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HELP..Extra camping nights needed

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Where did NJ' advise that?

I'm asking NJ to give the advice so we (at least me) can see where and how he thinks this should be handled.

 

Funny, I'm curious how a scout can become life in this troop without much camping. How does that happen? That the scout manages to earn Eagle under the rules given by the BSA and guided by his troop leadership is no surprise. So how did the discussion turn to the OPs son not being worthy of Eagle? What can we expect the parent to say when his son is attacked?

 

Barry

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Barry,

 

I never said they should quit.

 

How I think it should be handled is that if the Scout meets the requirements of the MB as written, with nothing added or subtracted, he should get the MB.  Since the MB requirements refer to Scouting activities, if the only way he can schedule these trips is with another troop, they count.  

 

But I also think that we still don't have all the relevant facts here.  On one hand there is a statement by the OP of how he thinks the SM will respond to the proposal if he is asked, which implies that SM hasn't even been asked.  Fine so far, but a paragraph or two later, a meeting with the council has already been scheduled.  Does that add up to you?  It doesn't add up to me.

 

Nobody should be "attacking" anyone in this forum.  I don't think I have attacked anyone.  I am not sure the person who opined that the Scout does not "deserve" Eagle "attacked" anyone either, though it's a close call.  At the same time I do not think HE had sufficient facts to make such a statement.

 

As for there being "better ways" to make a point, that could be said of hundreds of posts in this forum.  I do the best I can, I know you do, maybe we all need to try a little harder. 

Edited by NJCubScouter
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Well, in this case, the one Scout has less than 20 nights camping; whereas the countless Eagles got their 20 and stopped.  ;)

Well, this guy is going to do his 20 and stop, with little chance of doing more since he's rapidly approaching 18 years old.  I don't know of any scouts who've gotten just 20 nights of camping and stopped at Eagle.  

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I did not mean to imply any such motivation for your troop. I apologize if it came across that way. I agree that there can be legitimate reasons for that policy.

 

But this troop actually told us this when we were shopping troops coming out of Webelos.  They habitually add requirements for advancement. In addition to requiring Cooking MB prior to national, it's not enough to tie a bowline, for example. You have to tie it one handed. It's not enough to be able to tie all the required knots. You have to tie them in some shortened time period, like 10s of seconds.

 

They require youth to not only wear black or brown leather shoes, but they must be hiking boots for all troop functions or they are sent home and docked on their attendance. As a part of that, they actually line up and have a uniform inspection at every meeting before the meeting starts. Any uniform infraction, and they are sent home and their attendance docked. A part of the uniform inspection is to make sure their fingernails are not dirty.

 

It just goes on and one. They are quite proud of it.

 

Not sure what can be done about that.  I know I would never have wanted my boys in the above, and I certainly wouldn't have been an adult leader in the above.  

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I have been an advocate for keeping our responses to a question, especially from a new Scouter or a parent, focused on the actual question that was asked.  And I agree that nobody should be making a judgment that a Scout (who none of us know) "deserves" Eagle in this type of situation.  He deserves Eagle if he fulfills the requirements.  But I also think it is natural to raise questions when someone presents what seems to be an extreme and almost unbelievable situation.  I think that category includes a situation where a Scout has been in a troop for 6 or 7 years and does not have 14 nights in a tent (aside from summer camp) - and apparently considerably fewer than that, because he now has to rush around to get the remaining nights in before the end of the year.  This of course does not excuse the behavior of the SM/MB counselor in adding to the requirements.

 

I was a bit harsh, but it disturbs me that a 17 year old Scout should have to scramble to get 20 nights of camping. To answer the OPs question, there is no rule stating that the campouts have to be with the Troop the boy is in. IMHO, the SM is in the wrong with that.  

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I had 20 nights my first year. I guess I just don't understand the mentality of the non camper.

Ditto. The fact that I could grab my brother's old gear, and spend a weekend not being asked to mow grass or shovel snow or till a garden -- made it worth hauling said gear a mile (or so it seemed) to a campsite. And that was back when you didn't get a replay of the races, so when you missed NASCAR, you really missed it!

 

I think at one point my SM indicated that I was clocking about 15-20/year, and that was just with the troop. I just shrugged. It wasn't until I met boys from other troops that I learned that it was not second-nature for some. I only saw winter cabins from the outside. The smoke from their chimneys would sometimes obscure the view of a star I was watching.

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I had hundreds of nightsof camping in before I got to Scouts.  I come from a camping family and still privately camp yet today.  Often times the Mrs. complains that the boys are always taking the good weekends and so she goes camping with her kayaking group of gals.

 

With scouts, reenacting, and family camping, I can easily get in 75-80 nights of camping every year.  Now that I'm retired the number goes up.  Out of the last seven days, I have camped two of them, it's May and the sun's shining.  What more do you want?

 

When I first started camping, being the only people in a state park, sharing the campfire with the ranger and his family was common place.  Now one can't get a reservation because all the Holiday Inns on wheels have taken over.  Huge permanent RV's and trailers sitting 10' apart is not camping, but a sandbar on a slow moving river out in the middle of nowhere is.

