June Cub Scout Roundtable Issue
Volume 9, Issue 11
A Hiking We Will Go
Aquanaut and Geologist
Tiger Cub Activites
Circle Ten Council
Where To Find
For the kinds of
hiking you're likely to do as a beginner, you'll need trails. Luckily, there
are trails almost everywhere in the city, in the suburbs, in the forest, near
beaches, up mountains, near your neighborhood and all over the world. This
means that people who like hiking can have fun just about anywhere. In fact,
sometimes a hiker's biggest problem is choosing where to hike next!
For information on trails close to or in
your town or city, try calling or visiting the Chamber of commerce, the
recreation department, the library, and any parks you already know about.
Parks aren't the only place where there are lots of trails. The national
forests, Bureau of Land Management areas, and wilderness areas all have trails
available for hiking.
Take Only Pictures
- Leave Only Footprints
Almost everywhere there are trails, there
has to be a few rules to remind visitors about how to protect our trails. The
two rules you are most likely to hear about are first "Pack it in, pack it
out." There's no trash and garbage collection along the trail like there
is in your neighborhood. Even if each visitor left only one bit of trash our
trails would soon be a big garbage dump. Note from Commissioner Dave –
This is the policy for use of most State Parks in New Jersey – there is no
garbage collection inside the park. You brought it – you take it!
The second rule you will hear is "Take
only pictures, leave only footprints." It's easy for most of us to see
that if each visitor on the trail carried off an interesting rock or flower or
pinecone or butterfly, soon all that would be left it a barren land. These
sayings are just common sense -- and easy to remember.
When you start
hiking, you'll find that each person has her or his own pace and rhythm. Some
walk fast some walk slowly. Some walk steadily and some keep speeding up and
slowing down. Sometimes your hiking group will have a few fast hikers and a
few slow hikers. This can make it hard to keep the group together - which is
important, so that no one is left behind. You can make sure no one gets left
by slowing the groups pace, stopping more often, and having the slowest hikers
walk in the middle of the line.
When the trail goes
up a steep hill, many hikers shorten their stride and use the REST STEP. To do
this, just pause for a second or two after you're swung a leg forward and have
put it on the ground. That is, pause before you put your full weight on the
leg. This will give it a little rest. When you go up a hill this way, you'll
feel less tired at the top. It also helps to breathe more deeply when you find
yourself huffing and puffing up a hill.
Hikers usually look
forward to going downhill. But your toes and knees won't thank you if you go
downhill too fast or for too long. So relax your knees (don't lock them),
enjoy cooling down, look around you, and don't hurry on the downhill parts of
When the weather's hot, hike at a slow
pace. Stop in the shade often for short rests and long drinks. Don't push
yourself - heat exhaustion is no fun. Soon, if you hike regularly, you'll
figure out the right hiking pace and rhythm for you.
It is a good idea to avoid super
sugary meltable snacks like chocolate bars. Instead, try some trail mixes.
Many hikers "graze" their way up and down the trails. A few eat only at
mealtimes. As a beginning hiker, you'll probably feel livelier if you snack
often. There's no need to stop while you snack if you put your munchies where
you can reach them easily. Many hikers put snacks in several pockets or on a
Water Water Water
munchies another way to keep your energy up is to drink, drink, drink plenty
of water. Because the human body's thirst indicator is a little slow to kick
in, you'll need to drink EVEN WHEN YOU ARE NOT THIRSTY. As you go down the
trail, image a sing dangling in front of you, like a carrot on a stick. The
sign says, "DRINK!” In hot weather, drink at least a cup of water every 20 to
30 minutes. In cool weather, you can drink a little less often. Be sure to
keep your water bottle where you can reach it without taking off your pack or
stopping your walk. Hook it on your belt.
It's a good idea for beginning hikers to
take a short rest every 20 to 30 minutes, or even more often if the trail is
steep. While you're resting, take a drink. Munch. Look around you. You should
rest for about 5-7 minutes before continuing your walk.
Pow Wow Book
Your Cubs will
likely get bored if your hike is too long or you just walk – add fun to your
hike by having a theme –
Knot Hike: Along a path
tie ropes around trees using knots. Instruct boys in advance of direction to
go when they identify a particular knot. (Great for Webelos)
Rain Hikes: Go dressed in
raincoats for observation of nature in the rain.
Breakfast Hike: Reach the
destination in time to see the sunrise then cook breakfast.
