Re: New National Camping Award
Alan Houser (troop24@EMF.NET)
Fri, 31 Mar 1995 10:04:10 -0800
Cliff Golden <C60DJK1@MVS.CSO.NIU.EDU> writes:
[ info on New National Camping Award ...]
> This part of the award is OK I guess. But the next part really
> bothers me. "At least 33 percent of your Scouts must be in
> attendance for each 24 hour period to count as a camper day."
> That sentence bothers me a great deal.
> For instance; if you have 30 boys in your troop, and you take 9
> boys to Philmont Scout Ranch, and another 8 boys go to Sommers Canoe
> Base, neither activities would count towards National Camping Award
> because neither activity had 33 percent of your troop.
> If your unit has some patrol campouts, those won't count either,
> unless over 33 percent of your troop is in the same patrol.
> I don't understand the 33 percent rationale. I believe a much
> better solution would be to average the number of days/nights per
> Scout within a unit. A unit averaging 10 days/nights per Scout wo
> would qualify for the Unit Award, averaging 30 days & nights would
> qualify for the Silver Award. I don't believe that ignoring small
> group camping which should be practiced in a wilderness setting is
> fair. I think the new National Camping Award was poorly thought out
> and much less effective than the previous award.
> What do other people think?
I tend to agree with much of what you say, Cliff. We have generally had
to give up about 10 days a year for Venture Crew and patrol camping. In
1993, for instance, with a Philmont Trek, we would have qualified for the
Gold Level award, but gave up 17 nights. For the really big troops,
wilderness camping could only be done at the patrol or crew level because
of the party size limits, and, as you point out, it wouldn't count.
On the other hand, it is probably a good idea to encourage troop camping
just to promote cohesiveness. Perhaps a solution would be to have a
certain percentage of campouts have to be attended by all of the patrols
and a certain percentage (such as 50%) of the troop members. I agree, it
needs more work, and more input from the people out in the woods.
Computing an average per Scout when you have Scouts coming in and
leaving becomes a bit complicated. Do you keep a running average of the
number of Scouts in the troop and weight it by the number of nights for each
campout? If so, is it fair to give more weight (in the denominator) to the
Scout who was only in the troop for two weeks of summer camp versus the Scout
who attended an equal number of nights but joined after summer camp? And
how would you do it if you (or your Troop Scribe) didn't have access to a
spreadsheet program? How would you even explain it?
The new award may have been incompletely thought out, but I found the
application itself to be mysterious. Some of the information there doesn't
seem to be connected at all with the award. Perhaps it is a vestige of
earlier renditions? And some of the information (such as the cumulative
nights) has to be obtained from other sources (or very good records - which
Alan R. Houser ** Scoutmaster, Berkeley Troop 24 ** firstname.lastname@example.org
** WWW page ** http://www.emf.net/~troop24/t24.html **
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City