50 Miles Afoot/Afloat
Michael A. McDonald (MCDONALD23@DELPHI.COM)
Fri, 8 Jul 1994 04:32:19 -0400
A few comments (if I may) about LTC Al Woltz's problems,
RE: 50-mile afoot/afloat award
1) My understanding is that no more than 10 miles a day may be
earned toward the award. Never in my training or reading have
I encountered any restriction that a Scout may not hike more than
10 miles in a day.
I always use the "Guide to Safe Scouting" as my key reference
on subjects like this. Under "Trail Safety" leaders are asked to
be aware of the "groups known capabilities." To me this may mean
that before a Scout is asked to hike any number of miles in
a day that proper physical condition is insured (perhaps with
mini hikes for conditioning) as well as an equipment "shake-down."
As a District Executive I am known for how closely I review all
the tour permits that cross my desk. If I saw a tour permit
that had the kids hiking more than 10 miles a day I would make
a call to the unit leader to make sure it was "within the groups
capabilities" I'm certain that Al's DE had a good knowledge of the
capabilities of his unit and that is why he approved the trip.
(I may also add that given AL's DE's wish to join the group
that the trip was most likely exciting, interesting, and fun
as well as safe.)
2) In Scouting most, leaders need to understand the difference
between National Policies and suggestions. The BSA has a number
of Safety policies, but mostly we have suggestions and guidelines.
These suggestions as so that the Chartering Organization with little
or no experience with the outdoors may have some guidelines on how
to operate a safe outdoor program. To my knowledge there is no
national policy regarding the number of miles a Scout may hike
in a day. Even Kathie in her note used the term "safety guidelines"
3) I sure everyone would agree that it would be nice to for a unit
leader to have access to and to read every relevant piece of
information about a subject before taking on any activity, but
let's be fair:
* The BSA has in print currently over 3,000 (yes three thousand)
pamphlets, books, and forms.
* Many items of BSA policy are constantly being revise, this
makes some of the forms that are in print and available to
My best advice if you are concerned about the proper way to
conduct any activity is to team up with a key volunteer from your
district (camping chairman or health and safety chairman are good
choices) or your District Executive, and go over your plans. If they
approve them then go for it!
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City