Shadow Hike: Walk only in the
Smell Hike: Sniff your way around
the block and write down the odors you recognize.
Sound Hike: Listen your way around
the block, write down the sounds you recognize.
Color Hike - Look for
objects of a preselected color.
City Hike: Look for
scraps of nature between cracks in the sidewalk. Look at buildings, carvings,
and cornices. A vacant lot can provide a lot of interesting things.
Night Hike: See how different
things look, smell, and sound at night.
String Along: Take a piece of
string about a yard long on your hike. Every now and then, place the string in
a circle on the ground. See how many different things you can find enclosed
within the circle. Stretch the sting in a line - how many different things
Baby Hike: List all the babies
seen (bird, fern, leaf, etc.)
Hike only in well-broken in athletic
shoes or hiking boots. When day hiking, wear thick, absorbent socks. If you're
hiking and a spot on your foot starts to feel 'hot," stop. Take off your shoe
and sock. Put a piece of moleskin on the hot spot. Now you probably won't get
a blister. Next time you go hiking, put moleskin on the sensitive place before
you start. If you do get a blister, ask someone who knows first aid to treat
it for you.
If hikers get too hot while hiking, they
may get heat exhaustion. When you feel faint and sick to your stomach and your
skin is pale and sweaty, you may have heat exhaustion. Immediately lie down in
a shady place, drink water, and rest. After you're feeling well again, you can
continue hiking - slowly. And keep drinking lots of water.
Whether it's hot or cold, you can get a sunburn. If you're a few
thousand feet above sea level, it's even easier to get a burn. Art higher
altitudes, there is less of the earth's atmosphere to protect you from the
sun's rays. Today, there's no excuse for getting a sunburn. All you need to do
is use some sunblocking lotion and wear a hat with a brim on it.
Disease - Personal Protection Tips
Lyme disease is caused by bacteria that
are transmitted to humans by the bite of an infective black-legged tick, which
are known as deer ticks. These ticks are found everywhere – in woods and
fields, at the shore, in the backyard. Ticks like to rest on low-lying brush
and “catch a ride” on a passing animal or person. They bite year round.
However, the peak season in the northeast is April – September. Here are some
tips to reduce your chance of getting a tick bite: Avoid tick infested areas,
when possible. When walking in the woods, stay on trails and try not to brush
up against low bushes or tall grass. Wear light colored clothing, which will
allow you to spot ticks more easily. Wear a long sleeve shirt and long pants.
Tuck your shirt into your pants and your pants into your socks. If you cannot
wear protective clothing, increase you vigilance in conducting tick-checks.
Use an EPA-approved tick repellent. Insect repellants containing no more than
30% DEET can be used on skin and clothing. Follow label directions carefully.
Insect repellents must be used with caution – especially on children. Never
apply insect repellents to a child’s hands and face. Always wash off the
repellent when you return inside. Conduct a tick-check on clothing and exposed
skin. You should also do a naked, full body examination at your earliest
convenience. Be sure to check the scalp, behind and in the ears and behind any
joints. Check your pets. Pets can get Lyme disease. They can also bring ticks
into the house and put you and your family at risk.
There are also things you can do around your yard to reduce tick exposure.
Prune trees, clear brush, remove litter and mow the grass often. Let grass dry
thoroughly between waterings, because ticks need moist habitats to live.
Remove shrubby overgrowth between your lawn and woods. Modify your property
so that it is unattractive to animals that are hosts to ticks. Build fences
around the property, clear away wood, garbage and leaf piles, and eliminate
stone walls, bird feeders and bird baths. Widen trails and move play equipment
to non-tick areas.
Wear long-sleeve shirts and pants if you're going
to be walking through tick territory.
Use insect repellent containing no more than 10%
DEET, a chemical that repels bugs. Recommended for older family members.
Tuck pant legs into socks or boots.
Inspect yourself for ticks when you're back
inside. Favorite hiding places include the scalp and ankles.
Do not try to pry a tick from your skin by using
an irritating agent such as nail polish or a hot match. Ticks should always be
removed with fine-point tweezers. Disinfect the bite area with alcohol.
Be in shape before you begin your hike.
Always allow yourself enough daylight to finish your hike.
Always dress sensibly and for any kind of weather.
Learn how to read maps and a compass.
Act in a mature and safe manner at all times.
Be aware of your environment.
Always carry a first aid kit
Stay on the trail. Trails are
there for you to hike on. They are expensive to build and hard to maintain.
