We needed to make a change in our schedule from Tennis and Cross Stitch. Since the weather is so beautiful here in the winter, we decided to work on our Hiking badge.
Way to go girls!
We talked about hiking safety and etiquette. We then learned how to use a compass for direction as well as learning how to tell directions by the sun. The girls enjoyed learning the mneumonic Never Eat Slimy Worms and had fun making up their own silly sayings to help them remember what order the Cardinal Directions are in.
After learning how to use a compass and read a map, I handed out a map of our neighborhood, using Google Earth, which showed the girls where we were going, the terrain we would be traveling over and how many miles we were going to hike. We brought our water, put on the sunscreen, donned our hats and set out on our 2 mile neighborhood hike. At every turn I had the girls take a turn at telling us which direction we were going to be headed. By reading the map and either using their compass or the sun, they would lead us all off on the next leg of our journey.
It was an enjoyable hike as we all arrived at our destination, a neighborhood park.
At our next meeting we went into the Mountain Preserve to finish our hiking badge. For this hike, we all met at the parking lot, reviewed rules of hiking and specific rules to hiking in a natural setting. I showed the girls the trailhead and we read the information on the sign. I handed out trail maps of the trail we were going to be taking as well as a nature scavenger hunt and we were off. This hike was more about nature then destination. The kids did a great job finding almost everything on the list as we treked through dry washes, rocky passages and smooth dirt. There were some really pretty purple flowers blooming along the way that we all enjoyed looking at.
To earn the hiking badge the girls need to:
- Learn how to use a compass.
- Learn to distinguish basic directions by the sun.
- Learn how to read a map.
- Take a two to three mile hike through your neighborhood.
- Draw a map of your route.
- Take a hike on a trail at a national park or local forest preserve.
We also had a small badge ceremony, handing out badges the girls had completed. These were badges the girls worked on with the group or on their own.
Way to go girls!