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Trail Trekkers
Bay Area Outdoor Adventures for Cub Scouts
San Francisco Bay Area Council

This booklet was assembled by a dedicated group of
Scouting volunteers from the San Francisco Bay Area Council, June 1993.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
The Cub Scout Trail Trekkers Working Group:
   Bill Gruber Program Director, SFBAC, BSA, Bill Gardner, Helen Hancock, Bob Hrabe,   
Zev Kahn, Paul Sanborn, Cathy Strommen, Curt Strommen, Rory Wolf
Search, Discover, Share | Cookbook for Successful Outdoor Activities
Poison Oak and Ticks | Outdoor Leadership | Trail Courtesy and Customs
The Outdoor Code
The Hikes

  Coyote Hills
  Coyote Hills Regional Park

  Flag Hill
  Sunol Regional Wilderness

  Hoot Owl
  Sycamore Grove Regional Park  

  Little Yosemite
  Sunol Regional Wilderness

  Redwood Creek
  Redwood Regional Park

  Rodeo Lagoon
  Golden Gate National Recreation Area  

  Sycamore Grove
  Sycamore Grove Regional Park

  Wildcat Peak
  Tilden Nature Study Area
  Tilden Regional Park, Berkeley

Download/Printout Trail Trekker Patch Order Form PDF
East Bay Regional Park District Home Page

Search, Discover, Share

The simple motto for the Tiger Cubs is a good recipe for enjoying outdoor activities with children. In our fast-paced society, it is very difficult to schedule and complete family outings. Our busy urban lifestyle allows us to loose touch with the beautiful world around us. Occasionally we need an excuse to get away, and try something different, in surroundings which change the normal structure of our lives. We can anticipate the adventure of a new place, not knowing exactly what lies ahead or how we will like it. The anticipation also brings with it some fear about things we don't know - sort of like the first day of school, or the first performance before an audience. But we make the decision to try, and to do our best. And more often than not, we find that we had fun and learned a great deal about ourselves, each other, and our surroundings. The shared sense of adventure, achievement and fun can be a strong force for bringing people together. This is the reason behind the Trail Trekkers Program.

The Trail Trekkers Program offers a series of hikes which can be completed by Cub Scout age boys (from 6-11 years) and their families. These are opportunities for outdoor adventures that are high in "boy appeal", that allow a boy and his family to learn about the world around them, and that also include a wide range of activities. The hikes are located throughout the Bay Area. Each hike has its own appeal. Some are more physically demanding, and more appropriate for Webelos-age boys. Others can be completed by any age group. More often than not, the adults usually feel the pain of the trail long before the boys, so you may want to start with a shorter or flatter hike at first. Whichever hikes you choose to make, take time to enjoy the natural environment around you. Do some research about the plants, the trees and the animals that live in the area, and find out about the geology to get a feeling for how our things got this way. By knowing more about the environment you will get a better appreciation for how everything works together and how important all things are to the total picture.

One of the exciting aspects of the Trail Trekkers Program are the embroidered patches that can be awarded to all successful hikes after completing the requirements for each hike. But remember that the earning of a patch should not be the reason for completing a hike; rather, a Trekkers patch should be a memento to show that one has enjoyed a family scouting event. When worn on a patch vest or jacket, the basic Trekkers patch is surrounded by smaller hike patches, showing an ever-growing pattern of fun. All patches must be earned by following the directions in this program guide. Any family member who completes all of the requirements is eligible to get a patch which can be purchased at the Service Center using the Trail Trekkers Patch Order Form. Only one patch per weekend may be earned by an individual. Boy Scouts serving as Den Chiefs are also eligible to earn the patches if they hike with their Den.


Cookbook for Successful Outdoor Activities


  • Willing Participants
  • Enthusiasm
  • Leadership
  • Good Manners
  • Permits
  • Preparation

Add these ingredients together in proper amounts, and there's no limit to the enjoyment you and the boys can have experiencing the outdoors.

