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Not really a question, just a gripe on the requirements for the National Medal for Outdoor Achievement, specifically requirements 2 and 3:

 

2. Earn the National Outdoor Badge for Camping with a silver device.

3. Earn any two additional National Outdoor Badges, each with two gold devices.

 

Seems pretty straightforward, but I dislike the single mindedness on camping. 125 nights is a lot, Achievable I know but is a Scout who is really into Conservation, or into horse riding or something less camping heavy less worthy? I also dislike that it encourages Scouts to focus on a few segments and discourages a broader application.

I wish it was written as as the following:

2. Earn a National Outdoor Badge with a silver device

3. Earn two additional National Outdoor Badges, each with two gold devices

 

or even better:

2. Earn a National Outdoor Badge with a silver device

3. Earn two additional National Outdoor Badges, each with two gold devices OR earn all 5 remaining National Outdoor Badges

My 2c and I don't ever expect it to change. Just wishful thinking, but I thought I'd share.

 

FWIW I really really like these awards and always encourage Scouts to work on them. They could just be tweaked a little to make them even better.

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59 minutes ago, UKScouterInCA said:

125 nights is a lot, Achievable

That is a lot. It makes the medal very impressive. We camp every month and go to summer camp. If a Scout did that, it would still take about 5 years. I know you can count Cub Scout nights (if I recall), and I assume things like OA and NYLT, but still, 4 years then? Wow.

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That is a lot. 125 nights.  For an active scout, 25 nights a year is a lot.

 

It is hard for the scouts to count all the stuff with the under the auspices of BSA for some things to.  Have to go back and count up all the nights, hours doing things when they occured a year or more ago.

I know my son have earned two segments and is close on completed the final three segments.  The riding one is hard for all the hours riding under BSA auspices, since his crew and ship don't do that (so he probably can't get there), he rides all the time just not with the scouts.  Camping he needs e-Prep and it fed up and done with merit badges. (he already has BSA Lifeguarding, Red Cross First Aid, and Wilderness First Aid certs) so who knows if he will finish that.  For adventure, he just needs one more adventure (Jamboree this Summer was supposed to be that final one).

Oh well, just patches really at this point.

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Dad-brag...

Son has been with it since Tigers...Eagle BOR last December.  Is 15 and has 143 nights with BSA.  This does not include all the camping we have done just Dad and son.

Dad-shame...

I have failed to communicate to him the value in pursuing the NMOA.   Just not his thing, it seems.

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14 minutes ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

Dad-brag...

Son has been with it since Tigers...Eagle BOR last December.  Is 15 and has 143 nights with BSA.  This does not include all the camping we have done just Dad and son.

Dad-shame...

I have failed to communicate to him the value in pursuing the NMOA.   Just not his thing, it seems.

Brag away. 

No Dad-shame.  My kid probably won't get it either.  He is a 16 year old now and is more interested in girls, mountain bikes, and sailboats than BSA advancement.  It is their adventure, not ours 🙂

So Cub camping counts?  It would be interesting to add up all of my kids time camping.  It is probably a lot since he would do summer & winter camps as a Cub/Webelos/Troop scout.  And the last two years doing high adventures with his Crew and Ship.  I probably won't calculate it, because that would be a lot of research.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Is it in writing somewhere that cub scout camping counts? I can't find anything. Or is it assumed because the award says something like under BSA, so that includes cubs.

If that's the case, does cub scout hiking, swimming, etc count too for the other awards?

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7 minutes ago, karunamom3 said:

Is it in writing somewhere that cub scout camping counts? I can't find anything. Or is it assumed because the award says something like under BSA, so that includes cubs.

If that's the case, does cub scout hiking, swimming, etc count too for the other awards?

https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2014/03/13/interpreting-under-the-auspices-in-national-outdoor-awards-requirements/#:~:text=If it's part of a Scout's work on merit badges,state park wouldn't count.

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We forget , as Mashmaster notes, it is (or should be) up to the Scout.  Not every Scout will earn every award. Life is more than piling up bling.

Scoutson earned Eagle. His time in the Troop was spent helping other young Scouts. He was the Totin' Chip Instructor.  Had no interest in OA, or Seascouts (he went to Seabase, had his own sailboat, loved canoeing), or Venture Scouts (active in 4H, won awards for Rabbit breeding, earned Diamond  4H Award) , did not want to devote any time to the religious awards (altho he had more than half already accomplished just by "habit" and osmosis).  Mom and I have no complaints about his life.  His choices reflect the Scout Promise and Law in many ways that others of his generation do not.  

