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How to lead a group of youth on a hike in the woods.

How to lead a group of youth on a hike in the woods.

Author: Paul Hoxie
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How to take youth on a hike in the woods

Step 1: Provide the right clothing and equipment for the youth for the hike. Having the wrong shoes or to cold of clothes can ruin any day in the woods.

Step 2: Choose a trail that is not to difficult and steep for the first hike with the youth. If the trail is difficult they will not enjoy the woods. Hikes with waterfalls, scenic-views, and other sights are a good choice.

Step 3: Make the hike meaningful for the kids. Teach them the local flora and fauna. Teach them about the birds and animals that inhabit the area. Explain the history of the local area and why it is important to preserve this area.

Step 4: Take it easy on the trail. Bring snacks. Go for a swim. It is not about the amount of miles but instead about the fun. If it a first time hiking the kids will be slow and tired. Instead of trying to complete a 12 mile hike, go for 4 miles with a long swim at the river!

Step 5: Provide plenty of food and water for the kids. The most dangerous thing when hiking is to not be prepared. If the kids are hungry they will complain the entire time! 

Step 6: Make sure the kids know that you are very proud of them. Give them positive feedback and encouragement. This will lead to them feeling like they are good at hiking and want to continue!

Step 7: Sometimes it is most important to just be quiet and let the kids discover on their own the magic of the woods!