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Short term camping requirement for OA eligibility

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Is there any official interpretation of the short term camping requirement for OA eligibility? Must the camping be in tents or under-the-stars? Or, does cabin camping, camping in museums or sleeping on a battleship qualify? The written requirements use the word camping, but they do not define the word. This will have a significant impact on which scouts in our troop are eligible for election.

 

If there is no official policy, how do you interpret this in your troop or lodge?

 

Here is the pertinent section of the requirement from the official scouting.org site.

- The youth must have experienced 15 days and nights of camping during the two years before his election.

- The 15 days and nights must include one, but no more than one, long-term camp consisting of six consecutive days and five nights of resident camping, approved and under the auspices and standards of the Boy Scouts of America.

- The balance of the camping must be overnight, weekend, or other short-term camps.

 

 

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In my Troop, we interpret this as either:

 

1) Under the stars

OR

2) In a tent

 

Look at the BSA requirements for rank advancement. They imply what Scouting means by camping, imo(empahsis on the mo).

 

I'm NOT saying USS North Carolina, SAC Museum, Cosmosphere, or the area church cabin camp do not provide meaningful opportunities to units. They just are not camping.

 

That's my interpretation. I just talked with a former vice-chief of our lodge, and his Dad, who is a chapter adviser, will get back with me at some point. I'll post more then.

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There is no official interpretation in the OA rules. This is soley up to the SM to determine.

 

So ask your SM what he would count.

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By definition (Webster's), camping is taking up lodging in a temporary shelter (tent, cabin) or outdoors (sleeping under the stars). Cabin camping would likely be considered camping under the regs. Sleeping on a battleship or in a museum would likely be considered an overnight, but wouldn't be considered camping - I'd consider these to be on par with staying in a hotel - and that ain't camping (though some friends of mine might disagree - their idea of roughing it is a Holiday Inn).

 

It's really about judgement - I would consider staying overnight in a cave to be the equivalent of camping but I wouldn't consider staying overnight in a "cabin" that had a television, or microwave oven, to be camping.

 

One other thought - the OA is an HONOR society - I don't recall ever questioning a Scoutmaster on whether a Scout he said had met the requirements really met the requirements - if the Scoutmaster says the Scout has met the camping requirements, in the OA's eyes, on the Honor of the Scoutmaster, the lad has met the requirements.

 

CalicoPenn(This message has been edited by CalicoPenn)

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Having talked with my Chapter Adviser (and also Dad of current Lodge Chief and head driver for election teams), there is not a lot of guidance here. OA Election support materials for E-teams say nothing about the meaning of "camping."

 

Thinking about it a little more, probably the right thing to do is have the PLC visit this issue and recommend a position the SM can carry to the Committee and COR for final action. No matter how the PLC decided, if they crafted their arguments persuasively, I'd be inclined as a Scouter to let them make the call.

 

Key point: Persuasive argument: Doesn't that sorta sound like it supports Ideals and Leadership Development methods?

 

ICS...

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FROM the OA FAQ section. It is solely the discression of the SM, not PLC, not Chapter chief, not COR, THE SM! This is why the SM gets paid the BIG BUCKS.....

 

 

 

Q: Who decides what camping activities qualify for the camping requirement needed for election to the Order of the Arrow?

 

A: With the camping requirement, as with all other eligibility requirements, it is the Unit Leader's job to interpret whether a Scout has met the requirement.

 

As stated in the Guide for Officers and Advisers (#34997A, 1999 revision, page 20):

 

"Unit Leader Approval. To become eligible for election, a Boy Scout or Varsity Scout must be registered with the Boy Scouts of America and have the approval of his unit leader prior to the election. The unit leader must certify his Scout spirit (i.e. his adherence to the Scout Oath and Law and active participation in unit activities). The unit leader must also certify that the nominee meets all specified requirements at the time of this annual election."

 

Other than defining the length of time needed for a camping activity to be considered a long-term camp*, the National Order of the Arrow Committee leaves the interpretation of the camping requirement to the unit leader.

 

* A "long-term camp" is one consisting of at least six consecutive days and five nights of resident camping. A "short-term camp" is anything less than that.

 

 

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One great resource that I have found is TroopMaster. Not just because it keeps good records but if one looks at how requirements are "met" with the S/W one can see how the BSA operates. For example, under activities one of the selections is "camping" (others are troop meeting, service, backpacking, etc.). If the unit leader (Scoutmaster for a troop or his/her designee like the advancement chair) picks camping they also have the option of including "cabin camping." There is also a check box for "OA eligible" (or something like that). If checked, the camping counts wrt the OA.

 

In our troop, the previous SM only counted tent camping. Now, as SM, sometimes consider cabin camping on a case by case basis. I usually do not consider the Quality Inn (we "camped" their once on a trip to Chicago) or other "lavish" spots.

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nldsscout,

 

Respectfully agree to disagree with you.

 

Yes, SM is the program officer of the unit. He is accountable to the Committee and the Chartered Partner.

 

He is the guy who advises the PLC and helps guide them to learn how to make good decisions.

 

Without dodging his responsibility one iota, why shouldn't he allow the PLC to go through a decisionmaking process? Are we not here to Develop these young men as leaders and teach them ideals (bell rings in background, WB ticket idea)...

 

If they make a good call, he can carry it forward as though it was his own.

 

ICS, John

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I recall a case where, several months out from the OA election, a couple of fellows realized that they would not have the required number of nights camping by the date of the election. As I recall, they had band concerts on the calendar that conflicted with the troop's planned campouts. Did that stop them? Of course not! They went camping as a patrol on another weekend! I was pretty impressed with their planning ahead and thinking outside the box!

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John-in-KC

 

Then I guess we are gonna have to disagree, because your wrong in my opinion and the opinion of the National OA.

 

No where does it say the PLC gets a vote in the process. It is wrote the way it is to keep the process fair and equal.

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In a boy run troop, I see nothing wrong with the Scoutmaster asking the PLC for their input on what should constitute what camping is for the purposes of the camping requirements for OA eligibility - however, it would need to be consistent, and ultimately, in this case, the Scoutmaster has the final determination as to what counts and what doesn't according to OA regs. I'd guess that most units have already come to consensus as to what is and what is not camping.

 

CalicoPenn

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In the units I serve, the SM makes the call and camping means nights outdoors - no cabins, no ships, etc.

I thought a bit about giving the PLC an opportunity to consider this one, but they have their plate more than full already and I wouldn't want to distract them from their primary responsibilities.

 

-mike

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My take is tent or stars. In a building is like sleeping in your home in a sleeping bag. Kinda miss the rocks, sticks, noises, rain, broken zippers, snooring, and inclined sleeping. My recommendation is for each troop to compare their outdoor program to have more than enough camping nights to meet the minimum time required for eligibility. Keep a camping log when they first start, it will come in handy on the trail to eagle.

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