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christineka

S/o Camping Reuirements

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Yikes..as A Youth My Troop went on Monthly Campouts Friday Night-Sun Evenings...In Addition we had 1 week of Summer Camp at Each of the Councils Camps...Plus The Months that there was a Council Camp Event we attended those usually 4 times a year. And our OA Lodge Had a monthly Camp out

 

So I had roughly ...

24 Nights at Troop Events

14 Nights At Summer Camps and 2 Years a 14 day Philmont trip

8 Nights at Council Events

24 Nights at OA Events

 

70 Nights Camping a Year...No wonder I loved Scouting so Much back then

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..... Find a real troop, register your son and then leave them both alone.

There's this vote-with-your-feet attitude on these forums. A "marketplace of troops" perception that ignores the boots on the ground experience. For many many people in districts across this land, troop hopping is not a clear cut option.

Folks seem to want every troop to be frequent campers ... And they are frustrated by uninspired leaders.

 

But there's also this: uninspired boys. Get a dozen of them and program slacks. SM tries to camp, nobody shows. Just a few tries, and his troop is playing kickball and polishing gear.

 

The option of finding a group of inspired boys is out there. But this bypasses the blessing of discovering his inner natural leader. At the most I'd give the boy a list of SM's phone #s, and leave it to him to make the calls.

 

Kid's 12. He doesn't have somebody laying out a schedule of camping. Boo hoo. He is now master of his scouting career, and can effect change. Right at camp start nagging the SM about setting up a wildernesses survival camp next month. See if a couple other boys are interested. If he's any sort of star scout (the concept not the patch), he'll show that kind of leadership.

 

Or, stay at Life for a few years. Maybe get distracted being a shepherd or tending to younger siblings. No biggie.

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I know I'm going to get a red tick for this comment, but I do believe someone along the way has missed a very important requirement for being an Eagle Scout.  Tenderfoot Requirement #9. Without a complete understanding of it, it is what makes excellent Paper Eagles.  

 

I hear no reference to any of the dynamics of this requirement and thus I wonder whether scouts who track this path are getting what is needed out of scouting other than a "I Finished" certificate.

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In Christineka's defense, she did say that her family is LDS, and there are some modifications to the Boy Scout program tailored to their church. The youth are automatically enrolled in Scouting and are expected to be in the church's units. And if memory serves, it is extremely discouraged for them to join other units. So voting with their feet may not be an option.

 

And we also know that just like non-LDS units, there is a wide variety of adherence to BSA and LDS policy with LDS units. I actually discussed the challenges I faced with one LDS church in my district with a very active LDS Scouter ( sorry don't remember if it was the bishop or the pro) and the comment he made was " The further away from Salt Lake City you are, the wider the variety."

 

I know other threads, and even Bryon on Scouting, have discussed challenges that the LDS church have with Scouting units. The biggest IMHO is the fact that leaders are appointed, and are not true volunteers, with rapid turnover. In the troop I tried to contact, the troop's leadership changed 3 or 4 times in less than a year!

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I see two issues at play here:

 

1) The current troop doesn't sound very strong for a number of reasons - limited youth leadership, poor programming, discouragement of merit badges**, etc.  If feasible, exploring other troops might not be a bad option.

 

2)  An overly ambitious and too award-focused scout & family.  "Minimum time required" is even more race-like language than saying as quickly as possible.  The language strongly implies this is a race.  The scout doesn't want to camp because he wants to camp - he wants to do it to check boxes.  I'd have more sympathy if the OP said her son camps with friends or family on the weekends, but is struggling because he can't get "designated Scouting" credit.  The way I read it is the scout doesn't want to camp, he wants a requirement met.  

 

Additionally mom says the quest for Eagle is scout driven, yet she needs to hound him to get his scout camping pre-reqs done?  That tells me the kid isn't ready.  He's 12 years old.  Let him learn the lesson of what happens when he didn't prepare.  I think missing the requirements and not being able to camp is a great lesson.  To me, if you look at the whole range of scouting from Tiger to Eagle, there's a scale of parent involvement.  At the cub level there's heavy parent involvement - tapering off at the Webelos level.  At the early BS level, there's probably still a little guidance and less direct involvement.  But for an Eagle scout, it needs to be 100% the kid.  Mom should not be constantly reminding the kid to do things and/or doing all the gathering of camp supplies.  And mom should NOT be going to the store to buy the stuff he needs.  At most she should drive him to the store because he can't do it.  I love how in explaining her need to shop, she says dad might do it because she's tired.  Uhh - How about the kid do it? Perhaps BSA needs two different Eagle ranks: Eagle & Eagle-H.  The H standing for helicopter parent.

 

 

 

**Maybe the blue cards & merit badges are being discouraged because the SM is sensing a scout just racing through the requirements and he wants the kid to stop and smell the roses along the way?

