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Bear Necessities Adventure: Cub Scout Helps and Ideas

This information is for the Cub Scout program before the June 1, 2024 updates. After June 2024, all Cub Scouts should use the updated program requirements. See here.

The Bear Necessities Cub Scout Adventure is all about getting outdoors and picking up practical skills. In a nutshell, it’s about rolling up your sleeves and embracing a touch of nature. Whether it’s a campout, an outdoor escapade, day camp, or a full-blown resident camp, this adventure nudges young Scouts toward an active, curious life.

The Bear Necessities beltloop

One key takeaway? Preparation. Cubs compile a list of what to carry for their chosen escapade and also tally up the group gear needed. Planning is a good habit, and this is the perfect place to start. They get hands-on experience pitching tents too – location scouting included.

There’s some knot knowledge in the mix as well. Cubs master the art of two half hitches, essential for securing things, be it a tarp or a bundle of wood. And, yes, they’re also introduced to a bit of meteorology. A basic understanding of reading a thermometer and barometer comes into play, along with a weeklong weather-logging exercise.

So, in a nutshell, Bear Necessities is all about hands-on learning – the kind that preps Cub Scouts for the great outdoors and everyday life, teaching them about gear, knots, and even a touch of weather science along the way.

Bear Necessities Adventure Requirements

Complete requirements 1–4. Requirements 5 and 6 are optional.

  1. While working on your Bear badge, attend one of the following:
    a. A daytime or overnight campout with your pack or family
    b. An outdoor activity with your den or pack
    c. Day camp
    d. Resident camp
  2. Make a list of items you should take along on the activity selected in requirement 1.
  3. Make a list of equipment that the group should bring along in addition to each Scout’s personal gear for the activity selected in requirement 1.
  4. Help set up a tent. Determine a good spot for the tent, and explain to your den leader why you picked it
  5. Demonstrate how to tie two half hitches and explain what the hitch is used for
  6. Learn how to read a thermometer and a barometer. Keep track of the temperature and barometric pressure readings and the actual weather at the same time every day for seven days.

Resources and Answers for the Bear Necessities Adventure

Packing for an Outing: For Bear Necessities Requirements 1, 2, and 3

Common Items:

  • Clothing Layers: Mix of clothes for different weather – t-shirts, long sleeves, and a light jacket.
  • Sturdy Shoes: Comfortable footwear for walking and activities.
  • Water Bottle: Hydration is key, so bring a refillable water bottle.
  • Snacks: Easy-to-carry snacks – granola bars, fruit, or nuts.
  • Sunscreen: Protect your skin from the sun. Travel-sized sunscreen works.
  • Bug Spray: Depending on the location and bugs around, insect repellent might come in handy.
  • Hat: Keep the sun off your face with a hat.
  • Small First Aid Kit: Band-aids, antiseptic wipes, and basic meds – just in case.
  • Personal Medications: If needed, carry any personal medications or allergy supplies.
  • Rain Gear: If the weather looks iffy, pack a light rain jacket or poncho.

Now, let’s add a few extras based on the specific activities:

For Daytime or Overnight Campout:

  • Sleep Gear: Sleeping bag, sleeping pad, and perhaps a pillow for overnight stays.
  • Flashlight or Headlamp: Light up the night with a hands-free option.

For Outdoor Activity with Den or Pack:

  • Activity Gear: If you have a specific game or activity planned, pack the necessary gear.

For Day Camp:

  • Notebook and Pen: Useful for notes, doodles, or games during downtime.
  • Schedule or Map: If provided, carry a camp schedule or map to know what’s happening when.
  • Optional: Pocket Money: If there’s a camp store or snacks available for purchase, a bit of pocket money might come in handy.

For Resident Camp :

  • Sleep Gear: Sleeping bag, sleeping pad, and perhaps a pillow for overnight stays.
  • Toiletries: Soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, and a towel for longer stays.
  • Camp Schedule or Map: If provided, know what’s happening and where.
  • Schedule or Map: If provided, carry a camp schedule or map to know what’s happening when.
  • Optional: Pocket Money: If there’s a camp store or snacks available for purchase, a bit of pocket money might come in handy.

For Requirement 3 (Equipment for the Group):

  • Tents: If camping, the group will need tents for shelter.
  • Cooking Gear: For meal prep, like pots, pans, and utensils.
  • Campfire Supplies: If allowed, gear for a safe campfire experience.
  • Optional: Activity Gear: Depending on what the outdoor activity is – frisbees, sports equipment, or anything else you need for fun.

Remember, the name of the game is to pack light, practical, and tailored to the activity. Keep these basics in mind, and you’ll be all set for a great outdoor experience.

cub scout hiking

Hiking Resources for Cub Scouts

This resource offers a wealth of ideas to go hiking with Cub Scouts for the Bear Necessities adventure. From planning a safe and exciting hike to incorporating educational elements along the trail, this link is your guide to a memorable outdoor experience. So, lace up those hiking boots and let’s embark on a journey of discovery.

Camping Packing List

Camping Packing List

If you’re gearing up for a Bear Necessities adventure that involves camping, you know that being well-prepared is the key to a successful trip. This camping packing list has your back, outlining essentials and extra items that can make your camping experience smooth and enjoyable. From clothing layers to cooking gear, this link provides a detailed checklist to keep you organized as you pack for your outdoor escapade.

