put forth the effort to go to more than one. I would, though, count summer camp each year. Why? Because it makes sense to me.

I feel the scout program is here to influence the boys to do well and have fun. I feel that giving the boys every opportunity to acheive is the goal of scouting. Discounting a camping experience, just because it is the second summer camp, can communicate the wrong thing to the boys.

My troop camps one night every month for 8 months of the year (too cold the other 3) + summer camp. At the rate of 8 + 6 = 14 nights per year. So, yeah they can do it in 2 years, but the point isn't when or how fast, but the actual doing. I think everyone here would be irritated if they were shorted on something just because it seemed to be that way. I give the tie to the runner, who is the scout.

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Postby molscouter » Fri Oct 13, 2006 11:04 am

JVC, I don't know about year round camping; those Southerners seem to have trouble when the temperature dips below 45 or so :)
Just kidding.

To me, setting up your own tents and staying put for a week is the same as using a summer camps wall tents. It's a long term camp and only one week can count. As I said earlier, a Philmont trek or Northern Tier trip is different because you are not in one spot more than one night (maybe 2). You are constantly setting up and breaking camp and moving from place to place. That's why I would count any nights of that type as short term. If your summer camp is moving from place to place each day, it's not a long term camp (rearranging the tents each day but staying in the same campsite shouldn't count, the boys would think of that one in a nanosecond). Most summer camps don't do that.

I agree, there should be no rush. An active outdoor troop will get the boys to 20 nights fairly quickly. Not counting a second summer camp is not sending a wrong message to the boys. It's sending the message that there are rules to follow and sometimes goals take time to accomplish. Trying to circumvent them is sending the wrong message.
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Postby JVCXXVI » Fri Oct 13, 2006 11:07 am

molscouter--thanks. It's great to bounce ideas off others and get feed back.
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Postby FrankJ » Fri Oct 13, 2006 11:07 am

To me 'a week of long term camp' means 7 days out of the twenty required. As I said before I would consider nights actually spent on a trail at philmont, nothern tier, or even a 'heritage trek' at regular camp differently than typical summer camp were the tents are already set up & the food is served in the mess hall.

I think the reason that BSA has decidely left the interpertation of merit badge requirements up to the counselor so a caring person can deterime when the requirements are met. I know it doesn't always work that way.
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Postby ICanCanoeCanU » Fri Oct 13, 2006 12:14 pm

We have several counselors around here that claim "a week long of summercamp counts as two (2) nights towards the camping MB". They have given a few different reasons for this. They do not want to count all the nights (as others here have stated) because the tents are already set up. They aren't packing each time for a new campout. They aren't even going to new territory for each trip. But they do want to give them credit for sleeping in a tent and when it's for 6 night, chances are they will encounter changes in the weather.

Now I'm not saying this is right or wrong - just saying what the thought is around here, and for my sons when they earned this badge this was the ruling and I never questioned it or thought anything of it. That was between the boys, their MBC and SM.

JVCXXVI - I don't think the poster was trying to be negative as much as just questioning why the focus on summercamp nights as opposed to working throughout the year towards this requirement. This being said, I am curious why in Minnesota it's difficult to camp every month? Being in NY next to Lake Ontario, we have very cold winters and our troop tent camps right through it - our council holds a winter event where many, many troops camp on top of the snow? Just wondering.
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Postby JazerNorth » Fri Oct 13, 2006 12:41 pm

ICanCanoeCanU wrote:We have several counselors around here that claim "a week long of summercamp counts as two (2) nights towards the camping MB". They have given a few different reasons for this. They do not want to count all the nights (as others here have stated) because the tents are already set up. They aren't packing each time for a new campout. They aren't even going to new territory for each trip. But they do want to give them credit for sleeping in a tent and when it's for 6 night, chances are they will encounter changes in the weather.


I can handle that much more then just not counting. Makes a bit more sense than just not counting it at all. For some boys, yeah, this would be about right for what the put into the camp. For other boys, though, I would count the all summer camps just because of the effort they put into it.

I do like having the MB counselor being able to decide and instruct the boys on what the decision will be made from. For instance, I wouldn't count some of the boys back yard camping because they really wouldnt' camp. But one of my boys (with the really wilderness back yard), I would count.

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Postby gwd-scouter » Mon Oct 16, 2006 10:27 am

Wow JVC. I wasn't trying to be negative and I'm sorry you took my post that way.

As to easily camping all year round in South Carolina: We just had our District Fall Camporee this past weekend. Daytime temperatures were a beautiful high 60s. Temperatures dropped rapidly as the sun went down and the low Friday night was 30. A bit warmer Saturday night - 32. Ice on the tents, frost everywhere. Fun Fun Fun.

We have camped in February with temperatures in the teens. Then again, we've camped in February when the temperatures were in the 70s. We camp in the summer months with temps in the high 90s even into the 100s. But, sometimes one of our summer campouts with only have temps in the 60s. Very unpredictable weather here in the South so our scouts definately have to learn to be prepared.
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Postby JVCXXVI » Mon Oct 16, 2006 11:18 am

I wish the temps would have been like that while I was at Ft. Jackson for 4 months!! :)
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Postby scoutaholic » Mon Oct 16, 2006 11:46 am

gwd-scouter wrote:... As to easily camping all year round in South Carolina: We just had our District Fall Camporee this past weekend. Daytime temperatures were a beautiful high 60s. Temperatures dropped rapidly as the sun went down and the low Friday night was 30. A bit warmer Saturday night - 32. Ice on the tents, frost everywhere. Fun Fun Fun.
We have camped in February with temperatures in the teens. Then again, we've camped in February when the temperatures were in the 70s. We camp in the summer months with temps in the high 90s even into the 100s. But, sometimes one of our summer campouts with only have temps in the 60s. Very unpredictable weather here in the South so our scouts definately have to learn to be prepared.