Camp Award?  Keep count (excel spreadsheet? )  if it adds up, so be it. If not,  count the rest of your Scout's  acheivments and smile and wave as they go by.  They will choose your Assisted Living Facility , after all. 

See you on the trail. 

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8 minutes ago, SSScout said:

We forget , as Mashmaster notes, it is (or should be) up to the Scout.  Not every Scout will earn every award. Life is more than piling up bling.

True, but I will say that there is a responsibility of adult leaders to make scouts aware of the opportunities. For example, I know one troop (not mine) that the SM in his newsletter once a month to parents and scouts has an "award of the month" that describes the award and requirements.

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1 hour ago, CynicalScouter said:

True, but I will say that there is a responsibility of adult leaders to make scouts aware of the opportunities. For example, I know one troop (not mine) that the SM in his newsletter once a month to parents and scouts has an "award of the month" that describes the award and requirements.

I'm of the opposite view.  It is the scout's responsibility to read his/her handbook, magazines, and other literature and learn what awards they might wish to earn.

It is the adult leader's responsibility to inculcate a vision of the pinnacle scouting experience of hiking and camping independently with your mates.

Sure, if a scout is an avid camper I might tell him, in passing, to look up the NOAC. If he's a good shot, I'll let him no about Jr. NRA.  If he swims like a fiend, and is very conscientious, I'll encourage BSA Guard certification. If he masters a knot, I'll probably tell him to demonstrate it to his PL and get a sign-off. Those are obvious "next steps." But my job is not to let every scout know every award. My job is to teach him to discover the lay of the land, observe, and report. I encourage other adult leaders to do the same. That jobs hard enough, most days.

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4 minutes ago, qwazse said:

I'm of the opposite view.  It is the scout's responsibility to read his/her handbook, magazines, and other literature and learn what awards they might wish to earn.

I agree. In all of my reading of handbooks, guides, and training, making scouts aware of all opportunities is not one of Scoutmaster responsibilities. There are so many different "areas" a Scout could get involved in, it isn't up to the SM to make all aware.

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15 minutes ago, qwazse said:

I'm of the opposite view.  It is the scout's responsibility to read his/her handbook, magazines, and other literature and learn what awards they might wish to earn.

So, adults should withhold information from scouts?

My goodness, even in the adult world I gain insights and information from newsletters I receive from national and my council. This just seems. Wow.

I will never, ever support withholding (age appropriate) information from scouts.

There are literally dozens of BSA awards and honors that a scout can earn. I see nothing wrong with making scouts better informed of opportunities. Whether they decide to take up those opportunities are, of course, up to then.

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I guess it comes down to what you see the value of the award to be. Traditionally it is viewed as recognition for an achievement. And I don't want to discount that but to me that hides the true reason. The true reason IMHO is one of incentive, it encourages the person to strive for the award and in doing so it incentivizes them to do things they would not have otherwise done. The recognition gives something to the Scout who went backpacking, or rock climbing, who would likely have done that anyway. The incentive gets the Scout who wouldn't have thought about going backpacking to go out and do it.

The recognition portion in my mind actually is a sly way of actually incentivizing others. Ideally, one Scout, in getting the award in a CoH, makes other Scouts notice and thing "I want that too", then they learn about the award and realize they have to do new things in order to earn it.

But you have to start somewhere. So, yes, I think it behoves the active parent or Scouter leadership to draw attention to these awards on occasion. You don't have to continually do so, but I think adult leadership should be encouraged to provide ideas for the Scout even as they own if they follow those ideas or not.

This is why I like the NOA awards in particular, as I like the camping/climbing/hiking/adventure parts of Scouting. But also why (as per the OP) I think it could be tweaked a little to work better on what behavior it is incentivizing. When the requirements structure disincentivizes things that should be encouraged, it is being counterproductive.

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Just now, CynicalScouter said:

...

There are literally dozens of BSA awards and honors that a scout can earn....

When you get into the High Adventure awards and various other local awards and Scout specific third party awards there are probably hundreds or even more. I spend a decent amount of time searching for what awards are out there and even now I often trip over something I've never heard of before. I agree completely, why would you hide that? Give the Scouts some ideas, they can then choose if they use the ideas or not. But no harm and a lot of benefit to helping provide them.

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4 minutes ago, UKScouterInCA said:

 Give the Scouts some ideas, they can then choose if they use the ideas or not. But no harm and a lot of benefit to helping provide them.

Right! I am all for scout led, but that does NOT mean that adults cannot be sources of INFORMATION or that they should withhold information from scouts about opportunities.

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