50 Miler Award

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50 Miler Award

Postby AquilaNegra2 » Fri Jun 06, 2008 12:51 am

Have your troop's Scouts earned this?

Our boys are considering doing a bicycle ride for this award, in conjunction with their Cycling badges. The requirements read:

2. Cover the trail or canoe or boat route of not less than 50 consecutive miles; take a minimum of 5 consecutive days to complete the trip without the aid of motors. (In some areas pack animals may be used.)

re: the phrase "without the aid of motors". Can they have an aid vehicle follow them that carries their tents, food, etc? I'm reading the aid of motors as a motor on a raft or a motorized cycle, etc. Just want to be certain I'm correct.
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Re: 50 Miler Award

Postby Quailman » Fri Jun 06, 2008 6:57 am

I would think that they'd need to carry everything they need, just as a backpacker does, That's how my son earned it (on foot. In the mountains). Perhaps a cyclist would have a different take on this, but I would equate bringing support vehicles with the gear to doing a series of one-day rides rather than a 50 mile trek.
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Re: 50 Miler Award

Postby mt_goodrich » Fri Jun 06, 2008 8:00 am

I earned this award as a youth both by canoeing (twice) and three times backpacking.

I am thinking about presenting something on this to see if our troop would be interested.
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Re: 50 Miler Award

Postby FrankJ » Fri Jun 06, 2008 9:15 am

The point of the award is to do a long term trek some are going to be easier than others. If you used a car to carry the gear, but not the scouts that OK in my mind.
Our venturing crew is doing BRAG (Bike ride across Georgia). 373 miles in 7 days. They are camping, but not cooking or carry their gear on their bikes. This would count for the 50 mile award in my opinion.

Actually after looking again at the requirements for the award, It is specifically for foot or float, but on the application for the award, there a check mark for bicycling.
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Re: 50 Miler Award

Postby pipestone1991 » Fri Jun 06, 2008 10:06 am

I earned it back in '06. In Philmont you hike (on average) 60 or more miles per trek. You also do a 3-hour service project. When you get back home all you have to do is a 7-hour service project to finish the award (we did ours at 7R, thornbustin' :x )
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Re: 50 Miler Award

Postby PaulSWolf » Fri Jun 06, 2008 12:06 pm

FrankJ wrote:Actually after looking again at the requirements for the award, It is specifically for foot or float, but on the application for the award, there a check mark for bicycling.

To the contrary, There is nowhere that says foot or float EXCEPT the OLD version of the patch. The requirement just says
Cover the trail or canoe or boat route ...
A land based trail can be covered by foot or bicycle. And the current patch shows a bicycle wheel plus a paddle and hiking boot.
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Re: 50 Miler Award

Postby FrankJ » Fri Jun 06, 2008 1:24 pm

A land based trail can be covered by foot or bicycle. And the current patch shows a bicycle wheel plus a paddle and hiking boot.


Cool. Scouting.org still has the old patch on the web & on the application link though.
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Re: 50 Miler Award

Postby wagionvigil » Fri Jun 06, 2008 1:29 pm

Thats why Scouting.org wants to know how they compare to Meritbadge.com?
Because MB.com and .net are on top of things and change immediately not 6 months or more after the fact.
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Re: 50 Miler Award

Postby optimist » Fri Jun 06, 2008 3:57 pm

That's because Scouting is a "volunteer" movement, not a professional one.

Volunteers ROCK!!!
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Re: 50 Miler Award

Postby Mrw » Sat Jun 07, 2008 4:51 pm

As a cyclist, I may have a different perspective on this.

If you read the Cycling merit badge requirements, the last one is to complete a 50 mile bike ride on less than 8 hours. I have a very hard time seeing a bike ride of 50 miles over 5 days as even being challenging, much less worthy of the award, unless possibly if it were off-road over very rough terrain.

For the group riding BRAG (my younger son will be working for a vendor there this year) a 50 miler award for the week could be reasonable even though they are covering much more than that. My younger son first rode a week-long bike tour of 320 miles at age 9. He would not have been able to come close to completing the 50 miler hiking or canoeing at that age.

Our troop has done 2 50 milers in the past 7-8 years, both were canoeing trips. One was at Algonquin and one on the Au Sable river in Michigan. A few earlier ones were backpacking.

In my mind, this award should specify on foot or by boat and exclude bikes.
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Re: 50 Miler Award

Postby AquilaNegra2 » Sat Jun 07, 2008 7:47 pm

Their plan is to do 10, 10, 15, 15, 25 over the five days; then a 25 two weeks later, and a supported 50 event two weeks after that. The award is AT LEAST 50 miles, with at least 10 hours of service. Some are definitely going to be harder than others, just as some Eagle projects or Hornaday projects are more intensive than others. I completely agree that Hiking the 50 miles is a much more difficult achievement (I'd disagree that rafting is). There isn't a distinction in the award, however.

Thanks for the input.
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