Trail magic: It’s what happens when kind-hearted people extend unsolicited acts of generosity to bedraggled long-distance hikers.

The 55th has begun a tradition of finding a campsite along our nearest long trail (which for us is the Pacific Crest Trail) and having our scouts (who become "trail angels" in long-distance hiking parlance) come up with and execute their idea for a service to hikers. 

Our first year saw scouts bring meals, drinks, treats (most notably dry ice-packed ice cream), hand painted postcards, recharging stations, solar showers, hammocks, epsom salt foot soaks etc . . . some lessons were learned but by all accounts it was a great success. 

I will be proposing to local and regional GSMs that they consider partaking in the tradition. This should be possible for most scout groups along the west coast, as the PCT is pretty accessible with only 2-3 hours of driving. I believe it is a great way to directly combine a service project with an outdoor adventure. It also has a great creativity component, as scouts themselves develop and implement their own ideas, and the resulting Trail magic camp has a menu of all the services and goods available.

If there is any interest in other regions of doing something similar I would be happy to discuss ideas and network. The Appalachian Trail and Continental Divide Trail are probably within reach of some BPSA scout groups to the east.

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Tags: Angel, Crest, Magic, Pacific, Project, Service, Trail

Comment by Scott Moore on October 15, 2013 at 7:48pm

GREAT idea, Ethan!  It's a great suggestion for Lone Scouts looking to perform a service in their areas as well (although Lone Scouts shouldn't be hiking alone - be sure to bring at least one buddy)!

-Scott Moore, 1st Lone Scouts RSL


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