NATURALIST ACTIVITY BADGE
Scouting and the outdoors
go hand-in-hand. The Naturalist Activities Badge makes a Webelos aware
of all the living things in the outdoors; it is in the Outdoor group.
The naturalist's world is one to
be discovered and investigated. It is as near as a boy's backyard,
a nearby park or the woods and fields. It is inhabited by many kinds
of insect, birds, plants, animals, trees and other form of life. The naturalist activity badge may
lead a Webelos into a hobby or a vocation through all the exciting, new
adventures you plan for your den.
To increase boys' awareness of animal
behavior, To kindle a love of nature, To teach wildlife conservation. To
encourage Webelos to visit local animal preserves. To introduce boys to
animal kingdom classifications.
SCOUT MERIT BADGES
Fish and Wildlife Management
World Conservation Award
Official Boy Scout Handbook,
Boy Scout Field Book.
Ranger Rick magazine.
National Geographic Magazine
CAREERS / SPEAKERS
Zoo keeper, conservationist, taxidermist,
pet store worker, gardener, museum curator,
landscape artist, nature photographer, publisher or writer of nature books.
' THINGS OF NATURE '
I looked up phenology in Merriam Webster's
Dictionary since I wasn't sure exactly what it is : )
Phenology: a branch of science dealing
with the relations between climate and periodic biological phenomena (as
bird migration or plant flowering)
Buy (or have the Webelos make) blank
calendar pages and have the boys write in this month's dates. Have
them post it in the kitchen, so it's handy to jot down "things of nature."
List one or two things each day: cardinals at the bird feeder, grass turning
green, saw the full moon, etc.
If the boys enjoy this activity,
encourage them to keep a phenology calendar for a whole year. Then
they can look back and compare nature's cycles.
Invite a Fish and Game Department employee
to your meeting. Ask about major problems in the lakes in your area.
Tour the Botanical Garden or an
Arboretum. Find out how many employees are needed to keep the grounds
in good shape.
Visit a zoo with your den families.
Contact your county park for bird
banding information. Try to arrange to be present to watch the licensed
banders. Find out about the flyways in your area and what
birds are common.
Use large pinecones and spread peanut butter
all around it.
Take birdseed and cover the pinecone
Hang outside for the birds.
The world's largest bird, the ostrich,
can weigh as much as 300 pounds. (True)
The hummingbird is the smallest
bird in the world. (True)
Swifts can fly faster than Peregrine
Aviators have seen ducks flying
at 30,000 feet altitude. (False, about 8,000 feet.)
The number of species of bird is
about 5,000. (False, about 800.)
All birds build nests. (False,
cowbirds deposit their eggs in the nest of other birds.
Widgeons can lay as many as 18 eggs
at one time. (True)
Robins lay blue eggs. (True.)
No bird can fly backwards.
(False, the hummingbird can.)
The Trumpeter Swan is the heaviest
of all flying fowl. (True, at 38 pounds.)
A NATURE HIKE
Try a night hike in the woods, Have
the boys identify objects in the dark. How do they describe it? Is the
tree's bark smooth or rough? Is there any particular odor connected with
it'? Get to know plants and trees without using eyesight.
The use of all five senses should
be emphasized. It is not enough to merely look and listen but they should
taste, feel and smell, too.
At the end of the hike, get each
boy to describe what he liked the most. they usually remember the simple
things. Don't worry about knowledge. Get out in the fascinating world of
nature and enjoy it! See the Cub Scout Leader How-To Book for many ideas
for theme hikes.
Make up outlines of various animal footprints,
which are common in your area. Number the tracks. Write the
animal name on a separate card. Lay out the footprints and give each
boy a chance to match the correct animal name to the footprint number.
Practice this game several times
before going out on a hike to look for footprints in the mud or sand.
Take along casting materials and bring back "real" footprints. Take
this game to the pack meeting and let adults try it.
Scene: Cub 1 is standing on the street
corner, and the other boys approach him one at a time.
Cub 1: Where did you go on vacation?
Cub 2: My family went fishing at
Cub 1: Can't catch nothin' there!
Everybody knows that these lakes are very poor for fishing!
-(These lines are repeated by Cubs
2 through 5.)-
Cub 2: No sir, I caught this Sole.
(hold up an old shoe on a line.)
Cub 3: No sir, I caught this Snapper.
(Rubber band sling shot.)
Cub 4: No sir, I caught these Shellfish.
(Shell Oil cans in a net.)
Cub 5: No sir, I caught this Skate.
Cub 6: (Enters running and hands
a pole to Cub 1.)
Cub 1: Wait a minute, what did you
Cub 6: An old crab. Gotto
go…(And runs off quickly.)
Cubmaster enters with a large foil
hook attached to the seat of the pants.