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  • National Camping Award

    My local scout shop informed me that the BSA National Camping Award (100/500/1000 days/nights camping) has been discontinued.

    But I see some relatively recent threads about qualifying for this award.

    Can anybody confirm or refute this claim?

  • #2
    Yah, Porteiro, welcome to da forums!

    Your scout shop is correct, the old National Camping Award has been discontinued. It's been replaced by the BSA National Outdoor Challenge, which sorta ties in with the new Journey to Excellence program. See

    Also, the boys can individually earn the new National Outdoor Badges:

    And they can earn the new National Medal for Outdoor Achievement:

    Hope that helps yeh!

    and a good ol' Beavah, too!


    • #3
      That award with all the rockers looks more challenging that earning an Eagle.

      showed it to my son and told him what I thought.

      He want to earn it and all the rockers.......He is going to call his buddy tomorrow and try to talk him into doing it with him.


      • #4
        The difficult part with this award is that it requires that the unit be very active in such things. One of the things I liked about the National Camping Award was that all of the camping didn't have to be done with the Boy Scouts. With this award, it doesn't matter how active the boy is in, say, aquatics, if his *unit* doesn't do it, he can never get the award.(This message has been edited by Porteiro)


        • #5
          Yah, Portiero, I hear yeh. I think that a less active unit can make it challenging for a lad. Of course the hope is that he'll then get on the PLC and push to be more active!

          Keep in mind, though, that the requirement is just to be a BSA event, not a unit event. So a boy who goes as a provisional scout or a guest of another unit can still log the time. I think encouraging troops to collaborate like that is somethin' we should do more of, eh? Adults have limited vacation time, but a boy who can attend Troop 36's high adventure week followed by Troop 74's can get double the fun, and the adults don't get as burned out.



          • #6
            It's not clear (to me at least) if this award is available for troop's to pursue after 2010. Have any of you guys run across some info? Our DE was not sure. Thanks.


            • #7
              As the opening poster (and others) noted, the BSA National Camping Award no long exists, and is no longer available to earn at all.

              The new program, BSA National Outdoor Awards, has 5 different areas that awards can be earned in, and a National Medal for Outdoor Achievement for completing requirements in multiple outdoor areas.


              BSA also has a Troop award ribbon, the BSA National Outdoor Challenge Unit Award, for Boy Scout Troops that maintain, or increase their outdoor activity from the previous year.

              The blurb on the BSA National Web site -


              states that the application for the Troop ribbon is due at the end on 2010, however nothing is mentioned on the application itself about award deadlines. Since it is based on a calendar year, the application for 2011 would be due at the end of December, 2011.

              The BSA National Supply Group still has the ribbons listed on, but as restricted items. You can contact the manager of your local Scout Store to see if they will be accepting the application for the 2011 award in December. Or you can keep track of your outdoor activities and contact your Scout Shop closer to the end of the year to see if there is a 2011 ribbon. Even if there ends up being no Troop ribbon for 2011, getting more of your Troop's Scouts outdoors, on more outdoor adventures, is still a win for everyone.


              • #8
                Your Scout store may or may not still have some in stock. If they still have some, they'll be happy to sell them to you, I'm sure.


                • #9
                  A few clarifications. First there were changes made to the (individual) National Camping Award during its last year of existance. That last year it required that all camping be done under the auspices of the BSA. Similar language was edited for the Camping MB the same year.

                  The National Outdoor Challenge requires uses similar language: "...under the auspices of the BSA...." This need not be a troop activity. This could be a patrol activity, time/activity while working on a MB, or as part of a contingent crew, such as while attending Philmont, Northern Tier or Seabase. Also, if a scout is dual registered with a Venturing crew, he may apply activities/time/mile toward the National Outdoor Challenge. But keep in mind this is NOT a Venturing Award, so one must be dual registered to recieve credit for any time spent out with a Venturing crew.

                  Hope that didn't muddy the water too much.

                  Related as regards the UNIT National Camping award: Our troop was able to turn in the paperwork and receive the 500 night national camping award (504 days) the last year it was available. We have lost some camping records from the late 90s, so we likely have more, but that is all we could prove. We turned it in unaware that the award was about to be discontinued.(This message has been edited by Buffalo Skipper)


                  • #10
                    Question on the National Outdoor Challenge Award: Requirement 5 states, "The troop earned at least one outdoors-related merit badge per Scout." You then have to submit your number of registered, not just active, Scouts and the grand total of outdoor-related merit badges earned. Some people say that means that each registered Scout in the Troop has to earn an outdoor-related merit badge during the year under consideration. Others say this means that the Troop as a whole has to earn a number of outdoor-related merit badges equal to or greater than the number of registered Scouts. Which is it? If it's the former, how do you handle Scouts who are injured and unable to complete the merit badges or Scouts who have become inactive during the year but whom you're actively recruiting to come back to Scouting? If those injured/inactive Scouts have to earn the merit badges, then the whole Troop becomes ineligible and all the other Scouts are punished due to circumstances beyond their control.

                    Thanks for your guidance.



                    • #11
                      The wording is not "Each registered scout earn at least one."
                      Decide with your boys what is more scoutlike:
                      • Joey isn't going to earn another outdoors badge, so I'm gonna earn one for him.
                      • Joey isn't going to earn another outdoors badge, let's drop him from the roster!
                      • Let's forget about this award, and I'll forget about earning another outdoors badge.


                      • #12
                        This is the kind of thing I'd never tell the Scouts about, i.e. "Hey, if you guys earn 38 'Outdoor' Merit Badges and half the Troop goes on all the campouts, we'll win an Award!" That way, none of my gung-ho Scouts thinks, "hey, I'll get a few of my fellow gun-hoers together and we'll earn 38 Outdoor badges ourselves!" I just keep good records and look at this stuff on an annual basis. If we qualify, we qualify and it's a nice surprise at the Court of Honor.

                        FYI, the boys earned 42 "Outdoor" Merit Badges at Summer Camp alone this year (see: "Summer Camp Merit Badge Mill" threads for more information).


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Kirk Shaffer View Post
                          If those injured/inactive Scouts have to earn the merit badges, then the whole Troop becomes ineligible and all the other Scouts are punished due to circumstances beyond their control.
                          I think the way it's written means your unit must earn an amount equal to the number of scouts, not each scout earns at least one. But let's take it that it means each scout must earn one. . .
                          I'm really sick of the mindset that if a person or unit does not meet the requirements, then they're being "punished" if they don't get the award. Awards are created to encourage certain behaviors, the requirements are the behaviors. If you didn't do it, you didn't do it, that's not punishment, it's real life, grow up. If you want trophies for everyone for nothing, turn your troop into a little league team.
                          The existence of an award does not entitle you to it, meeting the requirements does. You earn it or you don't. If you fail to earn it, then you have a goal for next year.
                          Last edited by Scouter99; 08-01-2014, 11:56 AM.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by scoutergipper View Post
                            ...FYI, the boys earned 42 "Outdoor" Merit Badges at Summer Camp alone this year (see: "Summer Camp Merit Badge Mill" threads for more information).
                            SG that's awesome! Did each boy earn at least one?


                            • #15
                              Not bad - 25 of 33 earned at least one. Most popular were Climbing, Fish & Wildlife Management and Mammal Study with 7 Scouts each.