Hiking games can make any hike more fun for Cub Scouts (or any kids)! Check out these eight ideas that are sure to be hits on your next hike.
Hiking games are a great way 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.
Playing hiking games 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 hiking games 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Cub Scout Hiking Requirements
Cub Scouts have requirements or electives for hiking at almost all of the ranks.
- Tiger Adventure – My Tiger Jungle 1: With your parent/guardian or other caring adult (referred to in the handbook as “your adult partner”), go for a walk outside, and pick out two or more sights or sounds of “nature” around you. Discuss with your partner or den.
- Tiger Adventure – My Tiger Jungle 2: Take a 1-foot hike. Make a list of the living things you find on your 1-foot hike.
- 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 5: 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 4: 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 4: With your Webelos den or with a family member, hike 3 miles. Before your hike, plan and prepare a nutritious lunch or snack. Enjoy it on your hike, and clean up afterward.
What fun hiking games have you played with your den or pack? What was your favorite?
Yours in Scouting,