Re: 50 Miles Afoot/Afloat
Settummanque, the blackeagle (waltoml@WKUVX1.WKU.EDU)
Fri, 8 Jul 1994 12:34:05 CST
"Michael A. McDonald" <MCDONALD23@DELPHI.COM> writes:
>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.
Jessica is going to literally STRING me alive for this, but I called
the Camping and Engineering Service at National to get a "reading"
on the written statement, which does appear even in the most current
printing of the 50 Miler Award application (which also doubles as the
Historic Trail Application, it being on the other side of the form).
Here's what the Associate Director of Camping had to say (in the
absence of the Director of the Program Group (whom is out at Philmont
and won't be back until the middle of next month):
"The 50-Miler Award is a national award with local Council
implementation. If a Troop (in this case, Al's) wants to go 80 miles
during a 5 day period, they may do this as long as the BSA's health
and safety, leadership and permission policies are met TO THE LETTER.
While many "regular" Troops and Posts won't be able to go any more
than 50 miles in a 5 day period, the requirements as stated should be
viewed as the MINIMUM required to earn the award."
"There's also a conservation element to those requirements, so make
sure that when you tell (Al) about the requirements, that he knows
that ALL of the requirements must be met in order to earn the patch or
"Some Scouts use the 50-miler as part of their requirements toward the
Hiking or Cycling Merit Badges, and that's alright with us as long as
it's alright with the local Council. Again, I cannot stress enought
that although the patches and decals are given in the name of the BSA,
it's basically a program of the local Council's camping subcommittee
of the program group to implement and approve. We don't even get
copies of the applications. Instead, we get a summary provided by
each Council (in December or January for the previous year). "
As an aside, I have taken Scouts and Scouters on ELEVEN 50-milers over
the past 14 years, by foot, afloat and by bicycle (oh mack fun!
*hehee*), covering everything from 50 miles in 5 days to 200 miles
plus in 17 days; and the most that I've had to provide my local
Council was a local tour permit, a listing of all leaders and their
qualifications, and the route of travel and overnight stays along the
trails. Everything else was up to my chartered partners and me to
coordinate. This included two 50-milers done during spring breaks in
the former West Germany.
>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"
Well said, Mike! Kathie and I have a slight disagreement on what is a
"policy" and what is a "guideline", but I still respect her ability to
find the "appropriate answers" for us all here. The problem is, that
while you and me (from our professional experiences) and Kathie and a
few others (whom have been around the program long enough to know what
will *stop* an activity and what will *slow it down*) know, the vast
majority here (and many, many others not here) don't know and they
have to rely on SLOPPY, snap answers from professionals that don't
want to research or pick up the phone and ask; or worse, from
volunteers that are not looking after the unit's welfare and instead
have their "own personal agendas" to think about. This is a great
example of the latter.
I still encourage Al and others to find out from their local Council,
but if the answer don't sound right (or is confusing, as in the case
of the application), to ask.
Yes, I *did* ask Terry to please see if they will consider printing a
new version with the words "minimum standards include:" before the
rest of the requirements. I think that would go a LONG way in
>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
> units WRONG.
And most local Councils don't have the resources out there to insure
that the things you pick up from their offices reflect CURRENT BSA
policy or that of your local Council. A single person could make that
their jobs for a year and STILL won't have every current piece on
stock because much of it is "currently in revision" or is "currently
being field-tested" as a result of someone like Al ASKING "why is this
so", and others like Mike and myself bringing the issue to our
"bosses" and those that would have some influnce in getting the matter
resolved or at least explained better.
> 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!
I second the statement.
Settummanque, the blackeagle... (MAJ) Mike L. Walton (
(h) 502-782-7992 (f) 502-781-7279 (w) 502-782-7467 |-=-|]
3201-D Cave Springs Avenue -- Greenwood, KY 42104-4439 -=====-
Internet: WALTOML@WKUVX1.WKU.EDU/America OnLine: KYBLKEAGLE@AOL.COM
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