View Full Version : Tracking
Has anyone done any tracking with their cubs/scouts/explorers? If so what aspect did you do?
I've done some, with a lot of emphasis on all around observation, use of senses and quiet movement. I have also used a game I learned on the Woodlore tracking course (involving a trail of plastic bugs that the participant has to point out as they walk the trail) when we're on camp.
Every now and then we do a manhunt (hide & seek sounding far more macho!) game where I encourage and show the scouts how the hiders can be found by looking for their trail. Initially they are usually more intrersted in the hiding part, but what I've found is that they become more interested in the tracking after being shown the hard evidence that led me to their hiding place.
I've got some notes - written up from the woodlore course - that I've tried to pitch at scout level; which goes through some of the terminology and suggests some games to play to practice the skills as well.
I have done some Stalking and intend to do more but my level of tracking is limited so I can only really go throught the basics of reading the landscape, finding runs and other signs of animal presents. I have gotten alot of ideas for future programmes from the course I did in June and Tom Browns Jr books as well as Scouting for Boys the resent reprint. There is a whole chapter devoted to tracking and stalking with some games etc. that can easily be adapted to your situation and of course don't forget the use of a Sand box.
Hope that helps.
Thanks for advice, with the current interest in stalking, tracking and the new "Scouting for Boys" perhaps we can ressurect Scouting?
Real scouting? Nice thought.
I teach many different aspects of bushcraft skills, mainly older scouts and explorer groups. I was recently approached by a beaver and cub group in locally to help them with some tracking skills. Well after several chats with the leaders it became apparrent after carrying out a risk assesment that they we unhappy to take these younger kids into the forest. So, rather than call it off I put plan B into action!
I went down to are local DIY store and purchased some rolls of embossed wallpaper and laid them out on the scout hall floor. I then jumped in some mud and proceeded to lay a trail around the hall floor leaving other clues on the way, ie crisps, sweet wrappers, ketchup to simulate an injury etc. as I walked further around the room and the prints got harder to see, we started them using a tracking stick to find where the next print should be. We then switched off the lights so that we could simulate tracking at night using green and blue torches mounted on the tracking sticks.
Whilst it wasn't ideal it was a pretty good second best, and the kids loved it. There was no risk and they still had access to there home comforts.
I thought I would post this because whilst I prefer to do all my tracking outdoors this seemed to be a good way to introduce children to tracking, I also thought that if other leaders have encounterd the same problems this solution may help them.
PS Next time I may buy a cheap roll of blue wallpaper to simulate a stream or river!