Willing Scouts and Families
This is the most important part of the Trekkers Program. You need to be willing and able to plan, prepare for, and actually go through with one of the Trekkers adventures with your son, his Den, Pack or just your family. Tear yourself away from the TV! Bart and Homer will be there some other time, but the magical time of youth is best spent learning about the world and sharing with the family. Your Trek doesn't have to be the hardest one or the furthest away, but is does need to be done, not just thought about. Get going!

Nothing was ever accomplished without a generous helping of enthusiasm. The hill may seem insurmountable, but taken one step after another, the summit is quickly beneath your feet. The example you set, even if you're not sure about yourself, will be the model the kids will follow. Have fun! Stop to smell the roses (but not the poison oak). Look at the trees and animals that share our world. Make up some games for the boys to play, like counting all the different trees or animals. Don't be in a hurry, relax and enjoy. Share a snack or lunch along the trail or at the summit. Take advantage of the other opportunities that you see along the drive to the Trek. Be creative. Do it!

Cub Scouting is a family activity. Young boys are learning about the world, themselves, and one another. They don't have all the answers yet, and still have an amazing appetite for new things. As a Trek leader you can share some of your world survival skills learned from commute driving, shopping at the mall, parenting, or just living. It may seem incredible,but some of those skills do translate quite well to outdoor activities. Observation, planning, anticipation, comparison, and analysis are universal skills which can be used in different fashions in any setting. You have those skills - now all you need to do is share them in the new context. Easy!

Good Manners
Wouldn't it be good manners if we kept everything bright and clean, if everyone was happy, and there was always plenty to go around? Club Scout outings are fine opportunities to share an awareness of the limitations of our natural resources and the needs of our fellow people. Families can share the values of leaving nature undisturbed and intact for others to enjoy. We can explore new ways of living "low-impact" lives that extend beyond the time we spend in the parks. Getting along with others and conserving the environment are good manners and should be learned and shared with the boys. Specific Trail Courtesy and Customs are listed later.

Grab the kids, and jump into the car - are we ready for an adventure? Not so fast! Just as we planned our trip, we need to make sure that the legal requirements are taken care of too, just in case something unexpected happens. BSA requires that you complete a Local Tour Permit if you are taking a group on any outing. One of the biggest benefits of this requirement is the umbrellas of liability insurance that's available for Council-approved trips. Even if the boys will be going with their parents in their parents' cars, a Tour Permit should be completed with the Council prior to the trip. The book says to send it in at least two weeks prior, but you can walk it through or FAX it. Call the Council or talk with your District Executive about how to do it right. And don't forget permission slips too.

Be Prepared
An outdoor adventure is just the place to let kids go, to try new things, and for parents to resist the natural urge to hover protectively. You will probably enjoy the day much more if you take a little time to anticipate the unexpected. And if things don't go exactly as you planned them it's OK, as long as everyone has fun and is safe. Experienced outdoors people recommend carrying the 10 Essentials whenever we hit the trail - food, water, clothes, compass and map, flashlight, first aid kit, pocket knife, fire starter, sunscreen, and sunglasses. Use your judgment to tailor this list to fit your needs. You should bring with you some knowledge of basic first aid (ask a Scout to help if you don't). It's also a good idea to do a little studying about the Trek and its natural environment prior to your trip. KISMIF - Keep It Simple, Make It Fun.


Poison Oak and Ticks

"Leaves of three, let it be". Because poison oak has many different forms remembering these words can save you from an awful rash. It's a good idea to get your group familiar with this common bush before each hike. In spring the leaves are vibrant green and range in size from one to three inches. In warm spots and in the summer new growth may be red. In the fall, the foliage is often fiery red, and in the winter the stems are bare. The oil from the leaves or even the bare stems can irritate the skin causing a severe rash characterized by redness, blisters, swelling, intense burning and itching. The best treatment for poison oak is to avoid it. First aid includes washing skin and clothing with soap and cool water immediately after contact. Severe cases require treatment by your physician.

