Badge Support | Hikes Away Staged Activity Badge
Hiking is a great year-round activity but is especially good in the summer months. Earning the Hikes Away Staged Activity Badges is a great achievement, showing the number of hikes a young person has completed. GO Outdoors support young people of all ages in achieving their Hikes Away Staged Activity Badges and Nights Away Staged Activity Badges by providing volunteers with downloadable resources and in-store activities. You can find out more about our partnership with GO Outdoors on our partnership page.
There are plenty of great hiking routes available to Groups, where you can go hiking without a permit; take a look at our Terrain Zero rule for guidance on where you can walk.
If you fancy heading somewhere a bit more challenging with your Group, you’ll need a hillwalking permit which will make sure you have the right skills to take your Group hiking in the more adventurous environments of Terrain One or Terrain Two.
Our A-Z of activities is where you can find lots of guidance for planning and running hillwalking activities and for all you need to know about how to gain an Adventurous Activity Permit, check out our Permit Scheme.
The Haynes Outdoor Adventure Manual is great for teaching young people about navigation and make sure you also take a look at the resources on the Scout Adventures website for additional advice and support on hiking and navigation with your young people.
Before setting out on a hike, make sure all the young people in your section are prepared for the journey ahead by ensuring they have the correct equipment and outdoor clothing. Remember that each young person who is working towards their Hikes Away Staged Activity Badge should face a similar degree of challenge, and requirements can be adapted to suit each young person’s abilities.
When you’re all set, have a go with the following ideas.
Beavers Hikes Away Staged Activity Badge
For Beavers, each hike or journey must involve at least two hours of activity and have a purpose. Ask your Beavers what kind of hike they’d like to go on; you could suggest exploring a nature reserve or taking part in a woodland walk. Their purpose could be to look out for local wildlife or to find ten different plants and learn their names. For an inner-city alternative, they could visit their local park to do the same.
For Cubs, each hike or journey needs to last three hours and have a purpose. Why not suggest following a towpath trail along a canal. At the destination, they could discover how locks work, or even canoe down a section of the canal if it’s feasible.
If you’re planning a camp this summer, make the most of it by taking the chance to hike in a new environment. You could investigate the local plants and wildlife, and tick off some parts of the Naturalist Activity Badge too.
For Scouts, for their Hikes Away Staged Activity Badge, each hike or journey must involve at least four hours of activity and have a purpose. As Scouts are a bit older, you could challenge them with a dusk to dawn hike, with a purpose of taking photographs of the sunset and sunrise. A good opportunity for them to get some great shots for their Photographer Activity Badge too.
For an urban alternative, why not take a tour of a nearby town and seek out the local street art?
To earn their Expedition Challenge Award, Scouts can decide to focus on an expedition – a journey with a purpose – or exploration – a purpose with a journey. There are so many possibilities in this award, so get your Scouts thinking outside the box. Their expedition could be exploring a suburban area they haven’t visited before, cycling down a canal path to reach a youth hostel to stay in that night, exploring a bridleway on horseback, or canoeing down a river. For more information on using all these forms of transport in Scouting, check out our rules and guidance on our A-Z of activities.
For an exploration, Scouts will need to use an agreed means of transport for at least 90 minutes to reach their destination. They could explore a new city in the UK, or even abroad. For guidance on taking your Scouts abroad go to scouts.org.uk/visitsabroad
The Expedition Challenge Award is a great opportunity for Scouts to develop their skills in preparation for other Awards, like their Explorer Belt.
For Explorers Hikes Away Staged Activity Badge, each hike or journey must involve at least five hours of activity and again, have a purpose. Your Explorers could go all out with this one and go ski touring or backpacking across Europe. There are loads of activities that count as a hike away; suggest mountain biking, kayaking, pony trekking or stick to the classic hill walking in somewhere beautiful like the Lake District.
Hikes away can take place during the day or night, and for a more adventurous challenge, Explorers could swap their mode of transport between walking, cycling and canoeing. If your Explorers choose to camp overnight, the activity will help them clock up more nights away towards their top awards.
Explorers also have the unique opportunity to hike abroad, through their Explorer Belt. The Explorer Belt is the challenge of a life time in which young people can take part in a ten-day expedition to gain a better understanding of another country. It’s a great challenge, chance to travel abroad and take part in some fantastic projects.
Network members can also do their Explorer Belt, and can get their fill of hiking and hillwalking. Take a look at the Scout Network website to find out more about achieving the Explorer Belt and to browse the many Explorer Belt projects looking for new people to get involved.
They can also plan their own adventures, using the website to create their own projects and events, to get Scout Network members from all across the UK involved in a hike.
Virtual badges are also on offer for Hillwalking and Nights Away, as a record of their experiences in Network.
Find more advice and support on our Badge Support blog roundup.