Leader Guidance


The following is a quick guide to the Acorn hike to give leaders information on how the hike is scored, what the judges are looking for and how you can best support your teams.

Guidance new to 2020: Following feedback, the age for the Junior teams has been increased. Junior teams may now be aged from 10 1/2 to 13 1/2 years old. Each Junior team may have no more than two 13 year olds in each team. No 13 year olds will be accepted in a junior team if they are aged over 13 and 6 months on the date of the hike.

General Hiking / Checkpoints

  • Teams may consist of four or five members within the given age restrictions on the date of the competition. Only four members will take part at the tasks at the checkpoints and if there is a fifth member they may use this time to plan the route. Please advise your teams that they must make it known on arrival at each checkpoint who will be taking part in the task. This must be decided before they know what the task is.
  • Teams need to be able to independently navigate using a map and compass prior to the competition
  • The teams cannot gain points from the hiking but will lose points for late arrival to checkpoints
  • The hike is planned to ensure the use of roads in kept to a minimum. Where roads are used they will be for a minimum distance and of a quiet nature. The roads are monitored and points will be deducted from teams found to be using them unnecessarily
  • Teams will be informed by checkpoint volunteers before they leave if the route they have planned is not acceptable
  • There is no formal check in procedure. However all teams should be tidy, organised, polite and inform the checkpoint staff which team they are. All team members should wear their group scarves at check points and be as well presented as possible.
  • Each checkpoint will have an activity for the team to complete where they can gain points. These will be a mixture of core Scouting skills and other fun-based tasks.
  • The teams will also gain points for teamwork and general attitude while at the checkpoint



  • As a hike competition the equipment used should reflect this. It should be light weight, robust and in good working order
  • Teams should know how all the equipment works including cooking equipment and tents
  • Teams gain points at the start by ensuring they have all items on the relevant kit list
  • Teams may not be able to start if any missing equipment is deemed to be essential or a safety element
  • Team not competing in the full kit can have overnight equipment delivered to bushy before they arrive. This should still be of a lightweight hike standard (no large tents etc.)
  • Mobile phones must be used appropriately. Teams will not be deducted points for contacting Acorn Control if they are genuinely lost or in an emergency, however they should not be used to check they are going the right way, or to ask general questions. This should be done at checkpoints. 



  • Each team has a limited area to camp in. Within this area they should have room to pitch their tent, store their equipment and cook (5m x 5m)
  • Team camping areas should be safe and tidy at all times. At night all equipment should be stowed away.
  • The teams will be continuously monitored while at the campsite and scored. This includes their teamwork, attitude and behaviour.
  • Each team needs to prepare their evening meal and have it checked/scored by a judge before they eat it
  • While teams are expected to encourage other teams they should not assist them or share equipment
  • After the team leave on the Sunday their camp area will be inspected and scored. There should be no litter, damage or left equipment.



  • While hiking, the food you eat is important to ensure teams have the energy they need for the days walking
  • Menus are scored on a balance of protein, carbohydrate and nutrition
  • As a hike competition the food should be light, simple to cook, robust enough to carry and not need refrigerating.
  • We will only score from what is written on the menu, handed in at the start of the event
  • This will be marked against what is eaten. Please make sure the food is something all the young people will eat


Leaders and parents cannot visit the teams at the campsite or make contact with the teams until the end of the competition. The team may have points deducted if you do.