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Take a Hike: Add Variety to a Nature Hike
A hike can be more than just a walk through the woods when campers are encouraged to appreciate and understand the wonders of nature.
Before going on the hike, ask campers to fold a piece of paper into four or six sections and color each section a different color. When campers hike, have them look for something that matches each color on their paper and write the name, sound, etc., on the corresponding colored square.
Scavenger Hunt Hike
Before going on the hike, make a list of items the group should look for and find. For example, oak tree, bird's nest, deer tracks, a certain flower, walnut, or other items that are indigenous to your area. As a group, campers search for the items and mark them off the list. Unlike a traditional scavenger hunt where individuals and/or teams search on their own for items, encourage the group to stay together and search for item within the established boundaries.
Animal Evidence Hike
Animals often hide when they hear a group of noisy campers hiking through the woods, but the signs of where they have been are everywhere. Campers can look for this "evidence" and identify what type of animal or insect inhabits an area.
For this hike, you will need field guides and animal track guides, magnifying glasses and binoculars, and pencil and paper. Encourage campers to look but not touch.
Discuss with campers the many ways animals make their presence known, such as dropped feathers, food remnants, tracks, tree marking, and droppings. Ask campers to identify as many animal traces as possible. Work together to identify which animal left the evidence behind.
Things to look for:
- bird eggshells