Choosing a Location for a Tent: For Bear Necessities 4

Picking the right spot for your tent matters. Here are some practical tips to nail it:

  • Flat Ground: Look for a level area. It’s more comfortable for sleeping and prevents you from sliding around during the night.
  • Avoid Low Spots: Don’t set up in a depression or low-lying area. Rainwater tends to collect there, and you don’t want to wake up in a puddle.
  • Stay Away from Water: Keep a good distance from rivers, lakes, and streams. Water levels can rise unexpectedly, and damp ground doesn’t make for a cozy night.
  • Mind the Slope: If you’re on a slope, position your tent so your head is uphill. It helps you sleep more comfortably and prevents rainwater from flowing into your tent.
  • Consider Sun and Shade: Think about where the sun will be in the morning. If it’s going to be scorching, a bit of shade can be a relief.
  • Natural Windbreaks: Trees, bushes, or rocks can act as windbreaks. They provide a shield from gusty winds and keep you warmer.
  • Safety First: Check for potential hazards like dead trees or loose rocks that could pose a risk if they fall.
  • Respect Leave No Trace: Follow principles like minimizing your impact on the environment. Avoid trampling on fragile plants and don’t disturb wildlife.
  • Camp Regulations: If you’re in a designated camping area, follow any specific rules or guidelines for tent placement.
  • Stay Legal: Ensure you’re allowed to camp in the area you’ve chosen. Some places might have restrictions or require permits.

Remember, finding a good tent spot is about comfort, safety, and respecting the environment. With these tips in mind, you’ll be all set for a good night’s sleep in the great outdoors.

About Hitches: For Bear Necessities 5

Two half hitches are a simple knot that comes in handy for securing things. Here’s the lowdown:

Two Half Hitches: Two half hitches are like the knot version of a double whammy. You start by wrapping the rope around a post or another rope, then loop it around again. This creates two loops (hitches) that snugly hold things in place. It’s a reliable way to tie up a load or fasten something temporarily.

What Hitches are Used For: Hitches are your go-to for making stuff stay put. Imagine you’re tying a boat to a dock, securing gear to a backpack, or lashing down a tent. Hitches grip well under tension and are easy to undo when needed. They’re not fancy knots, but they get the job done.

So, in a nutshell, two half hitches are a simple yet effective way to cinch things up, and hitches, in general, are your trusty helpers for keeping stuff where it belongs – securely.

Thermometers and Barometers: For Bear Necessities 6

Thermometer: A thermometer measures temperature. It tells you how hot or cold the air is. The basic idea is a scale that rises as the temperature goes up and drops as it goes down. Thermometers are common tools for tracking daily weather changes and are used to determine if it’s warm, chilly, or in-between.

Barometer: A barometer, on the other hand, measures atmospheric pressure. This pressure is the weight of the air above us. When the pressure changes, it can indicate shifts in the weather. High pressure typically means fair weather, while low pressure often precedes storms.

  • Know Your Instruments: Get acquainted with the thermometer and barometer. Understand how they work and what the readings mean.
  • Consistent Timing: Set a specific time each day to take the readings. Consistency helps you observe patterns more accurately.
  • Record Everything: Keep a simple journal or notebook. Write down the temperature, barometric pressure, and note the weather conditions – sunny, cloudy, rainy, or whatever you observe.
  • Location Matters: Place the instruments in the same spot each day. This minimizes variations due to changing surroundings.
  • Weather Details: Don’t just note if it’s sunny or rainy. Record any significant changes like wind speed, cloud cover, or humidity.
  • Compare Readings: As the days go by, compare the temperature and pressure readings. Look for trends or fluctuations.
  • Research and Learn: Take a bit of time to understand how weather patterns can affect temperature and barometric pressure. This adds depth to your observations.
  • Be Patient: Weather can be unpredictable. Some days might seem “normal,” while others show interesting shifts.
  • Discuss Findings: If you’re doing this with others, like your den or family, have a chat about your observations. It’s a great learning opportunity.
  • Enjoy the Process: Learning about weather through observation is fascinating. Embrace the learning journey and have fun with it.
Bear Necessities Den Meeting Plan

Bear Den Meeting Plan: Bear Necessities

This Bear Den Meeting Plan for the Bear Necessities adventure is packed with engaging activities that not only fulfill requirements but also ensure a fun and enriching experience for your young Scouts. From discussing the basics of camping to getting ready for an adventure, this meeting plan covers it all. So, if you’re ready to lead your Bear Scouts on a journey of practical skills and outdoor exploration, dive into the Bear Den Meeting Plan for Bear Necessities here.

Cub Scout Outdoor Activity Award

Cub Scout Outdoor Activity Award

After conquering the Bear Necessities adventure, dive into a few more outdoor activities, from nature hikes to community projects. Embrace aquatics, campfires, and even create your own outdoor game. Each step builds your outdoor prowess and respect for nature. Share your observations at den meetings and make memories that last a lifetime.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Bear Necessities Adventure

What is the Bear Necessities adventure all about?

The Bear Necessities adventure is about getting Cub Scouts outdoors and teaching them practical skills for camping and outdoor activities. It covers essentials like packing, setting up tents, knot-tying, and even a touch of weather science.

How do I start the Bear Necessities adventure?

First, consult your Cub Scout handbook. It provides step-by-step guidance on how to begin the adventure and what’s expected at each stage.

What kind of activities are included in the Bear Necessities adventure?

The adventure focuses on hands-on activities like learning to pack for different outdoor trips, setting up tents, and mastering a few basic knots. Cubs also explore weather science by reading thermometers and barometers.

Can we complete the Bear Necessities requirements as a den or with family?

Absolutely. Many of the activities can be completed as a den or with your family. The adventure is designed to encourage teamwork and outdoor exploration.

Is there a specific age range for the Bear Necessities adventure?

The Bear Necessities adventure is designed for Bear Scouts, who are typically around 9 years old. It’s tailored to their age and skill level.

Can parents or leaders get involved in the Bear Necessities adventure?

Absolutely. Parents and leaders play a crucial role in guiding Cubs through the adventure. They can provide guidance, assistance, and help organize outdoor activities. They can even tag along!


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