We've had camps in Utah with temperatures everywhere from -20 to 100+. At -20 in February, be prepared is not just our motto - it can be the difference between life and death.

With the proper preparation, there is no time or place that you can't camp. Year-Round camping should be a part of your troop program no matter where you live.
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Postby mhjacobson » Mon Oct 16, 2006 1:27 pm

'We have several counselors around here that claim "a week long of summercamp counts as two (2) nights towards the camping MB".

Unfortunately, these counselors are wrong! The reason why BSA allows us to count only ONE long term camping experience for the Camping MB is the fact that camping should be a regular experience and a scout could otherwise earn the MB with only three summer camp experiences. Philmont counts as a long-term camping experience. Also there is some difference between one camp and the next (some have dining halls, set-up tents, etc.)

There is no rationale for not allowing the scout to take credit for the full number of nights that he went camping during one of the long-term camping experiences. For many troops, the scouts still set up and take down tents as they do not like the long term camp's tents.
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Postby gwd-scouter » Mon Oct 16, 2006 2:18 pm

scoutaholic - I can't tell from your post if you are questioning whether we camp year-round here in South Carolina so let me say that YES we do indeed camp every month, year-round. I also question those folks in the colder regions of our country that suggest they do not go camping in the winter months. There is a scouter from Alaska that regularly posts on another forum. I've seen pictures of his troop camping in above-head snow drifts. They surely seem prepared to handle the below 0 temperatures they regularly face when camping!

I once heard a fellow from Brussels tell me about Scouting in Belgium where it rains almost every day. It's cold, damp and miserable and yet, the scouts go camping all year-round.

The thing I remember most that he said was "it's not poor weather, just poor preparation and equipment."

Have kept that in mind and use that phrase with the Scouts ever since.
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Postby Mrw » Mon Oct 16, 2006 2:40 pm

OUr troop in Ohio camps year-round also. We have sometimes gone cabin camping in the winter, but we also use tents in the cold.

I can think of two cold weather campouts that were cancelled because the scout camp we were going to was concerned about very low wind chills and liability. (The boys were disappointed, but I think the leaders were a bit relieved)
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Postby ICanCanoeCanU » Mon Oct 16, 2006 6:20 pm

Unfortunately, these counselors are wrong! The reason why BSA allows us to count only ONE long term camping experience for the Camping MB is the fact that camping should be a regular experience and a scout could otherwise earn the MB with only three summer camp experiences.


Actually they are not wrong...or right. You suggest that BSA has clearly defined what is allowed to count pertaining to long term camping and most of this thread is proof that people have different thoughts on this and that BSA has in fact not clarified whats allowed.

Also, with the calculations I explained (summercamp counts as 2 nights towards the 20 needed), if a scout only used summercamp for this requirement, it would take 10 years of camp to reach 20. You are contradicting yourself in your own response. As for a scout needing a regular experience, yes, and by only allowing 2 nights from summercamp, this is only a small portion of the 20.???
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Postby evmori » Mon Oct 16, 2006 8:33 pm

ICanCanoeCanU wrote:
Unfortunately, these counselors are wrong! The reason why BSA allows us to count only ONE long term camping experience for the Camping MB is the fact that camping should be a regular experience and a scout could otherwise earn the MB with only three summer camp experiences.


Actually they are not wrong...or right. You suggest that BSA has clearly defined what is allowed to count pertaining to long term camping and most of this thread is proof that people have different thoughts on this and that BSA has in fact not clarified whats allowed.

Also, with the calculations I explained (summercamp counts as 2 nights towards the 20 needed), if a scout only used summercamp for this requirement, it would take 10 years of camp to reach 20. You are contradicting yourself in your own response. As for a scout needing a regular experience, yes, and by only allowing 2 nights from summercamp, this is only a small portion of the 20.???


By only counting summer camp (7 nights) as 2 nights is wrong. And the requirement states "a week" may be counted. A meaning one. Interpreting A as anything other than one is ludicrous.
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Postby Fünfte Adler » Wed Jan 24, 2007 5:26 pm

I find it funny how so many people want to just hand the boy his Eagle Scout Award a few months after he joins Scouting without him doing anything for it. It's not that big of a deal. The boy would only have to camp for 3 days a year and he can meet the Requirement for camping. What's the hurry?
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Camping MB requirement 9a

Postby smtroop168 » Thu Jan 25, 2007 10:25 am

Hi everybody. Check the 2007 BSA requirements book hot off the press. They have changed 9a to say the 20 dys and nights "must be at a designated scouting activity or event".

Also I've never had a problem with scouts getting 20 days and nights with or without summer camp. The more challenging part of requirement 9 is 9b where you need to make sure your campouts include hiking up 1000 feet or backpacking, snoeshoe or cross country ski for 4 miles, bike trip of 15 miles, non-motorized water trip, overnight snow camping or rapeeling 30 feet or more.

I need to come up with a witty saying to end my posts. Cheers.
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