Camping Merit Badge Requirements and Worksheet

Camping Merit Badge

Camping Merit Badge

January, 2014

Requirements for the Camping merit badge:

  1. Do the following:
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
  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.
  4. Do the following:
    1. Make a duty roster showing how your patrol is organized for an actual overnight campout. List assignments for each member.
    2. 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.
  5. Do the following:
    1. Prepare a list of clothing you would need for overnight campouts in both warm and cold weather. Explain the term 'layering'.
    2. Discuss footwear for different kinds of weather and how the right footwear is important for protecting your feet.
    3. Explain the proper care and storage of camping equipment (clothing, footwear, bedding).
    4. List the outdoor essentials necessary for any campout, and explain why each item is needed.
    5. Present yourself to your Scoutmaster with your pack for inspection. Be correctly clothed and equipped for an overnight campout.
  6. Do the following:
    1. 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.
    2. Discuss the importance of camp sanitation and tell why water treatment is essential. Then demonstrate two ways to treat water.
    3. Describe the factors to be considered in deciding where to pitch your tent.
    4. Tell the difference between internal- and external-frame packs. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each.
    5. 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.
  7. Prepare for an overnight campout with your patrol by doing the following:
    1. Make a checklist of personal and patrol gear that will be needed.
    2. 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.
  8. Do the following:
    1. 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
    2. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of different types of lightweight cooking stoves.
    3. 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.
    4. 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
  9. Show experience in camping by doing the following:
    1. 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.
    2. 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 four 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.
    3. Perform a conservation project approved by the landowner or land managing agency.
  10. 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.

Camping Worksheet

 Feb 12, 2012 - Scoutmaster Mike
The is a merit badge that should be started right away!! Happy Scouting..
Mar 13, 2014 - karen melby teerlink
9a is ambiguous.   In the notes  
it says "All" camps count.  In the body of the text it says you can apply on week long scout camp.  
I feel that statement contradicts the other.
So my specific question is:
Can you use a organized week long scout camp in one year and then in the following year, also?
thanks Karen

Mar 13, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@Karen - The answer to your question is "No".
The note is there to emphasize that camping done before the scout got his blue card should still be counted.
Apr 01, 2014 - Gerardo Guerrero
Every time we go camping to work on the cooking, hiking, etc. merit badges, do these camp trips count for the camping merit badge ???
Apr 01, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@Gerardo - Yes, as long as they match the 9a requirement.
Apr 03, 2014 - Tracey
So if you have been to three week long scout camps you can only count 6 days?  You are still camping each of those times.  Shouldn't they count for a few days?
Apr 03, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@Tracey - That is correct.  Only one of the long-term camps can count for up to 6 nights.  The rest are not counted.
Apr 13, 2014 - mike
A Scout had been inactive for the last few years and has a week or so before turning 18 looking to get his camping merit badge and thus his Eagle badge.  He lacks quite a number of the camping nights.  One of the committee members is looking to push through "camping nights" at home in his living room to satisfy his retirements, bypassing the traditional camping merit badge counselor.  We are most upset that this is an inactive scout who is being allowed to set aside the requirements for this badge.   Any ideas on what should be done? Call the district?  Two of us are sadly looking to step down as committee members due to this type of behavior.  Other scouts then suffer.  What to do?  
Apr 13, 2014 - Yukon Jack
@ Mike. WOW, that is a flagrant violation of the requirements, rules, and spirit of scouting. Bottom line, it sounds like this scout won't get Eagle...and shouldn't.

Your best recourse is to solve the issue in house. If only one committee member is trying this, then simply overrule him. Has this scout done his Eagle project? Something like this has to pass muster at the district/council level and if you have to, simply inform the District Advancement Committee of how the Camping MB was "earned" and they will stop the Eagle Application right there. If you can't make the one adult see how they're blatantly cheating, then go above their head to district/council where there WILL be scouters who will protect the integrity of the Eagle Rank.
Apr 13, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@mike - That situation sounds terrible to me.  A merit badge MUST be signed off by an authorized merit badge counselor, approved by the council.
If I were you, I would quickly let the Scoutmaster know about the rumor I had heard to find out what the actual situation is from his (or her) viewpoint.  If he confirms what was described, then I would ask him how he planned to prevent it from happening.  If he is supporting it, I would ask him for the name of the merit badge counselor and let him know I am contacting the district advancement chair.

After informing the scoutmaster and district advancement chair of the situation, that would be the end of my involvement.  It's the counselor's responsibility to uphold the requirements.  It's the advancement chair's responsibility to ensure counselors are fulfilling their role.

Maybe some other readers would have other suggestions?

