Urban hike nets merit badges

Urban hike nets merit badges

You might not think so, but the required Eagle Scout Hiking Merit Badge is one of the toughest to earn, consisting of five 10-mile hikes in preparation for a 20-mile grand finale.

On Feb. 14, 10 Scouts from Troop 26 finally earned their Hiking Merit Badge making a roundtrip hike from Ortega to the Southbank.

EagleScoutRoss_01When they started out at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church the temperate hovered at 32 degrees. The young men hiked out of Ortega, into Avondale, through Riverside and over the Acosta Bridge. They continued into and through beautiful San Marco, visited the Treaty Oak, and trekked over the Main Street Bridge. The hike continued along the Northbank Riverwalk, through Memorial Park, along Riverside and St. Johns avenues, and back across the Ortega Bridge where they finally arrived at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church Youth Center to celebrate with an ice cream social. “This program is great and these kids did a great job,” said assistant Scoutmaster Frank Ross.

Troop 26 is a very active Boy Scout Troop and has been an integral part of St. Mark’s and Ortega for 92 years. “There may be a lot of people who don’t know what we do and we fly under the radar at times,” said Ross. “I just thought it would be nice to let people know about more of what we do.”

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