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Camping OR Backpacking MB as Eagle required?


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#21 Back Pack

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 09:02 PM

You won't do any 20 mile stretch at Philmont by noon. I did an 18 mile day and it nearly killed me, and I was 22 and played NCAA Div 1 soccer and was in the best shape of my life. You can do 20 at Philmont, but you are taking all day, watering 8-10 liters or more, resting and eating a lot. At altitude you just won't do it in five hours. Not unless you are circling the parking lot. But not in the back country.
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#22 TAHAWK

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 09:45 PM

Philmont is, of course, typically backpacking not hiking.  And you are at altitude and often going higher.  Water may not be readily available for hours and so must be carried at apx. 8 lbs/gallon.  All of this makes it hard for me to readily translate Hiking MB requirements into Philmont.  

 

I do love the low humidity of my youth.  


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#23 MattR

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Posted 10 May 2017 - 09:51 PM

What a strange discussion. A 20 mile hike is not the same as 20 miles backpacking. And elevation has as much to do with it as mileage. 10 miles with a full pack climbing a few thousand feet at 10,000 feet is a very hard day. 20 miles with a day pack at sea level is not nearly as hard. Breathing at 14000 feet is really hard.

 

I believe that Back Pack got his butt kicked at Philmont doing 18 miles. Part of it is also what you're used to. We had a group that did 100 miles at Philmont and they did fine. They also live at 5000 feet and typically camp above 9000 feet.

 

Anyway, the OP is about doing something more challenging. I like the idea of making it something the scouts work towards and get better at. I'm not sure how well it would go over. Plop camping gets boring but too many 16 year olds like that. In their defense just hanging out with their friends is a good thing. My approach is to keep a good mix of fun easy and more challenging. I'm not sure changing eagle requirements is the right way to push for more challenge.


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#24 qwazse

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 05:16 AM

... 16 year olds like that. In their defense just hanging out with their friends is a good thing. My approach is to keep a good mix of fun easy and more challenging. I'm not sure changing eagle requirements is the right way to push for more challenge.


This ^^^

The biggest challenge in our post-modern nomadic culture is the practice of physical presence. A lot of us think 20 camping nights over 7 years hardly accomplishes that. So any alternative that leads a boy to think he can be a better scout by spending less time with his fellows is unacceptable.

Fact is, I'd rather go back to the 50 night requirement and drop all of the stipulations.
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#25 Back Pack

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 05:34 AM

@50 nights you'd get a lot fewer Eagles that's for sure.
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#26 Stosh

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 07:23 AM

Of course, backpacking is different than just hiking, but one must take into consideration the extra training that is necessary for backpacking. 

 

I covered 110 miles, all 5 major peaks of Philmont in a 9 day trek.  That averages out to be about 12.25 miles a day on average.  Add in base camp at both ends, travel to the kickoff site, etc, that puts the average a bit higher, about 13.75 miles a day.  We were on the trail every morning by 7:00 am.  Due to the site locations, there were days we did a lot longer and some shorter.

I have no idea what the mileage was, but a few days we didn't have evening entertainment we put in an easy 12 hour day on the trail.  Philmont staff said the trek we picked was the most difficult of any of the others. 

 

The boys would stop every hour for a 10 minute break and longer for breakfast and lunch.  I only stopped for breakfast and lunch.  They were not pacing themselves, I was.  I was doing 15 miles a day in preparation for Philmont having worked up to that over 6 month's time.  Of course that included adding pack weight over that same period of time.  At Philmont it took me a few days at the beginning to adjust to altitude and climbing Baldy from the backside was not at 3 miles per hour.  I was at my college weight and fitness and was 50 years old.  Any scout that seriously prepared himself for the trek would have had an easier time of it than I did simply because of age.

 

Taking into consideration the dedication and conditioning of youth today, maybe we need to scale back the requirements so that it is easier to attain their eagle rank.  At this point 50 nights of camping is a walk in the park.


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#27 qwazse

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 08:02 AM

@50 nights you'd get a lot fewer Eagles that's for sure.

