MAR 2 2023    
The Boy Scouts Camping Badge
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The Boy Scouts Camping Badge

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The History of Merit Badges

If you know anything about the Boy Scouts of America, you know that these scouts have opportunities to earn badges. But why work so hard toward getting those little decorative patches?

Within the Boy Scouts world, merit badges are seen as opportunities instead of simply a task to get done. These badges were always meant to be earned in order to prepare young individuals for the world ahead. Merit badges were strategically designed to emphasize the ability “to do” rather than just retaining knowledge about a subject.  They were designed to introduce scouts to “real life” including careers, hobbies, and other skills. 

If you were to take a look back to the beginnings of the organization, many of the merit badges to be earned would have been opportunities to prepare young people for the world ahead of them. For example, ahead of the automobile becoming more commonplace, the Boy Scouts first learned to drive thanks to the automobiling badge of 1911. Again we see during the world war in 1942, the Boy Scouts went all in on aviation by introducing the aviation badge, and even introduced a spinoff called Air Scouts.

Today we don’t see some of the original merit badges offered as they were 100 years ago, but instead these badges continue to transform as time transforms our world. In the 1911 handbook there were a total of 57 merit badges. Since then an additional 194 merit badges have been created and of these, 104 are still in use. This means that all together, there have been a total of 251 different merit badges over the years.

While there are many badges to be earned, the goal of the program isn’t to earn every single one. Instead it is to be viewed as a sampler platter, instead of an all-you-can-eat buffet. The opportunities for all scouts to earn badges that will uniquely cater to their talents and interests are great because of the wide variety available.

The Camping Badge

One badge that is a more popular merit badge is the camping badge as the Boy Scouts are known for their camping tradition. Going camping with friends is one of the most unique and fun parts of being a part of the Boy Scouts organization. As one of the eagle-required merit badges, camping ranks high in popularity with about 48,000 badges being awarded annually. Earning the camping merit badge will equip scouts with skills needed to lead and safely plan a successful multi-day campout and enjoy camping for years to come!

To gain a camping badge, there are many requirements including discussions, first aid, camping safety, writings on camping principles and planning, mapping, packing, leading, tenting, cooking, camping experience, hiking, and conservation projects. These requirements, as with all merit badge requirements, can seem overwhelming. 

How to Easily Document

The camping badge is one that must be documented well in order to be earned. Finding a secure place to document camping trips, log plans, create reflections and write about experiences that can be easily shared with others may seem daunting. Camping.Tools is a simple solution for logging all one needs to complete writing requirements for a camping merit badge!

With Camping.Tools you can keep a private camping journal or share with friends, write stories for all to see, and buy or sell camping gear in a secure location. The capability for scouts to organize media and writings by camping trip securely, and share journal entries along with other writings is unmatched!

The Trips section of the site is where you have access to all trips you have documented and is also where you go to share about your trip from start to finish. In this section you are able to upload media, share campsites, and write journal entries. You will also find trips you have shared with others and trips shared with you in this section!

In Conclusion 

Setting up camping trips is a breeze with Camping.Tools. Check out the video below to see just how simple it can be!                       

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