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hikes, we take frequent educational breaks for map reading, nature study, etc. We use much praise and encour- agement and never tell the Scouts to speed up. When we put them with the main group, we let them rotate leading with an adult who hikes at the speed they do.


Assistant Scoutmaster F.D. LIMESTONE, TENN.


USE MISDIRECTION I would start talking about something they like to get their mind off the hike and then slowly pick up the pace until we catch up with the group.


Assistant Scoutmaster B.R. PLAINFIELD, ILL.


A FATHER’S WISDOM I go by the wisdom my father (an Eagle Scout) taught me when I was a Scout: “We hike as fast as the slowest man.” The patrol should all hike together at the same pace, which keeps those who move a bit slower from getting discouraged and empha- sizes the patrol method.


Scoutmaster S.W. MIDDLETOWN, OHIO


TORTOISES AND HARES Split your hiking group in half and have the quicker boys and adults up front and the rest in the second group. Then everybody’s happy.


R.McC. EL PASO, TEX.


HIGH-FIVES ALL AROUND Whenever our troop goes hiking, back- packing, canoeing, or cycling, I always make it a point to be the “sweeper” and make sure that no Scout ends up too far back. It is a rewarding place to be, because the challenge is on me, as a leader, to make a difference in the Scout’s experience. I’ve had some great conversations with Scouts who have fallen off the pace. Sometimes, getting their mind off the task is just enough to get them back in stride. Other times, I’ll thank them for encouraging me. By now, everyone knows that I will be the last to arrive, and there is no shame in it.


On a recent backpacking trip, we


formed three smaller treks by age to conform to Leave No Trace standards and for ability grouping. As expected, the older treks arrived at camp first. The veteran Scouts, being aware of the accomplishment of the younger ones, did a very special thing. As we arrived at the site, they met us on the last stretch of trail and cheered and offered high-fives to every Scout. With motivation like that, there’s no


doubt that even the slowest Scouts are already looking forward to the next hike with the troop.


Chartered Organization Representative R.D. OAKLAND, N.J.


TRUTH IN ADVERTISING Advertise all hikes’ lengths and ratings well in advance. Hopefully, the slower Scouts will train for the hike and come prepared to meet the challenges. ¿


B.A. DECATUR, ALA.


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MARCH•APRIL 2012 ¿ SCOUTING 23


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