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.


Age of Participants - NEW

Allowing for recent events, the age for the Junior teams has been altered. Junior teams may now be aged from 10 years old 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.

Any 10 year olds who enter must be linking with Scouts or invested into Scouts, and judgement as to whether they have the appropriate fitness levels and have received enough training to taking part in the hike is left to the discretion of the Scout Leader.


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 is 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 to use all equipment, for example first aid kits and navigation equipment
  • There will be no points scored for kit check this year as leaders will do a kit check prior to check in, with a brief kit check of essential safety items completed by the Acorn Hike Team
  • Teams may not be able to start if any missing equipment is deemed to be essential or a safety element
  • 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. 



  • There will be no overnight element to the Acorn Hike this year however should troops / units decide they would like to camp the night before or the night after the day event, this can be booked and paid for separately via the normal OSM booking system for Bushy Wood
  • If troops / units do decide to camp, this is under their own group responsibility and not that of the Acorn Hike Team who will not be staying overnight



  • There will be no requirement to produce a menu this year as there will not be any cooking element to the competition, however leaders entering teams should ensure that teams have adequate lunches / snacks to provide the energy they need for a days walking
  • All food should be light, robust enough to carry, and not need refrigerating. This should also be able to be eaten without the need to cook or heat at checkpoints due to time restrictions.


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