The 50-Miler Award is given by the National Council of the Boy Scouts of America and may be earned by any member. Requirements for this award include hiking at least 50 miles (80.47 kilometers) or traveling at least 50 miles by canoe or other boat, without the use of engines, motors, or bicycle or horseback, and performing a 10-hour conservation project. The award is secured through participant's local council service center. According to the Boy Scouts of America, the award serves to stimulate interest in the ideals of the Scouting movement and to promote activity that will result in personal fitness, self-reliance, and a practical understanding of conservation.
The award may be earned by a member of a Boy Scout, Varsity Scout, or Venturer unit. To earn the award, both the individual scouter and the scouter's unit must meet certain requirements.
Each unit undertaking a 50-miler trip must adhere to several criteria. First, the unit must select a suitable trail or waterway. If the trip is to occur five hundred miles or more from the homes of the unit members (excepting local council camps located more than 500 miles away) or crosses international boundaries, a National Permit Application, No 34419, is necessary. Otherwise, a Local Tour Permit Application, No. 34426, should be filled. Adult leaders older than 21 years of age must make the entire trip. After completion of the trip, the unit leader must then file an application with the local council service center.
Each individual wishing to earn the award must also meet specific requirements. First, the individual must make complete and satisfactory plans for the trip. Second, he or she must cover the trail or canoe route of not less than 50 consecutive miles, covering a maximum of 10 miles per day. In some areas pack animals may be used. Third, during the time on the trail or waterway, the individual must complete a minimum of 10 hours of work on projects to improve the trail, waterway, campsite, portage. If this is not possible, a similar project may be done in the unit's home area. Earning the award at Philmont Scout Ranch requires that at least 3 of the work hours must be conducted at Philmont, the remaining hours may be conducted in the unit's home area.
The 50 miler award is available in 3 forms; a cloth patch, a leather patch, and a decal. None of these are to be worn on the field uniform. They may be affixed to equipment such as backpacks or vehicles, or sewn onto items such as patch vests or blankets.
- Boy Scout Requirements, #33215, 2004
- Boy Scout Trail website- Accessed 20 March 2006
- 50 miler award at Meritbadges.com - Accessed 20 March 2006