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So it turns out son has to camp 20 nights with his boy scout troop in order to earn the required camping badge.  As a little 12 year old, should he just keep bugging those in charge to go camping or something?  He's set to earn life next month and hoped to move on to earn eagle within the minimum time required.  (He will certainly remain active in scouts after that.)  Guess that possible new requirement of having the boys learn what is required for each rank would have been handy in son's case.  He would have known earlier to attempt to get camping in.  Or maybe he should just go join some other troop in order to get camping fulfilled?

 

He needs to slow down.  That said, he should bug those in charge to go camping.  IMHO, a troop should camp at least 10 times a year. 

 

Question: has he simply not camped with the troop, or does the troop not camp often?  If the first, stay in the troop. If the second, find a troop that camps. 

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I have not heard that there is a functioning plc. There's a PL, but this troop is very much adult-led.  It seems the PL's duty is just to welcome boys and give out announcements as he is told by scoutmaster.  They have scouts two nights a month.  No boys wear their shirts, except mine still is wearing his, though he's been only wearing the shirt lately, when he used to wear the pants and hat.  Son has asked for blue cards to work on merit badges, but sm says "no".  Because the 11 year old leader was awesome, he's got more than half of his eagle required badges done.  

 

I don't see the problem with earning eagle asap.  Care to enlighten me?  As far as I know, he's met the requirements for where he is now.  He just needs to teach with the EDGE method in order to earn life.  

 

So, son does not actually have to join another troop to camp with them and have it count for the camping badge?  Does summer camp count?  I thought it didn't, but his accrued camping nights don't add up.  (6- I know he went three at 11 and the once more at 12.  If summer camp counts, then it should be 5 more, since he did go last year.)  Son needs 14 nights according to the sheet sm printed out.  If his troop stated now camping out once a month, he'd have over a year before he can earn that badge.  

 

No, the church troop is not being particularly active or scout-like.  

 

Well, some of us have an opinion about what an Eagle Scout should be, and I have yet to meet a 12/13 year old that has the qualities of an Eagle Scout.  I've met a lot of 14 and older scouts with those qualities.  Personally, if I were remaking the Eagle Scout rank, I would have 100 nights of camping requirement (but count one long term camp a year, rather than the current count one long term camp as part of the 20 nights). 

 

Here are the requirements for camping in the camping merit badge:

 

Show experience in camping by doing the following:

  1. Camp a total of at least 20 nights at designated Scouting activities or events.* One long-term camping experience of up to six consecutive nights may be applied toward this requirement. Sleep each night under the sky or in a tent you have pitched. If the camp provides a tent that has already been pitched, you need not pitch your own tent.
  2. 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.
    2. Backpack, snowshoe, or cross-country ski for at least 4 miles.
    3. Take a bike trip of at least 15 miles or at least four hours.
    4. Take a nonmotorized trip on the water of at least four hours or 5 miles.
    5. Plan and carry out an overnight snow camping experience.
    6. Rappel down a rappel route of 30 feet or more.
  3. Perform a conservation project approved by the landowner or land managing agency.

So one summer camp (6 nights) can count towards the 20 nights camping. Need another 14. I will admit, I think it would be hard for a LDS unit that only camps one night a weekend (no Saturday night camping) to get the 20 required in a short time.

Edited by perdidochas

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Christineka - Scouting attracts and develops leaders with hard heads, strong opinions and personal agendas.  There are many reasons.  Volunteer develop ownership and defending how they do it. ... AND ... the nature of program itself attracts "quaint" attitudes. Ignore all the side comments if you can.  Do your best Taylor Swift impersonation and Shake It Off.

 

The requirements are the requirements.  If the scout completes them, he is just as much an Eagle scout if he is 12 or 17.   If your son is driven, great.  Don't hold him back.  Support him as he drives his advancement.  Sort of like buying a car.  It's the same car whether you pay $2000 under sticker or $2000 over sticker.  

 

... Capabilities and experience is a different issue.  ... but that's not the topic of this thread ... this thread is about the camping requirement.  

 

My suggestion ... read the words precisely on the requirement.  

 


 

Note the words point out only one long-term camp out counts.  

 

Also note the star ...  " *All campouts since becoming a Boy Scout or Varsity Scout may count toward this requirement." ... Doesn't matter if he is 10, 11, 12, or So.  As long as he is a Boy Scout, he's good ... and probably good for Varsity or Venture scout too.   :)

Edited by fred johnson

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Generals are generals because they meet the requirements.....

 

Robert E. Lee was #1 in his class at West Point.

 

George A. Custer was dead last in his class at West Point.

 

How did meeting the requirements work out for them?

