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Proudeagle

OA Camping Qualifications

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We have Troop OA elections coming up and as the Scoutmaster I am going through the Scouts' eligibility.  We have brothers who, as registered BSA Scouts, attended a Cub Scout Family camp with another brother.  Do these 2 nights count?

Not to sound petty, but that does not sound like true "camping".  Thoughts?

BTW, not that it should matter but I am OA Brotherhood from youth.

Edited by Proudeagle

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My default answer is maybe.....Here's what I believe the requirement states (from https://oa-bsa.org/about/membership):

  • Have experienced 15 nights of camping while registered with a troop, crew, or ship within the two years immediately prior to the election. The 15 nights must include one, but no more than one, long-term camp consisting of at least five consecutive nights of overnight camping, approved and under the auspices and standards of the Boy Scouts of America. Only five nights of the long-term camp may be credited toward the 15-night camping requirement; the balance of the camping (10 nights) must be overnight, weekend, or other short-term camps of, at most, three nights each. Ship nights may be counted as camping for Sea Scouts.

Now, beyond the fact the final clause could be interpreted to mean any camping is acceptable for the 10 nights, (it specifically doesn't say BSA), the Cub family camp is clearly BSA.  My decision point would be this, if they were along to help with the camp out, putting on an event, cooking, even participating/being an example to the Cubs, I'd be inclined to say yes they count.  If they were drug along by mom and/or dad and spent the weekend playing on their phones, I'd say no.

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13 minutes ago, walk in the woods said:

approved and under the auspices and standards of the Boy Scouts of America.

Agree it is sort of vague as to whether this would / should be counted in the 15 nights.  As with many things in Boy Scouts, you as the SM will need to use your best judgement to ensure the requirements are met and you are not adding or subtracting to/from them.  Yes you have some latitude.

Approved - that would seem to imply that the camping event and/or outing would need to be reviewed prior to the event with the Troop leadership.  Typically the monthly troop outings would be assume to be approved, can be a grey area for a cub outing with siblings 

under the auspices = with the help and support of (someone or something)

standards of the Boy Scouts of America = well, that is subjective as no leadership from the troop was likely in charge and that is a broad statement

Edited by Jameson76
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Where they just family camping with the Cubs or were they acting as Den chiefs or similar roles.  I would approve it if the boys were actively helping and training the cubs.  But not if it was just a family campout.  Just my two cents

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I would recommend contacting your local lodge leadership and get their take on this.

Many parts of BSA advancement specifically exclude camping done with a pack.  As several others have stated above, it may come down to why were they there.  If just because it was a family event and they had no choice, probably excluded.  If they were staffing the event, may find that the lodge will say it counts.

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If the weekend was just families, who mostly (or even all) happen to be cub scouts but it wasn't actually a pack or den planned weekend, then absolutely no.  it would be like counting your sons nights if it was just your own family that went camping at the state park.  If these kids were there and did anything to show leadership- even if it was helping the cubs to start their campfire, teach a knot, etc. I would approve myself.  As others point out, you have the final say on whether the scout has meet the 20 night requirement or not, no one from your lodge is going to ask for records, so trust your own gut on this.

The "standards of the Boy Scouts of America" only applies to the long-term camping requirement- that's to say we wouldn't count the nights a kid spent at the private Camp Lackawanda that is more like a resort than a BSA summer camp.  

 

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I agree w/all the perspectives offered.  I would also offer this is eligibility to stand for election, not membership to OA itself so I might be inclined to lean towards putting them on the ballot--if these are the 2 days they need to make 20 their peers will know, or their overall participation w/the troop, and will make the appropriate assessment on their worthiness. 

I absolutely believe in standards and not reading more/less into requirements or adding/subtracting as well but in  my humble opinion (and as an ASM and advancement chair) I feel sometimes (and absolutely NOT saying this is what is happening here) we adults act as if we are awarding the MoH and I tried to come down on the side of what is most beneficial to the scout.  Again, not to lower standards or make things easier than they are supposed to but I know how motivating various honors and.or recognitions can be (and 25 years in the military adds to this opinion) and I tend to go more not less.  but just an opinion from an anonymous guy on the internet.

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Compare and contrast that wording with the camping MB requirement.

"Camp a total of at least 20 nights at designated Scouting activities or events.* 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."

The OA wants a BSA summer camp experience, plus another 10 nights camping. But by the wording, only the 5 continuous nights need be at the bsa sanctioned event.

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4 hours ago, malraux said:

Compare and contrast that wording with the camping MB requirement.

"Camp a total of at least 20 nights at designated Scouting activities or events.* 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."

The OA wants a BSA summer camp experience, plus another 10 nights camping. But by the wording, only the 5 continuous nights need be at the bsa sanctioned event.

