Camping Merit Badge
Activity Guide for Patrol Leaders
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Camping Merit Badge C) Prerequisites - Scouts
Work to be done prior to program start:

    Print Merit Badge Workbook
    One copy for each scout. And don't forget to have ready your Merit Badge Blue Card - (home printer version.)

    BSA Handbook - Read Chapter 9

    Chapter 9 in your Boy Scout Handbook is ALL about Camping. It is a great help for first time campers get prepared and know what to expect. (See also Ch 8 - Hiking and Ch 10 - Cooking.)

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    Study Hall Prep

    The purpose of this section is to facilitate an opportunity for scouts to research and learn about key concepts relevant to this subject. They need to be prepared to explain these to the counselor.

    While some scouts may be adept at self-study, others may do better in a small group setting and taking notes on worksheets. You can facilitate discussion by asking them why each of the principles intruduced here would be relevant.

    2. Learn the Leave No Trace principles and the Outdoor Code and explain what they mean. Write a personal plan for implementing these principles on your next outing.
    3. Make a written plan for an overnight trek and show how to get to your camping spot using a topographical map and compass OR a topographical map and a GPS receiver. (See pg 291 of Scout Handbook for Sample)
    4a. Make a duty roster showing how your patrol is organized for an actual overnight campout. List assignments for each member.

    Req #5: Packcheck Prep

    Your scout leader may require a packcheck to pass this requirement. With you camping pack prepare also the following:
    5a. Prepare a list of clothing you would need for overnight campouts in both warm and cold weather. Explain the term "layering."

    Outdoor Ten Essentials BSA Tour Req 5d: Outdoor Ten Essentials

    5d. List the outdoor essentials necessary for any campout, and explain why each item is needed. (See pg 264 of BSA Handbook.)
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    Req #9: 20 Nights Camping

    Sleep each night under the sky or in a tent you have pitched at a designated Scouting event. On these camping trips, be sure to participate in the cooking and activity challenges of Req #8 and Req #9, as well as those in the Cooking Merit Badge.

    Each scout should be recording their outdoor camping and cooking experiences in their camping journal located in the back of their Scout Handbook.


Camping Merit Badge D) Study Hall
The first session should focus on helping boys review the basics of this subject.

    Study Hall Preparation

    Optional: Leaders may want to have one study hall session to assist scouts with Scout Prerequisites section above.

    Camping Merit Badge Req #1: Camping Safety

    Show that you know first aid for and how to prevent injuries or illnesses that could occur while camping, including hypothermia, frostbite, heat reactions, dehydration, altitude sickness, insect stings, tick bites, snakebite, blisters, and hyperventilation.


      Scoutmaster Hall: On my very first boy scout campout as a young tenderfoot, I saw first hand what happens when a scout tries to cook a meal inside a tent, only to have the tent accidently catch on fire. Never use candles, matches, stovers, heaters or lanterns in or near tents! No tent is fireproof.

      Scout First Aid Test PDF - 25 point multiple question review of scouting first aid basics. All scouts should score 20 points or better.(Credit: ScoutCPR.org / Warning: Answer Key attached.)

    Req #2: Outdoor Code

    Review scout plan to use Outdoor Code when camping.

    Camping Merit Badge Req #3: Trek Plan

    Review scout overnight trek plan.

    Req #4a: Review Overnight Duty Roster

    Make a duty roster showing how your patrol is organized for an actual overnight campout. List assignments for each member.

    Req #5: Camping PackCheck

    The best way to accomplish this item is to conduct a pre-camp pack check. This packcheck should include the following:


      a. Prepare a list of clothing you would need for overnight campouts in both warm and cold weather. Explain the term "layering."
      b. Discuss footwear for different kinds of weather and how the right footwear is important for protecting your feet.
      c. Explain the proper care and storage of camping equipment (clothing, footwear, bedding).
      d. List the outdoor essentials necessary for any campout, and explain why each item is needed.
      e. Present yourself to your Scoutmaster with your pack for inspection. Be correctly clothed and equipped for an overnight campout.

    Req #7: Patrol PackCheck

    Prepare for an overnight campout with your patrol by doing the following:


      a. Make a checklist of personal and patrol gear that will be needed.
      b. Pack your own gear and your share of the patrol equipment and food for proper carrying. Show that your pack is right for quickly getting what is needed first, and that it has been assembled properly for comfort, weight, balance, size, and neatness.