Not necessarily.

I believe we should count nights when a scout sets up camp for his youth group, school outdoor club, or family.

The self-serving "recognized scouting activity" stipulation in the requirement flies in the face of the service-oriented character we should expect Eagles to be.


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#28 Col. Flagg

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 08:37 AM

Not necessarily.

I believe we should count nights when a scout sets up camp for his youth group, school outdoor club, or family.

The self-serving "recognized scouting activity" stipulation in the requirement flies in the face of the service-oriented character we should expect Eagles to be.

 

Nope. It should be under the auspices of Scouting. I'd be okay if you counted Scout-based cabin camping but limited that number to a % of the 50 nights (say 30%).

 

If you let any camping count you know you'd have guys that never show for unit events and camp in their back yard to get the requirement done.

 

Eagle is already too easy. If we are going to give a badge for camping, let's actually require some hard CAMPING!!! Otherwise we might as well just hand them the badge after three years in Scouts.


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#29 TAHAWK

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 08:42 AM

@50 nights you'd get a lot fewer Eagles that's for sure.

Really?  Troop 22 provides the opportunity for any Scout to camp 30 - 33 nights a year, including the patrol campouts (33 every other year when the troop does its own summer camp.) .   Those qualifying for the high adventure trip get 8 more = 30 - 41 nights/year.   Scouting is outing.  If you don't want to camp, why are you in Scouts?

 

Oh, that's right.  For the resume.


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#30 RememberSchiff

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 08:55 AM

Not necessarily.

I believe we should count nights when a scout sets up camp for his youth group, school outdoor club, or family.

The self-serving "recognized scouting activity" stipulation in the requirement flies in the face of the service-oriented character we should expect Eagles to be.

 

Good point, community service except for Eagle project need not be at a recognized scouting activity. There was time when leadership requirements were more open, a scout could be a leader in his community, school, or church and receive rank credit.

 

Should outdoor activities - camping, cycling, hiking, and backpacking with other groups count? I think so. There are some great, fun, challenging adventures out there with other groups. The hardest camping my younger son has done so far was with his school outdoor club. It was backpack on the Long Trail in Vermont.

 

If it was my call, would I credit a Council camporee on a soccer field. No.

 

My $0.02


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#31 Col. Flagg

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 09:03 AM

Really?  Troop 22 provides the opportunity for any Scout to camp 30 - 33 nights a year, including the patrol campouts (33 every other year when the troop does its own summer camp.) .   Those qualifying for the high adventure trip get 8 more = 30 - 41 nights/year.   Scouting is outing.  If you don't want to camp, why are you in Scouts?

 

Oh, that's right.  For the resume.

 

What percentage of any unit's Scouts have 50 nights over the course of their time in Scouting? That would be an interesting statistic to see. I ran a report for my own unit just for giggles. 26 of 75 Scouts have 50+ nights. Two have over 100. The boys with over 50 nights, as you would expect, are usually 14 or older and Star or Life or Eagle.


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#32 perdidochas

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 10:39 AM

What percentage of any unit's Scouts have 50 nights over the course of their time in Scouting? That would be an interesting statistic to see. I ran a report for my own unit just for giggles. 26 of 75 Scouts have 50+ nights. Two have over 100. The boys with over 50 nights, as you would expect, are usually 14 or older and Star or Life or Eagle.

Of our Eagles, all have more than 50 nights of Camping.  


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#33 qwazse

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 12:34 PM

Nope. It should be under the auspices of Scouting. I'd be okay if you counted Scout-based cabin camping but limited that number to a % of the 50 nights (say 30%).

 

If you let any camping count you know you'd have guys that never show for unit events and camp in their back yard to get the requirement done.

 

Eagle is already too easy. If we are going to give a badge for camping, let's actually require some hard CAMPING!!! Otherwise we might as well just hand them the badge after three years in Scouts.

