Hiker Try-It

The Hiker Try-it is part of the “It's Your Planet - Love It!” badge set introduced in 2011.

For the badges released in 2011, scouts must complete all of the activities listed to earn the badge.

Activity #1: Decide Where to GoEdit

While the guide for earning this badge has experts coming in to speak or finding a trail, in reality, second and third grade girls cannot choose which place they want to visit. This is an adult decision.

However, girls can choose what kinds of things they would like to see and do while on the trail! Make a list and see what things you can actually accomplish while on the trail you have selected.

This would also be a good time to discuss what kinds of supplies need to be brought along. Unlike a trip to the theme park where mom usually schleps along, girls will be responsible for carrying their own supplies. 

Discussions about the kind of footwear and clothing that needs to be worn, as well as safety rules, would be a good starting point for this meeting.

Activity #2: Try Out a Hiking SkillEdit

This is a fun step that will take your troop outdoors. Create a trail map of the outside of your meeting area and place signs for the girls to find. You may also want to add trees, plants and flower to the trail so this activity is a bit more detailed.

After the trail has been completed, have the girls remove the signs. This is a great time to share the “Leave No Trace” rule, which is to leave a site just as you found it.

Activity #3: Pick the Right GearEdit

Although the requirements states that an older Girl Scout or hiker should talk to the girls, this is not really necessary to complete this step.

Ask the girls what they wear to a certain activity, for example, to a softball game or to a tap class. Then ask them why they would not wear a football helmet to play softball or ballet shoes to a tap class. 

This leads to the discussion of what to wear on their hike. Some of the items chosen will depend on the kind of weather you are hiking in-a crisp fall day will require a hoodie, but a late spring day would require short sleeves and sunscreen.

Some must haves are:

  • Closed to shoes like hiking boots or sneakers and socks
  • A hat or visor to protect them from the sun
  • A backpack with a water bottle, a small first aid kit, hand wipes and snacks

Make Your Own Hat (craft)

If you are not doing the make your own backpack, then the girls can create their very own hat to take on the trail. It is an important accessory to keep the sun off sensitive scalps and to keep bugs out of the girls' hair.

Another craft can have the girls quickly put together is a small First Aid kit. Have them fill a travel soap container with a few Band Aids and some Neosporin samples (ask your pediatrician for them.) Have them label the top with their name in Sharpie.

Activity #4: Pack a Snack for EnergyEdit

While hiking, the girls will get hungry. This is where trail mix comes in to help them curb their hunger pangs.

At a prior meeting, ask the girls what their favorite salty and sweet treats are. Once you have compiled a list, shop for those ingredients. On meeting day, put them in paper or plastic bowls and tell each girl to write her name on a baggie.

Put the bowls in different sections of the room and have your co-leader supervise one table while you supervise the other. Girls should start off with the larger items, such as cereal, pretzels, and crackers. The second table should have sweet items like chocolate chips, M&M’s, raisins, dried fruit and mini marshmallows.  Explain that they will take more of the salty items and less of the sweet. Avoid nuts if there are allergies or the place where you meet is peanut/tree nut free.

Because the girls are making their own special blend, there should be no complaints about what they are eating! Make sure each girl has 1-2 prepackaged wipes in her backpack so she can eat with clean hands.

Activity #5: Go on Your Hike!Edit

The big day is finally here! You have your permission slips, your field trip approval number, extra volunteers and all of the right gear for your girls. Now it is time for the fun to begin!

Here are some fun activities to do with your girls.

  • Go on a Scavenger Hunt
  • Make a Nature Bracelet
  • Color Coded Nature Hunt (go to picture number 7 in the slideshow)
  • Go on an ABC Scavenger Hunt 
  • Nature Walk Ideas for Kids
  • Create a Nature Notebook
  • Paint Chip Nature Walk