The primary objective of this program is to stimulate members of Scouts BSA, Sea Scout, and Venturing units interest in the ideals of the movement and to promote activity that will result in personal fitness, self-reliance, knowledge of wood lore, and a practical understanding of conservation.
Chartered unit participation is most desirable; however, provisional groups are eligible. This award does not apply if any other is available for a trip.
The Scouts BSA, Sea Scout, or Venturing unit or provisional group must follow these rules for a 50-Miler trip:
- Select a suitable trail or waterway.
- Adult leaders 21 or older must make the entire trip.
Note the following information we have received from the BSA, in regard to a query as to whether the 50 miles may be done on bikes, or on horseback (particularly since the new version of the patch shows a bike wheel and horseshoe):
According to the camping and conservation service, horse is (and "has always been") an acceptable mode of travel for the fifty-miler award.
There's a note in the publishing files for the award application and requirements book - so that "on horse" and "on bicycle" will be specifically included in descriptions of the fifty-miler requirements in the future. Even without that clarification, since requirement 2 says "without the use of motors", there is nothing in the use of horses or bicycles that contradicts that requirement.
The 50 Miler Award is available as a Cloth or Leather
Patch or a Decal.
It is NOT worn on the Uniform, but may be attached to equipment, jackets, backpacks, patch vests or blankets, etc.
The patch shown at the top of the page is the current version. The old version, still in widespread use is shown below
The 50-Miler Award is presented to each qualifying individual for satisfactory participation in an approved trip. In order to qualify for the award the group of which the individual is a member must fulfill all of the following requirements.
- Make complete and satisfactory plans for the trip, including the possibilities of advancementSource: Boy Scout Requirements 2019 .
- Cover the trail or canoe or boat route of not less than 50 consecutive miles; take a minimum of 5 consecutive days to complete the trip without the aid of motors. (In some areas pack animals may be used.)
- During the time on the trail or waterway, complete a minimum of 10 hours each of group work on projects to improve the trail, springs, campsite, portage or area. If after checking with recognized authorities, it is not possible to complete 10 hours each of group work on the trail, a similar project may be done in the unit's home area ( There should be no unauthorized cutting of brush or timber.)
- Unit or tour leader must then file the 50-Miler Award application with the local council service center. This application gives additional details about planning the trip.
Source: Scouts BSA Requirements 2019