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Chisos

Camping Nights

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OK SM's and OA advisors, give me your thoughts.

 

Would you count one of the "spend the night on the aircraft carrier" or "spend the night in the museum" type of activities as a camping night for OA eligibility?  I'm leaning towards no, but checking to see what others may have done.

 

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I'm not sure. The emphasis, unlike camping MB, is on overnights with a troop or a team (not a crew or a pack). If those were the activities that the troop provided, then it seems that we'd miss honorable scouts by not counting those nights. That sense of fellowship is what we seem to be after here.

 

At the same time, "camping" is used repeatedly. So, if these were boys who always dodged every outing under canvas or stars, I suppose that's where 'approval of SM or Varsity Coach' comes into play.

 

When in a jam like this, I always recommend to bring it up with your scouts. They are the ones who will be voting. Their interpretation should matter.

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OK SM's and OA advisors, give me your thoughts.

 

Would you count one of the "spend the night on the aircraft carrier" or "spend the night in the museum" type of activities as a camping night for OA eligibility?  I'm leaning towards no, but checking to see what others may have done.

When in a jam like this, I always recommend to bring it up with your scouts. They are the ones who will be voting. Their interpretation should matter.

 

No. It is not outdoor camping. It is essentially cabin camping. No need to bring it to the Scouts. Just check the experts and the book.

 

But don't believe us, here's the expert from BSA.

Edited by Col. Flagg

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Sounds like cabin camping to me. If a scout doesn't have to deal with the possibility of bad weather, then no. If a scout isn't going to cook on a fire or stove he had to bring with him, no again.

 

That said, a night on an old aircraft carrier is a lot of fun. I once camped in a WWI graveyard with scouts.

 

Just my 2 cents. You could ask your local OA.

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No, but that shouldn't stop you from doing the activity. Not every scout activity needs to be about advancement or OA requirements.

Edited by David CO

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In my experience, it is pretty easy to reach the required nights for OA if they are active.  Getting to First Class takes longer than the nights camping.

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No. It is not outdoor camping. It is essentially cabin camping. No need to bring it to the Scouts. Just check the experts and the book.

 

But don't believe us, here's the expert from BSA.

Nice link, CF. But that's about camping merit badge, not O/A.

 

I tried looking for "outdoor" here http://www.oa-bsa.org/pages/content/membership-and-induction, not on that page. Anybody have a better source?

 

I have no problems reading only self-raised shelter or open sky into O/A's membership requirements, if someone can provide a reference to experts addressing that specifically.

  • Upvote 1

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Nice link, CF. But that's about camping merit badge, not O/A.

 

I tried looking for "outdoor" here http://www.oa-bsa.org/pages/content/membership-and-induction, not on that page. Anybody have a better source?

 

I have no problems reading only self-raised shelter or open sky into O/A's membership requirements, if someone can provide a reference to experts addressing that specifically.

Well if those nights wouldn't qualify for the camping mb why would the qualify as camping for OA? Isn't OA the national honor society for campers?

 

None of the software for managing scouts counts indoor nights. Cabins and lock ins are not camping.

Edited by Back Pack

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Well if those nights wouldn't qualify for the camping mb why would the qualify as camping for OA? Isn't OA the national honor society for campers?

 

None of the software for managing scouts counts indoor nights. Cabins and lock ins are not camping.

The byline is "National honor society of the Boy Scouts of America."

 

So, without further documentation to the contrary, there's no reason that the different requirements would share the same definition.

 

Regarding software, I try not to let the tail wag the dog.

Edited by qwazse

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Like @@David CO implies, get the boys out there and have fun, even if it's on an aircraft carrier or in a cabin, and quit worrying about whether or not there are enough boxes checked.

 

If one has to sit and count the days to make sure there are enough, then that unit is not doing enough.  There should be no question about Little Johnny qualifying fort OA.  One does not need to count days and rationalize each one to make sure it fits into a certain pigeon-hole.  One will know when it is enough when the SM asks Little Johnny if he has 20 nights of camping in in the last 2 years and he looks at them, raises an eyebrow and says, "Really?  You gotta ask????"

