Baloo's Bugle

July 2007 Cub Scout Roundtable Issue

Volume 13, Issue 12
August 2007 Theme

Theme: A Century of Scouting
Webelos: Naturalist & Forester
Tiger Cub
Activities

WEBELOS

Here is a handy slide from my friend Norm.  You could take his technique and have your den develop a whole series of slides – one for each of the required knots.  Then use them to display the knots at a Pack Meeting.  CD


NATURALIST

 

OUTDOOR GROUP
Naturalist Activity Badge Outline -- Outdoor Group

The Naturalist Activity Badge is recommended to be presented in a one month format, as outlined in the Webelos Program Helps booklet.  This example outline presents the Badge in four weekly meetings. 

In order to complete all of the requirements a field trip to a nature center is required.  Plan this trip and alert the parents ahead of time.  Make sure to telephone the parents a couple days before the field trip, which will help attendance.  Deal with any transportation problems ahead of time.  While this is a Den outing, it does not require one parent per Scout -- only enough to drive.

The Naturalist Activity Badge will work best if you get the parents to help their Scout set up either an insect zoo or terrarium at home.  In order to get the parents involved it is a good idea to send home a description of the requirements and suggestions on how to do this.  Send it home a week before the badge work begins or at the prior Pack meeting.  An example is attached to this outline. 

Use the Webelos book in the meeting.  Have the Scouts read sections from the book.  Use all the resources you have available, such as the Program Helps and the Webelos Den Activities Book.  Make sure you sign off their books each meeting.

Week 1

Requirements to be fulfilled:

Do Four of These:

1.   Keep an insect zoo that you have collected.  You might have crickets, ants or grasshoppers.

3.   Visit a museum of natural history, nature center, or zoo with your family, den, or Pack.  Tell what you saw.

Discussion :

1.   Read the introduction and requirements on pages 211 - 212.  Discuss the requirements and how they will be worked on in and outside the Den. 

2.   Read pages 213 - 219 on Collecting Insects, and Your Insect Zoo.

     Discuss how to collect things.  Some Scout may already have an insect zoo.  Ask him to bring it in to show the Den next week.  You may wish to satisfy this requirement by having the Den do an insect zoo.  You will need the appropriate kind of container for your zoo.  Have the Scouts capture the inhabitants, perhaps around your meeting location.  Find out what you have to feed the zoo.

     Another project that can be done is to make "Critter Keepers" -- a Quonset hut type box with window screen over the top, secure enough around the edges so that the bugs will not escape.  You will have to cut the materials ahead of time and bring them to the meeting. [Make sure you try this first at home so that you know exactly how to put it together and have all tools and materials at the meeting.]

3.   Plan your field trip.  Pick a nature center that can specifically help satisfy some of the requirements.  The intent of this outline is to choose a nature center that can help you satisfy requirements 3, 5 and 6. 

4.   Any Scout that has a terrarium, plan to bring it into the Den meeting next week.

Homework:

1.    For those doing the insect zoo, set it up and capture your bugs.

Week 2

Requirements to be fulfilled:

2.    Set up an aquarium or terrarium.  Put plants and animals you have collected in it.  Keep it for at least one month.

Discussion :

1.    Observe the insect zoo or terrarium that was brought in.

2.    Read page 220 on terrariums.  Discuss how to make a dry terrarium for reptiles and a wet terrarium for amphibians.  Discuss the kinds of animals you can find in the backyard or purchase to put in a terrarium.  A field trip might be to a pet shop to look at such things. 

      What is the most important thing you need to learn if you are going to set up a terrarium?  The answer is, what to feed the critters.

      Find out which Scouts are already working on or will be working on a terrarium.

3.   Read pages 224 - 229 on Bird Flyways, Poisonous Plants and Animals, and Watching Animals in the Wild, before the field trip.

Homework:

1.    For those Scouts making either a wet or dry terrarium, do it.  Bring it in to show the Den.

2.    Go on the field trip to the nature center.

Week 3

Requirements to be fulfilled:

4.    Watch for birds in your yard, neighborhood, or town for one week.  Identify the birds you see and write down where and when you saw them.

Discussion :

1.    Read page 223 on Bird Watching.

2.    A good project is to put together a very simple bird feeder, such as one that is shown in the book or another simple one.  Bring all the materials so that the feeders can be put together in the meeting.  Purchase and arrive with a large bag of wild bird seed.  Make sure that each Scout leaves with a feeder and a bunch of bird seed.

