Saturday afternoon (April 21st) was our first Cubmaster Hike. I selected the Wood Memorial Park as our hike for several reasons. First, it’s very close to the school. It is actually right next to the SW Community Center & Gabriel Park. Secondly, it’s an easy hike. Nothing like climbing Mt Hood or Everest. My goal was to get everyone out for awhile into a place that they have not been to before.
I had eight Scouts show up five other siblings and seven parents. not counting myself. Awesome!
With any Scout outing we needed to go over a few things. I went over the Cubscout Leave No Trace items, asking the Scouts what they are. They are slightly different from the normal LNT. I wanted them to think about LNT and being out in nature. We did talk about what Respect meant. Knowing that they would be loud and running as boys normally do.
I also talked about some of the trees and plants that were there. Mind you I am not an expert, but I did. I pointed out the Pine tree, Red Cedar Tree and the English Ivy and a bunch of ferns. We talked what an Invasive Species is and what we can do. We had a couple of Girl Scouts with us as well, and they were very helpful.
There were several fallen logs over a stream and even over our heads. We talked about what might be living in them. Why they fell, how they fell and if no one was in the forest did it make a noise?
While at the Stream area, we talked about the trail work that was being done and why. We talked about erosion and what it really is. I explained that the fences that were up were really for the people to keep out of the area so plants would grow. Some Scouts thought it was to keep the plants off the trail.
As we hiked towards the end, there was a fork in the road. All the Scouts took it immediatly. I asked why are they taking it? They said because it’s there and it goes back to the cars. I asked if they knew that. They did not. I said, that it looks like the other way does. So we continued.
As we went the other way and up a nice size hill, I reminded them that they needed to make sure that everyone was with us. We stopped at the top and looked where we were.. That is when I pulled out my iPhone and looked at the Map that I had downloaded. I asked the Scouts if they knew where we were. They said that they were close to the cars cause they could see the houses. Which, actually we were on the complete opposite side of the park.
I showed them the map and explained where we were. Explained that we needed to go back to the fork in the road and take it! (I remember a Yogi saying that once!)
As we got to the Fork and took, it we got to the road that we needed to take to the cars. It looked very similar to where we all parked. It confused the Scouts. They said that there was still a lot to walk since they realized it was not the same area.
Good, they thinking about where they were. They had the idea of Planning Ahead.
Overall, it was a great day. 70 degrees and warm. The day before was RAIN and Cold!
This hike served several purposes. We got out and connected to Nature. We thought about Leave No Trace, thought about planning, learned about erosion and learned about an area that we had not been to yet.