You can help by hiking ONLY on the trail. There'll be times when you'll want
to take a shortcut, especially when the trail is zigzagging - but please don't
do it. When people take shortcuts all over the place, soon it's impossible to
tell where the trail is. This makes it a lot easier to get lost. Short cutting
can quickly destroy a beautiful area.
Pack it in, pack it out -This
means everything, including toilet paper and chewed over gum.
Give a hoot, don't pollute - If
there are no toilets near your trail, walk at least 100 feet (50 paces) from
the trail - 300 feet from any water source - before using an outdoor,
"do-it-yourself" toilet. Take someone with you or make sure you can still see
the trail and your group. For solid wastes, use a sharp rock or small trowel
to dig a shallow hole. After you've finished, cover up the wastes with the
dirt you just dug out. Note from Commissioner Dave - With Cub
Scouts hopefully you will have chosen your trails so this will not occur but
remembering the Boy scout motto, “Be Prepared, ” I passed it along just in
Hike in small groups - It's easier
to get to know and keep track of hikers in a small group (three to eight).
Fewer people mean less trampling of plants and less disturbance of animals. A
bonus is that you're more likely to see wildlife if your group is small and
quiet. Also if one person becomes sick or injured, a second person can wait
with the injured hiker while the third person goes to get help.
Help keep it wild - because people
are going hiking to enjoy nature talk and walk quietly. NEVER bring along CD
players, cassette player or radios. This way everyone can enjoy the sounds of
nature and not the sounds of your bedroom!
Hiking is both a
challenging and a rewarding experience. Hiking can be tiring, but it is also
great exercise. You will find that hiking gives you an opportunity to
experience nature and the world around you. Hiking also gives you the chance
to spend quiet, peaceful times with closes friends or family.
Stop And Spot
While hiking, the leader stops and says:
" I spot a ______," naming a familiar object. Everyone in the group who sees
the object will raise his hand or sit down. This sharpens the skill of
Some boys have never climbed a tree,
walked a log, gone through a fence, or chinned themselves on a tree branch. To
give them this experience, pick a trail which will provide such an obstacle
course. Don't destroy property or trespass.
Memory Hike Game
This game is played after a hike or a
trip to the zoo or park. During the outing, tell the boys to observe
everything very carefully so they can make a list of all that they have seen.
Just after the outing, hand out paper and pencils and have the boys make their
lists. See who was most observant.
1. Leaf collecting contest - most
2. Matching leaves found to those printed
on a Bingo board
Use pebbles for
counters. Agree on things to be discovered. Each discovery counts a point and
counter is thrown away. First one out of counters wins.
Here are some
Each specified bird (1 point)
Each specified snake, insect, flower (1 point)
Each specified tree (2 points)
Each rabbit hole (2 points)
Nest of (?) Bird (2 points)
Tree struck by lightning (2 points)
Cow or horse (1 point)
Each animal track (2 points)
Grow A Sock
of America Council
Dress each boy in an old pair of high
Go for a walk
through a densely vegetated area.
An empty lot
overgrown with weeds would be excellent
Look at the socks!
Then take them off.
Wet the entire sock
Place it in a cake
pan placed on a slant.
Fill the lower
portion of the pan with water so the sock remains wet.
Place the pan in a warm place and watch
the seeds sprout
Clara County Council
Some kinds of wildflowers have seed
heads left at the tops of their stems when the petals have fallen off. Pull
up a long-stemmed seed head and twist the stem around and over itself as
Using the thumb and forefinger of one
hand, grip the bent stem near the seed head, and, in a quick, snapping motion,
attempt to pull the seed head through the bent stem loop. The seed head will
shoot out (somewhere between a few feet and several yards, depending on the
age of the stem and the skill of the shooter), and may hit a target.
Clara County Council
Some people can do this, and others
simply cannot, but everyone will enjoy giving it a try. Pluck a long, flat
blade of grass and hold it tight and taut between the edges of both thumbs.
The blade of grass should be in the middle of the gap between your thumbs.
Put your lips up against your thumbs and
blow hard through the gap. If you do it just right, the noise will sound like
anything from a noisy mouse to a squawking elephant.
Make a Hiking Staff
Southern NJ Council
Start with a fairly sturdy stick about
Cut off the excess branches.
Use a knife and a wood file to remove the
Sandpaper and file staff until smooth.
Decorate as desired using acrylic paint
Varnish finished product.
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