Scouting/BSA/Camping Merit Badge

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The requirements to this merit badge are copyrighted by the Boy Scouts of America. They are reproduced in part here under fair use as a resource for Scouts and Scouters to use in the earning and teaching of merit badges. The requirements published by the Boy Scouts of America should always be used over the list here. If in doubt about the accuracy of a requirement, consult your Merit Badge Counselor.
Reading this page does not satisfy any requirement for any merit badge. Per National regulations, the only person who may sign off on requirements is a Merit Badge Counselor, duly registered and authorized by the local Council. To obtain a list of registered Merit Badge Counselors, or to begin a Merit Badge, please contact your Scoutmaster or Council Service Center.
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Requirement 1[edit]

Do the following:

A. Explain to your counselor the most likely hazards you may encounter while participating in camping activities and what you should do to anticipate, help prevent, mitigate, and respond to these hazards
B. 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.
First-Aid Preparedness
 The information covered by the Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class Scout first-aid requirements can help you deal with injuries or illnesses that may arise while you are camping.  The current edition of the Boy Scout Handbook includes descriptions of the symptoms and treatment of hypothermia, heatstroke heat exhaustion, frostbite, dehydration, sunburn insect stings, tick bites, snakebite, and blisters.  Review those pages to refresh your awareness and ability to help prevent these situations from occurring.  Know the symptoms and be ready to make an appropriate response if you encounter them in a fellow hiker or someone else you meet along the way.
 Altitude Sickness
 Camping may take you to high places where altitude sickness (also known as AMS, or Acute Mountain Sickness) can be a concern.  Fortunately, altitude sickness is seldom a problem for people at elevations of less than 8,000 feet above sea level. 
 Going to a place that is higher than you are accustomed may leave you short of breath because the atmosphere around you becomes thinner and contains less oxygen.  Within a few days, your body will acclimate to higher altitudes by producing extra red blood cells to carry more oxygen to your tissues and organs, and you should feel fine.
 Taking steps to help prevent altitude sickness is far better than suffering from it during a hike.  The following suggestions can make your "high" adventure more comfortable and more fun, too.
 -Drink plenty of fluids. As a rule, take in enough water so that your urine remains clear rather than dark yellow.
 -Ascend gradually. Permit your body to acclimate gradually as you go higher.  Spend a few days at 5,000 to 7,000 feet and then a few more at 8,000 to 10,000 feet.
 -"Climb high, sleep low." Use this standard practice of mountaineers.  While adjusting to thinner air, after hiking upward during the day, decend to a lower camp for a good night's rest.
 - It is also more difficult to boil the higher you go  so if you don't need to go up higher , cook low it saves gas. 
 WARNING SIGNS
 Watch for any of all of these symptoms of altitude sickness:
 - Headache
 - Nausea
 - Unusual tiredness
 - Loss of motivation
 - Dizziness 
 These symptoms can also be warning signs of hypothermia, a far more common first-aid emergency among hikers.  Begin treatment for hypothermia by making sure that the person is warm, is wearing dry clothing, is sheltered from the wind and chilly or wet weather, and has had enough to eat and drink.  If the person does not rapidly improve and the elevation is above 8,000 feet, treat for altitude sickness as well.
 TREATMENT FOR ALTITUDE SICKNESS
 Descend, descend, descend! Going down a few thousand feet in elevation will almost always relieve the symptoms of altitude sickness. Rest, fluids, and food may also help.  If symptoms persist or worsen, seek medical assistance.

Requirement 2[edit]

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.

Requirement 3[edit]

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.

Requirement 4[edit]

Do the following:

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

Requirement 5[edit]

Do 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.

Requirement 6[edit]

Do the following:

A. Describe the features of four types of tents, when and where they could be used, and how to care for tents. Working with another Scout, pitch a tent.
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.

Requirement 7[edit]

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.

Requirement 8[edit]

Do the following:

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.
D. 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.

Requirement 9[edit]

Show experience in camping by doing the following:

A. 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.
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, 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 non-motorized 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.
C. Perform a conservation project approved by the landowner or land managing agency.

Requirement 10[edit]

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.

External Links[edit]

  • Camping Merit Badge with Workbook PDF, current requirements, and resources for the Camping Merit Badge.
Earning Merit Badges in the Boy Scouts of America
Merit Badges Required to Attain Eagle Scout
Camping | Citizenship in the Community | Citizenship in the Nation | Citizenship in the World | Communications | Cooking | Cycling OR Hiking OR Swimming | Emergency Preparedness OR Lifesaving | Environmental Science OR Sustainability | Family Life | First Aid | Personal Fitness | Personal Management |
Earning Merit Badges in the Boy Scouts of America
Sports and Outdoor Hobbies
Archery | Athletics | Backpacking | Canoeing | Camping | Climbing | Cycling | Fishing | Gardening | Geocaching | Golf | Hiking | Horsemanship | Kayaking | Motorboating | Orienteering | Pioneering | Rifle Shooting | Rowing | Shotgun Shooting | Skating | Small-Boat Sailing | Snow Sports | Sports | Swimming | Water Sports | Whitewater | Wilderness Survival
Earning Merit Badges in the Boy Scouts of America
American Business | American Cultures | American Heritage | American Labor | Animal Science | Animation | Archaeology | Archery | Architecture | Art | Astronomy | Athletics | Automotive Maintenance | Aviation | Backpacking | Basketry | Bird Study | Bugling | Camping | Canoeing | Chemistry | Chess | Citizenship in the Community | Citizenship in the Nation | Citizenship in the World | Climbing | Coin Collecting | Collections | Communications | Composite Materials | Cooking | Crime Prevention | Cycling | Dentistry | Digital Technology | Disabilities Awareness | Dog Care | Drafting | Electricity | Electronics | Emergency Preparedness | Energy | Engineering | Entrepreneurship | Environmental Science | Family Life | Farm Mechanics | Fingerprinting | Fire Safety | First Aid | Fish and Wildlife Management | Fishing | Fly Fishing | Forestry | Game Design | Gardening | Genealogy | Geocaching | Geology | Golf | Graphic Arts | Hiking | Home Repairs | Horsemanship | Indian Lore | Insect Study | Inventing | Journalism | Kayaking | Landscape Architecture | Law | Leatherwork | Lifesaving | Mammal Study | Medicine | Metalwork | Mining in Society | Model Design and Building | Motorboating | Moviemaking | Music | Nature | Nuclear Science | Oceanography | Orienteering | Painting | Personal Fitness | Personal Management | Pets | Photography | Pioneering | Plant Science | Plumbing | Pottery | Programming | Public Health | Public Speaking | Pulp and Paper | Radio | Railroading | Reading | Reptile and Amphibian Study | Rifle Shooting | Rowing | Safety | Salesmanship | Scholarship | Scouting Heritage | Scuba Diving | Sculpture | Search & Rescue | Shotgun Shooting | Signs, Signals & Codes | Skating | Small-Boat Sailing | Snow Sports | Soil and Water Conservation | Space Exploration | Sports | Stamp Collecting | Surveying | Sustainability | Swimming | Textile | Theater | Traffic Safety | Truck Transportation | Veterinary Medicine | Water Sports | Weather | Welding | Whitewater | Wilderness Survival | Wood Carving | Woodwork