The number of overnight campouts required for a young man to earn the Second Class and First Class ranks will be reduced under new requirements that take effect Aug. 1, 2017.
But the total number of camping nights a Boy Scout will experience in the program as he progresses toward the rank of Eagle Scout will not change.
In 2016, alongside the release of the 13th edition of the Boy Scout Handbook, the BSA increased the number of campouts required for Second Class to three since joining from two. It increased the number of campouts required for First Class to six since joining from three.
Aug. 1, 2017, revisions return the number of overnight campouts to pre-2016 levels but preserve the amount of time spent outdoors. The change, the BSA says, maintains a focus on life-changing outdoors experiences while recognizing that not all outdoor activities need to include overnight camping.
Hikes, service projects and outdoor-heavy merit badges like Geocaching and Orienteering add to the adventure of being a first-year Scout.
The changes leave untouched the Eagle-required Camping merit badge, which calls for at least 20 nights of camping. Because all camping nights since becoming a Scout can be used for this requirement — even those that count toward Second Class and First Class — the effect is that the total number of camping nights required to become an Eagle Scout is unchanged.
And of course these are minimum overnight campout requirements. Many Scouts will choose to camp more frequently.
To read about the changes, please visit the Bryan on Scouting article: https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2017/07/11/revised-campout-requirements-aug-1-2017/