Jump to content
NJCubScouter

Camping MB and long-term camp

Recommended Posts

I think many of the posts support what @@JoeBob stated. Scout-made shelters, igloos, tee-pees, hammocks, lean-to, bivouacs, tents, etc., should count. Ready-made shelters (except summer camp tents) or cabins or lock-ins, or sleeping on a ship (unless on deck under the stars) and anything that would hardly be considered "roughing it" should not. Only one long-term should count, not more.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess I am over 2 years late to the party here.  I support Skeptic.  The BSA states that the scoutmaster determines when a requirement is passed off.  I thought it was very disrespectful that Hedgehog and Krampus were bullying Skeptic with their made up scenarios.  

The weeklong scout camps I go on, often have a canoe overnighter where the scouts paddle across the lake and camp on their own.  This gives them a unique camping experience and I always give the scouts credit for 1 night camping for their second scout camp.  They are doing everything needed to camp like selecting a site and pitching at tent.  BTW the National BSA is out of their minds nuts.  RIP BSA.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome to the forum, @Koolio.

This is an old thread and I didn't go back and try to re follow it. One thing to note is both Hedgehog and Krampus haven't been heard from in a while.

We consider this a virtual campfire, so pull up a virtual chair and introduce yourself. It might be easier if you go to the new to the forum section and start a new thread.

Thanks,

Matt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 12/3/2015 at 7:50 PM, Wilson-KY said:

Thank you - here's the post (no longer in an invisible font!):

 

Need the group's help on this one. Scout went to summer camp for the full week in year one. In year two Scout attended three days/nights. Camping MB says "you may use a week of long-term camp toward this requirement." We have varying opinions if the days/nights in year two can be counted, because it wasn't "a week." MB also says all campouts since becoming a Scout may count toward the requirement, which may also be causing confusion.

 

So do the days in week two count toward the MB requirement? Scout met the other requirements to count these days, as he was at camp each day and night and slept in a tent.

 

Thanks.

IMHO, it should count, however, it's kind of skirting the rules.  That, and IMHO, camping is when the majority of learning to be a Scout occurs.  Honestly, 20 nights is a very poor minimum number of camping nights to be considered a decent Scout.  If I were running things, I'd require 50 nights (but allow non-Scout camping as part of that) in tents, under tarps, or under the stars.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/10/2018 at 4:08 PM, MattR said:

One thing to note is both Hedgehog and Krampus haven't been heard from in a while.

I'm back (and probably just for a limited time).

On 6/10/2018 at 12:59 PM, Koolio said:

I guess I am over 2 years late to the party here.  I support Skeptic.  The BSA states that the scoutmaster determines when a requirement is passed off.  I thought it was very disrespectful that Hedgehog and Krampus were bullying Skeptic with their made up scenarios.  

The weeklong scout camps I go on, often have a canoe overnighter where the scouts paddle across the lake and camp on their own.  This gives them a unique camping experience and I always give the scouts credit for 1 night camping for their second scout camp.  They are doing everything needed to camp like selecting a site and pitching at tent.  BTW the National BSA is out of their minds nuts.  RIP BSA.

First, for the Merit Badges, it is the Merit Badge Counselor, not the Scoutmaster.  Second, a Merit Badge Counselor cannot add, subtract or change requirements.  The specific requirement is:

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.

The question is what constitutes a long term camping experience.  BSA provides guidance here: https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2015/06/24/ask-expert-isnt-camping-night-camping-mb/

Under that guidance, it is clear that summer camp, 50 milers and High Adventure are all long term camping.  You can count up to six nights only for one of those events.  Krampus and my examples were designed to show that "bending" the rules is a slippery slope and many absurd results could be justified.  I see this all the time in units where the Scoutmaster thinks that they can make all the call regardless of the BSA program.  At that point it isn't Boy Scouts, its Scoutmaster Bob's version of scouting.  

Your situation is a close call.  It does meet the spirit of what short term camping is, but it is nonetheless during a long-term camping experience.  Ultimately, I see this no different as my not counting our 50 miler (they packed up your gear each night so each night was a different camping experience) or Seabase (some scouts slept on deck under the stars two nights during the trip) or the outpost at NYLT or the kids who did the Wilderness Survival merit badge at camp.

Ultimately, you are teaching the wrong lesson to your Scouts because your approach is to encourage doing the bare minimum and skirting the rules based on an adult exercising discretion they don't have.  A lot of our Scouts earn the Camping Merit Badge and then get the National Outdoor Award with a gold pin because when you add in the long-term camping nights, they have over 50 nights camping in the time it took them to earn 20 nights for the Camping Merit Badge.The senior leaders (all 10th grade) in our Troop all had well over 50 nights camping with one just breaking 100 nights (it would be 135 if you counted the nights he spent last summer as camp staff).  At the end of the summer, some of our Webelos Crossovers will have 11 nights ( 5 nights camping and 6 nights at summer camp).  Over half-way there in four months.

Merit badges are earned, not given.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/19/2018 at 8:29 AM, Hedgehog said:

...

The question is what constitutes a long term camping experience.  BSA provides guidance here: https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2015/06/24/ask-expert-isnt-camping-night-camping-mb/

Under that guidance, it is clear that summer camp, 50 milers and High Adventure are all long term camping.  You can count up to six nights only for one of those events.  Krampus and my examples were designed to show that "bending" the rules is a slippery slope and many absurd results could be justified.  I see this all the time in units where the Scoutmaster thinks that they can make all the call regardless of the BSA program.  At that point it isn't Boy Scouts, its Scoutmaster Bob's version of scouting.  

Your situation is a close call.  It does meet the spirit of what short term camping is, but it is nonetheless during a long-term camping experience....