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The byline is "National honor society of the Boy Scouts of America."

 

So, without further documentation to the contrary, there's no reason that the different requirements would share the same definition.

 

Regarding software, I try not to let the tail wag the dog.

 

I disagree. The BSA has clearly said what they consider to be camping. They have a definition in their own literature for the Camping MB. It defines camping as outdoor. Their own ScoutBook software, as well as TroopMaster and several other programs do not count indoor sleeping as camping toward either OA or the Camping MB.

 

How is citing BSA's own software -- and the rules it uses to manage requirements -- not an official vindication that indoor sleeping is not considered camping? Talk about letting the tail wage the dog. That's just as official as if someone showed you an OA document containing the same information. Are you implying that BSA's own software is wrong? That's like saying an official document is wrong.

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I disagree. The BSA has clearly said what they consider to be camping. They have a definition in their own literature for the Camping MB. It defines camping as outdoor. Their own ScoutBook software, as well as TroopMaster and several other programs do not count indoor sleeping as camping toward either OA or the Camping MB.

 

How is citing BSA's own software -- and the rules it uses to manage requirements -- not an official vindication that indoor sleeping is not considered camping? Talk about letting the tail wage the dog. That's just as official as if someone showed you an OA document containing the same information. Are you implying that BSA's own software is wrong? That's like saying an official document is wrong.

Flagg, no problem. Pull out the plain English rules that the software is based on. Heck the software should have the link to any rule it applies (ideally with publisher and copyright date).

 

References = first step in teaching a skill.

 

Does O/A have a policy that says the MB definition applies, or does it have one that references the JTE definition:

 

Journey to Excellence Performance Recognition Program Frequently Asked Questions for Units
24.Do YMCA lock-ins to work on swimming requirements, lock-ins at indoor climbing
facilities, etc. count as short-term camping for JTE purposes?
Yes, these activities do count as long as they’re troop outings.

 

You and I might think that's a stupid rule made to accommodate point-grubbing scouters, but it's official. If someone like @@Chisos read the O/A requirments, then looked in a boy's book, and had just tallied up the year according to JTE ... could anyone direct him to a source that says he should not make that association?

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Unfortunately, we have once again a discrepancy in BSA documents that is causing confusion. Some BSA literature say cabin and other indoor overnighters do not count as camping, i.e. Camping Merit Badge requirements and BSA's definition of camping.  Then JTE says something.

 

BUT looking at the JTE questions, the words "...for JTE purposes?"  To me that means it would not count as camping for anything else

 

 

The OA appears to use the Camping Merit Badge requirements for OA eligibility. From the Guide to Unit Elections which is a BSA publication 

 

"Q. Can a Scout use the same camping nights towards the requirements of Camping merit badge and for the OA camping requirement.

 

A. Yes. While the Boy Scout advancement program often prohibits one action or event from counting towards two different requirements, camping nights can be counted towards both Boy Scout advancement and the OA camping requirement."

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Flagg, no problem. Pull out the plain English rules that the software is based on. Heck the software should have the link to any rule it applies (ideally with publisher and copyright date).

 

References = first step in teaching a skill.

 

Does O/A have a policy that says the MB definition applies, or does it have one that references the JTE definition:

 

You and I might think that's a stupid rule made to accommodate point-grubbing scouters, but it's official. If someone like @@Chisos read the O/A requirments, then looked in a boy's book, and had just tallied up the year according to JTE ... could anyone direct him to a source that says he should not make that association?

 

But look at the language being used, @@qwazse. They didn't say it counted as camping. They said "troop outings". There's a difference. Granted, they didn't answer the direct question. How typical of BSA, right? Couldn't they have just said "yes" or used the word "camping" instead of "troop outings"?

 

I don't disagree that BSA should be more concise and clear. They rarely are. If anyone at BSA is listening, I'd be happy to help them fix their documentation.  :D

 

I am reminded by this quote:

 

“The Order of the Arrow is a thing of the out of doors rather than the indoors. It was born in an island wilderness. It needs the sun and rain, the woods and the plains, the waters and the starlit sky†-E. Urner Goodman

Edited by Col. Flagg

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