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How to Take a 1-Foot Hike

Kids can discover so many things on a “1-foot hike.” Find out ways to make it super interesting. Perfect for Tiger Cub Scouts My Tiger Jungle adventure.

Cub Scouts 1 foot hike

My Tiger Jungle is one of the Tiger required adventures. It helps get the Scouts outside to discover all that nature has to offer!

For this adventure, Cub Scouts need to go for a walk with their adult partner and pick out two sights or sounds of nature and discuss those with your partner or den.

They can then pick two of the remaining four requirements. Paraphrased, they are:

  • Take a 1-foot hike.
  • Point out two kinds of birds in your area and find out more about them.
  • Plant a plant, shrub or tree and find out how to take care of it.
  • Build and hang a birdhouse.
boy and dad on 1 foot hike

Your Cub Scout will be amazed at what they can find in a 1-foot hike!

You'll want to make sure your child has a magnifying glass to see all that they can. 

Check out this highly rated one.  It's 5″ in diameter, so the kids will be able to see a much bigger area than with most magnifying glasses.

Ways to Conduct the 1-Foot Hike

There are several ways you can conduct the hike.

1. Make it a Square Foot Hike

Give each Scout a 4′ piece of string.  Have them pick an area they like and lay out the string to form a square foot.

For 10 minutes, they examine their square foot with the magnifying glass. Afterward, they can share what they found with the rest of the group.

2. Play “Do You See What I See?”

For this game, have each Scout pick a partner. Partners decide on their one foot area. Both Scouts stand behind a line about 10 feet away from the area they've chosen. 

Give the first kid a set amount of time (5 or 7 minutes would probably be best) to examine their area. They makes a list of everything they see. 

When the time expires, the partners trade places. Give the partner the same amount of time to make their list. Have the Scouts compare lists and see who found the most things

After they compare, have both of them go back to their area to see if they can find more things working as a team.

cub scouts looking at grass

3. Complete several 1-foot hikes during a regular hike

Since most of us hike in some kind of wooded area, the Scouts may be able to find things they wouldn't if they complete the 1-foot hike in their backyards. 

Many hiking trails weave through different types of terrain. You may hike through a heavily wooded area, by a body of water, or near an open field of wildflowers. By selecting more than one spot to have a 1-foot hike, the Scouts will be able to see different living things.

To add some excitement, tell the kids that they won't know when you'll call out for them to do a 1-foot hike. They need to be ready to quickly find the area they want to examine. 

Like before, give them a set amount of time to examine the area. Talk about what they found when the time is up. Continue your hike until you find another great spot for a 1-foot hike.

“Leave No Trace Principles”

boys looking at grass with magnifying glass

Since we want to “Leave No Trace” of our hike, the Scouts shouldn't dig or disturb the surface of the ground too much. 

My good friend Betsy gave me several good ideas to help with that. She suggested that we find an area with lots of nooks and crannies to explore without digging.

Fallen logs in the woods and grass offer lots of possibilities. Or they can look at a garden with mulch that they can gently push aside.

Betsy also shared these great ideas. We can expand the area beyond just looking at the ground. Go up the plants on your 1- foot space because there is lots to observe on a plant too–the colors, shape of the leaves, texture, bugs, or other animals that might be there.  

The Scouts might also want to look for shadows. They could look for where the sun is and talk about the path it takes through the sky and how that affects what grows on the opposite sides of trees and rocks.

Recording The 1-Foot Hike Findings

There are a few ways that the Scouts can record what they found:

  1. Make a simple list.
  2. Draw pictures of what they find.
  3. Make a plot by drawing a large square on their paper and have them indicate where in the square they saw the different living things.

While a 1-foot hike doesn't sound that exciting at first, your Cub Scouts will be amazed at what they can discover.

Oh, and don't forget to take a bug container like this Critter Shack to catch some bugs while you're out! Just remember to let them go before the end of your den meeting.  🙂

What other ideas do you have for the 1-foot hike?

Yours in Scouting,

P.S. To “spice up” your hikes, check out Children and Hiking:  Fun Games and More Hiking Games.

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