Hank is getting ready to leave Cub Scouts and bridge to Boy Scouts. We are lucky that we have a number of great Troops near us and that we have friends in a few of them. So now we're visiting each one to see where he'll best fit and have the most fun.
The Troop we visited last night is the same one Jake was in when he was a wee lad so we've known the Scoutmaster there for years and years.
This particular Troop is hosting a series of activities for area Webelos to attend so they can see if this Troop is the one for them. Last night was a Night Hike.
Before you start clutching your chest and gasping at the notion of hiking, at night, in the winter, with kids, I would encourage you to try it for yourself.
Winter hiking gets a bad rap mainly because it can be darn cold out there. You have to wear a bunch of layers and it can be windy and so on. But the beauty of winter hiking is that there are no bugs, no snakes, no humidity to make you sweat like a bovine, and no leaves on the trees so you can see the views you're missing in the spring.
Night hiking gets a bad rap because it can be a little spooky out there in the woods in the dark. But hiking at night can be quite peaceful (well, unless you're with 13 Boy Scouts; then it's pretty noisy) and beautiful. Star gazing from a mountain ridge is way more fun than from your back deck.
Ella wanted no part of our adventure so I bundled up the boys and packed every headlamp and flashlight we own, and I tied a glow stick to Shane's coat for good measure. We hiked up to a local ridge to some power lines. One of the dads brought fluorescent light bulbs so the boys could see how they glow when held under the power lines. Very cool stuff and the boys had a great time with it.
On the way back Shane petered out on the last uphill to the parking lot so I had to carry him on my back. I didn't realize all the boys had run ahead of us so we were last which meant the poor dad who had to be the caboose was stuck with us. My little moose weighs a good 55-60 pounds so this was a pretty good workout. Thankfully it was only 10-12 minutes before we reached somewhat level ground and he was ready to go again.
It was a really fun night, and I'm glad we were able to go.
Now find yourself some experienced hiker friends and enjoy a night hike adventure!