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Philosophy on Camping Nights for OA Eligibility


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1 hour ago, qwazse said:

Your mental gymnastics could come back to bite …

  • Philmont trek is a series of overnights interrupted by hikes with full packs.
  • Seabase sailing adventures is a series of overnights interrupted by rolling up your bunk, stowing it in the hold, and snorkeling reefs or touring islands.
  • We could say the same for extended adventures with dog sledding, cross country skiing, or circus caravans.

Look, let’s clear all of the machinations off the table and do what this forum prattles on incessantly about doing. Be boy led.

Have the scout read the requirements, look at his camping log, and ask him what he thinks should be decided.

OK, still having coffee and waiting for my teenagers to get out of bed, so...

Back to philosophy.  Here's another twist:

Q: Who decides what camping activities qualify for the camping requirement needed for election to the Order of the Arrow?

A: With the camping requirement, as with all other eligibility requirements, it is the unit leader's job to interpret whether a Scout has met the requirement.

As stated in the Guide for Officers and Advisers (2021 revision, page 18):

"Unit Leader Approval.  To become eligible for election, a Scout must be registered with the Boy Scouts of America and have the approval of their unit leader prior to the election. The unit leader must certify their Scout spirit (i.e., their adherence to the Scout Oath and Law and active participation in unit activities). The unit leader must also certify that the nominee meets all specified requirements at the time of this annual election."

Other than defining the length of time needed for a camping activity to be considered a long-term camp*, the National Order of the Arrow Committee leaves the interpretation of the camping requirement to the unit leader.

* A "long-term camp" is one consisting of at least six consecutive days and five nights of resident camping. A "short-term camp" is anything less than that.

https://oa-bsa.org/resources/faq/camping-requirement-interpretation

Unpack that one 😜

For the letter-of-the-lawyers, define "resident camp"

Edited by InquisitiveScouter
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1 hour ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

Love it; will do!

I fear that scouts sometimes are harder on themselves than others would be.  I fear that many of us would pass him if he's a good scout, but the scout might block himself.  

IMHO, you have a legitimate argument that the canoe trek was not a long-term as each night was a completely different camp site with setup and tear down.

Edited by fred8033
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Q/A: Resident Camping Requirement

 

Q: I have a question about Unit Elections. For the camping requirement of six consecutive days and five nights of resident camping does the camping have to be at a BSA owned and operated camp, or can it be a unit long term campout allowed by the council?

A: There has been some confusion over what camping qualifies in meeting the membership requirement for camping. Three factors apply:

Camping must be under the auspices of an approved BSA program.

The decision on what specific camping meets the spirit and intent of the camping requirement rests with the unit leader of the unit in which the youth is being considered for election.

It is preferred that camping requirements be met as part of the unit in which the youth is being considered for election (i.e., troop, crew or ship); however, extenuating circumstances may exist (e.g., in cases where a youth did not have an opportunity to meet the requirement with the unit), that make it appropriate for unit leaders to consider other BSA camping experiences (e.g., a Venturer counting camping nights completed with a troop or camping nights completed while serving as a staff member at a council camp or national high adventure base). In each case, the unit leader must satisfy themselves the spirit and intent of the requirement was met (i.e., it was indeed qualifying outdoor camping).

The term "ship nights" refers to nights during with the individual slept overnight on their ship. The ship need not be underway during that period for the nights to qualify.

This does not say that the resident camp must be at a BSA owned or operated facility. If the national Order of the Arrow committee had wanted to say that, they would have. The language used was very carefully composed. If a unit runs their own long-term resident camp, "under the auspices and standards" of the BSA, it qualifies. The BSA does have very explicit standards for a resident Scout camp, requiring much more than just a week long campout. Your local council camping committee can provide more information on what the current standards are.

Some of the confusion may be caused by an error in a recent printing of the Boy Scout Handbook, which stated the camping had to be at "a local or national council facility", but that is incorrect.

 

https://oa-bsa.org/resources/faq/resident-camping-requirement

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1 minute ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

Q/A: Resident Camping Requirement

 

Q: I have a question about Unit Elections. For the camping requirement of six consecutive days and five nights of resident camping does the camping have to be at a BSA owned and operated camp, or can it be a unit long term campout allowed by the council?

A: There has been some confusion over what camping qualifies in meeting the membership requirement for camping. Three factors apply:

Camping must be under the auspices of an approved BSA program.

The decision on what specific camping meets the spirit and intent of the camping requirement rests with the unit leader of the unit in which the youth is being considered for election.

