And, if you read the requirements for the adventures with camping requirements they also include the following statement. “If your chartered organization does not permit Cub Scout camping, you may substitute a family campout or a daylong activity.” So, what does that mean for LDS Cub Scouts? Well, since we have already established that an LDS Cub Scout CAN go camping, there are lots of options for an LDS Cub Scout to fulfill the camping requirements. The first one was listed above in the BSA statement, and since Cub Scouting is a family program this, in my opinion, is the very best place for him to pass off these requirements—on a family camping trip! It could be with his immediate family, with extended family, on a ward campout, or even on a “Father’s and Son’s” camping trip. Of course, just GOING camping may not do what needs to be done. Let’s look at the actual requirements to see how they could get passed off on a family or ward campout.
If a boy is 8 years old and working on his Wolf badge:
If a boy is 9 years old and working on his Bear badge:
And a 10 year old working on his Webelos and Arrow of Light badges:
As you read through the above listed requirements, do you see anything that could not be done on a family campout, at a ward campout and/or at a Father’s and Son’s campout? I don’t. If it is known in advance that the boys need to do these things, they could easily be worked into the plan.
To download a pdf with all the Camping Requirements here.
But, let’s say you have a boy who’s family just does not camp. The don’t and they won’t. Well, most of these requirements could even be done in the back yard but that’s not quite the same type of experience so there is still the 2nd option—that of the “daylong activity”. I have had some leader’s ask me if that means that attending Cub Scout Day Camp counts as a “daylong activity”. Well, maybe… if the requirements are completed at day camp, but most likely not. The National Council recently made the following statement about Day Camps: “The overall purpose of day camps is to offer a fun experience and extend the participant’s Scouting engagement. The purpose is not advancement. If advancement happens as part of fun engaging program, great! But it should not be the focus of camp.” So, most likely the day camps will not be focusing on those camping requirements. But there is nothing stopping a pack from planning their own “daylong” activity that does focus on and allow boys to complete the required camping requirements.
Picture this… The boys, parents, leaders and possibly siblings as well, all show up somewhere suitable for camping. The Webelos Scouts need to pick a spot to set up a tent without adult help. Webelos also need to demonstrate how to build a fire. (Note the requirement is to “demonstrate how” so if fire restrictions prevent you from actually having a fire, have them build it and just not light it) Wolf Scouts need to practice being careful with fire so that they can write about it after. Webelos need to cook part of a meal as well as two recipes that do not require pots and pans (many camp recipes don’t) and the Bears need to help cook the meal and help clean up. The Webelos will have previously planned a campfire program, with adult help, and can assign songs, skits, run-ons etc to the appropriate den according to their requirements. I think it would be great if assignments were made to the families/parents and leaders as well. End your “Day long activity” with a Campfire program and your requirements are fulfilled! Cub Scouts have learned about camping without actually camping – let’s call it the next best thing.
This day long activity could also be used to pass of many of the other outdoor related activities like plant and animal identification, hiking, etc… And some of the above are electives not required. It could be done all together as a pack, like I described above, or each den could plan their own day long activity. There are lots of options—It’s all in how you plan it. Note – The Webelos do have one more required “campout or outdoor activity” with the troop as part of the Scouting Adventure but that’s a little different and really should be done with the troop (or 11yr old Scouts) and Webelos Scouts together.
So, for those who read the title of this article and thought “No they can’t” or to those parents and leaders wondering how LDS Cub Scouts will complete all the new camping requirements, I hope I have shown you a few ways that it is possible. Use your imagination, use your resources and keep the outing in scouting. Boys today need experiences that can only be found outdoors and Cub Scouting can give that to them when it is planed right.