Thread necromancy here, just to point something out should anyone be searching for clarity in the future:

The guidance is in a magazine.  It is one person's opinion, it is not policy.  Policy is in the merit badge book and requirements, and satisfaction of them is to be negotiated by the scout and MBC to the best of their ability.

Personally, I think the guidance in scoutingmagazine is wrong, or at least incomplete.  I believe the intent of the requirement is to say "we want you to go camping a lot, not just a couple long camping trips".  I believe it is also trying to capture "typical long trips like summer-camp are a different kind of camping, and we don't want more than one of those counted".  I strongly suspect the intent of the "50 milers are long-term camping" guidance, is addressing the "we want you to go on many different camping adventures", NOT the "summer camp isn't like real camping" aspect of the requirement.

The way the guidance is written, if a scout went on a week-long camping trip every other week, every week of the year, every year that they were in scouting (not completely impossible, for a home-schooled kid, and I actually know some semi-nomadic craftsperson families where they actually come close to this), the "guidance" would result in them only having credit for 6 nights of camping.  I really don't think the requirements were intended to tell that scout "really, you should camp less".

Don't use the vagueness of the requirement to let a scout do less than the requirement intended, but don't punish a scout for doing more than the requirements either.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@willray, I would not be so dismissive of Bryan's Blog, it is very much intended to be an official mouthpiece of the BSA, and Michael LoVecchio is no slouch.

On the flip side, I agree that not everything in those blogs is signed off by every executive and council president. It's goal is to report from trusted sources. But, trusted sources don't know your scouts. And if you're the SM you're tracking so many things, you might be biased one way or the other towards a particular scouts unique experience.

But, that's what MB counselors are for. They put some time in with the boys, read the requirements together, asks what they think about a particular log. (I'm a firm believer that a boy should present his own recollection of his camping career, and not depend on a troop database.) After dealing with lots of scouts, a counselor can be objective about these things and invest more time in an enriching discussion. For example, go down the list and ask the scout what he learned at each activity, what was the most challenging, which one he wouldn't ever do again, etc ...

And I think that's the point of the requirement ... to have a number of diverse experiences of preparing, implementing, stowing gear, repeat so that the scout has something to draw on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, qwazse said:

@willray, I would not be so dismissive of Bryan's Blog, it is very much intended to be an official mouthpiece of the BSA, and Michael LoVecchio is no slouch.

Ah, I'm not dismissive of the blog, and I've certainly found lots of wisdom there.  It is, however, a "one person's (well reasoned) thoughts" presentation, rather than policy, and to quote it as such would be a mistake.  This would also not be the first time when it was either slightly oversimplified, or not-quite-right regarding actual policy.  One of the more problematic examples is Bryan's muddying-the-water "clarifications" on 2-deep vs no-1-on-1 in https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2018/01/19/whats-the-difference-between-two-deep-leadership-and-no-one-on-one-contact/ , where he implies that there need to be at least 2 adults present to avoid "one on one".

41 minutes ago, qwazse said:

And I think that's the point of the requirement ... to have a number of diverse experiences of preparing, implementing, stowing gear, repeat so that the scout has something to draw on.

Absolutely agree.  I'm not a Camping MBC, but for those badges where I am, I think it's important to understand what experiences the requirements are attempting to elicit out of the scouts.  Ambiguity should not be resolved in terms of enabling scouts to skirt intended experiences by virtue of clever word interpretation.  At the same time, word interpretation should not be used to bar a scout from counting an experience that was clearly within the intent.  If I was a Camping MBC, I don't think I'd be telling a scout who went on 20+ week-long high-adventure backpacking trips "sorry, you can only count one of those - if only you had climbed in a car a day earlier on the others, they'd have all counted".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, willray said:

... If I was a Camping MBC, I don't think I'd be telling a scout who went on 20+ week-long high-adventure backpacking trips "sorry, you can only count one of those - if only you had climbed in a car a day earlier on the others, they'd have all counted". 

Never say never. BSA HA bases have the meals packed in advance. Very little forethought required. Seabase: no campfires. Philmont: depends on the weather. World Jamboree's tents are going to be in a crate in a field waiting for us. If a boy chooses his HA's so that meals are ready-packed, his tent is folded, and half his gear is provided, I would feel that he's missing the letter and spirit of the requirements. In a sense the weekend "PLOP" camp-outs around his area may require a whole different set of skills and provide opportunities big-ticket scouting could never offer.

It's a funny badge that way. It's not about the numbers, yet it is about the numbers.

I would never feel sorry for the 20+ HA guy. He's had lots of fun. He just doesn't earn the merit badge. I've never understood why this is a problem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
27 minutes ago, qwazse said:

Never say never. BSA HA bases have the meals packed in advance. Very little forethought required. Seabase: no campfires. Philmont: depends on the weather. World Jamboree's tents are going to be in a crate in a field waiting for us. If a boy chooses his HA's so that meals are ready-packed, his tent is folded, and half his gear is provided, I would feel that he's missing the letter and spirit of the requirements. In a sense the weekend "PLOP" camp-outs around his area may require a whole different set of skills and provide opportunities big-ticket scouting could never offer.

Ah, I guess I was thinking "high adventure" in terms of most of what our troop does, rather than "high adventure takeout"...   We occasionally do Seabase, but do a lot more "Hit a National Park/some navigable waterway/etc with backpacks and head for the backcountry sites".

34 minutes ago, qwazse said:

I would never feel sorry for the 20+ HA guy. He's had lots of fun. He just doesn't earn the merit badge. I've never understood why this is a problem.

In reality, of course, it's something that would almost never come up, but I'd think I'd feel a bit strange telling a scout "Sorry Tom, you and Tim went on all the same trips, but Tim bailed on each of them after the 2nd day, so he's going to earn this MB.  If you wanted to earn it, you shouldn't have camped so much".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...