Homework:

1.    If the bird feeders are made in the Den meeting, take it home, set it up in the backyard and observe the birds that feed there.  Identify and write down the ones that feed there.  Tell your Den what you saw at the next meeting.

Week 4

Requirements to be fulfilled:

 

Discussion :

1.    Report on what was seen at the bird feeders.

2.    Last week of this Activity Badge.  Have the Scouts all bring in the things they have worked on to show everyone else in the den.  Ask them what they have learned.  Are they going to keep their zoo or terrarium?

Naturalist Activity Badge Work Outside the Den:

Field Trip -- Nature Center and/or Day Hike:

Requirements to be fulfilled:

3.    Visit a museum of natural history, nature center, or zoo with your family, den, or Pack.  Tell what you saw.

5.    Learn about the bird flyways closest to your home.  Find out what birds use these flyways. 

6.    Learn to identify poisonous plants and reptiles found in your area.

7.    Watch six wild animals (snakes, turtles, fish, birds, or mammals) in the wild.  Describe the kind of place (forest, field, marsh, yard, or park) where you saw them.  Tell what they were doing.

Discussion :

1.    Set this Field trip up ahead of time.  Call the nature center and ask specifically if they can help you work with the Scouts to satisfy requirements 5 and 6.  If you choose the location for this field trip wisely, you may be able to do a day hike with it and satisfy requirement 7 also.  You may want to do two field trips, with the second being a day hike.  Remember, Webelos Scouting is an outdoor oriented activity for boys -- you can't do too many outdoor trips.

2     Make sure you have some finder books with you -- reptiles, birds, etc., particularly if you will be working on requirement 7.  When you find something have the Scouts gather around you as you go through the finder to identify it.  That way they will learn how to use a finder book.

Naturalist Badge Home Activities

Your Scout will be working on the Naturalist Activity Badge during this next month.  There are a couple activities that can be done at home.  Please read pages 213 - 220 in the Webelos Handbook.  Please help your Scout complete either requirement 1 or 2.  If it will not be possible to do either activity, please let me know so that we can work on other requirements with your Scout.

Requirement 1.  Keep an insect zoo that you have collected.  You might have crickets, ants or grasshoppers.

An insect keeper can be purchased, or build according to the plans in the Webelos Handbook.  There may be some very interesting insects in your yard that can be captured and observed for a while.  You might decide to keep silk worms.  You also might decide to keep Praying Mantis, which you can either find in your yard or obtain at your local plant nursery.

Requirement 2.  Set up an aquarium or terrarium.  Put plants and animals you have collected in it.  Keep it for at least one month.

Satisfying this requirement could cost some money, but can provide enjoyment for a long time.  Lots of folks have 5 or 10 gallon aquariums that are not in use.  A 10 gallon aquarium can be purchased for $10 -12 at your local pet store or department store.  You can purchase aquarium gravel or just wash some sand, gravel and rocks from your yard and place them in the aquarium.  That is the basic requirement to set up either a dry terrarium for reptiles or a wet terrarium for amphibians. 

Dry Terrariums: 

A dry terrarium can be set up for a variety of lizards, monitors, geckos or other reptiles, which you can purchase at the pet store.  Beware of anything that can climb glass.  You must have a snug fitting lid, preferably made of screen, not glass, so they cannot escape.  Or you might find one or two lizards in your backyard to catch and observe for a while.

You must provide the correct food for these pets -- either meal worms or crickets, both of which you can purchase at the pet store.  For reptiles you must provide either a light in a hood over the tank, or a "hot rock" which you can purchase at the pet store.  The reason for this is that reptiles must have an external heat source in order to digest their food.

Make sure your Scout brings his terrarium into the Den meeting to show the other Scouts.

Wet Terrariums:

A wet terrarium can be set up for a variety of newts, salamanders, frogs and turtles, which you can purchase at the pet store.  Again, beware of anything that can climb glass, which a lot of frogs can, or jump out.  You must have a snug fitting lid, preferably made of screen, not glass, so they cannot escape.  Or you might find one or more amphibians in a nearby stream or up in the mountains, which you can capture and observe for a while.

