“Mile Markers” Hiking Club

 

Mission Statement

To promote health, well-being, family involvement, and development of outdoor skills while exploring area trails.

Benefits for the Scout and Other Participants

All participants will benefit from the opportunity to improve his/her health and fitness level.  In addition, the hiking club will help ready Scouts for the amount of time they will spend in the outdoors after they cross over into the Boy Scout Troop.  It also gives the Scout an opportunity for reinforcement of the Buddy System, and numerous opportunities to complete advancement requirements.  As families will be allowed to participate, an added benefit is the opportunity for family involvement in the outdoors.

The Hikes

Once per month, a designated trail will be hiked as a group.  The hikes will be 3 – 5 miles on average, with a couple longer hikes each year (6 – 10 miles).  For the longer hikes, where possible, a shorter loop will be made available for younger Scouts.  The hikes will be held on an alternating Saturday / Sunday schedule, and will be held rain or shine, but not in extreme or dangerous weather.  In the event of a weather cancellation, this page will be updated.  The hike schedule will also be posted on this webpage.

The trails will be pre-hiked to make sure they are well-marked with no obstacles, and to learn points of interest to point out to the group.  On occasion, a “theme hike” may be offered.  This would be a hike where participants would look for specific things such as animal homes or tracks, traverse a historic trail, or take a night hike.

Awards

Mileage will be accumulated toward awards for all miles hiked during official Hiking Club hikes, as well as any other den and/or pack hikes taken while camping and participating in organized Scout activities.  A sign-in sheet will be provided at organized Hiking Club hikes to capture this information.  Den leaders may submit mileage earned during den activities.

Awards will be earned as follows:

  • 10 miles – leather band on clip w/ ten red beads (can later be attached to hiking stick)
  • blue bead to add to leather band for each additional 10 miles
  • hiking stick at 20 miles
  • red bead to add to leather band each 50 miles
  • patch showing total miles hiked each 50 miles

Club Membership

Registered leaders, Scouts, and parents are eligible to be members of the hiking club.

Cost

All costs for awards for Scouts and registered leaders will be covered by annual pack registration fees and pack fundraisers.  Parents will be asked to pay $10 at the time they earn their hiking stick to cover the cost of making the stick.  A couple of trail-specific patches may be available throughout the year for purchase by the participant.

Family Participation

Families will be allowed and encouraged to hike, but siblings will not be eligible to earn awards for mileage hiked.  Friends who may be interested in joining our pack are also welcome at any time.  In deciding whether a family member or friend should participate in the hike, please consider the age and physical condition of the person.  Only those physically able to complete the hike and keep up with the group should participate.  The trails will not be stroller accessible.

Hike Leadership

The hike will require at least two leaders, with one being at the front of the group and one at the back.  At least one leader should be a Trained Leader.  Older Webelos may lead the hikes with the assistance of another adult, but an adult should always be the tail for the group.  A leader trained in First Aid & CPR should be present at all strenuous hikes, especially those taking place at a trail which is distant from a large metropolitan area and/or out of 911-range by cell phone.

The following ratios for adults to Scouts should generally be followed:

  • Tiger Cubs – 1:1 (max 1:2)
  • Wolves & Bears – 1:5
  • Webelos – 1:8

Children who are not registered Scouts under the supervision of a Leader will not be allowed to hike without a parent or guardian specifically responsible for their well-being.

Official Guidelines

The hikes will be conducted in such a manner that they comply with Leave No Trace guidelines, and standard Scouting safety.  A Tour Permit will be filed with Council when hikes take place at a location which is outside the boundaries of the Greater St. Louis Area Council.  A sign-in sheet will be provided at organized Hiking Club hikes to capture participant mileage information for awards, as well as to have a list of participants on the trail.

Medical Forms

A medical form should be on file for every person hiking, including Scouts, siblings, parents, and friends.  These forms should be carried on the hike by one of the hike leaders.  The forms will be held in strict confidence by the hike leader and accessed only if necessary in the event of an emergency.  Parts “A” and “C” of the “Annual Health and Medical Record” form must be completed no less than annually.  The form can be obtained from the Boy Scouts of America website by clicking on the following link: Annual Health and Medical Record

Hiking Gear

Each hike participant should pack for the hike in such a manner that they are able to carry their own gear.  This helps to promote self-sufficiency in the outdoors, as well as minimizing the amount of breaks to transfer gear between people.  Handheld electronic games and soda are prohibited at all times for all participants.  Only adults are allowed to carry cell phones.

  • Required:
    • Backpack or daypack large enough to carry discarded layers of clothing, but small enough that the hiker can manage it on his/her own
    • Water (at least 1 liter, depending on person and weather conditions)
    • Healthy trail snacks
    • Sunscreen, even on cloudy days
    • Insect repellant
    • Grocery sack for trash
    • Flashlight (night hikes only)
    • Lunch (depending on time of hike)
    • Kleenex
    • Rain gear (regardless of weather forecast)
  • Optional
    • Camera
    • Sunglasses
    • Binoculars
    • Compass
    • Pocket knife (with Whittling Chip)
    • Wet wipes / hand sanitizer
  • Additional required gear for leaders:
    • First aid kit, including materials to light a fire
    • Cell phone

Hiking Attire

The following attire is recommended for both comfort and protection against weather and rough terrain.

  • Warm-weather hikes:
    • Caps
    • Long pants (light colored are best)
    • Pack activity T-shirt
    • Sturdy footwear & socks to avoid blisters and/or sprains are required to be worn at all times; open-toed shoes and “walking sandals” are prohibited for all participants

NOTE: During the “buggy” summer months, insect-repellant clothing may make for a more pleasant hiking experience.

  • Cold-weather hikes:
    • Warm hat
    • Fleece pants (inner layer)
    • Wind/water proof pants (outer layer)
    • T-shirt/long-johns (inner layer) Fleece jacket
    • Wind jacket
    • Weather proof boots
    • Warm socks
    • Neck covering (scarf/hood)
    • Gloves/mittens

Please feel free to contact any of our Hiking Club Committee Members to find out more about upcoming Club activities and events.

Tracey Roesch (314) 487-8430

Alexia Arensmeier (636) 282-0027