Take the five following hikes, each on a different day, and each of continuous miles. These hikes MUST be taken in the following order:
One 5-mile hike
Three 10-mile hikes
One 15-mile hike
You may stop for as many short rest periods as needed, as well as one meal, during each hike, but not for an extended period (example: overnight). Prepare a written hike plan before each hike and share it with your Scoutmaster or a designee. Include map routes, a clothing and equipment list, and a list of items for a trail lunch.*
I would not think walking fifteen miles in a day with a day pack would be testing for a fit Scout unless the trail had a lot of severe up and down or it was particularly hot and humid. As to that, planning. It's five hours walking for me at 73, even with the never-sufficiently-cursed blood pressure meds.
One earns their 50-miler with that setup. Broken down into 5 days? One would think that even a couch potato could pull that off. At 3 miles an hour (average walking speed) That means the
Walk 1) 5 miles = 1 hour 40 minutes. Seriously? One could pull this off in the time most troops have a meeting activity. 2) 10 miles = 3 hours 20 minutes. a stretch, but if one left after breakfast they would be done by lunch. Three hikes like this should build up a bit of stamina for the... 3) 15 miles = 5 hours. Okay, if one were to leave at noon, they might be a little late for dinner.
Okay let's translate that into Philmont.
Day one: on the trail by 7:00 am, done by 8:40 am.
Day two: on the trail by 7:00 am, done by 10:20 am.
Day three: on the trail by 7:00 am, done by 10:20 am.
Day four: on the trail by 7:00 am, done by 10:20 am.
Day five: on the trail by 7:00 am, done by 12:00 noon
That should leave a little time for evening activities.
Okay, let's take it back home.
Leave at 5:00 pm, Friday, done by 6:40 pm. Make camp. Leave at 12:00 noon Saturday, done by 3:20 pm, go home Come back after church, leave again at 12:00 noon, done by 3:20 pm. Next Friday camp the evening, leave at noon on Saturday, done by 3:20 pm. Home again for church on Sunday, back on the trail by noon, done at 5:00 pm. 2 nights of camping, made it to church, and still got it done in 2 weekends. Of course if one were to have a Chaplain's Aide along one could stretch the nights of camping out to four. Nothing wrong with circular hikes that take one back to camp each night. A day-pack and water bottle should suffice.