For a wet terrarium for amphibians you will need to arrange the tank so that there is water in part of it and rocks or dry gravel in another part.  Amphibians spend a lot of time in the water, but must also have dry land to climb on.  They also like places to hide.

You must provide the correct food for these pets -- either worms or crickets, both of which you can purchase at the pet store.  Yes amphibians like crickets -- you can put a bunch of crickets in the wet tank, they will crawl up onto dry land, and then you can watch your amphibians stalk their dinner.

Catching Insects
Great Salt Lake Council

Among the requirements for the Naturalist badge is one calling for the boy to keep a "zoo" of insects he has caught.

He shouldn’t' t have trouble finding them, but if he wants a particular kind, you may be able to suggest a way to get one.

For beetles and crickets, the Webelos Scout might bait a ground trap. To do this, he sinks a small jar or can in the ground with the top level with the surface. Then he pours in about an inch of a mixture of two parts molasses and one part water or some other very sweet mixture. This gooey mess will attract hordes of insects which promptly tumble in and are trapped. They will drown in a short time, so the Webelos Scout must check his trap every hour or so if he wants a live one.

For butterflies, moths, and other flying insects, use a sweet mixture, too. Paint it on a tree trunk or two. Especially good for the bait is a sweet, slightly fermented pulp of fruits like peaches and apricots.

Tracks Game
Great Salt Lake Council

  • Copy 6 tracks of each animal.
  • Tape 5 tracks clearly on the wall.
  • Give each boy a different track to hunt.
  • On the word go, have the boys find as many tracks as they can.
  • When they return, they are given clue #6 and asked if they can identify the animal.
  • If they can, they are given 6 points.
  • If not, give them clue #5 for 5 points and so on.
  • If wanted, include the animals sound with clue #1.
  • The boys with the most points wins a prize.

Clues

Prints

Bear

6. My fir is brown & black

5. I live in a den or cave

4. I eat berries & honey

3. I eat salmon fish

2. I hibernate in winter

1. Name Not Smokey

Wolf

6. Grey or black coat

5. Lives in den

4. I eat meat

3. Hunts in a group

2. Bays at the moon

1. Large dog

Bobcat

6. Red & brown spots

5. Lives in the bushes

4. I like to eat rabbits

3. I can run very fast

2. Very short tail

1. Cat family

Deer (white tailed)

6. Tan coat, white tail

5. Eat grass & berries

4. Will eat tree-bark

3. Bounds when frightened

2. Makes noise by rubbing its antlers on the trees

1. Name Not Bambi

Rabbit (snowshoe-hare)

6. Fur brown in summer

5. Fur white in winter

4. Eat grass & berries

3. Digs a hole to live in

2. Wiggles its nose

1. Hops & is a fast runner

Horse (wild)

6. Eats grass

5. Round hoof

4. Lives in herds

3. Gallops

2. Neighs and snorts

1. Wild West Mustang

Fox

6. I like to eat mice

5. I will also eat berries

4. Fur black-grey in USA

3. Fur red in England

2. Hunted in England

1. The quick brown ____ jumped over the lazy dog.

Raccoon

6. Eats berries

5. Lives in a borough

4. I wash my paws

3. Striped ring tail

2. Black & white mask

1. Davy Crocket’s Cap

Mountain Goat

6. White coat

5. Eats grass

4. Lives upstairs

3. Dagger-like horns

2. King of the hill

1. Not sheepish

Mountain Lion (Cougar)

6. Tan coat & white belly

5. Long tail

4. Fast runner

3. Lives in a cave or den

2. Eats meat (will eat you)

1. Has growl-meow & purr

Moose

6. Eats grass

5. Large, brown & tan

4. Beard under chin

3. I will call you

2. Large flat antlers

1. Name Not Bullwinkle

Bison (Buffalo)

6. Eats grass

5. Shaggy head & shoulders

4. I snort and grunt

3. Will stampede if scared

2. White ones worshiped

1. American Indians living food-storage

 

Mouse (Deer Mouse)

6. Brown above, white under

5. Tail is hairy

4. I Live in a hole

3. I eat berries and grass

2. My cousin eats cheese

1. I squeak

Skunk

6. I eat berries

5. I dig a borough to live in

4. Stay away from me

3. Follow your nose

2. Black with white stripe

1. I will produce an odor if provoked

Beaver

6. Stocky brown fur

5. Eats grass & berries

4. Flat paddle-like tail

3. Chews sticks and logs

2. Home blocks waterways

1. Aquatic rodent

 

