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National Outdoor Riding Award

Requirements

Be a Scout in Scouts BSA, Venturing BSA or Sea Scouts BSA. Youth earning the National Outdoor Awards badges have demonstrated that they are knowledgeable, safe, and comfortable in the outdoor activity covered by the badge.

Riding. A Scout, Sea Scout, or Venturer may earn the National Outdoor Badge for Riding upon successfully completing the following requirements:

  1. Earn the First Class rank, Sea Scout Apprentice rank, or complete Venturing Ranger Award requirements 1-6.
  2. Complete the requirements for at least one of the following:
  • a. Cycling merit badge or Ranger Cycling/Mountain Biking elective and 100 miles of cycling
  • b. Horsemanship merit badge or Ranger Equestrian elective and 20 miles of horseback riding
  • c. Motorboating merit badge or Ranger Watercraft elective and 100 miles of motor boating
  • d. Skating merit badge or Ranger Winter Sports elective and 20 miles of skating
  1. Complete 200 miles of riding activities, including cycling, stock riding, skating, motor boating, mountain boarding, snowmobiling, (including ATV or PWC riding at an approved council program), under the auspices of the Boy Scouts of America, including the miles in requirement 2.

A gold device may be earned for each additional 100 miles of riding set forth in requirement 3. A silver device is earned for each additional 400 miles of riding. The youth may wear any combination of devices totaling his or her current number of miles of riding.

Previous Requirements (2010)

Riding

  1. Earn the First Class rank.
  2. Complete at least one of the following:
    Cycling merit badge and 100 miles of cycling; or Horsemanship merit badge and 50 miles of horseback riding.
  3. Complete 200 miles of riding activities, either on a non-motorized bike or a stock animal, under the auspices of the Boy Scouts of America, including the miles in requirement 2.

A gold device may be earned for each additional 100 miles of riding. A silver device is earned for each additional 400 miles of riding. The Scout may wear any combination of devices totaling his current number of miles of riding.

References

Related Discussion

Award patches

The Shop Shop has a new web site so some old links for BSA items on old web pages are broken.

If the “riding” award is the first national outdoor award awarded, the patches awarded are the central emblem and the riding segment patches. For the award program patches and devices search the Shop Shop for the award name.

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National Outdoor Achievement Awards - Center Emblem
SKU: 610687

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National Outdoor Achievement Awards - Riding Segment
SKU: 610682


Post updated: 2019-07-31

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This is one SUAC is waiting on an answer for (but JAMBO is keeping people out of reach)

How do these requirements breakdown?

Cycling merit badge or ••• Ranger Cycling/Mountain Biking elective and 100 miles of cycling (Cycling MB and no miles)

OR

Cycling merit badge or Ranger Cycling/Mountain Biking elective ••• and 100 miles of cycling (Extra Miles with MB or Ranger)

With Cycling I tend to lean toward the first one as you could have already gone 50-100 miles

With the Second question is are miles logged earning the MB or Ranger counted if it is the second understanding.

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Riding Award

The “Earn the BSA National Outdoor Awards” in Be Prepared, vol. 3, no. 3, c2009 or later, p. 2, says

“Hundreds of miles on a horse or bicycle carry you toward the riding badge.”

My opinion: The requirements on the current NOA web page are missing some commas

Cycling

The general goal is a total of 200 miles riding. Looking just at cycling in 2010 NOA requirements was:

“Complete 200 miles of riding activities … on a non-motorized bike …”
OR
“Complete … Cycling merit badge and 100 miles of cycling”

Riding award options

It appears the second current requirement should be:

Complete the requirements for at least one of the following:

  • a. Cycling merit badge or Ranger Cycling/Mountain Biking elective, and 100 miles of cycling
  • b. Horsemanship merit badge or Ranger Equestrian elective, and 20 miles of horseback riding
  • c. Motorboating merit badge or Ranger Watercraft elective, and 100 miles of motor boating
  • d. Skating merit badge or Ranger Winter Sports elective, and 20 miles of skating

My opinion: No. The miles logged earning the MB or Ranger elective do not count towards the additional miles required for the NOA.

A bit more cycling detail -

excerpt from BSA Cycling Merit Badge requirements:
7. Using the BSA buddy system, complete all of the requirements for ONE of the following options: road biking OR mountain biking.
. . .(a) Road Biking
. . . . . (2) Avoiding main highways, take two rides of 10 miles each, two rides of 15 miles each, and two rides of 25 miles each. You must make a report of the rides taken. List dates for the routes traveled, and interesting things seen.
. . . . . (3) After completing requirement 2 for the road biking option, do ONE of the following:
. . . . . . . .(a) Lay out on a road map a 50-mile trip. Stay away from main highways. Using your map, make this ride in eight hours.
. . . . . . . .(b) Participate in an organized bike tour of at least 50 miles. Make this ride in eight hours. Afterward, use the tour’s cue sheet to make a map of the ride.
. . .(b) Mountain Biking
. . . . . (3) On trails approved by your counselor, take two rides of 2 miles each, two rides of 5 miles each, and two rides of 8 miles each. You must make a report of the rides taken. List dates for the routes traveled, and interesting things seen.
. . . . . (4) After fulfilling the previous requirement, lay out on a trail map a 22-mile trip. You may include multiple trail systems, if needed. Stay away from main highways. Using your map, make this ride in six hours.

