Scouts-L Mail Archive for February of 1999: Re: Postings To Scouts-L
Re: Postings To Scouts-L
Bruce E. Cobern
Fri, 12 Feb 1999 00:09:44 -0500
At 10:39 PM 2/10/99 -0800, Lynn R Oakleaf wrote:
>Thanks for your reply. And I understand what you are saying. But lets take
>the camping MB conversation as an example. A boy must have 20 nights of
>camping in a tent pitched by the boy.
Or, under the stars.
So when he goes to a summer camp (and
>7 days of summer camp are OK to us toward the MB), does he have to pitch the
>tent or can he sleep outside under the stars?
He can sleep under the stars.
If he sleeps outside, then it
>doesn't count because he didn't pitch a tent?
No, because he can sleep under the stars.
Shouldn't he have to strike
>and repitch the tent every day for it to really count?
No, because it doesn't say "pitched that day," just "pitched."
If he's backpacking
>and they are coming into camp late, he's the cook for the night and his
>tentmate pitches the tent while he prepares the meal, then that night
>doesn't count because he didn't pitch the tent?
Technically that night does not count.
>A requirement for Tenderfoot is to sleep in a tent that he helped pitch.
>For Second Class it is to sleep in a tent that he pitched, so we already
>have 2 demonstrations. As he continues on campouts he'll be pitching tents
>many times, so he should have the experience by the time he has 20 nights.
So? The requirement doesn't say "get experience in pitching a tent," it
says "sleep in a tent you have pitched."
>In fact, according to the 1999 Boy Scout Requirements, the Camping MB
>states, and I quote, "Camp out a total of 20 days and 20 nights. Sleep each
>night under the sky or under a tent that you have pitched. (You may use a
>week of summer camp as a part of the 20 days and 20 nights.)"
>So in fact, a scout could sleep under the stars all 20 nights and never
>pitch a tent. The only tent pitching that a boy did would be for Second and
That is correct.
>I guess the key question is that "IF" he sleeps under a tent it must be one
>that he has pitched?
That's what the requirement says, and, as a merit badge counselor you are
obligated to see that the Scout has met the requirements. No more or no
less. It is not for the counselor, or the SM, or any of us, to try to
decide WHY a particular requirement is written the way it is. Unless we are
trying to convince national to rewrite the requirement.
If he sleeps under the stars that night qualifies, but
>if he's in a tent that the camp staff pitched it doesn't count?
That is correct.
>these tents are on platforms, so has he really gained any experience in tent
>pitching in the wilderness.
The requirement says nothing about gaining experience pitching tents in the
>Let's go one step further, if he sleep under a rain fly it doesn't count
>because it's not a tent and he's not sleeping under the stars?
Actually, I think a rain fly used as a shelter would actually be considered
>And while we're at it, he can count one week of summer camp toward the MB.
>Now is that 5 nights? 6 nights? 7 nights?
Whatever a "week" is at the camp you attend. Or even, if your camp's week
is less than seven nights, up to seven nights, even if not consecutive. The
way that language is written, it appears obvious, at least to me, that the
purpose of that parenthetical clause is to LIMIT the use of summer camp to
one week, so that the Scout can't use summer camp for all 20 nights.
>We can second guess the committee that wrote the MB requirement all day long
>( and all night long if we're in a tent that we pitched ourselves). Is
>anyone posing these questions to National---OR, MAYBE THE REQUIREMENTS ARE
>WRITTEN A BIT LOOSELY TO ALLOW FOR SOME FLEXIBILITY.
As much flexibility as you want, as long as each night is either under the
stars or in a tent the Scout has pitched, and no more than a week of those
nights are from summer camp.
Bruce E. Cobern