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  • National Outdoor Achievement Badges and Award

    My son and I have been looking at the National Outdoor badges and award an it looks like a great worth goal, to strive for and will likely take an entire scouting career to complete. I am concerned about the meaning of "under the auspicies of the BSA". I have looked at the programs of many troops in my area and none have a program that would allow a scout to come close to earning the award. How is a boy to earn this if there is not a significant amount of boys in the troop that want to. The BSA states it is not for every boy, but shouldn't every boy that wants to earn it be allowed the opportunity ? Example riding, the distance requirements for the cycling MB do not require the presence of a patrol or troop or even the MB Counselor. However requirement 3 200 miles, that includes the distance of the MB must be "under the auspices of the BSA". Camping with a silver device is 125 nights in 25 night blocks with only 5 long term allowed. So that is 100 short term nights. Great goal, but again that means 14.29 short term nights per year for 7 years, no cancelations. I can't find any troop that has that kind of program. There are many that are very active, but they include other activities other than camping. (Like bus trips, cabin camping in winter, etc) and outside of summer camp, do not meet in the summer. I have tried searching for a definition of "under auspices of the BSA " and have not been able to nail it down. For cycling it seems reasonable to me that a boy could schedule a distance ride for a Saturday, get scoutmaster approval and invite anyone from the patrol and it would count. But what if no one else wanted to go ? Same with a patrol hike, camping, swim etc. There are not a lot of boys that enjoy distance swimming, how can a boy achieve 100 hours of swimming in a troop setting (required for two gold devices) What if his father, also a registered and trained unit leader, went along on the ride, swim or camping trip. Is that now "under the auspicies of the BSA". Seems like it would be, but what about the boys from units that do not have that advantage ? The award seems like an ambitious and worthy goal and a great exercise in meticulous record keeping. It just seems mathematically impossible to achieve strictly as a group effort. Do I understand the requirements correctly ?

  • #2
    "but shouldn't every boy that wants to earn it be allowed the opportunity ?" -- your has the opportunity to participate in contingent troop activities, district and council activities. He also has the option of bringing up activities to the PLC.

    " But what if no one else wanted to go ?" If the PLC or patrol schedules an activity that is not cancelled its still an BSA activity, right?

    Having Scouter dad along does not make it under the auspices of the BSA. The PLC, patrol, district, council make it under the auspices of the BSA.

    "Do I understand the requirements correctly ?"--I think you understand the math correctly. It is a difficult award. I think you understand "under the auspices of the BSA" but want to hear differently.

    Why are you skipping ahead and worrying about the silver devices? Seems similar to worrying about Eagle palms at Tenderfoot.

    Related thread: http://www.scouter.com/forum/camping...-camping-award

    Comment


    • King Ding Dong
      King Ding Dong commented
      Editing a comment
      Thanks for the response and link. I am looking at the silver devices because they are required for the award. I have always been concerned that this troop is a little light on activities, especially camping. The nature of this award requires some planning.

      He also does better when he has goals he wants to achieve. He says he wants to earn it, but probably does not fully grasp its scope. It won't happen with his current troop.

      Will look into contingent activities and other troops, but have not seen any council or district events that would fulfill requirements.

      This probably goes to "not what I want to hear", but....if the PL approves the activity as a patrol activity the patrol members may participate in if they wish then it is a BSA event, right ?
      Last edited by King Ding Dong; 06-30-2013, 08:06 PM.

    • Basementdweller
      Basementdweller commented
      Editing a comment
      DAD this is not cub scouting...Back off.....Your boy is what 10. Let him enjoy his patrol mates and get to first class. Let him learn his knots, how to pitch a tent, plan and cook a meal on his own. Learn first aid, swim........Let him be a boy..........

  • #3
    The paperwork involved in this award is a capital-N Nightmare. To facilitate boys who want to apply for it, I've created a spreadsheet that keeps track of every trip the troop offers or any Scouting event that any boy from the troop attended (OA, high adv., jambo) going back as far as the oldest scout in the troop. First column is the date (month/year), then trip title (XYZ State Park), then a column for each badge category: Camping, Hiking, Riding, Aquatics, Adventure. In those 5 columns is recorded the applicable data; for camping X nights, aquatics, X hours, riding X miles, etc.
    It's virtually impossible, in my view, for a boy to calculate his hours, miles, etc by himself, especially since TroopMaster will not allow us to record that information in a trip (it's either a campign trip wtih recorded nights, or a hiking trip with miles, but not both)
    Take note that a single high adventure trip which doubles the defined parameters of high adventure can count as 2 toward the award. Also take note that multiple activities on one trip count toward all badges (if on one campout you rode 5 miles, swam for 2 hours, and hiked 3 miles, that's creditable to all 4 badges).

