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From the manual:


Camp a total of at least 20 days and nights. You may use a week of long-term camp toward this requirement. If the camp provides a tent that is already pitched, you need not pitch your own tent.

BSA Req'ments 2006


Does this mean that if a patrol of Scouts hikes four miles to an Adirondack lean-to and camps the weekend that this does not count?


More outlandishly speaking, if a Troop hikes a 30 mile leg of the Northville Placid Trail and uses lean tos this doesn't count either?


I know all decisions are up to the MB Counselor, but why would BSA not allow this to count.


Is going to a Camporee and picking the tent out of the Troop trailer walking twenty feet and pitching the tent anymore "camping " than what I have described?


What say you?

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As a camping counselor for 10 yrs or so the only nights that I have not allowed were RV camping nights. As long as a scout camps out overnight whether in a tent, lean to or other similar structures they count.


The point is for the scout to experience the outdoors and learn from the experience.




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Yah, I'm going to disagree here. The requirement is "Sleep each night under the sky or in a tent you have pitched," with the limited exception for one (and only one) week of BSA summer camp.


Adirondack shelters are cabins. They are professionally designed and installed roofed buildings with an open side. They don't build the same experience of choosin' a site, and settin' up a tent to be secure for the weather.


No subtractin' from da requirements, at least not without a good reason. If the campin' regulations in your state require you to only use the building shelters, and your guys don't get to do any other campin' because your program won't support it, then ya gotta do what you gotta do.


Other than that, bring a tent, eh?



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What am I missing?

Little Lad crosses over in Feb.

For Tenderfoot he camps one night.

For Second Class:

"Since joining, have participated in five separate troop/patrol activities (other than troop/patrol meetings), two of which included camping overnight.

Most troops in our area spend two nights camping when they hold a camp-out.

Our little Lad now has 5 nights.

He now goes to summer camp six more nights.

One year down and he has 11 nights done.

He is twelve years old.

He has a lot of years to get the next 9 nights in!!

Do we need to be creative?

His second year at Summer camp will bring his total up to 15.

A Scout who earns the camping merit badge should be a good camper. Learning the skills (any skill) takes a little time.

While we should never do anything to hold a Scout back, we need to remember that it's not a race and done right we just might hold his interest till he is 18!


(What does TOBAL stand for?)



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TOBAL stands for There oughta be a law--it used to be a one frame cartoon a while ago and might still be going for all I know.


I agree about Scouting being a journey and not a race. In fact I wish you were there when the ASM from our Troop discussed how to plunder summer camp and leave with as much booty(merit badges)as one can.

Not one lad from our Troop signed up for COPE-which appears to me as an exciting way to spend a couple of hours. COPE looks to be something on the order of "extreme" with a lot of safety tucked in without being overt. Problem is COPE just gives a rush or great experience, COPE does not however give a merit badge so those in the race to Eagle could care less.

In our Troop summer camp seems to be when we fit Scouting in. The boys focus on Scouting for 7 days and six nights yet when a short hike or a mornings canoe paddle comes up everybody is too busy.

Too busy with sports or what ever.

My son will have experienced 23 nights from February '06 to plans in October of '06 with all levels of "camping" or Scout "overnights" from a remote shack in the Adirondacks at 3 degrees, to camporees, to a Fairgrounds display about Scouting, to "Rothrocks" at Camp Conewago near Gettysburg and including an Adirondack Leanto. My hope is that he makes time for that every year. I could care less when he gets the camping merit badge.


I guess my statement was more along the lines of what is the definition of camping. The Camporee we attended was on National Park property and we camped on a mowed lawn about 100yds from a state road.

boy does not choose site. Boy helps pitch tent. Boy uses porto potty.Boy gets two nights credit towards MB. If boy or Troop forgets something he could be standing in a 7-11(or whatever cornerstore you have in your part of our great country) in about five minutes.


In August, Boy will hike 3 or 4 miles to Adirondack Lean to. Well beyond any link to the world. If something is forgotten it does not exist. Boy will go off and dig cathole when needed. Boy will use water filter to get water. Boy may hear loons and will have to hang a bear bag. According to some(who are well within the letter of the requirement, Beav I agree with you.) this will not qualify as two nights toward MB.

If I was the MB counselor (which I am not) I would look at the situation and give any boy credit for the lean to trip because of the nature of the trip, how boy got there, and my personal idea of how camping is defined.

We will bring tents as sometimes the leanto's are occupied, but I would still consider this camping if the Leanto is used. Heck, the lean to was built before LNT was a concept but is a forunner of LNT in that it concentrates the impact and stops 50 fire rings around the lake. Kind of like using a durable surface instead of blazing a new trail. Beav the lean to's are not a requirement.