Ticks are tiny hitch-hikers that like to attach themselves onto anything furry and warm which happens along, including people. The tick can carry several infectious diseases including Lyme Disease, so it is important to check for ticks after each hike. Wearing light-colored clothing will help in detecting unwanted passengers, and tucking your pants into your socks makes it harder for the critters to get into your clothes. If you find a tick firmly attached, carefully remove it, save it in a container, clean the bite area and call your physician for advice when convenient. We can remove the tick from the skin by grasping him firmly with tweezers, slowly pulling straight out so that all parts are removed. Gently scrub the area thoroughly with soap and water to clean and disinfect the bite area; also wash your hands and tweezers. If the characteristic "bulls-eye" rash of Lyme disease develops at the site of the bite, or if there is any muscle soreness, or if an illness develops, call your physician for treatment.


Outdoor Leadership

What is Outdoor Leadership? It's pretty much the same as indoor leadership, or any other kind of leadership. You set an example, establish rules, and ensure that everyone gets along and accomplishes their goal. It sounds simple, but it isn't always that way. When we go on a hike outdoors we will be in less familiar surroundings than we're used to, and we can't rely on experience to guide us. We have to modify or urbanized way of doing things and get into an outdoors state of mind.

As a leader, you should prepare for the outdoor activity. Make a plan. Read about the area and the hike. Look at a map. Think about the terrain and the weather. Plan for changes. Then, share this information with the other members of the group. Set some goals, and discuss the behavior rules that the boys will be expected to follow; don't make rules and then ignore them. Instruct your Scouts on the need to observe and obey the regulations that are in effect in National, State and Regional Parks. One some trips you may be given the courtesy of passing across private property. Please repay the landowner's trust by keeping the area free of litter, respecting their property and leaving the gates as you find them. Clean up and pack out any litter you may come upon. Perpetuate the good turn ideal. If you eat your lunch on the trail or at the summit, be sure all bags, cans, etc., are packed out with you.

Take only pictures, Leave only footsteps.


Trail Courtesy and Customs

  1. Stay on developed trails. Hikers cutting across switchbacks can trample down vegetation which holds topsoil in place. As the loosened earth washes away, an ugly ditch will form.
  2. Travel single file on most trails.- Leave some space between you and the person ahead of you. You can see where you are going, and you won't run into him if he suddenly stops.
  3. Hikers coming up the trail have the right of way.
  4. If you meet people on horseback, stop where you are. Horses and mules may be spooked by hikers. Step four or five paces downhill from the trail and stand quietly while the animals pass.
  5. Do not pick, cut, or abuse any plants or animals. You are a visitor in their home.
  6. Leave all gates the way you found them.
  7. Develop a low-impact wilderness ethic for and in your group.
  8. Do not repair trails or remove logs, branches and boulders from the trail without prior approval.
  9. Abide with all the rules and regulations of the area you are hiking in. Report any infractions to authorities.
  10. Do not operate any audio devices, including radio, musical instruments, or other noise producing devices in such a manner that will disturb other persons.
  11. Pick up litter you may see or encounter on the trial or campsite. A Scout leaves an area better than when he found it.

The Outdoor Code

As an American, I will do my best to:

Be clean in my outdoor manners - I will treat the outdoors as a heritage to be improved for our greater enjoyment. I will keep my trash and garbage out of American's waters, fields, woods, and roadways.

Be careful with fire - I will prevent wildfire. I will build my fire in a safe place and be sure it is out before I leave.

Be considerate in the outdoors - I will treat public and private properties with respect. I will remember that use of the outdoors is a privilege I can lose by abuse.

Be conservation minded - I will learn how to practice good conservation of soil, water, forests, minerals, energy, grasslands, and wildlife; and I will urge others to do the same.


Pack 268 Home Page | Trail Trekkers
Coyote Hills | Flag Hill | Hoot Owl | Little Yosemite
Redwood Creek | Rodeo Lagoon | Sycamore Grove | Wildcat Peak