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  • Polar Bear camping requirements

    At a recent Roundtable I heard that the cold weather requirement (below 32F for 24 hrs.)for the Polar Bear patch is no longer a requirement. I understand that the camping only has to occur within certain months of the year.
    I haven't found anything official.
    My first time on the forum and I'm a new SM.
    Can anyone enlighten me?

  • #2
    Many councils have awards specific to their councils. Then there are councils that see an award given out by other councils and decide to have a similar award. But the local council decides the requirements. They can be high adventure, winter camping, specific historical or special interest trails (not the national award) and any other that the council or its volunteers may think of.


    • #3
      Thank you all for your replies.

      I will be checking with the local council as a follow up.

      Happy Camping in warm weather or cold!!


      • #4
        Our Klondike was held a few weeks ago, and the temperature the two nights out was +4 and -2F.

        A discussion among some of the more, how should I say, weenie adults leaders took place, where it was stated that there is a rule that says if the temperature, real or wilnd chill, drops to or below -25F, we were to shut down the event and send everyone home. No one had a G2SS with them, so we couldn't verify it there. When I said that I couldn't remember it being there, it was then stated that it was a National Camp School rule.

        I still think that someone was making this up, but I also know enough to know I don't know everything. Anyone have any insight?



        • #5
          Our council doesn't have any written rules that I can find. Older leaders tell me that it is overnight below 32 degrees. Alabama gets that cold, and usually wet at the same time. The problem is that the badges look alike. After you earn one, there is nothing special about the next one. There should be some type of pin to give out or something.


          • #6
            I don't believe that there are any hard and fast rules about the low temperature, other than you should use good experience and common sense. I know that the Alaska Council for instance has 100, 200 & 300 below awards for the total number of degrees below freezing that you camped out in one season (and at least one night has to be in some form of natural shelter). Once again, it is common sense and regional. While it may be nothing for a Fairbanks Scout to camp at zero, it would be huge for a Los Angeles Scout. The difference is that for most Scouts and adult leaders; personal gear, probably Troop gear, and experience are all different depending on where in the country that you live.


            • #7
              Denver Area Council, its below zero F overnight. Not sure how they police the distribution of the patches at the shop, probably just scouts honor. In our unit, we have a tradition that you only get the patch once, then every night below zero, you get a small star to put on the patch to create a constellation. Some have the big dipper, some are shooting for Orion.


              • #8
                Our Polar Bear requirement is anytime from November 1st to the last day of March. Then again, living in NE Ohio, most nighttime temps are in the 30's, but we have had temps no lower the 50 on rare occassions. I know our ALTC (first second weekend in Nov.) the last two years had temps in the 60's & 70's.

                Then you have our Klondikes that have ranged from +25F down to high day temps of
                -13F. One year Council called out to Klondike and told the Troops staying Saturday night to go home. Temps were to be @ 0 with windchills of -15 that night. Said that if we stayed, they wouldn't cover any temp related injuries. Not like we would be sleeping outside. Then again, Council didn't chase us home the Day it never broke -10.

                We have a Polar Bear strip for the first year. Then we have four different colored bars to place on either side of the original patch, a different color for each of the five different years.