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HELP..Extra camping nights needed

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My son is 17 and will be 18 the end of the year. As a current life scout, he has one remaining badge to finish, Camping, which he started in 2013. His Eagle project was planned, approved, fund-raised, constructed, and delivered to the beneficiary. He is in the process of the write up and final approval.

 

Our problem is this: our scoutmaster has strictly advocated for "scouting only" all these years. My son is fortunate to be well rounded in many areas of his life and traveled a lot during the summers for baseball. He attended every summer camp and many indoor campouts but not many outings in tents. When we reviewed his advancement records he needs a significant amount of nights to finish the camping badge to meet the 20 night requirement.

 

Years ago, our SM had a falling out with many members of our troop and they left to go to another local troop. We stayed but this SM remains and is very challenging and not very well liked. My son's friends in the other troop, who my son has stayed in touch, have invited him along on campouts to help get the nights needed quicker, including through the summer which is easier on his schedule. Is this allowed?

 

One of our dads is an Eagle and he said troops are always willing to help another troop and it should not be disallowed. Knowing our SM, he will flat out say no, but if I have a concrete rule that says yes my son can get camping with another troop credited then we will go with that . At this stage of the game, we just want to wrap up a very long scouting career. My son started in first grade and is now a junior in high school with so many other things going on that he wants to finally complete this journey.

 

Any help anyone can offer would be appreciated. We have a meeting on Thursday with our council to put in writing exactly the trips he will be going on and as long as I have support that he can camp with other troops we are good to go. If someone knows where the exact rule can be found that he can camp with other troops that would be great. 

 

Thanks in advance.

Edited by RememberSchiff
clarity

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Welcome to scouter.com

 

Who is your son's merit counselor for Camping Merit Badge from back in 2013? Is it the Scoutmaster? If not the SM, this discussion should be with the Merit Badge Counselor.

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Will he still be able to complete it with his current troop? It is not that they are not offering him the nights, he was hoping to get a few more weekend in during the summer when it is less stressful since school is over. We just want to make sure he can get another weekend or two in with another troop, have that scoutmaster sign off on those particular nights camped and then complete weekend with his current troop and hopefully make Eagle with this same troop he started with in first grade.  We are just afraid our SM will put yet another roadblock in to derail his progress.

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 This is not an issue that involves the SM, it is an issue that involves only the Camping MB counselor.  The Camping MB counselor should be the one in the discussion and I would highly doubt he/she cares one way or another with what troop the camping experience is registered. If the current MB counselor is "best buddies" with the SM or is an ASM in the troop, it might  be a bit different, but with a partial sign off from a registered MB counselor, that still doesn't mean the scout can't finish up the partial with another more objective yet sympathetic counselor in the council.  I am a registered MB counselor for Camping.  If a scout comes to me with all the Camping requirements checked off except # of nights, I really don't care if that requirement is fulfilled by 15 different troops.  The requirement does not say it has to be counted only if the campout is with one's home troop!  A good MB counselor will know this.

Edited by Stosh

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The exact rule, as far as I can tell, is the MB counselor decides. Since that's the SM, you have a bit of a problem. You can find another MB counselor but that looks a bit like going around the back of the SM. It's technically fine, but you might end up with a SM not signing the eagle app and then you get to appeal to the council. That gets ugly.

 

I'd suggest talking to the SM and coming to an agreement. If that doesn't work then, if your son really wants to get eagle, find another troop.

 

So what exactly does "a significant number of campouts" mean?

 

I hate to say this but 20 nights of camping is not really that much over 7 years. That's one campout a year. Even if he's playing baseball all summer there is plenty of other time to go camping. So, and this is a delicate subject, why does your son want to get eagle? I'm not saying he shouldn't get it or doesn't deserve it, but if he doesn't really care, or eagle just means he did a bunch of boring requirements, then why get it? You said he's a well rounded kid. The lack of a patch won't change that. It's not going to help him get into college or a job.

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From my take on the OP first post, I don't think the SM is the Camping MB counselor.  If he/she is, then finding another MB Counselor should not be any big deal.  With a signed MB Blue Card, the SM can't withhold it.  If the scout finishes all the requirements for Eagle, has the Blue Cards, then an appeal should not be a problem.

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Hello,

I asked about this topic in our troop and the answer was that tent nights towards camping will have to be done with the troops. Definetely can not be counted when camping with family, or even scout and dad. I did not get an answer if the camp took place with another troop, I was told they will get back to me and this was 5 days ago ....

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I know that personal camping with family doesn't count for scouts, but it is unclear to me if we are talking a Camping Merit Badge requirement where the MB counselor determines 20 nights of camping or a troop requirement where the SM determines the rules of camping.  It makes a world of difference to this discussion.

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Then it's easy, find a different counselor.  If one has a partial from summer camp, they don't have to go back and have the summer camp counselor finish it up.  Any registered Camping MB counselor can solve this problem easily.

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This is not hard. The requirement says "at designated scouting activities or events"

It does not say "with your troop."

 

The counselor may not add to the requirements.  There is nothing to discuss with anyone.  The boy turns in his camping record. Some nites with troop x, some nights with troop y, some nights with O/A, some nights with a venturing crew, and maybe six days at a summer camp. If the counselor refuses, take that blue card to a different counselor.

 

Frankly. I would encourage your son to not worry about the badge. Scouts from another troop invited him camping. He has a window of time between seasons. Go have fun!

 

This is not a matter of asking permission from the SM. This is a matter of reading the requirements, doing what they say, and telling your MBC what you did.

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Qwazse is right.  Good description.

 

But I'd also have a discussion with the SM.  Make sure he's on board with it as you need his signature.  If he hesitates or won't give a clear answer, try again.  If you still can't figure it out, find a troop that will help you close out the rank.

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Matt brings up a good point - you son has been a Scout since he was 11 - assuming he's been to at least one long-term summer camp, are you sure that he doesn't have the 21 days in camping already?  I'd start adding the numbers up from when he started camping (the requirements also does not say "camp 21 days and nights since starting work on the Merit badge).  There is a good chance he's already met that requirement.

 

You should also contact the Council Service Center and ask to speak with the registrar to double check that the Scoutmaster is ALSO registered as a Merit Badge Counselor.  While adult leaders like Scoutmasters and Assistant Scoutmasters can also serve as Merit Badge Counselors, they have to double register as Merit Badge Counselor - they can't just decide that they will counsel the merit badge for the Troop.  I've come across a few instances where Troop Leaders counseled and signed off on merit badges only to have Eagle Applications bounce back from National or Council because the person who signed off on a required merit badge wasn't a registered counselor - that can lead to huge complications.  Just quietly double-check and if they come back and say he's not registered as a Merit Badge Counselor, get you son to a registered counselor asap (or get the Scoutmaster to register asap).

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