Arizona Girl Scout troop teaching Hiking 101 class

Last year, more than 350 hikers required rescue in Arizona parks and preserves and at least 10 died. These are statistics that Ahwatukee Girl Scout Troop 1395 passionately hopes to reduce.

And while helping hikers learn safety through education, the troop’s eight members are working toward their Silver Award – the highest honor at the Cadette level.

The scout’s interviews and research have helped them become more aware of dangers, especially to visitors who don’t realize how Arizona’s summer heat could turn their vacation hikes deadly.

“Unfortunately, most of these rescued hikers tend to be visiting from other states,” one scout said.

“Arizona climates can be deceiving, as we know, with sweat evaporating faster than we realize and causing us to deplete water from our bodies,” she added.

“… hikers get in trouble in the desert because they don’t fully understand how fast the hot climate can turn dangerous. Many of the hikers that end up needing rescued in the Phoenix area were from out of state, and didn’t fully appreciate the real threat of Arizona’s intense heat until it is too late,” she said.

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