As the lockdown requirements change Scout members of Luton are getting for a walk, but St. Joseph’s Scout Group, supported by Luton Scouts, laid down the challenge to change the walk to a hike by counting the miles together to gain a Virtual Hike Certificate and a Luton Hike Award.
The benefits of a brisk walk include assisting recovery from injury and building bone density, as well as improving general physical health and chronic conditions such as heart ailments, diabetes and cancer. With the confining effects of lockdown, a walk can help mental health.
Scouts are known for their hikes and, by setting targets which some, or all, of the members can aim for, a walk becomes both a hike and a challenge.
The success of The Scout Association’s “Hike to the Moon” showed that momentum could be maintained by members of Luton Scouts with local knowledge: distances walked can highlight the equivalent distances within Luton
St. Joseph’s Scout Group kick-started the event by hiking 10 miles around Icknield Scout District; this was followed by a 28-mile hike around Luton, visiting every Scout Group’s meeting place.
Scout Leader Keelan said “Before lockdown, St Joseph’s Scouts were planning a hike to plot geocaches near other Scout groups close to our hut in Blundell Road, after the Easter half term. Following the recent success of the Scouts’ Bear Grylls ‘Hike to the Moon’ and seeing Captain Tom Moore, we thought it would be a great idea to run a virtual hike challenge! It was great to see all age groups from 5 ¾ onwards, using their daily exercise and following all the social distancing rules to hike around their local area or garden. Well done to all who took part in the Luton Scouts virtual hike!”
Scout groups including Leagrave, Strathmore, Ross Park, Wigmore, Blenheim and the Luton Mad Hatters Network unit also joined the challenge, and over a two-week period 133 members of all ages walked over 410 mile – equivalent to hiking 3 times past every group.
A Spokesperson for Luton Scouts told us “The lockdown does make it harder for Scout Members to earn badges, run programs and meet up with mates. Technology has played its part in maintaining these activities, but the ‘OUT’ in Scouts is most important. Setting challenges that take members outdoors safely maintains the momentum”.