    I do not share your interpretation of the use of long term nights for the camping gold/silver device. The only limit on long term nights for the badge. There is no such restriction listed for the devices. The first 3 boys in our troop to earn the award all qualified for silver camping devices at the same time; and they all applied 15-30 nights of long term camping to the device (they all had multiple years of summer camp and the 2010 nat'l jamboree). I did not allow the boys to count nights spent indoors (our annual lock in, or the rare cabin trip).
    The council reviewed and approved the applications. They were between 14 and 16 years old, so it's well within an active scout's reach to earn multiple silver devices in camping.
    The ability for a scout to earn these is dependent upon his troop's program. Our troop goes biking with a 50-mile option every year. We hike all the time, and we go on long-term hikes almost every summer. Riding and camping are a cinch. The real difficulty, in my opinion, is the aquatics badge because of its inclusion of the Mile Swim on the base level, and the high adventure badge because of the amount of high adv a boy has to do (10 for the base badge).

    So, if your troop camps every month, and your son goes with them, and he goes to summer camp, and throws in a week-long hike once a year, and some OA campouts, there is no need for you to start manipulating the PLC into calling father-son bike rides troop or patrol events. I think you're overthinking it.

    If you are worried about the ability to earn it within your existing yearly program, then your son should talk-up the award to his patrol mates and get them all inspired to earn the awards, and then they'll want to set up their own patrol day trips and campouts to enable themselves to earn it. Maybe call the council and see how many boys earn it (very few if I were a betting man, mostly due to its clerical nightmarishness) and turn it into a prestige thing for the boys--even rarer than Eagle.

    Comment


    • Basementdweller
      Basementdweller commented
      Editing a comment
      Well, you were asked to be scout master.....

      You could change the program to meet your vision. Now is the time to start thinking about where you would like to be as a troop.....

      Now I understand why you view the award as difficult to achieve. We easily camp 30 nights a year and have three or four events outside of meetings a month and twice a week volunteer opportunities.

      Not sure what drunk college kids have to do with a canoe trip???? I think that is the case most everywhere......Just make your reservations for the first run in the morning......you will be far enough a head of them that it won't be an issue.

      Our scout camps close in november for deer hunting.......Deer hunting probably isn't the entire month right???????......When there is a will there is a way to provide a program.......Worst camp use November as your holiday party.....Take them bowling or to an indoor shooting range or what ever they pick......the boys love the post thanksgiving backpacking trip....Three days......lots of fun

      I gotta ask....So what does the troop calendar look like????

      Taking the boys with swimming partials back over to camp tonight to finish about an hour drive one way...... From the text messages flying around looks like most of the troop is going........

      The old fellow at the Dairy Bar will be glad to see us again on the return trip.

    • King Ding Dong
      King Ding Dong commented
      Editing a comment
      Without the support of the committee the SM is rather powerless. So if lawyer dads can't get it through their heads that their sons won't be horribly corrupted and traumatized seeing some beer bongs the trip doesn't happen. There is no single run on the rivers here, they would be unavoidable, I suppose.

      Most of these boys are involved in multiple sports so scouting is just one of their activities. The parents have their eyes on one thing and one thing only. I am sure you can guess what that is. It is not adventure. It remains to be seen if the program is truly set by the PLC (That will happen in August) A float trip was on the calendar for May but was switched to a 4 hour bike trek. I was told because there was no coordinator for the event even though I had gotten pricing for it. There was a coordinator for the bike trip the same weekend. Get the picture ?

      I don't know much about hunting, not against it at all, just don't view ambushing an animal from 200 yards away with an precision projectile traveling at 3500 MPH as much of a sport. I took one out with a 76 LTD driving down the highway, thats one elusive creature. Drop down on it from your perch in a tree and kill it with your bare teeth, now that's a sport.

      Scouting for food does take up two Saturdays in November. Will try to PM calendar if the function is working now.

      With out followers there is no leading. Boys can't follow without support of parents. Don't forget about all those Eagle required merit badge universities peppered throughout the year. Where do you think lawyer dad is going to drive his kid ?

