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National Outdoor Award - Camping

award camping

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#21 perdidochas


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Posted 11 August 2015 - 08:45 AM

@Hedgehog I'm not sure about family trips to be honest. The section quoted above comes straight from the same source. I take that to mean that the scout can do these events by himself, with friends or with a family member provided they are done specifically for the MB. The wording seemed to directly preclude "family" events.

It would be interesting to get BSA's definition on family events. Most families don't hike or backpack but I could see an MBC giving credit for a scout where families did do that. I suspect BSA is trying to avoid scouts taking credit for the impromptu family hike that might happen on a family vacation.

MBCs have some latitude here. It it's obvious the scout planned or completed the activity according to the requirements it should be immaterial who went along for the trek, as long as the requirements were met.


The MB requirements for backpacking have parts that require doing things that involve his patrol/crew, and others that don't specify.  To me that indicates that a family trip (as long as the Scout is doing the planning, etc.), would count. (my paste renumbered, so the 1 should be 9, 2 should be 10, 3 should be 11).  #9 (1), IMHO, requires it be a BSA event.  #10 (2) could be outside of scouting, and #10 (3) could be outside of scouting.



  1. Do the following:
    1. Write a plan that includes a schedule for a patrol/crew backpacking hike of at least 2 miles.
    2. Conduct a prehike inspection of the patrol and its equipment.
    3. Show that you know how to properly pack your personal gear and your share of the crew’s gear and food.
    4. Show you can properly shoulder your pack and adjust it for proper wear.
    5. While using the plan you developed for requirement 9a, carry your fully loaded pack to complete a hike of at least 2 miles.
  2. Using Leave No Trace principles, participate in at least three backpacking treks of at least three days each and at least 15 miles each, and using at least two different campsites on each trek. Carry everything you will need throughout the trek.
  3. Do the following:
    1. Write a plan for a backpacking trek of at least five days using at least three different campsites and covering at least 30 miles. Your plan must include a description of and route to the trek area, a schedule (including a daily schedule), a list of food and equipment needs, a safety and emergency plan, and a budget.
    2. Using Leave No Trace principles, take the trek you have planned and, while on the trek, complete at least one service project approved by your merit badge counselor.
    3. Keep a daily journal during the trek that includes a day-by-day description of your activities, including notes about what worked well and thoughts about improvements that could be made for the next trek.


Hiking is similar, but, IMHO, requires no Scouting involvement.


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#22 perdidochas


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Posted 11 August 2015 - 08:47 AM

Exactly. I suspect BSA wants to avoid giving credit for the 10 mile hike dad says the family has to go on when they hit Big Bend NP and then have that count towards an MB.


Well, if they did it as part of the Hiking MB, I think BSA (or the MBC) would need to give credit.  No language in the Hiking MB implies under the auspices of BSA.  Those miles could also go into the Hiking segment of the National Outdoor award.

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