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Hiking for Merit Badge and Hiking Record

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18 minutes ago, MikeS72 said:

My only hesitation with letting our scouts do that on their own is the fact that we seem to be snake magnets.  We have not had a trek in the past few years without at least one or two on the trail, usually of the rattlesnake variety.  When the trail gets a little muddy, the pygmy rattlers we have in our area can be tough to spot before you are right on top of them.


1 minute ago, mrkstvns said:

Snakes. Right.  That's why we teach scouts to "Be Prepared".  

We know snakes live in the woods, so we take common sense steps to prevent bites from ever happening:
* stay on trails
* stay away from the snake if you see it
* wear leather boots
* wear long pants

We know that snake bites do happen (some 8,000 per year in the U.S., but only about 12 per year that prove fatal) --- it's not a huge risk, but it exists.  So we do first aid training, and we teach scouts how to call 911, and how to transport an injured buddy.

Like most every "risk" that people fret about, educating ourselves, taking prudent preventative steps, and being aware of what to do "just in case" makes hiking (and any other scout activity) far safer than the "Adventure" ads might imply.


I created a course called "Patrol Method and Boy Run" intended to give adult leaders a better understanding of growth that comes from independent decision making. One of the lessons I gave was how to reduce adult fears that hold back scouts. Basically it is what mrkstven said, teach the scouts how to deal with the situation the adults fear. What would adults do different than properly "Prepared" scouts with a snake bite incident? In fact, my typical example in the course was Scout hikes without adults. But, it can be anything, right. I was even asked to help the adults of a new troop let their scouts run the flag ceremony during their Troop Meetings. Adult fears can be as simple as that.


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Barry, do you still have the documents for that course and would be willing to share them.?

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