    Req #6: Tent Demonstration

    Working with another Scout, pitch a tent:


      a. Describe the features of four types of tents, when and where they could be used, and how to care for tents.
      b. Discuss the importance of camp sanitation and tell why water treatment is essential. Then demonstrate two ways to treat water.
      c. Describe the factors to be considered in deciding where to pitch your tent.
      d. Tell the difference between internal- and external-frame packs. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each.
      e. Discuss the types of sleeping bags and what kind would be suitable for different conditions. Explain the proper care of your sleeping bag and how to keep it dry. Make a comfortable ground bed.

Camping Merit Badge Req #8: Cook Demonstration


    a. Explain the safety procedures for: 1. Using a propane or butane/propane stove 2. Using a liquid fuel stove 3. Proper storage of extra fuel
    b. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of different types of lightweight cooking stoves.
    c. Prepare a camp menu. Explain how the menu would differ from a menu for a backpacking or float trip. Give recipes and make a food list for your patrol. Plan two breakfasts, three lunches, and two suppers. Discuss how to protect your food against bad weather, animals, and contamination.
    Scout Meal Plans


Camping Merit Badge E) Patrol Activity

    Req #4b: Assist Younger Scout

    Help a Scout patrol or a Webelos Scout unit in your area prepare for an actual campout, including creating the duty roster, menu planning, equipment needs, general planning, and setting up camp.

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Camping Merit Badge F) Field Trip

Req #8d: Camp Cook

Cook at least one breakfast, one lunch, and one dinner for your patrol from the meals you have planned for requirement 8c. At least one of those meals must be a trail meal requiring the use of a lightweight stove.

Req #9a: 20 Nights Camping

Camp a total of at least 20 days and 20 nights. Sleep each night under the sky or in a tent you have pitched. The 20 days and 20 nights must be at a designated Scouting activity or event. You may use a week of long-term camp toward this requirement. If the camp provides a tent that has already been pitched, you need not pitch your own tent. (All campouts since becoming a Boy Scout or Varsity Scout may count toward this requirement. )

Backpacking Merit Badge Req #9b: Camp Challenges

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.

Req #9C: Camp Conservation Project

Perform a conservation project approved by the landowner or land managing agency.


Camping Merit Badge G) Program Debriefing

    Camping Debriefing

    After completion of the above activities you may need a work session to finish completion of the merit badge worksheet to document the results of your visits, activities.

    Req #10: Lessons Learned

    Discuss how the things you did to earn this badge have taught you about personal health and safety, survival, public health, conservation, and good citizenship. In your discussion, tell how Scout spirit and the Scout Oath and Law apply to camping and outdoor ethics.


Backpacking Merit Badge H) Extra Credit

    The Camping merit badge was one of the original 57 merit badges issued by the Boy Scouts of America in 1911.

    Camping merit badge is required for the National Outdoor Badge for Camping.

    Outdoor camping is at the core of scouting and venturer programs. Outdoor High Adventure provides older youth a unique setting to learn about their world and society. Many boys learn and grow more by doing things hands on in the outdoors. Reward the boys for finding the "outing" in "scouting".

    BSA Campership Awards


      25 Night Camper Award
      50 Night Camper Award
      100 Night Camper Award
      200 Night Camper Award

    Council Camp Patches

    Boy Scouts offers many different versions of this patch on both the national level and council level.

    Req #9b: Backpacking Campouts

    Backpacking Merit Badge can be earned by doing four backpacking campouts.


J) Camping Famous Quotes:

    Horace Kephart - 1906 Camping & Woodcraft
    The man who goes afoot, prepared to camp anywhere and in any weather, is the most independent fellow on earth.

    BSA 2004 Handbook
    Three important things you can do to keep yourself and others healthy in the backcountry: Wash your hands. Wash your hands. Wash your hands.

    Scout Vespers - A scout is reverent in the outdoors, always observe camp curfew times. To the tune of "O Tannenbaum".


    Softly falls the light of day,
    While our campfire fades away.
    Silently each Scout should ask:
    "Have I done my daily task?
    Have I kept my honor bright?
    Can I guiltless sleep tonight?
    Have I done and have I dared
    Everything to be prepared?"

    Eric Voorhis - Camping Earth, Backcountry Camping Can Be A Stressful Pursuit, 03-02-12
    Kneeling over a trickling mountain stream and pumping every ounce of water you use though a filter can really change your perception of turning on a faucet.

    Did You Know? - Camping Survival Blog

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Camping Merit Badge
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