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Camping Merit Badge 9b "non motorized trip"

I need to make a determination a scout’s satisfaction on Camping Merit Badge requirement 9 (b) (4), which reads:

9(b) On any of these camping experiences, you must do TWO of the following,
only with proper preparation and under qualified supervision.
(4) Take a nonmotorized trip on the water of at least four hours or 5 miles.

Would working on the Canoening Merit Badge, where work was done on a lake for four+ hours, also count towards Camping 9(b)(4)? My conservative interpretation is “no” because the Canoeing MB work did not include a “Trip” on a body of water. It just happened to take four hours. I think the spirit of 9(b) is to take trips (e.g. backpacking, rapelling, canoeing, etc.) as part of the camping experience.

I have always viewed the #9 as Point A to Point B personally - have nothing to support that though

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I’ve counted an out-and-back/“loop” canoe excursion before, so I wouldn’t get hung up on a trip being point-to-point, per se. I generally ask questions about how the scouts secured their gear for the trip while they were in the canoe, what gear they took and why, how they planned the trip, etc. Getting “right answers” for that isn’t required, per se, to get the sign-off. Rather, I use it to probe what they did and what they learned, then try to fill in the gaps while we talk (e.g. “So you didn’t put your gear in dry bags. Did you swamp or take on any water during the trip? What was your plan if it started getting cold and all you had was wet clothing?”)

In this situation, I would read the requirement to the scout, and ask the him or her to explain to me how their Canoeing MB work satisfied the requirement. If I’m satisfied with the explanation, I’d sign it off. If their explanation doesn’t satisfy me that they “took a trip”, or that they didn’t meet the distance or time requirements, I wouldn’t sign it off, and I would explain why. From what you’ve described, I’d be unlikely to sign that requirement off. It doesn’t sound like they took a trip lasting 4 hours or traveling 5 miles.

These kinds of situations are why I try to talk to my scouts when they first come to me about some of these requirements so that they understand what does and what likely doesn’t meet the requirement. The problem is when the scout (or worse the scout’s parent) thinks that a requirement is finished, then presents a filled-out MB workbook to me and says “I’m done…”. Er…probably not. Let’s see what you did…


Was the canoeing merit badge part of summer camp?

Like @CharleyHamilton I would be fine with a loop or out and back trip. There are some lakes which a person could easily spend five hours traveling the shore line. I might even allow a trip which involved the scouts going multiple times around to get the trip in.

I can’t categoricly say no, because it would be relatively easy to design a canoe experience which earns the badge and includes a trip. Many summer camps have one day that either has no classes or makeup classes and it could schedule a trip on that day. OR they could have the trip and allow scouts to miss classes. In short, it would be quite possible to earn the MB and satisfy this. But like others have said, it should be a “trip.”

Extra “points” if you include the scout in the conversation. But in the end, if you are the counselor it is your call.

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