I have many fine memories of summer camp at Swift Base at S bar F Scout Ranch with our troop. Swift is normally a Venturing camp, so when they do a week for Scouts BSA, the only merit badges offered by the staff are Canoeing, Swimming, Lifesaving, Rowing, Water Sports, Small Boat Sailing, Climbing, Horsemanship, Rifle Shooting, and Shotgun Shooting.
One of these weeks was sponsored by our local Catholic Committee on Scouting, and the CCS asked if any of the Scouters attending would be willing to work with scouts on any of the outdoor oriented merit badges they normally counsel for. So I volunteered to do Camping merit badge with the campers.
When I did this badge with Scouts, I needed to know if they had completed requirement 9a and 9b:
9a. Camp a total of at least 20 nights at designated Scouting activities or events. One long-term camping experience of up to six consecutive nights may be applied toward this requirement. Sleep each night under the sky or in a tent you have pitched. If the camp provides a tent that has already been pitched, you need not pitch your own tent.
9b. On any of these camping experiences, you must do TWO of the following, only with proper preparation and under qualified supervision.
1. Hike up a mountain, gaining at least 1,000 vertical feet.
2. Backpack, snowshoe, or cross-country ski for at least 4 miles.
3. Take a bike trip of at least 15 miles or at least four hours.
4. Take a nonmotorized trip on the water of at least four hours or 5 miles.
5. Plan and carry out an overnight snow camping experience.
6. Rappel down a rappel route of 30 feet or more.
Depending on the scouts memories to come up with their 20 days of tent camping is always chancy, so I asked the unit leaders to have any scouts who wanted to do this at camp with me to fill out a camping information sheet and bring it to camp with them. This jogged their memories so we could discuss their camping experiences. When I counsel for this badge I like to have the scouts look at their list of camping trips and tell me which one was the most memorable. It is always fun to hear all of their “war stories”. I suspect some of the tales have grown in the telling, but that is part of the fun of Scouting for these guys.
Download printable copy of Camping Information Sheet for Camping Merit Badge