I have a parent who has asked if their scout can count hiking hours in their hiking log if they were done only as a family and not with the troop. I’m certain I’ve been told or read somewhere that anything counting toward rank or the Hiking merit badge needs to be done “under the auspices” of the BSA. I think this would also be the case if counting hiking miles for the National Outdoor Award for Hiking. I’m looking for something in BSA material to direct her to or to where I’ve seen this answered before. I’m not having any luck finding an official answer to this when I’m doing a search.
Actually, it depends on the language of the specific requirements. For example, Hiking MB does not specify “under the auspices” for any of the hikes. Backpacking to count towards Camping MB 9b (not currently required due to COVID) must be “at designated Scouting activities or events” since the camping trip on which it takes place must be “at designated Scouting activities or events” to count as camping nights for 9a. Backpacking trips for Backpacking MB do not specify “under the auspices”, so that’s not required.
On the rank side of the house, Second Class 3b says nothing about requiring it to be “under the auspices”,
The requirement does not state that it must be done with the BSA. You cannot add to the requirement. Having said that it is at the MBC discretion if he or she will accept work done previous to “starting” the merit badge.
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