May 04, 2014 - Betty Woodward
Do all the nights have to be with organized scout activities?
Can camping outdoors as a family count?
May 05, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@Betty - Yes, requirement 9a states "... at designated Scouting activities or events."
No, camping with the family doesn't count.
Jun 01, 2014 - Sirena
My son is going to Camp chawanakee for the first this is his first time camping with the troop. Does this count as only one outing/overnight?
Jun 01, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@Sirena - If it is a long term camp, rather than a weekend camp, he can use it for up to 6 nights of camping for requirement 9a.  That is true if he sleeps in a tent, not in a cabin.  It would count as the one long-term camp he can apply towards this merit badge.  The rest of his camping needs to be short-term campouts, such as weekend campouts with his troop.
Jun 24, 2014 - Roxanne Coffey
9A seems open to interpretation to me.  My son has attended camporee and summer camps for an actual total of 34 nights.  He has camped with the troop for an additional total of 16 nights (1 or 2 nights each).  So 50 nights so far... but if extended camps only count for 6 nights and the other times to camp count as zero and our merit badge councilor only counts one night per trip for the others he has only 16 nights... which is crazy... Given that it says that all campouts may count, my interpretation is that one of the longer camps counts for 6 nights and then he has to go for 14 more campouts if each only count for 1 night.  My frustration is that other boys in the troop with a different councilor are counting all the nights for each short trip...and in some cases counting summer camp as 1 night.  He is 17 and we are running out of time -- is there anyone we can appeal this to?  They don't want him to do an Eagle project till all badges are done.
Jun 24, 2014 - Roxanne Coffey
He is now a senior and if they only go on one trip per month starting in Sept. (since summer camp doesn't count at all after the first one) and assuming he can go on all of them and none are cancelled, and they do one in December (which they normally don't) that puts him done in February which gives him 1 month for his Eagle project since his birthday is in April... and that seems crazy.

Jun 24, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@Roxanne -
1.  There is no requirement that all merit badges be complete before starting an Eagle project.  
2. Each night of weekend campouts should be counted.  If a scout sleeps out Friday and Saturday night, that's 2 nights.
3. If your son camped 16 nights on weekend campouts, in a manner that meets requirement #9, and 6 nights at a single long-term camp, then he's done 22 nights - that is enough.

Your son can list dates and all the nights he's camped and discuss that with his counselor to show that he's met the requirement.  Or, he can find a different counselor for the merit badge.

Jul 03, 2014 - Roxanne Coffey
If he switches counselors does that mean he has to redo all of the requirements?
Jul 03, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@Roxanne - That does not happen very often.  Usually, a counselor will accept previously completed requirements.  Your son will probably just need to show that he completed them.
Jul 04, 2014 - Nola
@ Roxanne, if your son has his blue card and the parts that have been completed are signed by one counselor, a new counselor can not make him re-do those requirements. Some boys take several years and thus different counselors at times (especially ones started at camp) to complete a Merit Badge. If the new counselor doesn't accept the signed work find another one and report to District Advancement Chair.
Jul 09, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@Nola - Please see section of Merit Badge Program page at where it states this about partial completions: "A subsequent counselor may choose not to accept partial work, but this should be rare."
As a MB Counselor, when I sign the cards, I'm stating that I believe all the requirements have been completed.
Jul 15, 2014 - Benjamin
I think I know the answer here but just in case here it is-Do nights camping as a den chief with the scouts assigned cub den count towards this MB requirement? I do not think he will need the nights but it could get him done a lot faster as our CS pack camps as much as our troop during the summer months.
Aug 21, 2014 - Anthony
Do only nights slept in tents and on the grond count or do events in lean tos count as well.  Since tents prepared at scout camps do, it seems logical that leN to stays should as well.
Aug 21, 2014 - Anthony
Do only nights slept in tents and on the grond count or do events in lean tos count as well.  Since tents prepared at scout camps do, it seems logical that leN to stays should as well.
Sep 03, 2014 - Roxanne Coffey
We are still stuck on this requirement.  My son has spent over 60 nights camping... on 18 different occasions all as boy scout none of these while cub.  The counselor agrees that he has completed all other requirements but is now interpreting this as the number of camping trips not nights...

This does not include O. of A. trips.  Do those count?  

This is the only person in our troop that does Camping merit badge.... I'm wondering if this is some kind of test to see if my son will stand up to this person or if he really doesn't understand the requirement.  
Sep 03, 2014 - Roxanne Coffey
The other counselor for Camping stopped being counselor since he didn't interpret the wording the same way...

I really feel this needs to be clarified in the scouting merit badge handbook with an example of what counts and what doesn't!
Sep 03, 2014 - Scouter Paul
@Roxanne - Wow, I feel your frustration!  A Boy Scout camping with the Order of the Arrow, sleeping outside under the stars or in a tent the scout pitched, DOES count.
I've never heard of counting only 'trips' rather than 'nights' - your son can just show the counselor the requirement where it says 'NIGHTS'.  
Your son can use a counselor outside of your troop.  He can contact the district advancement chair and ask for other Camping counselors.