FORESTER

OUTDOOR GROUP

Forester Activity Badge Outline -- Outdoor Group

The Forester Activity Badge is recommended to be presented in a one month format, as outlined in the Webelos Program Helps booklet.  This example outline presents the Badge in four weekly meetings.  The goal of this outline is to complete as many requirements as possible in the four weeks.  The only requirement that is not addresses sufficiently to complete is the planting of 20 forest saplings. This is not well suited to an urban or even suburban environment, unless you have a forest very close by in which to plant them.  I don't think it is a very good idea to plant them in a pot or planter, watch and care for them for a month, knowing that they will not survive.

In order to complete the requirements, a day hike to a forest is required.  Plan this trip and alert the parents ahead of time.  Make sure to telephone the parents a couple days before the field trip, which will help attendance.  Deal with any transportation problems ahead of time.  While this is a Den outing, it does not require one parent per Scout -- only enough to drive.

You will need tree finder, fern finder and plant finder books for the day hike.  If you have several copies that would be better -- some Scouts can carry them too.  Prepare to card tree and plant samples.  You will need 4x6 or 5x7 cards, 12 each per Scout, and pieces of clear contact paper cut to that size, one for each card.  As you do your hike, and identify plants and trees, have each scout select a leaf or sprig, place it on a card and cover with the contact paper.  IMMEDIATELY write on the back of the card what it is, where you found it and what it is used for.

Use the Webelos book in the meeting.  Have the Scouts read sections from the book.  Use all the resources you have available, such as the Program Helps and the Webelos Den Activities Book.  Make sure you sign off their books each meeting.

Week 1

Requirements to be fulfilled:

Do Five of These:

1.   Identify six forest trees.  Tell what useful things come from them.

2.   Identify six forest plants that are useful to wildlife.  Tell which animals use them and for what.

Discussion :

1.   Read the introduction and requirements on pages 167 - 168.  Discuss the requirements and how they will be worked on in and outside the Den. 

2.   Read pages 169 - 171 on Identifying Forest Trees, and identifying forest plants.

     Bring in examples of carded tree and plant samples.  Show the Scouts how it works.  Show them the information that is on the back of each card. 

     Bring in the finder books.  Show the Scouts what information is contained in them.  Show them how they work.  Perhaps there is a pine tree near your meeting place that you can identify using the finder.  Perhaps you can use this tree as the Scouts first sample to card.

3.   Plan your field trip.  Pick a location for your day hike that will be in forest.  This hike should be at least 3 hours long and cover at least a couple miles of trail, in order to find the six trees and six plants.

Homework:

1.   Go on your day hike.

Week 2

Requirements to be fulfilled:

3.   Make a poster showing the life history or a forest tree.

4.   Make a chart showing how water and minerals in the soil help a tree grow.

Discussion :

1.   Read pages 171 - 172 on How a Tree Grows.

     If you have a log laying around your log, like a piece of firewood, bring it in to show tree rings.  Let the Scouts count the rings to determine how old the tree was when it was cut down.

     Make the poster showing the life history of a tree.  This can be done using an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet from their binders, or you can bring in larger paper.  Bring in colored pencils or markers to draw the pictures on the poster.

     I would suggest using the poster to complete requirement 4 also.  Use the final picture they draw of a full grown tree.  Have them add the root system, show water and minerals and draw arrows showing where the water and minerals go.  If you choose to do this, you probably want to use larger paper than letter size.

Homework:

1.   If you did not get the poster done, finish it at home. 

Week 3

Requirements to be fulfilled:

5.   Collect pieces of three kinds of wood used for building houses.

6.   Plant 20 forest tree seedlings.  Care for them for a month.

Discussion :

1.   Read page 173 on Collecting Wood Samples.

     It is easy to and very low cost to acquire the necessary wood from your local lumberyard.  You should be able to purchase Douglas Fir and Redwood 8-foot 2x4's for about $2 each.  You should be able to purchase Ponderosa Pine 8-foot 2x4's or at least 1x4's, again for about $2 each.  One 2x4 of each type will probably suffice for the Den. 

