Boys join Scouting to go camping and have fun with their friends, and boys stay in troops that go camping. BSA research has proven that troops that camp monthly are larger and retain more boys than troops that don’t camp monthly.
The BSA’s National Camping Award recognizes troops that deliver a year-round camping program to their members. It is available for two levels: annual camping and cumulative camping.
- The annual National Camping Award, a green ribbon for troop flags, is available in four categories: 10 days and nights—Unit Award; 20 days and nights—Bronze Award; 30 days and nights—Silver Award; 50 days and nights—Gold Award.
The year for earning the annual award may be a calendar year, charter year, or any 12-month period that best serves the troop’s program goals, as determined by the troop’s patrol leaders’ council.
Summer camp, district camporees, and weekend camp-outs are all included in a troop’s total days and nights camped in a year. As explained in the application form, at least 50 percent of members must attend summer camp and at least 33 percent must attend weekend camp-outs, to count toward the award.
- The cumulative National Camping Award (a white ribbon for troop flags) has four categories for all camping done since Jan. 1, 1999: 100 days and nights—Unit Award; 250 days and nights—Bronze Award; 500 days and nights—Silver Award; 1,000 days and nights—Gold Award.
- In troops that earn the National Camping Award, individual National Camping Award patches are available for Scouts and leaders. Camp-outs with patrols, families, or other groups can be counted when qualifying for the individual award.
The award application, “Our Camping Log” (BSA No. 33690A), includes requirements, suggestions for planning an effective outdoor program, a chart for tracking individual troop member camping records, and a form (which must be signed by the district camping chairman or unit commissioner, Scoutmaster, and senior patrol leader) for submitting to the council camping committee when an award level has been reached.