Go west, young men: Scouts begin coast-to-coast bike ride with a purpose

lucky13-logoTen Scouts, two leaders, 3,700 miles, and something to prove.

This morning, a group of Scouts from Troop 845 in Chapel Hill, N.C., dipped their tires into the Atlantic Ocean in Havre de Grace, Md., and headed west for the Oregon coast.

But their 10-week trip, dubbed Lucky 13 for the year 2013, is hardly a pleasure cruise.

The young men are following the lead of Scouts from their troop who took a similarly grueling cross-country journey in 2005, 2007, and 2010.

“Their epic tales of adventure,” Assistant Scoutmaster Brian Burnham told me, “have inspired us to take off this summer and ride 3,700 miles over 10 weeks from coast to coast.”

The planned route.

The planned route.

And like Troop 845 riders before them, the Lucky 13 crew is doing it all for a good cause: the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center. They’ve raised $21,005 for the center so far and are still accepting donations.

The riders are carrying a GPS tracking device, meaning anyone can follow along with their journey — a route that will take them through 10 states: Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Idaho, and Oregon.

They’ll “camp in town parks at night, swim in the town swimming pools as a substitute for showers, grab some food at the local diner, play some hoops whenever possible, and maybe catch a rodeo,” according to their website.

Best of luck, Scouts. We’ll be following your progress.

13 thoughts on “Go west, young men: Scouts begin coast-to-coast bike ride with a purpose

  1. Good Luck to T#845 on their trip West. BTW Havre De Grace, MD is on the Susquehanna River, 90 miles north of the Atlantic Ocean.

  2. Good luck and Godspeed. I hope BSA Councils along the way take note and schedule at least some shower time and bunk time in some scout camps along the way, give them CSPs (council Shoulder Patches) and other recognitions of their passing through. If nothing else, keep track and have some individual troops and packs lining the road and saluting them as they pass. Bike shops along the way should offer to check out and adjust their bikes for them. Stay safe, scouts.

  3. Thanks for posting this article and helping remind us that we are only limited in Scouting by our lack of imagination.

    • Really???

      So I don’t know an adult scouter that could take a month off of work let alone 10 weeks.

      I won’t even discuss what the trip and equipment cost.

      so for most units this trip is out of reach.

      It is a great adventure.

      Best of luck

      • Really???
        So you always need to be critical of so many things that you can not seem to just be happy for them? What is the point of highlighting the obvious obstacles everyone would have?

        You are right, not everyone can do this, but they can I am happy to support them!

      • sure give me the thumbs down….

        I live in the real world.

        I get two weeks of paid vacation a year. Many of my parents are tradesmen and get none. If they do not work they do not get paid.

        So what is the total cost per boy for this trip including equipment???? $5,000 or $10,000?????

        While this makes great headlines….It just shows the widening gap between the haves and have nots.

        • Bob,
          As for leaders getting 10 weeks off, what about teachers? What about them feeling it is worth the commitment regardless of the sacrifices?
          As far as cost/ equipment, they may have had most of the equipment in the troop supplies. A well stocked troop would have enough backpacking tent for 12, plus other lightweight equipment. They are camping out so cost for sites, especially if they use group camping at state parks or scout reservations should be minimal. Major expense would probably food cost because these Scouts will need a lot of good food to keep up their energy.

        • I don’t know about every where else but if they were coming through here we would reduce their food cost by making sure that they ate a home cooked dinner. 🙂

        • I would think the cost of their trip would be less than $1500. If it is done right. I suppose if you had to hire an adult to accompany them, then yes, the cost would increase dramatically. But something like this with proper planning can be done for as little as $20 per day. The cost would be considerably less if there were no van accompanying them.

      • I agree with Bob on not knowing any adult scouters who can take 10 weeks off. Not even teachers around here can afford to do that with their summer. They have to work a second summer job to make ends meet.

        I’m glad these scouts are fortunate enough to have leaders who can take 10 weeks off, but it’s not the reality for any unit I know of up my way.

        And I hope they keep an eye out on traffic. The biggest fundraiser of the year for the local American Heart Association takes place this weekend, called “Trek Across Maine”–3 days from the mountains to the sea. A cyclist was killed on the trek yesterday morning when he got clipped by a passing 18 wheeler. Sad.

  4. What a great trek. I’ll find out when they plan to be in Oregon and what route they plan to take so we can link up with them and treat them to some Northwest Scouting hospitality.

  5. I have a question, when you are not busy peddling 🙂 …how do you get around the fact that we are not supposed to raise money for another organization? We have had a couple of opportunities come up and we had to turn them down because we were not sure how to do it and not break the rule. Thanks, in advance!

  6. I’m a parent of one of the riders. Whereas this is not true of all the riders, I can say that my son earned the money to ride. I do move money from his savings account onto his debit card, and I’m very proud of him for working all spring at odd jobs around town and saving his money leading up to the trip. We started something called Youth For Hire, to keep the guys working and earning money last spring and this spring.

    And yes, our troop is very fortunate to have an assistant Scout leader who is self-employed and makes the high adventure summer programs part of his summer.

    As for earning money for the local cancer center, I’m not sure how that all works out.

    Thank you for the support along the way. They guys are almost in South Dakota as of today, July 8.

Join the conversation

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s