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Is camping in a cave camping?

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  • Is camping in a cave camping?

    So our troop is planning a cave camping trip. It is apparently at a location the troop has used in years past and has wood bunks. The parents were divided on if this counded as camping nights, some said it was up to the Scoutmaster. I dont recall a ruling from him. Technically it does not seem to count in my opinion. But then a "snow cave" wouldn't count either. "Sleep each night under the sky or in a tent you have pitched. If the camp provides a tent that has already been pitched, you need not pitch your own tent."

  • #2
    It's the SM's call. The way I would do it:
    If there are bunks and mattress set up in an alcove, electric lighting supplied, it wouldn't count.
    If the boys are to find there way to a room in the cave where they are supposed to set up their bedding in an appropriate leave-no-trace manner, it would count.

    Now maybe the bunks were put there to protect the cave floor, in which case I might be inclined to count it.

    Comment


    • #3
      "Under the sky or in a tent"...seems pretty clear to me...

      Comment


      • #4
        Personally, having camped in caves, I would count it as it provides a somewhat different set of challenges and considerations. How do you stay dry and warm in a cave overnight? What concerns do we have about cooking in the cave and the potential for disturbing other wildlife in the cave (i.e. bats) or the environment (smoke clinging to the roof of the cave)? The point/spirit of camping is to NOT 'camp' in a hotel room and to get outside and enjoy nature

        Comment


        • #5
          Compared to the a few of the caves I've slept in, my tent is a hotel. Caves are nature. Why does everything have to count for something? Just chalk it up to an experience.

          Comment


          • #6
            May I suggest using common sense?
            'Under the Sky' means sleeping outside. Does that mean that you have to blow away the cave roof to qualify?
            'In a tent' might be a good idea in some caves to keep the bugs and bats out of your face.

            If you're sleeping in your bag on your pad without benefit of human supplied HVAC, you're camping.
            If BSA allows exception for summer camp provided tents, nature supplied caves are well within the spirit of that.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by King Ding Dong View Post
              "Sleep each night under the sky or in a tent you have pitched. If the camp provides a tent that has already been pitched, you need not pitch your own tent."
              So then it's not camping if you sleep in a tent pitched by someone else.... or is the part about not needing to pitch your tent part of the rule from whatever it is that you are quoting from?

              Personally I would think more information is clearly needed to form an opinion.
              If the caves are set up like a cabin, then it's more like "cabin camping", eh?
              If it's pretty rough, and the bunks are only there for reasons similar to tent platforms at BSA camps, then I might call it camping.

              If you shelter in a hollow log, is that camping? Well, it aint in a tent, but I would still call it camping. I think one has to use common sense and get their noses out of the book sometimes.

              Comment


              • King Ding Dong
                King Ding Dong commented
                Editing a comment
                Quoting from Camping MB. I think bunks are just wood platforms. I do not know about electricity, cooking arrangements etc.

            • #8
              So we are still stuck splitting hairs and words to meet the bare minimum requirements for rank advancement.....


              How about you don't worry about it and have the PLC plan an active program....More camping than the resident camp and a spring and fall campout.

              Comment


              • Brewmeister
                Brewmeister commented
                Editing a comment
                BD, is it possible for you to ever simply answer a question without making a snarky comment about how poor you think someone else's program is? I mean, we know that you're God's Gift to Scouting, that goes without saying, and your troop runs the best program around, but just save us from it all once in a while, eh?

              • Basementdweller
                Basementdweller commented
                Editing a comment
                I am finished buying scouts not my own gear to use......I have bought somewhere between 30-50 sleeping bags for them to use....some of them were given to the boys to keep, which were left in the yard or trashed by sibs or sold on craigslist, I have kept some at home and taken care of them.......the hours of cleaning and drying bags....then the boys who have accidents in them and don't bother to tell ya.......

                We go thru this year after year.......First the boys don't have a proper winter coat. or hat or gloves. We have some show up to our winter hike in tennis shoes and sweat pants despite weeks of being told not do do that...We had a lad show up of a sledding event in basketball shorts and a sweat shirt.

                Our local walmart just cleared out all of last years long johns.....a buck a piece.....I posted it to the troop website and sent an email while standing in front of the display......Not a single scout purchased any.....

              • Basementdweller
                Basementdweller commented
                Editing a comment
                Brew.......Sorry your feeling inferior this morning.....

