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Glenn Holliday
(GlennBP) - F
First trek with Scouts on 07/05/2010 07:34:45 MDT Print View

We successfully went out with a group of Scouts who had never backpacked before. While hiking the return leg, one of our Scouts exclaimed "We should do this more!" For me, that made it a highly successful trip.

Some things I did that I think contributed to success:
- Had a shakedown before the trek
- Treated this as a learning event, so chose a short distance (3 miles) on relatively easy hills, in a nearby and safe area
- Included some off trail, which the boys loved (this was approved as part of a service project we did)

Some things we should do better next time
- Despite the shakedown, some boys showed up without some critical items (like water bottles). Next time I hope to find a location where we can lock up the packs between the gear check and the trek.
- Partly because of the above, we got a late start. We got camp set up before darkness, but did not have time to fetch water in daylight, so we used up breakfast time the next morning treating water.
- Total pack weights were OK (12 lbs for smallest boys, 20-25 for biggest), but we would prefer lighter shelter solutions.

Thanks for the encouragement and teaching this place provides.

Walter Underwood
(wunder) - M

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Pack checks on 07/14/2010 15:28:45 MDT Print View

Sounds like a great trip. We have a few favorite 3-mile backpacking outings for the new Scouts.

Tenderfoot requirement #1 is: "Present yourself to your leader, properly dressed, before going on an overnight camping trip. Show the camping gear you will use. Show the right way to pack and carry it."

We interpret "leader" as Patrol Leader and SPL. They go through the new Scout's gear in the parking lot before we leave.

We have sent Scouts home to get missing gear or to replace cotton clothes (jeans, sweatshirt) with something safe.

This works best on a Saturday morning, when there is less time pressure to get on the trail.

If you want a pre-check, a patrol meeting is a good time. We do that for snow camping.