I'm sending you an email also, in case you have more to share privately.
Jan 08, 2015 - Jenn
I have a question about 9c: Must the conservation project be done on a campout? I have always interpreted this as yes, but the wording is ambiguous and scouts and parents are confused.

Jan 08, 2015 - Scouter Paul
@Jenn - 9a and 9b specifically mention camping so I would say that the 9c conservation project can be done outside of a camping trip.  I had 6 scouts help build part of the North Country Nat'l Scenic Trail through northern MN as their project, while they camped 3 nights.  That was a fun outing!
Jan 11, 2015 - Melanie Colston
I have a question about 9a.  My son went to summer camp for 5 nights two years in a row.  I know only one long term camping trip (up to 6 nights) counts.  So his first trip counts for 5 nights.  Can we count one night out of the 5 for the subsequent year?  
Jan 13, 2015 - Scouter Paul
@Melanie - No, you may not count nights from two summer camps.
Jan 15, 2015 - Cliff
I need an explanation as to why each night at a weekend camp counts but you get absolutely no credit for summer camps beyond the one time.  Is this to ensure participation? Further if a scout has completed requirements of the merit badge before the issuance of the blue card, do the requirments have to be repeated? Who is responsible for starting the card, the scout or the leader?
Jan 15, 2015 - Scouter Paul
@Cliff - Lots of questions...
The answer to "WHY" is because that is how the merit badge requirements are written by the BSA.  That is true for every merit badge.  The group of people that defined these requirements felt that one summer camp was enough and the other camping nights should come from other camping experiences.
All scout campouts done while registered as a scout may be counted, even those done before starting this merit badge, if the scout can convince his merit badge counselor that he participated in appropriate camping outings.  
The scout is responsible for his own advancement, including starting merit badges.
Jan 16, 2015 - Daron
Here's an article in Scouting magazine that precisely answers the question about camping nights:

So basically if you camp fewer than 5 nights then you can count all of the nights, every time. If you camp 5 nights or more than you can only count it once as a long-term camp
Jan 16, 2015 - Scouter Paul
@Daron - Your statement about counting everything fewer than 5 nights is incorrect.  In the last bullet on that page you referenced, it also points this out.  A scout going to 5 summer camps and spending 4 nights at each one does not fulfill the requirement.
Jan 20, 2015 - Cliff
Thank you for your response but I would have to agree to disagree on the responsibility of the issuance of the the the card for advancement particularly one such as camping where the participation of the adult leader or counselor is such an integral part.

In my mind the camping card should be initiated the scouts very first camp outing and if a 12 year old or his
parent(s)does not have the foresight to realize that it is the opportunity  to begin there is a responsibility as an counselor with this knowledge to convey it.

Unfortunately turnover in our leadership has revealed that this was a selective endeavor and we now have scouts that began camping three years ago attending most rendezvous and summer camps without records of participation while others that started the same time show the badge completed

This vacuum in leadership has led to new counselors that are of the opinion that those scouts without documents will have to start a new. This has left some questioning their future
Jan 20, 2015 - Scouter Paul
@Cliff - On Intro to Merit Badges (and other BSA pages), the merit badge process starts by a scout picking a subject of interest, and then getting a blue card from his leader.  A merit badge counselor is a resource to be contacted by the scout, not to initiate the interaction.

Camping done with his troop, but before starting the Camping merit badge, can be counted by a scout.  There is an area in every Scout Handbook for a scout to record his camping experiences.

Follow Me, Boys

Recent Comments
Tiger Dad on Tiger Uniform
Clark on Outdoor Activity award
Ojwang Victor on Baden Powell
Jacob Keltz on Fingerprinting MB
Joe on Pinewood Derby
Discouraged on Scout Law
John Titsworth on Philmont grace
Brian S on Mt Dew Chicken recipe
Kate on No Socks song
Kate on On the Loose song
More Comments...

Contest   -   Ask a Question   -   Add Content   -   scout software

This site is not officially associated with the Boy Scouts of America
listeria testingscout software
Boy Scouts  
Boy Scout Trail
Cub Scouts
Boy Scouts
My Blog

Group Games
Merit Badges
SM Minutes
Pen Pals

Online Tests
Our Schedule
Our Progress


Shop 4 Stuff
Privacy Policy
ICRA labeled

Find more Scouting Resources at
This site is not officially associated with the Boy Scouts of America
Boy Scout Trail Home Bobcat Tiger Cub Scout Wolf Cub Scout Bear Cub Scout Webelos Boy Scout Tenderfoot Scout 2nd Class Scout 1st Class Scout Star Scout Life Scout Eagle Scout