      We are not like some parlor troops with a VAN We need lawyer dad on board to pull the trailer with his SUV.

    • Basementdweller
      Basementdweller commented
      Editing a comment
      I would find another troop.

      I would not be a figure head SM.

      No way would I let one guy dictate the program because he has the vehicle to pull the trailer.... I would rent a truck or van for the weekend before that would happen.

      You missed my point on the canoe trip.....You are at the canoe launch point first thing in the morning for the first trip......You will be a head of the hordes. My next question would be.....have you seen the drunk college kids first hand or is it second hand info...... You could take the trip on a week day as well.

      Just sounds like excuses.

  • #4
    Under the auspices......Means during a scouting function or event....as mentioned earlier....

    your out of line again. You should discuss it with your son. Maybe coach him how to approach the PLC about it and maybe help him promote it. But the bottom line is the boys need to decide to do it. If they say no.....then shelve it for a year and then bring it back up.........


    In my opinion it is a far superior award to Eagle. the award means a lad has took his BSA experience and got every last drop of adventure. I would like for my son or a member of my troop to earn it....But they simply are not interested in it.

    Being short sighted as young men are.

    Comment


    • Basementdweller
      Basementdweller commented
      Editing a comment
      Under the auspice removes it from being an individual award.......

      So my scout is in his fourth year..........he has 96 nights of camping, 154 hours of community service...327 miles of hiking.....80 hours of swiming, sailing and canoeing....

      All with his troop patrol, or at summer camp.

      Scout son has backpacked with me for since he could walk.....canoes, hiked and fished.......other than the merit badges and rank he could have had it already earned.

    • charmoc
      charmoc commented
      Editing a comment
      Wake me up? Oh, sorry, resulted to low blows and now "my son is better than your son" This is old.

    • Basementdweller
      Basementdweller commented
      Editing a comment
      It is pretty obvious my son every lad in my troop is.....

  • #5
    I'd agree with BD's plan "Let him enjoy his patrol mates and get to first class. Let him learn his knots, how to pitch a tent, plan and cook a meal on his own. Learn first aid, swim" He can't earn any of them til he's first class, anyway.

    BUT keep track of what is done on every camping trip. It's damn near impossible to turn around 3 years later and start trying to figure out how many miles were hiked on XYZ trip in 2009, and it takes a lonnnnng time, believe you me. AND use the requirements to guide some of his decisions about which MBs he earns at summer camp and throughout the year.
    Last edited by Scouter99; 06-30-2013, 10:59 PM.

    Comment


    • #6
      interesting.
      As a cub leader and dad, I'm not familiar with all of this yet. When I was a scout, I wasn't familiar with it either.

      Sounds like good advice for the boys might be to keep a log book starting the minute they join the troop.
      Even if they have no sight set on such an award, they might some day.

      Log books can be great. Two of my old hobbies encourage and almost require it (flying and SCUBA). Many magazine articles have been written on the nostalgia of reading back through log books. It truly can be fun.

      The problems I see with it are
      a) getting the boys to see the importance
      b) knowing what to record.

      So, what do you all think of a scout log book?
      What would you record?
      I'm almost surprised that there isn't some sort of log book already incorporated into the scout handbook. Is there?

      Now that I'm thinking about it, I wish that I would have started one together with my son, as we started our cub scout adventure...... logging all of the camping trips and outings.

      Comment


      • King Ding Dong
        King Ding Dong commented
        Editing a comment
        There are log sheets up on UsScouts and/or meritbadge.org and also some troop level excel sheets.

        I think journaling the scouting journey is important also, but most the kids not so much. . If we let them have electronics they would be more likely to Facebook it.

        This award replaced an older one in 2010. If you look at the requirements for the medal, they are very impressive. As others have mentioned earning earning it is rare.

    • #7
      Auspices means “under the support and guidance” of said sponsor, not during a sponsored event. This award is an individual achievement just like earning merit badges where scouts full requirements without having to be on scouting events. So scouting supports your son to be active in the out of doors and provides guidance on how to do this through the Scout handbook, filed book and earning rank and merit badges.
      There are very few troops that would be able to provide such a program to its scouts to allow the scout to meet what is required to fill these requirements, so under the guidance and support of the scouting program a scout can fulfill many of these requirement with the blessings of the scouting program and guidance.
      Last edited by charmoc; 07-03-2013, 11:36 AM. Reason: Scouter99 Try again.

