Winston Park Scouts trek ‘Barefoot Mailman’ Route

Barefoot dads and sons of Kendall’s Boy Scout Troop 312 include (l-r) Rolando Hernandez, Edgar Moscoso, John Nieves, Nicholas Hernandez, Matthew Moscoso, Luis Diaz Jr., Jose Nieves and Luis Diaz Sr.

Five Kendall Boy Scouts took off their shoes to trace part of the legendary “Barefoot Mailman” route on Feb. 5.

Winston Park provided the shoeless quintet for the oceanside camping hike when more than 200 South Florida Scouts retraced the historic 33 miles from Pompano Beach to South Beach.

The Scouting hike is named for the original barefoot mailmen who covered 66 miles along a U.S. Mail route from Lake Worth south to Miami, Cocoanut Grove and Lemon City, beginning in 1885.

Theodore Pratt’s 1943 novel, The Barefoot Mailman, brought attention to the sand-in-theshoes postal carriers who then tramped 66 miles along the South Florida coastline. A state history marker at Boca Raton’s Spanish River State Park now honors the pioneering mail carriers.

Testing their endurance without reported mishap were Joseph Nieves, a junior at MAST Academy, Key Biscayne; his brother, John Nieves, Winston Park K-8 Center (grade 8); Nicholas Hernandez (grade 7) at Winston Park K-8 Center; Luis Diaz, South Miami Academy (grade 7), and Matthew Moscoso, a freshman at Kendall’s Terra High School.

Accompanying the group were the boys’ four fathers who formed a protective “Water Patrol,” along with Troop Leaders (and moms) Diana Hernandez, who hosts the Scout meetings at her home, and Elena Nieves.

“While our Scouts only traveled about half of the historic distance, they carried their own food, clothing, sleeping gear and tents, a total 20 pounds, for a two-day overnight trek,” said Maria Moscoso, mother of Matthew “

All five of our Scouts have Star or Life badges, working toward their Eagle ranking,” Moscoso said. “We’re all very proud of them.”

The troop next geared up for a mid- February Camporee in Broward County testing skills in activities only Scout mothers could love, she added: “Fire building, log sawing and tomahawk throwing!”

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