Re: Intro and participation question
Ronald Oakes (oakes@CIG.MOT.COM)
Tue, 11 Jul 1995 11:07:09 -0500
Ralph Johnson Writes:
> 1. Hiking miles and camping events for completion of the hiking and camping
> merit badges.
> We feel that only BSA events should be counted towards the merit badge
> requirements. We have so far refused to credit his boy with school and/or
> church camping/hiking events for the merit badge work. Our troop provides
> opportunities for over 30 nights camping per year and several hundred miles
> hiking per year so there is no lack of opportunities within the troop. Do we
> have the right to restrict credit to BSA events? If so, where can we find it
> in writing?
According to BSA advancement policy, Troop, Merit Badge Councilors,
District, Councils and Scout Camps CANNOT change the requirements. The
requirements for Hiking merit badge say:
3: Take five hikes of 10 continuous miles each, on 5 days
4: Take a hike of 20 continuous miles in 1 day
Nowhere does it say that these hikes have to be part of an approved
scouting event. Nor does it say that these hikes cannot be part of other
work being done by the scout. A Troop cannot reject a scouts hiking merit
badge because he made one, or all, of the hikes with his family, friends,
church, school group etc.
Also, the Councilor cannot require that they be present when the hikes take
Similarly, the requirements for Camping say:
8: Show experience in camping by doing the following:
(a) Camp a total of at least 20 days and 20 nights
Camp each night under the sky or under a tent you
have pitched. (You may use a week of summer camp
as part of the 20 days and 20 nights)
Again, the requirement does not distinguish camping as part of a scouting
event from other camping. The only requirement is that the night be spent
in a tent or under the sky, and not in a cabin.
If a scout feels that they have earned the merit badges or a rank
advancement (especially Eagle) but were rejected because they did some of
the camping or hiking outside of scout events, they would have a valid
In this case the father is completely correct.
Ronald B. Oakes
Former Scoutmaster, Troop 91
(Also a merit badge councilor for Camping, and Hiking)
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City