pack 406 hiking program

Let’s Take a Hike!

 

Every month Pack 406 will host a hike or encourage families to go for a hike in different locations across the region.  For dates and locations see the pack calendar

What is the Hiking Program?
The hiking program is an opportunity for scouts to explore natural areas in our state and earn fun rewards for mileage accomplishments.  This program also ties in educational opportunities so that additional achievements can be earned.

 

What are the Hiking Program Goals?
This program invites scouts to be more active in the outdoors, to learn more about the environment, to practice “Leave No Trace,” and to learn what type of wild animals and birds live in the local area.  

 

As your scout begins hiking and starts learning the guidelines for Leave No Trace, or how to “Trek Safely”, how to use a map and compass, or even the history of the local parks they will be in, they will be earning mileage credits. The goal is for your scout to have fun while hiking and to enhance their outdoor experience. 

 

Hiking Program Rules

  • A scout may join the hiking program any time during the year.

  • All Lions & Tigers must have an adult hike with them

  • Adults providing the transportation for any Wolf, Bear, or Webelos scout must hike with those scouts.  No drop-offs at hiking locations allowed.

  • All adults hiking are responsible for their scout (or transported scouts) and their needs, such as bathroom breaks, snacks, water, etc.

  • Family members may participate in hikes without disrupting the hike.

  • All adults must be familiar with or better yet trained in BSA Youth Protection Guidelines

 

Hiking Program Benefits

  • Very outdoor oriented

  • Helps ready Scout for Scouts BSA. By their Webelos year, they are very comfortable in outdoor situations.

  • Increases participation in the Pack. Scouts look forward to earning their hiking sticks, beads, and mileage awards.

  • Reinforces safe cub scouting rules, such as using the buddy system along trails, etc

  • Numerous opportunities to meet Scouting requirements for additional awards and life lessons.
     

Are there any recognition items?
Once a scout achieves 5 or more miles or complete 2 hikes, he or she will be able to earn the symbol of the Hiking Program, the Hiking Stave, or stick.

Scouts will earn items to display on their hiking sticks as they participate in the hikes.  The decorated hiking stick shows others what the scout has accomplished.  Below are some of the awards each scout has the potential to earn:

 

First 5 Miles Hiked or 2 total hikes: Hiking stick and leather string (awarded at Pack meeting following hike qualifying hiked)

Every Hike: Bead – This will show how many hikes a scout has attended

10 Miles: Orange Bear Claw

20 Miles: Blue Bear Claw

30 Miles: Green Bear Claw

40 Miles: Red Bear Claw

50 Miles: Cub Scout logo medallion

Rank Medallions: Each year, when a scout participates in at least 4 hikes between September and May, they will earn a metal medallion that represents his/her rank in cub scouting that year.  Medallions will be awarded at the May pack meeting. Scouts must complete these hikes with the Pack.

When will Hikes Take Place?

  • Once a month

  • Usually, the First or Second weekend of the month when possible (see calendar)

  • Generally on a Saturday morning; Occasional Saturday or Sunday afternoons. Scheduling based on weather and location.

  • Never conflicting with other Pack activities.

 

Where will Hikes Take Place?

  • Area parks and trails

  • Within a 60 minute drive, unless voted upon by group to travel further.

  • Places to participate in and learn about the following: service projects, bird watching, geocaching, geology, history, wildlife, and scenic views.

 

What to Wear and Bring to a Hike?

  • Remember your Cub Scout Six Essentials

    1. First-aid kit: adhesive bandages, moleskin, gauze, antibiotic ointment, etc.

    2. Water bottle: filled and large enough to last until it can be filled again

    3. Flashlight: for emergency use only

    4. Trail food: can be made as a den activity prior to hike or campout

    5. Sun protection: sunscreen of SPF 30 or greater and a hat

    6. Whistle: also for emergency use only

  • Dress appropriately for the weather.  Remember that scouts are always prepared.  A rain poncho, jacket, gloves may be necessary. Wear socks and sturdy shoes or hiking boots. (We will cancel a hike due to lightning)

  • Daypack/Backpack

  • Bug Spray (when necessary)

  • Additional items are helpful, but one leader should always have these on hand: First aid kit, cell phone, map or hiking area

 

How much does the hiking program cost?