This is not a flame discussion or rant more on the order of a dog cocking his head because he just thinks it's odd. I wish we were all sitting around face to face,eating peanuts with a couple if sodas, because I really like a lot of the discussions on this forum.


In summation I agree with all of you except Beav. I respect Beav's point of view because he is well within the reg.

I just wish the reg contained someting like "an existing wooden three sided wooden structure such as a leanto may qualify as long as it is at least one mile from the vehicle you used to get there"

And yes I realize we can't all have it our way, this is the BSA, not uz2bnowl's camping club. Just making conversation and reading others opinions.

Thank you all for the fellowship.

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Yah, you old Owl, I hear yeh. I agree that sleepin' in a platform tent set up by someone else, eatin' in a dining hall and using the camp latrine is a fairly lightweight way of rackin' up days for camping MB. Same with the camporee you mentioned. And there are LNT issues tenting when there's a 'dak next door.


If it's any solace, hiking from Adirondack cabin to cabin still counts for Backpacking MB. :)


Just curious how many troops find # of days to be an issue for Camping MB? My experience is the same as Eamonn. Most non-LDS troops with active programs have little trouble making the 20 nights in a year of active program (10 months of campouts = 20 nights, plus 6 nights of summer camp), two at the outside. Where's the hurry?






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No hurry Beav,

You hear it alot from parents"Oh the camping one takes a lot".

To me merit badges for some things mean "mastery".

If I was a merit badge hound parent I would have made him pitch a tent at Conewago.

He'll have more than enough next year.

I am more happy(what poor English) that he will have made 9 overnights and had a good time. Keep the outing in Scouting.


Most kids in Troop XX have 4 to 6 nights per year plus camp. Too little in my opinion. Not for the MB but for the lack of wood smoke in their lungs, picturesque sights burned into their brains, and shared memories.

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Our troop generally has at least 20 nights per year, PLUS summer camp. It is not a problem for us getting the nights. Sometimes it is a problem getting arthritic bones off the ground in 20 below weather. ;) Ma

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In our unit, we have not counted fixed leanto shelters, cabin camps or lockins towards camping MB either. We have a fairly active outdoor program, and anyone in the unit that wants to earn camping MB has the opportunity to get in 20 nights easily within 2-3 years. While reviewing advancement reports this past spring for some of the older scouts working on Eagle, most have racked up anywhere from 60 - 80 nights camping in 4 - 5 years. That does include attendance at summer camp every year, plus participation in a Troop summer trip that usually lasts 4 - 7 days.


Last year we went to High Knoll, and between the drive down to Virginia, the 5 day hike and drive back, scouts racked up 7 camping nights on that trip alone. With that trip, along with summer camp, and with 10 camping nights available in the year,(We also did a cabin camp, and an overnight at a ski lodge that didn't count as camping.) An active scout could have picked up 23 camping nights that year and a couple did.


Camping MB is one of those MBs scouts still get the old fashioned way. They have to EEAARNN it.



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Ducks? Owl, have you been huntin' duck scouts again? That's a rather extreme penalty for not wearin' proper uniform pants.


Personally, I like the idea of havin' duck scouts, and then using my labrador to round kids up when I want them. Even better if I can get the pooch to deliver the scout I want right to me.

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  • 2 weeks later...

So here is another curveball......


What about the boys who attend a Council run Winter Camp (6 nights)or Spring Camp (6 nights) program? How about boys who attend Provisional Summmer Camp AND spend a week with their troop at Summer Camp?


These boys get a lot of camping expierance, and because a lot of it is without their regular leaders, they tend to be more dependent on their own skills and knowledge. Do you give them any credit for this time?



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Don't know if anyone is aware, but camping merit badge requirements were changed slightly effective Jan. 1, 2006. Most notably the addition under #9 about camping a total of 20 nights:


From: http://usscouts.org/usscouts/mb/mb001.html


"If the camp provides a tent that has already been pitched, you need not pitch your own tent."


Also changed:


On any of these camping experiences, you must do TWO of the following, only with proper preparation and under qualified supervision:

1. Hike up a mountain, gaining at least 1,000 vertical feet. (lowered from 2000 ft.)

2. Backpack, snowshoe, or cross-country ski for at least 4 miles. (snowshoe and cross-country ski added)

3. Take a bike trip of at least 15 miles or at least four hours.

4. Plan and carry out a float trip of at least four hours.

5. Plan and carry out an overnight snow camping experience.

6. Rappel down a rappel route of 30 feet or more.


A footnote to Requirement 7, reading "May be part of a Troop trip" was in earlier editions of the Requirements Book, but no longer appears in the current edition. However, although not specifically stated in the requirements, if the troop goes on a trip, and the Patrol method is used (or if there is only one patrol) that campout can be used to meet requirement 7.



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