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lancefisher

OA Long Term Camp Length

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In Troopmaster, the OA Eligibility counts camps of 5 or 6 nights camping as long term. The OA membership requirement states long term camp of 5 nights, with the balance coming from short term camps. Is that intended to read ONLY 5 nights of a long term camp (all of our summer camps are 6 nights), so that 10 nights additional short term camping is required, or is it meant to read as AT LEAST 5 nights, with an additional night still counted toward the 15 nights, leaving 9 nights short term camping required? I have never had to address this as there was never anyone on the edge, but this time the 6th night of summer camp is the difference (if it counts, he's eligible, if not, he isn't).

 

The unit leader makes the call on what constitutes camping, but not the length requirements.

 

 

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The way I have always interpreted this - right or wrong - is that the long-term camp must be at least 5 nights and 6 days in length. Beyond that, I'd use a reasonable person standard - would it be reasonable to count a 6th night in long term camp for one of the nights? I always said yes because most summer camps run for 6 nights. Beyond that 6th night, not so much. My memory may be faulty but I thought at one time the rule stated "At least 5 nights but no more than 6".

 

But an argument could very well be made that the requirement as it reads is at least 5 nights but no more than 5 nights and all others have to be overnights, short term camps or weekends.

 

Ah - but now the real judgment call - and this is for the Scoutmaster to make. In this particular case, I personally, if I were the Scoutmaster, and felt that this lad deserved consideration, would have no problem declaring that the "6th" night of long term camp was just an "overnight" and would count it towards the 15 nights. In a sense, that 6th night at Summer Camp may very well be just an overnight - the camp program is pretty much done once the campfire is finished - all that's left is breakfast in the morning, breakdown, and going home. The OA doesn't require any kind of paper records of the nights camped - they don't need to see any Troopmaster records. The Scoutmaster simply certifies that the lads have met the requirements. That's all there is to it - if the Scoutmaster says the lad has 15 nights - he has 15 nights. But that's me - your Scoutmaster's opinion may vary.

 

Calico

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I'm in Calico's corner on this one. This is a judgement call by the Scoutmaster. Too many questions in this regard seem to put quantity over quality. If the Scout in question has the right stuff, then go for it.

I've copied what I could easily find on-line....

 

 

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.

 

BDPT00

 

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The more I read it and think about it, the more I'm inclined to believe that the passage merely defines what is a long term camp. Camp is not a long term camp unless it is at least 5 nights and 6 days long. If camp is 7 nights long, it's met the definition of long term camp and all the nights count.

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See http://www.oa-bsa.org/misc/basics/ for OA purpose and eligibility.

 

Staying 4 nights at summer camp doesn't fulfill the long-term camping requirement.

Staying 17 nights at summer camp gets credit for 5 nights.

The scout must camp for 10 other nights on short-term campouts.

 

Giving a scout credit for a 6th night of summer camp, or a 7th, or 8th, ... isn't helping the scout or the OA program. Using that thought, a scout that goes to summer camp one summer and Philmont the next would be eligible even if he does no other camping with the troop during the two years.

 

The OA's purpose, in part, is to maintain camping traditions and spirit, and to promote scout camping. Scout camping being the unit's year-round camping program. That is why the camping requirement is to be fulfilled through short-term camping and a single long-term camp.

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Here's what the info at that link says - verbatim:

 

"The youth must have experienced fifteen days and nights of Boy Scout camping during the two-year period prior to the election. The fifteen 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."

 

It doesn't say you only count 5 nights of long term camp towards the 15 nights - it says you must include and can count only one long term camping experience - which must consist of six days and 5 nights - towards the camping nights. It seems to me that it defines what a long term camp is as opposed to a short term camp and is rather unclear on whether a 6th night in that single long term camp can or can't be counted. It seems to me it says you must have one long-term camp and the rest of the nights are to be overnights, weekends or short term camps.

 

I'm still going with the Scoutmaster's judgment on this one because I can see it interpreted more than one way.

 

Calico

 

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It does seem a bit unclear about 5 or 6 nights.I don't believe it would be frowned upon if you included the 6 nights that a standard Boyscout unit would typically spend at summer camp.It is not forbidden to do so.

Defining the long term camp to be fulfilled with only 5 nights is to allow an LDS unit to meet requirement.They can not travel on Sunday and typically arrive on Monday Morning and leave Saturday.

The important part is that only 1 long term camp be included.This keeps a youth who only goes to Summer camp off the list.We want the candidates to have been participating in the troop's year round camping program.

If the troop does not have a camping program that can offer opportunity to fill requirement,they are good candidates for a mentor program to help them make their program stronger.

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mn_scout,

I know where you are coming from. OA is to promote camping as one of it's primary objectives.