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Lots of stuff in here to respond to.  I live in Utah, where there are few non-LDS run options for scout troops.  Being LDS, we feel obligated to have our son belong to the troop he's supposed to be in.  My husband is very much rule oriented and thinks it's outrageous that I would even think about letting our son join a community troop.  Why does he need double scouts?, he says.  I like to remind him how he himself quit scouts, blaming bad leadership on a bad scout experience.  (I am a convert, so I guess I don't understand such loyalty to a scout troop.  My dad is a scouter and I tagged along with him a bit.)   Son is signed up for one that is supposed to be forming.  (Has been for 6 months)  I hear it might actually form soon.  There are two other community troops in the area.  We visited one.  It's on a bad night and involves me driving a distance, sitting around for over an hour, then driving him home.  While they were very active, they were not particularly scout-like.  It was more of an adventure club for boys.  No rules.  Not boy led either- just had an adventurous leader.  If you walked in not knowing they were supposed to be scouts, you wouldn't know it.  The other group also meets on a bad night and so we didn't check them out.  Maybe we'll look into them anyway.

 

My son is sorta out of cash at the moment, so he can't go buy stuff himself.  I could have him reimburse me after the fair, but we did not plan in advance for him to have to purchase stuff for camp.  (He does not get paid for simply being a member of the family.)  He will actually have to collect some stuff from the house.  We have about a fourth of the items needed.  They just aren't in an easy "grab 'n go" location.

 

As for him and friends.  He's homeschooled.  He has no friends.  His social life is with the boys at church, the other boys that play brass instruments in bad, and boys in 4h.  (Sometimes the same boys.)  

 

I think maybe I see what you're saying about earning eagle.  My next older child is a daughter.  She earned her big religious award a week before her 13th birthday.  She only began work on it when she was 12.  Most girls are 14-16 when they earn this award.  Daughter chose to get it done.  The only part involving me, was that when she told me she wanted to clean people's homes, I went on facebook and found safe homes for her to clean.  (She was too young for facebook.)  After she earned her award, she helped her special needs older sister earn hers and pushed me to earn mine, along with earning the next award.  She's also the kid, who practices viola 3 hours a day, does her chores, helps siblings, and showers as needed, all without me saying a word.  

 

I will continue to push son to finish merit badges already begun (because I hate having them sit around with just one or two requirements), but let son figure out how he's going to complete life and then eagle.  Perhaps it'll be later, but maybe he'll learn to have some sort of inner drive.

 

Also, I've had some issues with church groups.  I know that church is like a hospital for the sick, not for the well.  No one is perfect.  We all have our faults.  If some church groups don't run by the book, then they just need to be made better.  I've realized that if I quit, I can blame only myself for not sticking to my beliefs and trying make things better.  While the scout troop may have many faults, I think my son, ought to work to make things better.  Not sure how a 12 year old can do that, but I will encourage him to try.

Edited by christineka
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Generals are generals because they meet the requirements.....

 

Robert E. Lee was #1 in his class at West Point.

 

George A. Custer was dead last in his class at West Point.

 

How did meeting the requirements work out for them?

 

Same thing happens with the title "Scoutmaster".   :)  Titles rarely reflect ability or knowledge.  

 

... and ... ummm ... Lee lost.

Edited by fred johnson

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Generals are generals because they meet the requirements.....

 

Robert E. Lee was #1 in his class at West Point.

 

George A. Custer was dead last in his class at West Point.

 

How did meeting the requirements work out for them?

Grant was 21 out of 39. Ranking does not always mean what we think it means.

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Same thing happens with the title "Scoutmaster".   :)  Titles rarely reflect ability or knowledge.  

 

...and "President" or "Speaker" or [insert leader position here].

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Any Boy Scout troop that is doing anything even close to what a scouting program should be, should be doing at least 8-10 short term camps per year, plus a long term summer camp/ high adventure outing.   What a pathetic example of a Boy Scout Troop.   Plus, any scout who is only interested in earning his Eagle in the shortest time possible, is missing out on so much fun and life changing learning experiences.   The scouts goals (if they are indeed his goals, and not the parents), and this troops program need a complete overhaul.

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A most beneficial aspect of my trail to Eagle was my parents' "hands off" approach.   Success or failure (with plenty of the latter), they let me experience it all on my own.

 

In particular, I think of the year where I didn't earn a single rank or merit badge.   Not even the basketry MB at summer camp.  Other MBs started but never finished.   I showed up to meetings, went on all of the camp outs, but was otherwise an aimless, unremarkable scout.

 

When I woke up and took stock in myself, I figured I should at least attempt to advance.   Even then, there were set backs and detours (particularly my first couple months as a patrol leader, a remarkably poor performance).   But I had some good adult and senior scout encouragement, and things started to click.

 

My parents were supportive but silent.   No lectures, no scheduling, no reminders, etc.

 

"Lost" years and mistakes are a part scouting.  Overcoming adversity and self motivation are vital qualities to learn as a young man.   But a scout won't learn that if his path is swept clean by well-meaning adults. 

Edited by desertrat77
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