Pack Hiking and Camping
A key feature in being a member of the Pack 44 is the Pack 44 Hiking Staff.
A bamboo hiking staff is presented to each boy in Pack 44 when they earn their Bobcat badge. The Hiking Staff serves as a companion and tool on the boys' trek along the Scouting Trail. It displays the rank achieved by the scout, and it features a built-in compass, a ruler, emergency supply storage, a carabiner and removable cord for knots and lashings.
To display the Scouts miles earned along the trail and nights spent under the star, beads awarded to the Scouts and displayed on their staffs. Hundred "mile"stones are awarded with multi-color paracord.
For the specific details about Hiking Beads and Camping Beads see below. Each color of bead goes on its own lanyard, which is attached to the staff lanyard using two half-hitches or a buntline hitch. For more details on the hiking staff and how it is to be put together, see the Pack 44 Hiking Staff Building Instructions document in the Pack Library.
"Be Prepared" Supplies
The Boy Scout Motto is "Be Prepared!" and the Pack 44 Hiking Staff is a great way to help boys be prepared when they are out and about. The standard features of the staff include:
a "Button Compass" on the top to allow a general sense of direction
about 20 feet of lanyard comprising the wrapped handle which can easily be removed and then used for lashing or tying things together
a shorter length of cord (the lanyard) to use for smaller things that need to be tied
a carabiner for hanging things off of the staff
(optional) a traced yard-stick for measuring things (e.g. the big fish you caught!)
In addition, boys can choose to add things to the outside of the staff - e.g. hang a whistle from the carabiner. Lastly (and probably most importantly from the boys' perspective) the advantage of using bamboo is that it's sections are hollow and therefore can be used to store supplies. Here is an example of what one hiking staff was able to fit in its bottom compartment:
14 inches electrical tape (wrapped around the stick and covered by the rubber foot)
matches (waterproof if possible)
3 safety pins
2 paper clips
12 feet dental floss (wrapped around the nails)
12 inches of wire
dryer lint (fire starter)
2 rubber bands
Other ideas include:
fire-straws (a straw filled with lint mixed with Vaseline which can be cut open and lit for a firestarter)
hot melt cement/glue
sewing thread and needle
birthday candle (best is the trick kind that don't blow out easily)
hot spark fire starter
water purification tablet
short length of pencil
duct tape (wrapped around a pencil)
ear plugs (can be used for a fishing line float)
Use your imagination! It can be helpful to wrap all of the supplies in a piece of clear wrap to keep it dry and make it easier to take everything out. In addition, the handle of the Pack 44 Hiking Staff is about 20 feet of removable paracord and there are *lots* of things you can do with paracord! Check out this fascinating article listing 15 ways you can use paracord.
Here are some fun YouTube videos with other ideas for hiking staffs that you may be interested in watching:
As boys participate in hikes with their Pack, Den or family, their mileage is recorded and they receive recognition for those hiked miles in the form of beads which are displayed on lanyards attached to the Hiking Staff. Each bead represents 1 mile hiked, and they are color-coded as follows:
Miles 1-10: Black Beads
Miles 11-20: Brown Beads
Miles 21-30: Red Beads
Miles 31-40: Orange Beads
Miles 41-50: Yellow Beads
Miles 51-60: Green Beads
Miles 61-70: Blue Beads
Miles 71-80: Violet Beads
Miles 81-90: Grey Beads
Miles 91-100: White Beads
Miles should be hiked in 'natural' settings (parades in which the Pack participates is an exception to this rule). Leaders will take care of recording miles hikes with the Pack or individual Dens. If scouts hike with their families, they can receive credit for those miles as well if their parent fills out the Pack 44 Hiking Staff Mileage Report. Please note that the rules listed on the form must be adhered to for the scout to receive credit.
Beads are also awarded in recognition of nights that the scout has spent camping out at a Cub Scout event (family camping trips are not counted). Like the Hiking Beads, Camping Beads go onto their own lanyard (based on color) displayed on the Hiking Staff. Each bead represents 1 night spent camping with the Cub Scouts. Color coding is as follows:
Nights 1-10: Bronze Beads
Nights 11-20: Gold Beads
Nights 21-30: Silver Beads
Like hiking, camping needs to take place in a "natural" setting to count towards Camping Beads. To earn Pack 44 Camping Beads, you must meet the following requirements. One bead is awarded for one day and night of camping with the scout's den or pack.
What Counts for Camping Beads:
Sleeping in tents.
Staying at a rustic cabin (no electricity).
Staying in a cabin at a Scout Camp during the winter.
Under the open skies.
Overnight summer camp.
You participated in setting up and breaking camp.
You participated in camp chores.
You participated in camping activities (hiking, swimming, nature exploration, conservation projects, etc)
A full day of camping counts as a "day", late arrival and early departure days together count as a "day".
What Doesn't Count for Camping Beads:
Luxury motor homes.
Motels, family cabins, or indoor Cub Scout 'sleepover' events.
When you do not participate in setting up or breaking down camp.
When you do not participate in camping type activities.
Non-scouting camping (although we are very glad that you are doing that!)
Please make sure that your son understands the need to help set up and break camp, as well as participating in camp chores and camping activities in order to earn a camping bead.
For those families that are looking to learn more about Family Camping, check out this great Scouting.org Blog Post on the Family Camping Gear
For more fun resources related to camping, check our our Hammock Camping resource page!
Suggested Hikes around Lititz
There are many great parks and game-lands around Lititz which make great hiking destinations. Below are some suggestions which may prove to be helpful to families looking for a great place to "Go take a hike!":
If you have completed other hikes that you think should be listed, please send the details to hiking@Pack44Lititz.org.
Other Local Hiking Resources
Besides the hikes listed above, here are additional resources related to hiking in Lancaster County. If you have other resources to share, please send them to hiking@Pack44Lititz.org so they can be added to this page.
Camp Mack has a very large Hiking Trail network. Just sign in at the maintenance shed (on the left as soon as you enter camp) and you can go hiking there whenever you want!
Any of these parks (Speedwell Forge is in Lititz):
Lancaster Conservancy Preserves:
Middle Creek Wildlife Area:
State Gamelands Area 156 just north on 501 & 322: http://pgcmaps.pa.gov/pgcpublicviewer/
Rails to Trails in Lititz (http://www.traillink.com/trail/lititz-warwick-trailway.aspx) or Lebanon Valley (http://www.lvrailtrail.com/)
Don't forget you can hike at Camp Mack any time you would like to - just sign in!