Right.  Here's how I'd read this:

Quote

Have experienced 15 nights of camping while registered with a troop, crew, or ship within the two years immediately prior to the election. The 15 nights must include

  1. one, but no more than one, long-term camp consisting of at least five consecutive nights of overnight camping, approved and under the auspices and standards of the Boy Scouts of America. Only five nights of the long-term camp may be credited toward the 15-night camping requirement;
  2. the balance of the camping (10 nights) must be overnight, weekend, or other short-term camps of, at most, three nights each. Ship nights may be counted as camping for Sea Scouts.

I see only two restrictions on how the 10 nights are spent:

  • not more than 3 nights on a single trip
  • must happen while the Scout is a registered troop, crew, or ship member. 

This could be troop camping, cub camping, family camping, friend camping, solo camping, whatever.  It's not vague so much as it's not what you'd expect.  I think the point is that it's the society of honor campers.  Whether you're camping with the BSA or somewhere else - you're still camping.

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42 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

I see only two restrictions on how the 10 nights are spent:

  • not more than 3 nights on a single trip
  • must happen while the Scout is a registered troop, crew, or ship member. 

This could be troop camping, cub camping, family camping, friend camping, solo camping, whatever.  It's not vague so much as it's not what you'd expect.  I think the point is that it's the society of honor campers.  Whether you're camping with the BSA or somewhere else - you're still camping.

This is from the FAQ on the official OA page:

Q. Will camping be counted retroactively for those currently in Venturing and Sea Scouts?

Yes. Camping that has taken place within the two years immediately prior to the election will be counted beginning February 1, 2019. This camping must have taken place while an individual was registered with the BSA as a program participant and must be while participating with a BSA Venturing Crew or Sea Scout Ship.

We would not require the camping to be while participating with a Crew or Ship, and not require the same thing of a Troop.  I have been an Arrowman for 50 years, and have never encountered a unit of any kind that allowed camping nights with the family rather than Scouts to be counted.

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2 minutes ago, MikeS72 said:

This is from the FAQ on the official OA page:

Q. Will camping be counted retroactively for those currently in Venturing and Sea Scouts?

Yes. Camping that has taken place within the two years immediately prior to the election will be counted beginning February 1, 2019. This camping must have taken place while an individual was registered with the BSA as a program participant and must be while participating with a BSA Venturing Crew or Sea Scout Ship.

We would not require the camping to be while participating with a Crew or Ship, and not require the same thing of a Troop.  I have been an Arrowman for 50 years, and have never encountered a unit of any kind that allowed camping nights with the family rather than Scouts to be counted.

Then the BSA needs to update the OA eligibility rules.  

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.

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7 minutes ago, ParkMan said:

Then the BSA needs to update the OA eligibility rules.  

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.

Got to thinking about my response and wanted to expand a bit here.

I'm 100% behind being a member of the OA meaning something and there being a high bar for entry.  I was not an OA member as a Scout and always looked up to those guys.  As an adult, I've never been able to get to summer camp as a volunteer.  So, even when I had 15 nights of camping, I refused to let myself be considered for membership by the troop committee because I didn't meet the rules.

I'm also 100% behind units making common sense decisions when the info is imperfect.  It's Scouting - not a law firm.  So, sometimes you look at what's written and say "this is what they really meant."

Yet, these OA elgibility rules have been in place for a long time.  My read was the same as in this thread.  The eligibility requirements don't say BSA camping.  They are very specific about what long term camping means - but yet very vague on short term camping.  So, I've got to interpret that as "any short term camping is fine."

Why?  I'm going to wager that any Scout who's going family camping enough to meet the OA eligibilty requirements as a result - is probably a pretty avid camper.  A scout going on a camping trip with a Cub Scout pack - again, is probably a pretty involved Scout.  Could folks fall through the cracks - yes.  But, that's what OA elections are for.  Let the Scouts sort this out.  

Now, if the OA really meant "BSA camping" - then the OA ought to update the rules.  If they do - then great.  I'll support it 100%.

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Did the two young men pitch their own tent and sleep as Scouts?

Did they assist with camp cooking or cleaning, or help the Pack do things? 

 

If yes, I’d count it. If they were bumps on a log, I’d pass.   It’s your call as SM. 

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Thanks for the replies.  I feel that the BSA is getting lax on many rules and policies and that means the honors are becoming less meaningful.  I earned my Eagle in 1991 and worked hard.  It seems now the BSA basically says sign it off and do not question.  Have been an OA Brotherhood since 1990 and that meant something, as I was also on the dance team.  Again, OA has seemed to lighten the requirements for this year.  Not trying to be a Drill Sergeant but again these honors are becoming a dime a dozen. NOT every Scouts will earn/deserve Eagle nor will everyone earn/deserve to be an Arrowman. 

I will have a chat with the Scouts as mentioned and gather the scope of their involvement in the family camp.

 

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