Cycling MB road bike options requires 150 miles; mountain bike, 52 miles.

excerpt from Ranger Award Requirements:
11. Cycling/Mountain Biking.
. . g. Cycling trips.
. . . . . i. Take at least eight separate cycling tours 20 miles in length or eight separate mountain biking treks 10 miles in length.
. . . . . h. In addition to the tours and treks in requirement g, plan and do a two-day cycling tour 50 miles in length or mountain bike trek 40 miles in length …

Ranger cycling requires 210 miles; mountain bike, 120 miles.

Seems reasonable to earn either the MB or the Ranger Elective, and do an additional 100 miles of any combination of road bike and mountain bike.

Thanks Doug. Finding that detail was going to be my next task, but I had to go out. Bill

Bike types

For our readers that may not be familiar with non-motor bikes, the Cycling MB pamphlet (© 2003 Boy Scouts of America, 2011 printing, pp. 7-9) classifies bikes into four types based on their intended use.

BMX Bicycles

These durable bikes are made for trick riding …

Comfort and Hybrid Bicycles

Comfort and hybrid bicycles are intended for the casual rider taking short trips. …

All-Terrain (ATB) Bicycles (“Mountain Bikes”)

Mountain bikes, or ATBs, are intended for use on trails and in the mountains. …

Road Bicycles

Road bicycles are build for riding long distances and racing. …

National Outdoor Riding Award - Cycling

I concur. However completing the MB requires doing road biking OR mountain biking to complete the MB.

A bit more horse detail -

The Horsemanship MB has no required riding distance.

The Ranger Equestrian Elective has no required riding distance.

Seems reasonable to earn either the MB or the Ranger Elective, and do 20 miles of horseback riding.

A bit more motorboat detail -

The Motorboating MB requires at least one mile of boating.

The Ranger Watercraft Elective may be done with 8, 6, or no paddling miles and no motor boating miles.

Seems reasonable to earn the MB or the Ranger elective, and do an additional 100 miles of motor boating. Ranger paddling time counts for the Aquatics segment.

A bit more skating detail -

The Skating MB can be done without miles.

The Ranger Winter Sports Elective requires 40 hours in the activity, not miles. However, 40 hours skiing, skating, or snowmobiling would cover many miles.

  • Alpine Skiing and Snowboarding miles do not seem to apply to any segment.
  • Nordic skiing miles count toward the hiking segment.
  • Snowmobiling miles count toward the total riding miles [requirement 3].
  • If skating is used for the Ranger Winter Sports Elective, only miles after the 40 hours would count toward requirement 2d. However, all miles would count toward requirement 3.

Seems reasonable to complete the MB or the Ranger elective, and do an additional 20 miles of skating.

Horseback Riding

Horse or Stock Animal (superseded by “horse” only)

Riding “a stock animal” was an option in the previous version of the award requirements. Stock animals (or livestock) includes horses, cattle, sheep, pigs or other animals keep on a farm or ranch.

What is a “horse”?

I assume that “horse” for the riding award means an domesticated ridable mammal in the genus Equus (see “Equus (genus)” WikipediA page) which includes the donkey, horse and zebra; and equine hybrids such as the mule, hinny, zorse, zonkey or zedonk.

National Outdoor Riding Award - Horseback Riding

I concur.

#3 says it counts the miles while earning the merit badge, so eventually you will have the miles. The cycling merit badge requires a 22 mile bike ride so it isn’t a lot of the 100 miles.

Jeanann, the mountain biking option does require a 22 mile ride. And before this ride, it requires 6 rides, two each at 2, 5, and 8 miles. Total miles for the mountain biking option is at least 52 miles. Then, ride another 100 miles to complete #2.

Dang, I hadn’t looked at the Cycling MB lately, they’ve changed it up completely. We had a kid who started it at summer camp and all he lacked was a 22 mile ride which he did when we got home. This was a couple of years ago.

Now it looks like for road biking you’d do 100 miles plus 50 for the tour thing.

Cycling merit badge and National Outdoor Riding Award

Reference: Cycling, merit badge series, 35881, ISBN 978-0-8395-3226-1, ©2017 Boy Scouts of America, 2017 Printing

Jeanann, The Cycling MB has two options, road biking and mountain (off-road) biking.

Option A - Road Biking
b. … "two rides of 10 miles each, two rides of 15 miles each, and two rides of 25 miles each. " = 100 miles
c. … 50 miles in 8 hours.
Add 100 more miles for National Outdoor Riding Award
OPTION A TOTAL = 250 miles

Option B - Mountain Biking (off-road)
c. " two rides of 2 miles each, two rides of 5 miles each, and two rides of 8 miles each" = 30 miles
d. 22 miles in 6 hours
Add 100 more miles for National Outdoor Riding Award
OPTION B TOTAL = 152 miles

Option C - National Outdoor Riding Award option "3."
3. 200 miles
OPTION C TOTAL = 200 miles


Previous Cycling merit badge requirements (2003)

Previous requirements were for road biking and those have not changed.

Reference: Cycling, merit badge series, 35881, ISBN 978-0-8395-3226-1, ©2003 Boy Scouts of America, 2011 Printing

  1. … "two rides of 10 miles each, two rides of 15 miles each, and two rides of 25 miles each. " = 100 miles
  2. … 50 miles in 8 hours

The 2010 National Outdoor Riding Award - Cycling requirement was:
“Complete … Cycling merit badge and 100 miles of cycling”

TOTAL: 250 miles of road biking.

Thanks, I didn’t realize there were multiple options. I checked and our scouts did they off Road one.

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