 

As the requirement stands now, boys can camp in their back yard with their patrol every weekend and have it count. (Actually, some of my scouts' back yards abut some awesome game land, so the ASMs and I would wrestle over who gets to chaperon.)

 

Think about this: Is the MB to prove that boys can camp? Or to prove that they are good at propping up troop numbers? If the latter, then change the MB name to "JTE Score Boosting."

 

We have gotten so obsessed with protecting BSA's brand that we've missed out on how to promote the brand. Son #1 and I were once rigging canvas for our youth group at a music festival. This girl pipes up and says "I wish I could tie knots like that!" Cha-Ching: instant venturer. Actually two. Her brother saw her signing up for shooting sports and he joined in!

 

Maybe the requirement should read: "... at least 50 nights ... half of which must not be scouting-related activities." It would be like introducing the world to our best scouts up-close and personal!


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#34 Col. Flagg

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 01:02 PM

As the requirement stands now, boys can camp in their back yard with their patrol every weekend and have it count. (Actually, some of my scouts' back yards abut some awesome game land, so the ASMs and I would wrestle over who gets to chaperon.)

 

I would suspect the spirit of the requirement is not to camp in your backyard with your patrol, unless your backyard is a 2000 acre ranch on the Red River where you are actually "camping". I would argue that the Camping MB pamphlet give several examples under the heading "What is Camping?". None that I saw mentioned camping in your back yard or camping in a public city park or in a baseball stadium.

 

I would think that the definition is to camp in open country, as it notes in the Introduction in said pamphlet.


Edited by Col. Flagg, 11 May 2017 - 01:03 PM.

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#35 DuctTape

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 01:10 PM

I agree with Col Flagg, not only does that not fit the spirit it also belies the promise of adventure. One misses the entire point of all the badges, awards, ranks etc... when the goal is the badge, award, and rank. Some wonder why boys get bored with scouting after a few years, I suggest it is primarily a result of lack of adventure, in other words been there done that. If we encourage adventure and the joy of discovery whether it is a new plant, new constellation, new camping destination, new food to be cooked, new way of lighting a fire, etc... then the complaint ceases to be boredom.
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#36 gumbymaster

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 01:44 PM

The thing that strikes me about the Hiking MB, and probably the reason that so few Scouts in my troop earn it, is not the total of 50 miles hiking, but the requirement of a 20-mile hike in one day. That's a lot for one day. I don't think I ever did that. My recollection of my Philmont trek is more like 7-10 miles per day. I am certain that my son never hiked 20 miles in one day.  I seem to recall a 15-mile historic trail somewhere but do not recall whether that was one day or two.  But never 20 miles.

 

Admittedly a different animal, but I had a group of 9 cub scouts(Wolf - Webelos) (and 6 adults) do 13+ miles in a day as a part of the HOST (History of Scouting Trail) here in DC.  Yes that is urban hiking instead of outdoors, yes, there is less elevation changes and more bathrooms.  No, we didn't plan to hike that much, it had been pitched as closer to 10, but the estimate was a bit off.  It did take the whole day, so I am glad we had one of the earlier start times.

 

I would have to believe that a decently practiced troop of boy scouts on a well selected route could do that.  20 Miles in one day, with day packing gear (not a fully loaded Backpack) is something this old body could probably still make - with a little more warm ups - and not that I am volunteering. :)


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#37 Stosh

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 02:40 PM

We have gotten so obsessed with protecting BSA's brand that we've missed out on how to promote the brand. Son #1 and I were once rigging canvas for our youth group at a music festival. This girl pipes up and says "I wish I could tie knots like that!" Cha-Ching: instant venturer. Actually two. Her brother saw her signing up for shooting sports and he joined in!

 

Maybe the requirement should read: "... at least 50 nights ... half of which must not be scouting-related activities." It would be like introducing the world to our best scouts up-close and personal!

 

I could buy into that.  Now the boys need 20 nights, with 50 half of which are non-scouting, that would add another 5 and still double the nights out in a campground.  I would shy away from one's backyard with family, but would support club, school, and church outings.


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