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Proudeagle

OA Camping Qualifications

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With regard to camping nights for O/A, not much has changed since the 90s. Several stipulations that existed solely to exclude girls have been lifted. But, the quandary about boys who volunteer to camp with a pack would still be there.

With regard to rank advancement, several requirements have been added. When you earned Eagle, Cooking wasn't required, you didn't have to explain pedagogy to anyone, and workbooks weren't nearly the leviathan contracts that they are today.

What did change? More adults are advancement experts, and fewer boys are joining just for reasons other than advancement.

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On 1/11/2019 at 6:09 PM, ParkMan said:

I'm all for setting the bar high for membership in the OA.  I get that we all want it to be BSA camping - but it's not what's written.

A mild defense of having it not be just bsa sanctioned camping:

I would think the goal with scouting is to teach the youth to act wisely in all that they do, but especially in the outdoors. By the time a scout is first class, he/she should have a reasonable grasp of setting up a tent, planning a menu, following lnt, etc. Allowing OA qualifications based on camping outside of the BSA seems to follow in that mindset, that you should use this knowledge outside of just scouting.

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1 hour ago, qwazse said:

With regard to camping nights for O/A, not much has changed since the 90s. Several stipulations that existed solely to exclude girls have been lifted. But, the quandary about boys who volunteer to camp with a pack would still be there.

With regard to rank advancement, several requirements have been added. When you earned Eagle, Cooking wasn't required, you didn't have to explain pedagogy to anyone, and workbooks weren't nearly the leviathan contracts that they are today.

What did change? More adults are advancement experts, and fewer boys are joining just for reasons other than advancement.

Even though it is a different topic I can answer your question.  Your right, when I earned Eagle I did not have the cooking merit badge.  However, I cooked all the time at home, did try cooking on campouts etc so for me it would have been no more work!  We did not need Merit Badge workbooks to work on Merit Badges but still went through each requirement thoroughly.  Today I see many MB counselors and leaders "teaching" the material, say at a Troop meeting and signing off the requirement and NOT following the Learn, Test, Review method.  Too many adults are afraid to "fail" a Scout and ask them to study some more and retest.  I have recently seen Life Scouts that have never used flint and steel to start a fire, cannot tie lashings or knots, and cannot repeat the Outdoor code.  I just took over as SM and we had a Life Scout move to the troop in July last year and turns 18 this year.  He has not held 1 qualified Leadership position ever, but his dad signed it off for Star.  After talking with him to try and give him the opportunity to hold a qualified position as Life Scout (which he has not fulfilled properly) before turning 18, his dad wanted to argue.  Some might roll over but I will have not sign the Eagle Application and will be happy to explain all this to Council.

The SM conference should involve some testing of the basic requirements, otherwise these Scouts are slipping through the cracks.  BSA has a hypocritical Uniform policy.  The Scouts need it, but cannot be required.  We ALWAYS had uniforms, and did not question it!  We are not able to require uniforms for SM Conference or BOR?  If we are following the 8 Methods of Scouting, Uniforms should be required.

Today, many troop are more Glamping than camping.  They have gas stoves, benches, tables, plastic "mess kits", fancy dining fly's.  The parents are buying Taj Mahal tents for "backpacking" trips.  What happened to the basics, cooking over fire, enjoying the outdoors?  Luckily my son loves the basics and the cold weather camping and keeps asking when we are going to do it.  Well I am now SM so these ideals will be implemented to one degree or another.

These are just a few of what has changed, maybe not on paper but how the Program is being run!

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This ...

3 hours ago, Proudeagle said:

...  Today I see many MB counselors and leaders "teaching" the material, say at a Troop meeting and signing off the requirement and NOT following the Learn, Test, Review method.  Too many adults are afraid to "fail" a Scout and ask them to study some more and retest.  ...

Indeed, the culture has shifted around us. Some of the new requirements are effectively legalese for the sake of hair-splitting parents. Others are because parents have unwittingly opened the door to strangers via new media. With some justification for victims rights, lawyers have assaulted free-range kid culture. Cheap labor abroad and the low costs of imports have created a new normal where uniforms seem too expensive to wear for rough service.

Also, while you were "out," Eagle has been oversold. And, I think as a new SM, this is the place will you can make the largest gains. Add value to being a first class scout - the concept, not the patch. Talk it up. It should be a really big deal. It should mean that scout can be trusted to take his/her buddies hiking and camping independently with their mates. For some boys it should take five years to earn, because it is that hard for them to focus and master the material. Then, when you see that those scouts have signed off another scout's requirements, you won't have to waste time testing because, well, trustworthy ... Those 1st class scouts take it seriously.

For your scouts who went camping with their brothers' pack, let them know you want to count night O/A nights where boys acted like first class scouts (regardless of if they earned the patch yet). Ask them point blank, "Did you represent our troop well? Were you in uniform? If those cubs could vote for you based on that weekend your were with them, would they?"

Edited by qwazse

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On 1/14/2019 at 7:07 AM, Proudeagle said:

They have gas stoves, benches, tables, plastic "mess kits", fancy dining fly's.   What happened to the basics, cooking over fire, enjoying the outdoors? 

Part of it is Leave No Trace. It discourages fire rings, clearing to mineral earth, using downfall wood for fires, ad infinitum. 

When you go to Philmont, you WILL use gas or solid fuel compact stoves. It’s not negotiable anymore. 

As far as plastic dining gear goes, I had a plastic mug, plate, and fork/spoon even in the 60s. It was called “manage the weight on your back.”

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