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      Scouts test their survival skills

      Close to 70 Boys Scouts spent the day journeying through the Grand Island Trail in Gladstone trying to earn a hiking merit badge.

      Troops trekked a 10-mile stretch of forest filled with multiple stations, testing survival and wilderness tactics. The scouts earned points at each station depending on how well they performed.

      "It really depends on the leadership skills and the cooperation of your patrol," says 13-year-old Matt Block, a scout with the Eagles Troop 400. "If everything works, then you can pass any of the tests."

      From identifying animals to shooting with a sling shot, mental and physical challenges were everywhere. Boy Scouts also had to start fires from scratch. Sniping Snakes Troop 411 Scout Austin Dbord, 11, says it takes a while to start a really good fire.

      "I'm trying to figure out what the tree's called," explains Kadin Mustafa, 13, a scout with Flying Roadkill Troop 473. "We kind of look at the pictures, and you can kind of tell by the leaves, too."

      Troop leaders say the skills scouts learn and use are great survival tools that could be used later in life. Scouts have to complete five 10-mile hikes and a 20-mile hike to earn their hiking merit badge.