It is preferred that camping requirements be met as part of the unit in which the youth is being considered for election (i.e., troop, crew or ship); however, extenuating circumstances may exist (e.g., in cases where a youth did not have an opportunity to meet the requirement with the unit), that make it appropriate for unit leaders to consider other BSA camping experiences (e.g., a Venturer counting camping nights completed with a troop or camping nights completed while serving as a staff member at a council camp or national high adventure base). In each case, the unit leader must satisfy themselves the spirit and intent of the requirement was met (i.e., it was indeed qualifying outdoor camping).

The term "ship nights" refers to nights during with the individual slept overnight on their ship. The ship need not be underway during that period for the nights to qualify.

This does not say that the resident camp must be at a BSA owned or operated facility. If the national Order of the Arrow committee had wanted to say that, they would have. The language used was very carefully composed. If a unit runs their own long-term resident camp, "under the auspices and standards" of the BSA, it qualifies. The BSA does have very explicit standards for a resident Scout camp, requiring much more than just a week long campout. Your local council camping committee can provide more information on what the current standards are.

Some of the confusion may be caused by an error in a recent printing of the Boy Scout Handbook, which stated the camping had to be at "a local or national council facility", but that is incorrect.

 

https://oa-bsa.org/resources/faq/resident-camping-requirement

LOL, is the National OA Committee implying that a unit run "resident camp" must comply with NCAP?

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49 minutes ago, InquisitiveScouter said:

LOL, is the National OA Committee implying that a unit run "resident camp" must comply with NCAP?

They couldn't anyway... NCAP specifically excludes unit camping, and directs it fall under G2SS:

 

NATIONAL CAMP STANDARDS APPLICABILITY, SA-001

Exclusions. The World Scout Jamboree, National Scout Jamboree, and National Order of the Arrow Conference are mass events subject to additional health and safety requirements specific to those events which are equivalent to or more stringent than the National Camp Standards. Unit activities are subject to the Guide to Safe Scouting.

https://pdscouting.wpenginepowered.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/2022-NCAP-Standards-v2-430-056.pdf

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Does anyone remember or consider the OA election process.  Here is a guick review:  Election teem contacts leader, teem goes to unit meeting, SCOUTMASTER PROVIDES A LIST OF ELIGIBLE CANDIDATES to the election teem, election is held.  Its up to the SM who is eligible for election.  Its all up to the honesty, integrity,  knowledge, interpretation and spirit of the SM or Advisor as to what to count or not count.

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Does anyone remember or consider the OA election process.  Here is a guick review:  Election teem contacts leader, teem goes to unit meeting, SCOUTMASTER PROVIDES A LIST OF ELIGIBLE CANDIDATES to the election teem, election is held.  Its up to the SM who is eligible for election.  Its all up to the honesty, integrity,  knowledge, interpretation and spirit of the SM or Advisor as to what to count or not count.

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With all the camping / nights camping requirement the "intent" is for the youth to be active over a longer period rather than just coming to week long camps.  The weekend outings are critical to develop leadership skills, interact with other Scouts, overcome obstacles, make decisions (like where will my tent go) etc.  A week at summer camp is important, but the monthly outings are harder.  Planning menus, packing for that weekend weather, working the outing into other responsibilities.  These outings are what makes a Scout a Scout and how we as an organization differentiate ourselves in the market for youth time and attention.

The Scouts develop, plan, pack, unpack, execute, have adventure, repack, then unpack back at their home on these weekends.  Don't try to short change the Scout on this vital opportunity for individual development by gaming the system.  

If you sit on BOR's and especially EBOR's, the outings and nights camping are why Scouts stay active.  Program Program Program, deliver it don't short change it.

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10 minutes ago, Armymutt said:

Seems that the word "consecutive" would disqualify counting the canoe trip as non-long term camping.  Unless they spent a night in a hard structure then you might be able to count three days on either side.

 

 

On 11/24/2022 at 9:08 AM, InquisitiveScouter said:

* A "long-term camp" is one consisting of at least six consecutive days and five nights of resident camping. A "short-term camp" is anything less than that.

BSA rules set the tone without addressing all twists and turns.  A wise scouter once said you can't write concisely and still handle every possible nuanced twist.  Leaders do need to interpret.  It would be automatic if it was less than six nights, explicitly in the published rule.  What about "resident"?  Setup / tear down each night is not a resident camp.  So not long term?  Further, your own camping site is usually not considered a "resident camp".  Resident camps are BSA run fixed location with fixed infrastructure sites.  State parks, river edge camps, etc are have never generally been called "resident camps".

Situations like this require a good leader to use wise, compassionate judgement.   And yes, we might reach different conclusions for different reasons.  It's up to the leader and the scout to work together to make a positive result.

 

Edited by fred8033
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