                In my opinion my troops program stinks......I have a bunch of parents that don't give a shit, My SPL has all to frequent and expensive Dumb A Attacks that cost me $$$$, example it is a bad idea for 18 boys to sit on a couch at the CO.....I get to buy a new couch for the CO. Did I mention Bed bugs, seems we have multiple youth with them now......Nice...

                The Patrol corners has degraded to 15 minutes of grab ass instead of planning for the next event........ They just can't seem to get the patrol patches finished or schedule their patrol hikes......

                Son's patrol was put on notice last night that the man cave was closed until they complete the 6 tasks the patrol was assigned.....

                On and On.....

                I have challenges.......None of the is as silly as splitting hairs for advancement.
                Last edited by Basementdweller; 08-13-2013, 08:32 AM.

            • #9
              I read "under the stars or in a tent" to mean not in a cabin, barracks, museum, etc. A wilderness shelter is not a "tent," would you argue that nights on a survival weekend weren't camping because the boys slept under a pile of sticks and leaves?
              As JoeBob pointed out, unless the cave has electricity etc, and the only improvement are the platforms, then I would count is as camping.

              Comment


              • #10
                We have done the cave overnight thing in the past. The 'sanitary' issues are troubling enough to the boys and the leaders that we now opt to do the caving thing and then camp outside the cave in tents. Seems to remove all the ambiguity as well as the 'sanitary' concerns. The food is better too.

                Comment


                • le Voyageur
                  le Voyageur commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I see teachable moments being passed up on this topic.... consider WAAG bags and urine bottles as a solution

                • Basementdweller
                  Basementdweller commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Indoor plumbing, bunks and electricity.........

                  I gotta go with Pack on this and it is a motel....

                  NO Camping night for you

                • King Ding Dong
                  King Ding Dong commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Called the Bat Cave and spoke to Alfred. Lighting, flushing toilets, serve you breakfeast in the morning. $32 per head, 4 hour drive. Sounds more like a B&B than a hotel. I wonder if the Scout Shop has a B&B patch. If not the AC can check with GSUSA

                  This trip was done before so at least a couple of adults know about the facilities and somehow thinks this counts as camping. Sigh. I don't think WAAG bags and urine bottles will save us from this one.

                  On the bright side the boys will have to hike it in........400 feet from the parking lot.

              • #11
                KDD, I am having a really hard time understanding your concern or for that matter what is the point. Your PLC has planned the trip probably not knowing or caring whether or not
                it "counts" for anything. It sounds like they are trying to be creative and are trying to do cool boy stuff. The mental image of the parents and IH sitting around analyzing each move the boys and Scoutmaster makes is a mind bender. I cannot recall our IH ever discussing scout matters other than to thank us for Scout Sunday. No offense intended just trying to understand where you are coming from
                Last edited by eaglewolfdad; 08-12-2013, 09:00 PM. Reason: typo

                Comment


                • King Ding Dong
                  King Ding Dong commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I do not know how many are active, but all of last years NSP that had the nights were elected this summer. I am told that is not always the case.

                  BD we don't have a van like some other troops. You can only fit so many scouts and gear in a Camry for the 2 hour drive (with traffic) to camp.

                  Sure NSP could schedule their own campout. Need 2 deep leadership and a SM, committee, and parents to support it. I am only one person.

                  One less weekend that effects fall ball and all the other sports.

                  Seems nuts to me the OA only requires 15 camping nights including resident week, but what do I know. I am an idiot, remember ?
                  Last edited by King Ding Dong; 08-13-2013, 10:31 AM.

                • Basementdweller
                  Basementdweller commented
                  Editing a comment
                  We don't have a van either.....We can borrow the CO's if it isn't being used for other things.

                  So your troop is small less than 10 right??? So how does an entire NSP get elected to the OA, especially with the program you describe???

                • King Ding Dong
                  King Ding Dong commented
                  Editing a comment
                  About 19 attended summer camp, none over 13.

                  The last years NSP was big, maybe 12. All eligible who attended camp were elected. They had 14-15 months to get the camping in. 5 nights resident camp last summer and 10 short term nights plus 1st class is all that is needed.

                  BTW BD, I am positive I will not need to lawyer or pencil whip for my son to get Eagle if he chooses to follow through. It appears the PORs in this troop are mostly paper with the exception of SPL. Been working on gathering my quotes from the meeting. Should be good. Been tough looking at other troops as they have been on summer break.