      Comment


      • Scouter99
        Scouter99 commented
        Editing a comment
        Yeah . . . no.

      • King Ding Dong
        King Ding Dong commented
        Editing a comment
        He does have a point.

        Oxford dictionary
        Phrases
        under the auspices of
        with the help, support, or protection of:
        the delegation’s visit was arranged under UN auspices

        If unit leader defines an activity then it is under the the auspices of the BSA. When a scout is working on a merit badge it is under the auspices of the BSA.
        If an activity is conducted with a cycling club then it is not under the auspices of the BSA.

        Does a unit leader have the authority establish a "venture patrol". Does the BSA have a minimum patrol size ?

        I however think the best option is to find an active troop.
        Last edited by King Ding Dong; 07-02-2013, 09:18 PM.

      • charmoc
        charmoc commented
        Editing a comment
        King Ding Dong. So what you said about an organized bike ride tells me that if a scout utilizes this venue to put in the miles he needs to accomplish a requirement for biking merit badge it does not count? I think you are off base here in that logic.

    • #8
      I am not sure exactly what a venture patrol is????? I think it is Venture Crew that functions as a patrol within a troop......Guessing it would have to be all male.

      So since I am my sons Scout Master.......If I were a game playing scouter, everytime we go fishing, hiking, camping, backpacking as a family I could count it as under the Auspices.........Naw....

      I suggest finding a real Troop.

      Comment


      • charmoc
        charmoc commented
        Editing a comment
        No game playing at all. If the purpose of your son participating in these actives with you are for achieving the said requirement, yes, then it is under the auspices of scouting.

      • King Ding Dong
        King Ding Dong commented
        Editing a comment
        Info on a Venture Patrol. Minimum age 13.

        http://meritbadge.org/wiki/index.php/Venture_Patrol

      • Basementdweller
        Basementdweller commented
        Editing a comment
        Ok KDD so what is your angle on creating a venture patrol......

    • #9
      My son's troop is active in all areas in this award except for riding........Lucky that way I guess......So there is no need to look beyond the troop for nights or miles, or hours for any of the requirements.

      Comment


      • Scouter99
        Scouter99 commented
        Editing a comment
        Probably less expensive than earning 2 gold devices in the Adventure badge.
        The medal only requires Camping, the gold devices in the other badges can be in any two of the remaining 4. So if riding is too expensive, look at aquatics, adventure, or hiking.
        Last edited by Scouter99; 07-03-2013, 09:42 PM.

      • Basementdweller
        Basementdweller commented
        Editing a comment
        Some summer camps around here offer horsemanship merit badge for no additional cost.....Not sure how many miles they do a week but over the course of a 6 or 7 year scouting career it is possible. As your scout becomes patrol leader and such he can guide the program.......Whose to say he can't have an ad hoc patrol to go horseback riding on a weekend.... or how about doing it on bikes, the patrol could ride to the movies or local pool or anywhere.....

      • Basementdweller
        Basementdweller commented
        Editing a comment
        Riding can be either bikes or horses......Bikes are cheap enough.....The Patrol can ride to the movies as a patrol or ride out and back to the next campout..... With the growing prevelance and rails to trails I should be less dangerous than riding state highways.

    • #10
      I'm pretty sure both my sons should have the camping segment with a pin thingy.
      They are low on hours on the water, but did go to a San Diego beach camp and got a lot of hours there so I'd have to go thru and add them up plus other hours swimming and boating/canoeing.
      They certainly are low on the high adventure stuff and the others too.
      There is something at the troop level for most of these, but may not be enough that a boy who is with the troop from 11-18 still might not get enough hours/miles. So it would be a good thing to suggest to the scouts to kick it up a notch.

      Comment


      • Scouter99
        Scouter99 commented
        Editing a comment
        Unfortunately, unlike most awards, they don't just get it when you notice they qualify; they have to fill out the application and take it to the council. So, bring it to their attention, and give them a blank application. Then once some of the other guys see it on their pocket, hopefully they'll want to "kick it up."

    • #11
      Not every Scout is in Scouting to earn Rank and To Earn Awards. Some Scouts join just for the Friendship and Fun. Fun Being the Camping, Hiking, Canoeing, Sail boating and the Great Scout Bases and Camps and the Fun they can have there. Fun is affording them a chance to do something Different than what they can do at Home. Scouting is never fun when you force Rank and earning Awards on them. To Many People have forgotten the "outing" in Scouting. Sounds like the Award is for your "pride".