     You may wish to hold this meeting at your home, where you have a circular saw and belt sander.  Cut the samples for the boys -- DO NOT LET THE SCOUTS USE THE CIRCULAR SAW.  You can teach them how to use the belt sander.  Make sure you have ear muffs for the Scout that is using the belt sander.  Tell the other Scouts to stand back.  Cut and sand according to the project in the Webelos book.  Have some varnish available to seal the sanded cuts.  Some quick drying sealer, such as clear Krylon would be best.

     Have the Scouts write on the back of each sample their name, what kind of wood it is, and what it is used for.

2.   Read page 173 on tree planting.

     You may be in a location where you can plant seedlings in a forest and care for them for a month.  You can easily obtain the seedlings from a wood products company, such as Weyerhaeuser.  If you contact them and tell them what you need, they will even send them to you in the mail.  If you cannot plant seedlings, do the reading and talk about what you would have to do if you were going to do it.  What do you have to remember when planting them?  Keep them far enough apart so they will not grow into each other.  They need to be in the right kind of soil, and the right micro-climate if they will survive.  You will also have to water them for a while until they are established.

     Extra Credit:  What is a micro-climate?  You can show them what this means on the day hike.

Homework:

     Plan on bringing the wood samples and posters to the next Pack meeting.

Week 4

Requirements to be fulfilled:

7.   Describe the harm caused by wildfires.  Tell how you can help prevent wildfire.

8.   Make a map of the United States.  Show the kinds of forests growing in different parts of the U.S.A.  Tell what important things made of wood come from each part.

Discussion :

1.   Read page 174 on Prevent Wildfires.

     Discuss the harm caused to plants, animals and our environment by wildfires.

     Discuss what we can each to help prevent fires.

2.   Read page 175 on Principle Forest Regions of the United States.

     You will have to get better information than what is available in the Webelos book in order to do this requirement.  Look in an encyclopedia for better info. Bring with you pages with the continental United States in outline, so that the Scouts can draw on them the forest regions.  Bring colored pencils or markers for the Scouts to do this.  Have them mark on the map the principle tree types in the various regions.  The Scouts can put the posters in their binders.

Forest Fun
Baltimore Area Council

Fill in the blanks with the name of the tree it reminds you of

Apple             Orange          Mesquite

Ash                 Pine              Oak

Elder               Rubber         Sumac

Locust              Spruce         Walnut

____________ A person who is old

____________ Something that stretches

____________ A bright color

____________ A nut

____________ Small insect

____________ Another name for cleaning up

____________ OK spelled with an A in the middle

____________ A present for a teacher

____________ The most “knotty” wood

____________ The sound a slap makes

____________ Fire leftovers

____________ A city in west Texas

Answers

Elder A person who is old

Rubber Something that stretches

Orange A bright color

Walnut A nut

Locust Small insect

Spruce Another name for cleaning up

Oak OK spelled with an A in the middle

Apple A present for a teacher

Pine The most “knotty” wood

Sumac The sound a slap makes

Ash Fire leftovers

Mesquite A city in west Texas

Pine Cone Battle
Baltimore Area Council

Have twice as many pine cones as players: Divide boys into equal teams, each about 20 yards from a dividing line and facing each other across the line. At signal, the battle starts with each player throwing cones as close to the 20-yard marker as possible, but staying on their side of the line. Those closest to the 20-yard mark score two points. Team with the most point’s wins.

Leaf Collections
Baltimore Area Council

Dry Leaf Collection - Put each leaf between a separate sheet of newspaper. Put several folds of newspaper on top of and underneath the sheets you are using to press the leaves. Put something heavy on top until the leaves are pressed out and dry.

Crayon Print - Lay a leaf on the table with vein side up. Put a clean sheet of paper on top of it. Hold the leaf in place with your hand and make parallel strokes back and forth over the leaf with your crayon until the print shows on your paper.

Ink Pad Leaf Prints - Put a leaf, vein side down, on your inkpad. Cover it with a piece of newspaper and rub your hand back and forth over it. Then put the leaf, ink side down, on a clean sheet of paper. Put a newspaper over it again and rub.

Paraffin Coated Leaves - Melt paraffin in a double boiler. When it is melted, turn off the heat. Dip one leaf at a time into the melted wax. Shake off the extra drops of wax into the pan. Hold the leaf until the wax hardens, then lay it on waxed paper. Using this method, you can get the leaves in their green color, or in the brilliant colors of autumn

 


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