$ZERO!  The hiking program costs the scout nothing to join.  There may be an occasional entrance fee or program fee as well as traveling expenses.

 

What should I expect on a hike?

The length of hikes will range typically 2-5 miles. Older Scouts may opt for longer with appropriate leadership and youth protection requirements met.

 

Lions and Tigers have no problem with 2-4 mile hikes. Just ensure that the parent/guardian has plenty of water along, and a few snacks (for both of them). Lions and Tigers are required to have a parent/guardian on the hike with them at all times.

 

All hikes MUST have TWO deep leadership to proceed.  This means that an adult is assigned as the lead person of the group, so any obstructions or dangers on the trail are noticed.  We may allow an older Scout to “Lead”, allowing this scout to work on map reading and use of a compass. Additionally, an adult is assigned as the last person in the group.  No one is allowed behind this individual. This ensures that no one gets left behind.  The Pack hikes as a unit. We start together, break together, etc, with everyone following the same trail.

 

On longer hikes, we will typically eat lunch on the trail (practicing”Leave No Trace” at all times). We will let you know if this is planned.  Scouts will carry water bottles and may use day packs.

 

On warmer weather hikes, a small water bottle is not enough for even the smallest Scout, please be sure that the Scout and parent-guardian have plenty of fluids. Sunscreen is always a must along with a hat (rimmed hat is pre­ferred).

 

During winter, prior to departure, double-check the dress of the Scouts to ensure they are properly prepared.

 

What are the Leave No Trace Rules?

As we hike, Scouts will follow the “Leave No Trace Rules” at each outing. 

  1. Plan ahead.

  2. Stick to trails.

  3. Manage your pet.

  4. Leave what you find.

  5. Respect other visitors.

  6. Trash your trash

 

How can Families get Involved?

  • Be ready, willing, and able to hike with your scout.

  • Plan and prepare for the hike.

  • Be enthusiastic about the adventures you will share with your scout.

  • Be a role model for your scout by accomplishing the never-ending trail and difficult terrain in a positive manner.

  • Come prepared with information about the local area that you may be able to share with the group.

 

How Should Hikers (Scouts and Family) Behave While on Hike?

  • Have Good Manners/Respect Nature- Families can share the values of leaving nature undisturbed and intact for others to enjoy. We can explore new ways of living “low-impact” lives that extend beyond the time we spend in our parks. Getting along with others and conserving the environment are good manners and should be learned and shared with the boys

  • Be enthusiastic!-  The hike may seem never-ending or the hill may seem insurmountable to your scout, but taken one step at a time, it will be quickly beneath your feet. The example that you set will be the model that the boys will follow.

  • Have fun!-Make up some games for the boys to play, look for animals, share our world. Don’t be in a hurry, enjoy it!

 

What are the Trail Rules?

  1. Stay on developed trails. Cutting across switchbacks can trample down vegetation that holds topsoil in place.

  2. Travel single file on most trails-leave some space between you and the person ahead of you.

  3. Hikers coming up the trail have the right of way.

  4. If you meet a person on horseback, stop where you are, and stand quietly while the animals pass. This will pre­vent the horse from being spooked.

  5. Do not pick, cut, or abuse any plants or animals. You are a visitor in their home.

  6. Develop a low-impact (Leave No Trace) wilderness ethic for and in your group.

  7. Leave all gates the way that you found them.

  8. Do not repair trails or remove logs, branches, or boulders from the trail without prior approval.

  9. Abide by all the rules and regulations of the area in which you are hiking. Report any infractions to the au­thorities.

  10. Do not operate any audio devices, including radios, musical instruments or other noise-producing devices in a manner that will disturb other persons.

  11. Pick up any litter that you may see or encounter on the trail or campsite. A Scout leaves an area better than when he found it

 

What Awards Can I Earn?

Descriptions and requirements for the following awards can be found at the back of the scout handbook

 

  • Cub Scout Outdoor Activity Award

  • Cub Scout World Conservation Award

  • Cub Scout Leave No Trace Awareness Award

 

Additional Achievements in each scout book may be fulfilled with activities included in the hiking program.  Please direct questions about achievements to your son’s den leader.

 

Here are some helpful resources