Is virtual camping a real thing in Scouting? Well…it can be.
Update: On April 13th, BSA national published guidelines for completing rank requirements up through First Class while maintaining social distancing. See the question “Q: What changes have been made to rank advancement/camping requirements given the need to maintain social distancing during this time?” in the BSA COVID-19 FAQ.
Update 2: The FAQ has been updated with this statement: “No, virtual camping will not count toward the 15 nights camping required for membership in the Order of the Arrow.”
Tired of the same old mylar packet of freeze-dried stuff? Here are some sources for tasty prepackaged meals and for dehydrated ingredients so you can make your own. As I write this, a lot of the dehydrated ingredients are out of stock, likely due to new converts to emergency preparedness during the pandemic. I’m sure they’ll be back in stock by the time we are ready to go backpacking again.
These are my favorite trail cooking references and cookbooks, with some explanations of why they are so good.
You cannot complete Cooking merit badge at home, but you can make a solid start on it. Plus, your parents will be thankful for you taking care of several meals.
Cooking is a core life skill. Our younger son was in Scouts before this merit badge was required for Eagle, but he learned to cook in our kitchen and on campouts. Later, he taught it to younger Scouts in his patrol. When he moved off campus in college, he was cooking for the seven people in his house, and teaching one of them to cook instead of serving expensive take-out.