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Tom243

Camping MB 9b, "snow camping experience" option

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As a Camping MBC I feel if a scout and his troop can't find 2 of the 6 options to do then they aren't trying very hard. A 4 mile backpack can happen just about anywhere all it takes is a little planning. My troop did an urban backpack around a small city then spent the night in a local metro park that let us camp the night. The same can be said for the 15 mile bike ride, a neighboring troop bikes along a foot/bike path beside a major interstate, no lunches or bathroom worries they hit a fast food place at an exit when needed. Whether the scout is a good rider or not isn't the issue - he can improve if he TRIES. As others have mentioned the requirement is about adding value/excitement to a campout and possibly introducing a new horizon stretching skill to a scout. Every scout camp I've been in over the last 12 years has a  climbing/repelling wall and at most you don't have to climb to repel. 

The area my son currently lives in for college is on the southern shore of Lake Superior. They started getting snow in late September and will continue getting snow until late April. They average some 20 feet a year with an average of 6-10 feet on ground at any one time from January to March.  Snow is easy for them, but even with the Porcupine Mountains nearby a 1000 foot ascent isn't something they can do locally. Nor is a river float, it is only safe to be on the water for a few weeks in the middle of the summer due to the frigid water temps. Scouts in his area take advantage of the snow, repel at camps and ride bikes and backpack all over the UP paradise.

If the scout wants the badge he'll find a way to get 2 out of 6 options done. I spend some time each year in Kentucky visiting family. Each time I'm there I wish I could get my scouts to come with us. In Kentucky you have mountains that could give you the 1000 foot elevation change hike. There is Lake Cumberland and other TVA dam lakes for paddling around and many have boat/canoe rentals. There are 100's of miles of backpacking/hiking trails with not terribly for from the road campsites (Cumberland Gap National Monument comes to mind).

Snow camping is just an option, it isn't a requirement. It's a viable option for some but not all. It needs to be left as an option IMHO. This requirement isn't overly tough. Where there's a will there's a way.

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The MB requirements state:

Quote
a. Camp a total of at least 20 nights at designated Scouting activities or events.[Note 3][Note 4] 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.
b. On any of these camping experiences, you must do TWO of the following, only with proper preparation and under qualified supervision:
1. Hike up a mountain where, at some point, you are at least 1,000 feet higher in elevation from where you started.[Note 5]
2. Backpack, snowshoe, or cross-country ski for at least 4 miles.
3. Take a bike trip of at least 15 miles or at least four hours.
4. Take a nonmotorized trip on the water of at least four hours or 5 miles.
5. Plan and carry out an overnight snow camping experience.
6. Rappel down a rappel route of 30 feet or more.

As far as if am aware in Kentucky you can do all of the following except for Snow camping (option 5) or Snowshoe or cross country ski ( you can still backpack). You can still complete 5 of the options available this was designed with everyone in mind. So people who lived in the Great Plains with no mountains could snow camp, and so people who live in warmer climates(i.e. Kentucky) can take a hike

Not to be rude but it sounds like you trying to plan around something you already are going to do instead of making the effort.

Suggest to the scout he plan a rappelling trip (most troops don't do that kind of thing so with his research he can guide the SPL and get good leadership experience, or take a paddle/ sail craft out for 4 hours. Depending on what camp you go to those may be an option based on the camps climate and quality of program. I'm assuming everyone gets the hike in.

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