      Comment


      • King Ding Dong
        King Ding Dong commented
        Editing a comment
        Really ? And your evidence is what ?

        So much for a scout is courteous.


        My son want to camp, hike, canoe, sail and bike. His troop wants to play baseball, la cross and Halo.

        You are right about the outing in scouting, what part of this award involves sitting around in a cabin ?
        Last edited by King Ding Dong; 07-03-2013, 07:11 PM.

      • Scouter99
        Scouter99 commented
        Editing a comment
        JP, while that's true in general, Ding Dong already made it clear that his son is interested in the award; save the speech.

    • #12
      National Outdoor Achievement Badges and Award

      06-30-2013, 10:30 Am
      ""' Do I understand the requirements correctly ?""








      I would say NO you don't Understand the requirements
      As many have already pointed out " under the Auspices of the BSA simply means means following BSA Rules of Representing BSA..Obtaining BSA Tour Permit..FOLLOWING ALL BSA SAFETY RULES. Following Two Deep Leadership. Functioning as A Scout Unit..Not as an Individual or as a Family.
      Aquatics. A Boy Scout or Varsity Scout may earn the National Outdoor Badge for Aquatics upon successfully completing the following requirements:
      1. Earn the First Class rank.
      2. Earn the Swimming and Lifesaving merit badges.
      3. Earn the Mile Swim BSA Award.
      4. Earn at least one of the following merit badges: Canoeing, Kayaking, Rowing, Small-Boat Sailing, Whitewater. Complete at least 25 hours of on-the-water time, applying the skills that you learned in the merit badges.
      5. Complete at least 50 hours of any combination of swimming, canoeing, kayaking, rowing, small-boat sailing, or whitewater activity under the auspices of the Boy Scouts of America, including time spent in requirements 2 through 4.
      A gold device may be earned for each additional 25 hours of aquatic activity. A silver device is earned for each additional 100 hours of aquatic activity. The Scout may wear any combination of devices totaling his current number of hours of aquatic activity.....

      Where does it Say anything about 100 Hours of Swimming. Note Requirement 5 says any combination.
      This can be easily accomplished at any Sea Base, or Northern Tier or even the New SWAMPBASE in Louisiana. Next Year Even the Summit will be Offering White Water Rafting. The New SWAMPBASE is offering Kayaking, Airboat Rides, Swimming.. I believe They Paddle 65 Miles.. 6 x 24 Hour is 142 Hours right there..alone..Bingo you Have Silver in One trip..







      Comment


      • #13
        Look, KDD, the meaning of "under the auspices of BSA" is clear: It means on an official patrol, troop, district, council, national, or OA activity. It does not mean every/any time a boy who is a scout touches a horse, bike, boot, tent, or swim trunks.
        If you want to be cute and count non-scout events, then you might as well count every shower or bath for the next 50 days and mark him off for 25 hours of aquatics time, and have him wear his boots to the mall and count it as hiking. Earning the medal is a great, really cool goal for Prince Ding Dong, but if you're going to fudge it, you make it worth nothing.

        Regardless of its impact on Prince Ding Dong's ability to earn the NOA, if your troop doesn't meet summers, get on BeAScout.org tonight and find a new troop.

        Comment


        • Scouter99
          Scouter99 commented
          Editing a comment
          What are you talking about? I don't know your kid's name; you're King, that makes him Prince. If I wanted to insult him I would've called him Eugene Dong or Tiny Dong. :P
          Last edited by Scouter99; 07-03-2013, 09:38 PM.

        • King Ding Dong
          King Ding Dong commented
          Editing a comment
          Ok, been a long day. We're good.

        • Scouter99
          Scouter99 commented
          Editing a comment
          I know the feeling.

      • #14
        King Ding Dong commented
        Today, 06:05 PM
        Really ? And your evidence is what ?
        So much for a scout is courteous.


        Well Mainly because You kept say "I" instead of "We" or "He" in your Original Post.
        And Please Define Your Version of Courteous?
        Did I use profane Language?
        Did I call You or Anyone Derogatory Language?
        Was I bullying You or Anyone else in My Post?
        Did I Yell (All Caps) at You?

        Comment


        • King Ding Dong
          King Ding Dong commented
          Editing a comment
          He wants to earn the award. Clear from the post. I am trying to understand the BSA legealese, You expect a child to do that ?

      • #15
        You questioned my word.

        Comment

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