Edited by Stosh

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Thank you so much for all the responses. Some are a bit judgemental and I will say this. He started scouting in the first grade. He loved it, had a blast and wanted to continue going. His interests in High School changed, as expected, but wanted to keep going. He has attended camp every summer, went on numerous indoor camping trips, and has earned numerous merit badges. He is now 17, he has a job, he has a peer leadership role, he has been a baseball player since T-Ball, and has been a very good student. Why Eagle? Well because he wants to finish what he started. To discount a scout simply because they haven't met the nights camped requirement is silly. He attended 13 consecutive nights of camping two years ago when he went to summer camp then NYLT training. He won an award there for his leadership qualities. I mention he is well rounded because our SM and his kids are not. Its scouting and that it. So who is ignorant? Its not for college, its not for scholarships, its simply to complete something you started years ago.

Thank you to all the individuals who shed light on the situation. I did call council in Texas and the confirmed it does not need to be completed with his troop. Scouts run into this problem all the time where they have not accumulated enough nights and are left at the end scrambling to get them. Our SM can be a bit vindictive, and has never been a fan of the juggling many activities particularly sports. If you rappel a wall at any camping trip, why not mark it on the blue card? Nope, he didn't and said it needed to be done. If you have seen the same scout at every camp for 6 years surely they have hiked 1000 feet. Why take nights away from a scout that has been a role model for other kids in the troop? Funny as den chief, the kids requested he come back for a second year. If my son doesn't exemplify the scout code, then I don't know who does. Another local troop said he is more than welcome to come there. Why? Because he started with all of these kids who had enough sense to realize our SM has control issues and they left. To criticize him because he hasn't completed his nights is the epitome of ignorant. There is more to life than just scouting. Oh and by the way...being well rounded gets kids into college. I know first hand, we are going through the process now.

 

Thanks for all the feedback! Appreciate it and we have a concrete plan going forward. 

  • Upvote 2

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Well, us being strangers on the internet, ignorance is par for the course.

 

Part of the problem is the way BSA has made people feel "incomplete" if they don't make Eagle. All the ways your son mastered skills made him a first class scout. All the ways he provided service made him a star scout. All the ways he's continued his dedication made him a life scout.

 

His attention to detail (especially given his busy schedule) may make him an Eagle scout. But even if he doesn't have the where-with-all to wrap up those camping nights and anything else, know this: he has completed what he started.

 

I've seen collegiate valedictorians proudly have Life scout printed on their bios for their 10,000 other classmates and their loved ones to read.

 

If he works his plan. That's just gravy.

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And the last lesson? Problem solving 101.  Make it work, don't give up, find a MB counselor to work it out,   Plan patrol outings for the NSP of a neighboring troop.  Win-Win.  He's got the skill, put it together and make it happen.

 

Oh, and by the way.  If your son has been the caring, nurturing helpful leader you say he is, his buddies will bend over backwards to make it happen for him.  Remember contrary to popular belief, getting someone to Eagle rank is more of a team effort than just getting "MY eagle"  That's the beauty of Scouting many never see.  Have him lay it out with his buddies and let them help.

Edited by Stosh

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One of the things that i am noticing is that people are using "camping" and "tent camping" interchangeably.   We live in the northeast and while many of our scouts have over 100 nights camping, they are not all TENT camping.   While it is allowed, most of our scouts do not have the proper equipment to camp in a tent in the coldest winter months of Dec. Jan. Feb. and March when we have snow on the ground and overnight temperatures often dip down to below 0 and we will not allow scouts to camp in conditions for which they are not prepared.  Our troop rents a cabin during those months.  Depending on what time of the month the troop camps in Nov. and April scouts may not have the proper equipment either.  Just because they are not TENT camping does not mean that the scouts do not get outdoors and do not work on requirements.  If a scout is active in multiple sports I can understand why they might not have the required number of nights TENT camping, but that doesn't necessarily mean that a scout hasn't camped. 

 

The outdoor program is just one of eight methods of scouting.  It is NOT supposed to be the entire focus.  The mission of the Boy Scouts of America is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Law.  Not to turn them into campers or outdoors men.  Just because a scout doesn't enjoy camping does not make them any less of a scout than anyone else.  My .02

Edited by andysmom
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I lived in the NE and we tent camped year around. We didn't have all the high tech gear out now. Long underwear and layers. No one died. Didn't cabin camp once. I wonder what has changed.

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I've tented in the upper Midwest in the winter.  Lots of snow means one doesn't need to worry about holding down the corners a much.  I have slept out under the starts most of the time because it's easier than trying to set up a tents when the ground is frozen.    Ski poles holding up two corners of a poncho do just fine, cross them and it will lower the opening to cut down on the wind changes.  It's not that difficult.  Just remember, no bugs and no bears!

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Our Troop camped (not in a cabin) this past January at New England Base Camp in Milton, MA. It got down to 6 degrees overnight, and we got a foot of snow during our stay. If the Scouts have decent bags and layers, most decent tents will handle that. Camping in a cabin does NOT count for MOST advancement. If you read the requirements where camping nights are listed, it usually specifies that you need to camp in a tent that you pitch yourself, or under the stars. Some requirements make allowances for things like adirondack shelters, which are not fully enclosed. BTW, here is a video from the Northern Tier OKPIK staff on sleeping outdoors in the winter: 

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