Most people think nothing of traveling 50 miles by car, bus or plane. But 50 miles on foot? That’s another story — and just the sort of achievement the 50-Miler Award recognizes. Scouts can earn this colorful award by completing 50-mile five-day treks by several non-motorized means.
What is the objective of the 50-Miler Award? The award seeks to stimulate interest in Scouting ideals and promote activities that improve personal fitness, self-reliance, knowledge of the outdoors and understanding of conservation.
Who is eligible for the 50-Miler Award? Scouts BSA members, Sea Scouts, Venturers and Scout leaders.
What constitutes a qualifying trip? A chartered unit or provisional group might organize a trip, usually a high-adventure trek. The unit must make a complete plan for the trip that includes possibilities for advancement. The group must cover a trail (or a canoe or boat route) of not less than 50 consecutive miles and take a minimum of five consecutive days to complete the trip — all without the aid of motors. During the trip, each participant must spend at least 10 hours working on a conservation project such as trail maintenance.
Ten hours of service seems like a lot. Is there an alternative? If it’s not possible to complete the service requirement during the trip, you can do a similar project in your home area. This is how Philmont crews can complete the 50-Miler Award — they do only three hours of service during their treks and an additional seven hours later.
What means of transportation can we use on our trip? The award covers hiking, bicycling, boating and canoeing. Pack animals may be used where appropriate, but requirements prohibit the use of motors.
Can a Scout or Scouter earn the 50-Miler Award more than once? Yes.
How do we apply for the 50-Miler Award? Complete the 50-Miler Award application and submit it to your local Scout council service center.
Who approves the award? The unit leader or provisional group leader signs the application, which is then submitted to the local Scout council service center for final approval.
Are the 50-Miler Award patches approved for uniform wear? No, but you may affix the patches to a patch blanket, backpack or tent. You can also place award decals on canoes, paddles and plaques.