Camping Merit Badge
Activity Guide for Patrol Leaders
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    Camping Merit Badge

    Aids for the Boy-Led Scout Troop

    Outdoor camping is an essential part of scouting. Youth will remember foremost these experiences. Be creative and have fun.

    Sample Activity Plan

    Since Camping Merit Badge requires scouts to have multiple outdoor outtings, we have organized this Patrol Leader Guide quite a bit differently.

    More Information


    Camping Merit Badge A) Orientation

      Camping is one of the best-known methods of the Scouting movement. When he founded the Scouting movement in the early 1900s, Robert Baden-Powell encouraged every Scout to learn the art of living out-of-doors. He believed a young person able to take care of himself while camping would have the confidence to meet life's other challenges, too.

      Note: Some Camping requirements count towards other merit badges and rank advancement.

      Note: Some other merit badges have significant Camping Requirements.

      Req #9A: Twenty Nights Outdoors


        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. (*All campouts since becoming a Boy Scout or Varsity Scout may count toward this requirement.)

      Req #9B: Camp Challenge


        b. 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 where, at some point, you are at least 1,000 feet higher in elevation from where you started. *
          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: Service Project


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

      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.

      Tenderfoot Camping Requirements


        1b. Spend at least one night on a patrol or troop[1] campout. Sleep in a tent you have helped pitch.
        2a. On the campout, assist in preparing one of the meals. Tell why it is important for each patrol member to share in meal preparation and cleanup.
        2b. While on a campout, demonstrate an appropriate method of safely cleaning items used to prepare, serve, and eat a meal.

      Second Class Camping Requirements


        1a. Since joining Boy Scouts, participate in five separate troop/patrol activities, at least three of which must be held outdoors. Of the outdoor activities, at least two must include overnight camping. These activities do not include troop or patrol meetings. On campouts, spend the night in a tent that you pitch or other structure that you help erect, such as a lean-to, snow cave, or tepee.
        1c. On one of these campouts, select a location for your patrol site and recommend it to your patrol leader, senior patrol leader, or troop[1] guide. Explain what factors you should consider when choosing a patrol site and where to pitch a tent.
        2e. On one campout, plan and cook one hot breakfast or lunch, selecting foods from MyPlate or the current USDA nutritional model. Explain the importance of good nutrition. Demonstrate how to transport, store, and prepare the foods you selected.

      First Class Camping Requirements


        1a. Since joining Boy Scouts, participate in 10 separate troop/patrol activities, at least six of which must be held outdoors. Of the outdoor activities, at least three must include overnight camping. These activities do not include troop or patrol meetings. On campouts, spend the night in a tent that you pitch or other structure that you help erect, such as a lean-to, snow cave, or tepee.
        2e. On one campout, serve as cook. Supervise your assistant(s) in using a stove or building a cooking fire. Prepare the breakfast, lunch, and dinner planned in 2a. Supervise the cleanup.
      Camping Merit Badge

      BSA/LDS EYO Scouting: Trail
      For "New Scout" Patrols - they will need a minimum of 3 campouts to meet successively the camping requirements for Tenderfoot, 2nd Class and 1st Class as described above.
      Roadkill Patrol Trail to 1st Class Camping: Traditionally we held the following three events every unit: 1) LDS Stake Primary EYO Campout, 2) Father & Son Campout (with Cub Scouts) and 3) New Patrol Campout (with the Troop).
      Stans EYO Blog #29: EYO Scouts Go Camping and Cooking - "A month-long program feature involving camping and cooking in September sets the stage for great memories of good food over the campfire." - Scoutmaster Stan.

      Camping Merit Badge Cooking Merit Badge


        Req #5 - Prepare 4 Meals for your patrol while on a campout - at least one breakfast, one lunch, one dinner, AND at least one snack OR one dessert.
        Req #6 - Prepare 3 Meals while on hike or backpacking trip.

      Backpacking Merit Badge


        Req #10: 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.
        Req #11: Write a plan for a backpacking trek of at least five days using at least three different campsites and covering at least 30 miles. Using Leave No Trace principles, take the trek planned and, while on the trek, complete at least one service project approved by your merit badge counselor.

      Patrol History
      Your Patrol Historian should be ready to take pictures on this activity to report back on the next troop blog, newsletter or court of honor. Record all of your camping experiences in the back camping record section of your scout handbook.

      BSA Campership Awards

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


        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.

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    Camping Merit Badge B) Camping Trip Action Plan

      Req #4a: Overnight Duty Roster

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

      The Camp Plan Tool
      Use these two (2) worksheets to plan your next monthly campout:

      Req #4b: Assist New Scout Camp Prep

        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.

      Req #5: Camping PackCheck


        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.
        Outdoor Ten Essentials BSA Tour
        Outdoor Ten Essentials - Req #5d: See pg 264 of BSA Handbook.
        Boys Life Packing List
        Troop Outdoor Gear- Pages 294-295 of the Boy Scout Handbook list the essentials for Troop Camping Gear. Check out our Quartermaster's Hut for tips to outfit your troop.

        Req #7: Patrol PackCheck


          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.


    C) Study Hall

    Purpose: Help each Patrol Member learn key concepts on this subject. Include the following resources:

      Sounds of Nature Sounds of Nature Soundtrack
      I've watched one Camping Merit Badge Counselor run the entire hourlong soundtrack of this nature scene video as ambience to his Camping Study Hall session.
      Woodland Ambiance #4 - 60 minutes of Trickling Stream
      Woodland Ambiance #5 - 60 minutes of Trickling Stream
      Woodland Ambiance #11 - 11 hours of gentle streams

      Study Hall Setup

      Bring for demonstration purposes:

      • Camping pack
      • Camp Tent
      • Camp Stove
      • Camp Clothing (Layering)
      • Camping Topographical Map

      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 working on my tenderfoot requirements, I saw first hand what happened when a scout tried 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

        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.
        Leave No Trace Guide - MeritBadge.org
        BSA Outdoor Code - MeritBadge.org

      Req #3: Trek Plan

        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. If no GPS receiver unit is available, explain how to use one to get to your camping spot.

      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.

        Campout Meal Plan Form


    Camping Merit Badge D) Program 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.

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Camping Merit Badge
Official Merit Badge Book




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    The man who goes afoot, prepared to camp anywhere and in any weather, is the most independent fellow on earth.

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    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

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


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