 

As Calico cites, it states "include one, but no more then one long term camp, consisting of 6 consecutive days and 5 concecutive nights" is giving the definition of long term camping. Just like the 50 Miler, "at least 5 consecutive nights camping". No where does it state, no more or no less then 5 nights, in which case would limit it to only 5 nights. No scouts earning 50 Milers at Philmont if you use this criteria.

 

Same for OA. No less then 5 nights and 6 days of camping and programing. More is fine. Getting to Philmont requires several camping experiences, so is a moot exapmle. Now you take a older youth with previous camping experiance, that joins in the late winter, makes the next three campouts (6 nights), and then heads to Philmont (20 nights), yes I would count his 9 at Philmont

 

Now a scout deciding to do two tours at summer camp in one summer, yes only one counts for long term camping.

 

Now if we really want to throw a monkey wrench into interpretation,

does the scout have to be in BSA for two years to be elgible? The statements states "camping during the two years-period prior to elections". It doesn't say "the scout has to have two years in scouting, and 15 nights of camping within the 2 years-period prior to the elections.

 

 

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True it is not stated anywhere that candidate has to be in scouting for 2 years.Only that the camping requirement be filled within that time period.

There are times that I wish there was a longevity requirement when I see large influx of 12 year old arrowmen but it's not a rule.

I spent 8 years as chapter adviser and experienced the challenge of membership being heavy on the young side but it was not my place to adjust rules to make my life easier.

There is always that special young man who comes in after his first year and proves to be more mature and dedicated than his older peers.

Just like the SPL who's election caused you to cringe but proves to be the strongest leader your unit has seen.

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Thank you for all your input. As it fell to me to make the call as Scoutmaster, I interpreted it to read 'at least' 5 nights, and included the 6th night. I later spoke to our OA Chapter Advisor, and that was his interpretation as well.

 

There wouldn't have been an issue at all, but an injury last fall precluded the candidate from camping since October (missing the ten nights during that period), and then our March campout (and the two nights there) was scrubbed due to technical difficulties.

 

All is good now, and the callout at next week's Camporee will include one more Ordeal candidate.

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When I read "which must consist of 6 days and 5 nights", I just read it as written. To my simple brain, "5 nights" means 5 nights. To add "no more or no less than" would be redundant.

 

Stretching the 5 nights to 6 is just the first baby step to 7 nights and more. If a troop does a two-week summer camp, using this logic a scout that attends that one camp (14 nights) and one more night is eligible for OA. Counting 9 nights of Philmont, for example, has moved a long way down this path.

 

The 50-Miler requirements use specific terms to show that longer is ok - the requirements I've read state "not less than 50 consecutive miles", "minimum of five consecutive days", and "minimum of 10 hours".

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I don't get your problem mn_scout.This was set up to require that candidate went to one major camp and a minimum level of year round camping.You talk about 6 or 7 instead of 5 as if it's going to destroy the program.

There was never an intention of only counting part of summer camp.The acceptance of 5 nights was to allow scouts with religious restrictions to fulfill the requirement.

I doubt you are going to find many if any Lodges contesting that 6th. night.I spent 8 years as chapter adviser for a 300 member chapter and am currently an associate Lodge adviser assigned to the Lodge Leadership Development committee.I've attended National Lodge Adviser Training and have been a trainer at our section Conclave for the last 7 years.I still serve our chapter as membership adviser.

This has never been an issue.If you really feel that this is a serious problem I suggest you contact National and express your concern.Maybe the wording needs to be cleaned up to avoid the confusion that is obviously taking place among some.

 

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Anything longer than the 6th night would have to be specifically adjusted, at least in Troopmaster (everything after the 6th is counted as 'excess' and does not get added in to the eligibility reports). Our OA Chapter Advisor and the Council Camping Chairman supports this, and said the spirit of the requirement, as far as they are concerned, would also allow the seventh night; any more after that shouldn't be counted.

 

We also gave 6 nights credit for Philmont, though those participants had plenty of nights camping, and only needed it to be counted as attending a long term camp.

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lancefisher I think this rarely becomes an issue because like your boys, those who take part in extreme outings like long Philmont trek are going to be your most dedicated campers and would not be affected by not getting the extra days.

With troop master being set at 6 nights it gives you a pretty good clue as to what would be commonly accepted.As occurs in a lot of these threads

you encounter hypothetical situations that I doubt you will ever find relevant.

I guess they can be good intellectual exercises.

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This is a hypothetical - it has not come up for me, but I'm just wondering...

 

What if a boy had done plenty of camping but no summer camp (5 nights in a row). However, if he participates and camps in a NYLT course that extends for at least 5 nights in a row, would that qualify as a long term camp for him?

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