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LeCastor

Camping vs. Sleeping in a Cabin

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I see many instances where the phrase "cabin camping" is used on the Forum and it concerns me slightly, from the simple standpoint of Scout advancement.  While sleeping a cabin is undoubtedly a valid/frequent/normal exercise in the annals of Boy Scout activities tradition, it does not fit within the acceptable activities to fulfill the camping requirements for Tenderfoot, 2nd Class, 1st Class, or Camping Merit Badge.   

To be clear, I am simply supplying the Forum with a resource from the BSA explaining camping requirements.  I'm in no way knocking sleeping in a cabin; or letting the Scouts decide whether or not they want to sleep in a cabin; or whether or not to let the Scouts use paper plates; or letting the adults cook; etc.  I think you get my drift. ;) 

Edited by LeCastor
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Well calling any weekend in a cabin "glamping" is just rude. There's no "glam" in a box full of boy-scent or man-snore -- no matter how much lipstick your try to put on that pig!

But, the nation is rife with scouters wanting to push-back as the comments in @LeCastor's link and older post on Bryan's show:

https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2015/06/24/ask-expert-isnt-camping-night-camping-mb/

https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2012/06/07/ask-the-expert-interpreting-camping-merit-badge-requirement-9a/

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@LeCastor  Good point.  However, there are some situations where cabin counting might count (at the Scoutmaster's discretion).  For example, the National Outdoor Award for Camping and the Order of the Arrow eligibility requirements do not specifically exclude cabin camping (although, obviously, in order to earn First Class rank and complete the requirements for the camping merit badge, a certain amount of the nights camped can't be in a cabin).

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7 minutes ago, Thunderbird said:

... where cabin counting might count (at the Scoutmaster's discretion).  For example, the National Outdoor Award for Camping and the Order of the Arrow eligibility requirements do not specifically exclude cabin camping ...

@Thunderbird, you're assuming there's more to life than rank advancement! Oh, the tears of distraught moms you will see!

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I recall a couple of cabin-camping trips in temperatures around minus-5 degrees, in a barely-heated cabin with no indoor plumbing, that probably should be count-able for advancement, but they aren't.

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My old council scout camp which is still in use by my present council was all cabin camping for summer camp.  All but 2 of the cabins were open air due to there not being any chinking between the logs.  All each of the cabins had was lights, electrical outlet and cots. 

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What about cabin tents?   Some of us like to get comfortable when long term camping.  :)

Edited by fred johnson

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For those who really like to delve into the minutia and detail, how do hammocks fit into all of this??

 For Rank - 

the Scout must “spend the night in a tent that you pitch or other structure that you help erect, such as a lean-to, snow cave or teepee.”

         Sidenote - do the OA can't do Indian stuff people know about the teepee deal in the requirements??

For Camping merit badge -

Sleep each night under the sky or in a tent you have pitched.Sleep each night under the sky or in a tent you have pitched.

What if they sleep in hammock under the stars, with a rain fly??  Soooo many questions.

For the record, we count sleeping in hammocks as a camping.  Honestly at summer camp most of the scouts sleep in hammocks anyway

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30 minutes ago, Jameson76 said:

For Camping merit badge -

Sleep each night under the sky or in a tent you have pitched.Sleep each night under the sky or in a tent you have pitched.

What if they sleep in hammock under the stars, with a rain fly??  Soooo many questions.

For the record, we count sleeping in hammocks as a camping.  Honestly at summer camp most of the scouts sleep in hammocks anyway

We count Hammocks as equal to tent camping if it has a tarp and they sleep in it overnight. I like to think of them as 'elevated tents'.

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1 hour ago, NJCubScouter said:

I recall a couple of cabin-camping trips in temperatures around minus-5 degrees, in a barely-heated cabin with no indoor plumbing, that probably should be count-able for advancement, but they aren't.

I'll take below zero in a tent over snoring in a cabin any night of the year.

One way or the other I live in an area where we get cold and so we get the gear to stay warm. We went through a phase where scouts slept in cabins a lot and we just said enough, cabins are for special trips. Sleeping in a cabin is dessert and too much dessert is bad for you. The other side of this is camping in weather where there's little chance of below freezing is also special. Reliably, that's about 3 months a year.

So this has little to do with advancement. We don't give credit for the tent camping requirements and the scouts really don't care. Think of it as a lock in with outdoor activities.

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@Jameson76It's at the Scoutmaster's discretion (or whoever is delegated to approve by the SM), but I think the intent is to have the Scouts gain skills by practicing putting up and taking down at least one type of shelter (tents, improvised shelters, snow caves, etc.).  I'm not currently a SM, but I would count a hammock + rain fly.  (I like Tampa Turtle 's "elevated tent" concept!  :D)  I would also recommend / encourage that they try different types of shelters when possible (and where it makes sense).

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Only time we cabin camp is in the winter, or when it’s going to be below 10 degrees.  No sicknesses for me please. 

Edited by ItsBrian

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