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Could use some help from any Camping Merit Badge counselors out there.


Requirement #9b, states that the Scout picks two items from a list of six; hike up a mountain, backpack four miles, bike fifteen miles, float trip four hours, rappel thirty feet, perform a conservation project. (abbreviated descriptions)



Is it the intent that the Scout carries his gear during these? We have one counselor that says the intent is that gear is carried if he chooses any of the "trip options" as it would be for the backpacking option and one that says not.


In perusing the merit badge pamphlet I can find no definitive indication. My take on it is that the Scout does not carry his gear unless he chooses the backpacking option.


Won't be back to the forum til Sunday evening due to a troop camping trip, but appreciate any insight.

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Each of those options would require that the scout take some personal gear along if he were to "be prepared" properly for the activity, wouldn't they? I would agree that to require he carry the gear on his back would be adding to the requirements, but properly preparing for a camping expedition should certainly be taught as part of a camping merit badge, and I would think it should be an expected behaviour when the scout performs the required tasks.



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The conservation project is not one of the options, it is a requirement.


As for the gear question, the qualifications are "properly prepared". To me that means prepared for that activity, not the whole weekend How much gear do you need for a 15 mile bike tr

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Aggie Scouter,



Tire Repair Kit


First-Aid Kit




Sleeping gear


food prep materials

fire strarter

Sun screen

Insect repellant

Rain Gear





Remember that the bike trip must be done as part of a campout in order to fulfill the requirement.



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It seems to me that if the scouts went on a 15-mile bike trip on the middle day of a two-night campout, for example, it would meet the requirement. There is nothing in the requirement that suggests the activity must be part of the transportation to or from the campsite. So I think requiring any gear other than that required for the activity itself is adding to the requirement. I also note that there is nothing in the requirements suggesting that they couldn't do this on any day during a week of camp.

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Here is how I'm reading it.

On any of these camping experiences you must do two of the following , only with proper preparation and under qualified supervision.

Then the five options.

Key words are "Proper preparation."

I think these are activities that are meant to be done at camp. I think he need only carry the equipment that is needed to be properly prepared for the activity.

But I'm not the counselor that has been approved by your district.


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Back from a weekend with the troop - lake canoeing for those with swimming qualification (instructed by a Girl Scout Leader; the mother of one of our Scouts) and outdoors advancement work for those not canoeing - and lot's of adult leader talks about "issues". A productive and fun weekend.


Thanks all for the replies. I would agree that for any of the choices the Scout should be toting the activity-appropriate equipment. Follows be prepared and proper trip planning.


As for whether or not the intent is for the Scout to carry his full gear during the other activities seems to still be up for some debate. For instance, does the Scout bike the 15 miles with all gear that would be needed for an overnight type of trip?


Or as Hunt states, is this intended to be a "side-trip" type of activity undertaken during a camping trip, that would only require that gear needed to be properly prepared for a short excursion away from base camp?


I read this over and over again while out this weekend and read the pamphlet from cover to cover. After studying and discussing with the other leaders, we came to the consensus that these are intended to be considered as side trips during the camping experience.


For a few of us, some of the confusion is based in what we remembered from past versions of the camping merit badge where one of the requirements was to hike 1.5 miles into and out of camp carrying your personal gear and your share of patrol gear - a requirement that is no longer there. Our humble conclusion is that the active portions of this badge have become watered down through the years. (I even pulled out my old requirements book, copyright 1969 for a "way back in the dinosaur days" comparison) Not only is there no longer a requirement to carry your gear to and from camp, in the older requirements not only did you make a ground bed, but you also had to use it for two nights. Other old requirements included building a proper fire area, using wood tools to prepare fuel for cooking, show how to protect your fuel and prepare a meal under rainy conditions, build three types of fires, serve as your patrol cook for at least five meals prepared in camp, make a layout of a typical patrol campsite showing the locations of various "facilities" of the campsite and explaining how various site and weather conditions are taken into consideration, while on an overnight campout present yourself correctly clothered and equipped, show proper methods for protecting food and equipemnt against animals insects and adverse weather.


Needed updates are there and revisions were made to reflect changing principles, but essentially, other than a requirement to spend 20 days and nights camping, and a couple of short side trips, the rest of the merit badge is now a "classroom badge".


And while it might be proper and maybe make sense to move cooking skills to Cooking MB rather than Camping, the fact that Cooking is no longer required and very few of our Scouts do Cooking MB leaves a big void in what I think should be a little more of an overall camping experience badge with actual demonstration of camping skills.


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As a note on one of the options - rappel. You would have no gear at all during the actual rappel. You would have some personal gear ( water, raingear, etc. ) at the site. This is designed as a side trip - even completed during summer camp.

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