How many of us take it for granted that kids know how to stay safe when hiking and how to tread lightly on the landscape? When Catherine Dold's two nieces came to visit for a stay in the Rockies, she wanted to ensure their safety, and so she created a Certified Good Hiker Kit.
"They'd never been hiking before, and I wanted them to be safe. Unfortunately, people get lost all the time in the Rockies. And as a Forest Service volunteer patrolling Colorado wilderness areas, I’d seen scores of adults venture into the woods completely unprepared," explains Ms. Dold. "I wanted to teach my nieces hiking basics, but I didn’t want to scare the heck out of them! So I turned it into a game. They loved it, and best of all, they knew what to do on our first hike in Rocky Mountain National Park.
Download the 8-page pdf ($4.95) and you'll been able to teach youngsters trail safety and etiquette with a fill-in-the-blanks “class” on hiking basics and trail manners: what to bring, why it’s important to stay with your group (and what to do if you get separated), and why you shouldn’t feed those cute animals, said Ms. Dold.
Questions that need to be completed involve how to be prepared for venturing outdoors, how to stay safe outdoors, and how to treat the environment. To support these questions, Ms. Dold not only supplies the correct answers but explains why they're the correct answers.
Kids fill in the missing words on their two-page worksheets, making pledges such as “I will always bring extra water,” “I won’t shout on the trail because it could scare the animals,” and “I will never, ever litter.” Each child is then declared a Certified Good Hiker, and awarded a certificate, which is included in the download. Also included is a guide for adults.