              • #12
                Scouter99 Sorry I was trying very hard not to go there

                Comment


                • Scouter99
                  Scouter99 commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Oh, hah! I thought you legit didn't know why it would matter. Sorry.
                  Last edited by Scouter99; 08-12-2013, 11:17 PM.

                • Basementdweller
                  Basementdweller commented
                  Editing a comment
                  KDD spent three pages splitting hairs about exactly what under the auspice meant in another thread, so his scout can earn the award......

              • #13
                Not every trip your troop goes on is going to meet muster for NOA, Camping MB, or OA. There just needs to be an understanding that when it comes time, you're not giving credit where it was not earned.

                Comment


                • King Ding Dong
                  King Ding Dong commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I understand not every trip, but only 4 or 5 a year ?

                • Basementdweller
                  Basementdweller commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Yep......speaks to the low quality of the program.....


                  The boys don't deserve it.

                • King Ding Dong
                  King Ding Dong commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I agree completely, BD. This is what the PLC, SM and Committee agree to. I talked to several key parents over the summer about the the low level of summer activity. They like it like that. Parent buy in is necessary to do anything as we rely entirely on them for transportation. Committee takes a very conservative view of two deep leadership clause on a day activity and I can't argue a more liberal interpretation because I can't find the justification, other than specifically mentioned day hikes and service projects. (Ongoing discussion in another thread)

                  I have not flexed my IH muscle yet and have not seen any suggestion on this board that I do so. That would be interfering with the PLC and SM. So stuck with poor program.

                  As I have said before, I will be following your advise and looking at other troops and have started that process. I have been warned by district level staff that there are very few troops in the area with very active programs, especially in summer.

                  Later I will post some of the cringeworthy statements made by the parents at the meeting.
                  Last edited by King Ding Dong; 08-13-2013, 09:06 AM.

              • #14
                sleeping in a cave is reasonable for campout as others have stated however if it is a hotel in a cave thats a different story.
                Even if you only camp as a troop 4 or 5 times a year you can still get the merit badge it will just take longer. If you think it too low ask the SM an PLC to step it up.
                Its not a race to eagle.

                Comment


                • qwazse
                  qwazse commented
                  Editing a comment
                  And ... none of them have to run for O/A. Make it very clear to the BOYS that it should not count for their camping nights. Don't explain it to them. Have them

                  REFER to THE BOOK.
                  List their campouts.
                  Cross off any that don't match the requirements.
                  Make it clear that their list is on their honor.

                  *Reference* the first step in learning any scout skill -- including tracking advancement.

                  And yes, as IH, you have the right to do that because your people are paying for the roof and the lights.
                  Make it clear that you are perfectly fine with them not having a program that gives a boy a fair chance at 15 legitimate camping nights every two years, but you are not fine with calling chicken tracks eagle feathers.

                • King Ding Dong
                  King Ding Dong commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I am IH because I am PTO president, so I am not paying any bills (except my taxes).

                  If this is what the boys really want to do, I am fine with that as IH. As a parent this is not the scouting program I envisioned for my son. They will get 15 legitimate camping nights in one year, just barely. This kind of program may be good for the boys that play 3-5 team sports a year. That is not my son at this point in his development. I can take my boys family camping and such, but that isn't scouting, and in my mind lockins, B&B, and cabins are not either. There is more of chance of tornados and severe thunderstorms on any given weekend than there is a of sub 10 degrees nights in winter here.

                • qwazse
                  qwazse commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Winds ... it had to be winds ...

                  It doesn't take much to "up the game". You and an ASM a could chaperon a patrol to some camping area or farm with maybe some good fishing nearby. You and your buddy could drop them off and then set up on the opposite side of the field. Put that out there to your son's PL. Don't use any of those "boy-led", "patrol method", "counts for advancement" buzzwords. Just give him a "Hey, you've been such a help to my son, I'd like to give you a chance to do something you can brag about to the rest of the troop. Why don't you float it by the SM?"

              • #15
                I can't imagine SM minding you stepping in on this. (Especially if parents are giving him cross-talk.)
                I've unilaterally altered hike plans when I realized the PLC wanted to wrap it up after 3 miles while the youngn's wanted (and were fit) to hike at least twice that. SM and ASMs didn't balk (I knew they wouldn't, unless there was a serious issue that I hadn't considered.) My line:
                "When you get home, you can cry to Momma that Mr. Q made you hike the whole afternoon and kept you from idling away at camp. Let me know what she says."

                Comment

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