Hiking is a great opportunity to get outside with our boys. Our pack has a hike every third Sunday. We vary the location, length and difficulty so that everyone can participate. We love to put the “outing” in Scouting by taking a long walk!
Sometimes if you tell an elementary school-aged boy that you’re going for a long walk, you might hear whining. But tell them you’re going on an ABC hike or a scavenger hunt hike or a penny hike, and you just might pique their interest.
Having a themed hike can add an element of excitement. Often, they can be done with few (if any) supplies.
I’ve compiled a list of different types of hikes that will spice up your long walk!
- Scavenger Hunt Hike – Make a list of things the boys will look for, but these won’t be things they’ll pick up and take home. They’re things they’ll experience. List 3 or 4 items in these categories: Smell, Texture, Sound and Sight. For example, your Sound category might include a bird chirping and leaves rustling. Smells could be dirt and flowers. Base your lists on the area you’ll be visiting. If I’m hiking on the walking trail in my neighborhood, I could include a running car as one of my sounds.
- Penny Flip Hike – Flip a penny to decide which direction you’ll take on your hike. You might say, “Heads, we’ll go toward the creek, and tails, we’ll walk toward that big tree.” Flip your penny for silly stuff too like, “Heads, we’ll sing Yankee Doodle Dandy, and tails, we’ll moo like a cow until we get to that rock.”
- Fit on a Penny Hike – For this hike, walk to a designated spot and give each boy a penny. They have 10 minutes to find as many things as possible that will fit on the penny. Remind the boys that they should only pick up things that are on the ground. Cub Scouts should always follow Scouting’s Outdoor Code.
- ABC Hike – Pair up the boys. They are looking for items that start with each letter of the alphabet. When they find an item that begins with A (acorn, for example), they’ll call out the name and begin looking for the next letter.
- Monogram Hike – Boys try to find something that begins with each of their initials. The items don’t have to be physical–they can be sounds or smells too.
- Insect Hike – Each boy should bring a camera, but if you don’t have enough for each one, you can pair them up. The boys should take as many pictures of different insects as possible.
- Sketching or Drawing Hike – Bring along paper and pencils or crayons. Hike to a scenic location, and have the boys draw what they see.
- Nature Friends – Each boy picks up an item from the ground to be his “friend.” As you hike, have each boy explain why the item is his friend.
- Tiger Adventure – Backyard Jungle 1: Take a 1-foot hike. Make a list of the living things you find on your 1-foot hike.
- Tiger Adventure – Backyard Jungle 5: With your adult partner, go on a walk, and pick out two sounds you hear in your “jungle.”
- Tiger Adventure – Tigers in the Wild 2: Go for a short hike with your den or family, and carry your own gear. Show you know how to get ready for this hike.
- Wolf Adventure – Paws on the Path 6: Go on a 1-mile hike with your den or family. Watch and record two interesting things that you’ve never seen before.
- Wolf Elective Adventure – Finding Your Way 5: Using a map and compass, go on a hike with your den or family.
- Bear Adventure – Fur, Feathers, and Ferns 1: While hiking or walking for one mile, identify six signs that any mammals, birds, insects, reptiles, or plants are living nearby the place where you choose to hike.
- Webelos Adventure – Webelos Walkabout 6: With your Webelos den or with a family member, hike 3 miles (in the country, if possible).
What fun hikes have you gone on with your den or pack? What was your favorite?
Yours in Scouting,
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