By Bryce R. Hall
Scouting has a High Adventure Award for trekking the Historic Mormon Battalion Trail.
Before the pandemic, a pair of great news articles came out about Scouts (both in and out of the Church) doing a desert High Adventure Trek that re-enacted the notable march of the U.S. Mormon Battalion of 1846-47. In the process, these Scouts were able to earn a rare Scouting award for completing a High Adventure Trek along one of the several Historic Trails of America.
In 2018, Cub Scouts and their leaders from 11 Cub Packs in San Diego North County hiked the trail and did their own reenactment of the notorious Battle of the Bulls and were able to earn the Cub Scout version of this award.
Their efforts were featured in a major story that ran in the San Diego Union-Tribune.
Then in October 2020, the Scouting Magazine Boys Life (right before its name change to Scout Life) did a feature cover story about Troop 500, chartered to St. Agnes Catholic Church of Point Loma, California, and their hike of a 14-mile stretch of the trail’s passage through Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Where “Along the way, they cooked cakes on glowing coals, tussled with “jumping” cholla cactuses and trekked across rugged deserts.” ARTICLE LINK
The U.S. Mormon Battalion Trail High Adventure Award is available from the BSA San Diego-Imperial Council and is awarded for those who complete the Trek Requirements, including- 1) reading and discussing trail history, 2) visiting a related museum or memorial, 3) preparing and eating a historic trail meal and 4) hiking/camping on a original segment of the trail. Use the following lin to see the requirements for the award: LINK
Trek Aid No. 107 was expertly revised in 2019 by Latter-day Saint Scouter and military historian Duane Neyens as part of his Wood Badge Ticket. This wonderful 27-page guide is available from the SDIC Scout office in hard copy or in digital format from Bryce Hall, Vanguard Scouting Council Representative for SDIC (firstname.lastname@example.org). It is packed full of trail history, hike prep tips, meal recipes, and annotated trailhead maps of the Southern California Passage.