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Backpacking 101, Before you touch that pack.

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I wasn't able to find the post you metnioned so I don't know if thsi idea has been put forward. Our troop had some problems with this issue and what we have done is put the slowest hiker up front to set the pace. No one paces him. It's not a perfect solution but it has helped in two ways. One, it encourages that scout to improve, and two, it helps the other scouts realize that not everyone can just sprint down the trail. On the donw side it does cause occasional frustration fo the faster hikers so we try to find sections of trail where they can stretch their legs a bit.

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In our troop, the pace setter is someone usually right in the middle of the pack as far as pace goes. Our slowest Scouts would be perfectly content to literally shuffle for a couple of hours once they got tired. With a mid-range pacer up front, the "sprinters" don't get too far ahead, but we aren't taking forever to finish a hike, either (going too slow on a hike can create frustration just like slow traffic on the road does). The slower ones are prodded along (their slowness is usually due to laziness and not physical aptitude, as they usually jump right up if the Scouts want to play a game along the trail). We'll usually have a couple of adults stay in the back to prod the slower Scouts along and asure them they aren't going to die if they have to keep walking for another fifteen minutes before a break.

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