Local Scouts earn 50-miler award
Published: Thursday, July 31st, 2014
Custer Boy Scout Troop 25 skipped summer camp this year and opted to hike the Mickelson Trail to earn the coveted 50-Miler Award. Three scouts—Logan Block, Miguel Martinez and Hunter Rice, along with adult leaders Bradley Block and Della Martinez, started their trek near Pringle and hiked to the Rochford area, then headed back to Custer. Their hiking boots endured five days of 10-plus miles each day, with one day totaling about 20 miles. What started as a creative idea last year turned into a successful adventure in their own natural surroundings.
The 50-Miler award has been a part of the Boy Scouts of America for decades, yet very few scouts complete enough miles within the minimum five-day, consecutive time period. The 50 miles can be done by canoe, boat or hike, and a 10-hour service project completes the requirements. Troop 25 decided that rather than heading to a camp or traveling out of state, they should explore the beautiful Black Hills.
“Summer camps are fun and the troop always likes to spend a week working on merit badges,”âï¿½ï¿½said senior patrol leader Logan Block. “But some of us decided last year that we wanted to backpack the Mickelson Trail and try our luck at some long distance hiking.”
Along the trail, the Scouts worked on several merit badges, such as nature, mammal study, fish and wildlife management and backpacking. During the evenings, they completed requirements for the cooking and camping merit badges. During the hike, the Scouts learned how to use a compass and map, as well as identify a number of plant and animal species native to the area. At the campsites, each Scout took turns building a fire and worked on their outdoor skills.
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