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Bear Habitat Adventure for 2024

The Bear Habitat Adventure is a great way for Bear Cub Scouts to explore nature and learn important outdoor skills. This adventure encourages Bears to prepare, observe, and interact with the natural environment responsibly. During the adventure, Cub Scouts practice planning and safety while enjoying the outdoors. This helps them develop a deeper appreciation for wildlife and nature.

Bear Habitat Adventure Pin

When Bear Cub Scouts participate in the Bear Habitat Adventure, they learn how to prepare for outdoor activities. They gather necessary items and plan their route. This teaches them the importance of being ready and how to make smart choices about what to bring along based on the weather and the environment.

The adventure also focuses on respecting nature. Bears learn to observe wildlife safely and keep the environment clean. They practice Leave No Trace principles, which teach them to care for nature by not leaving trash and not disturbing natural habitats. This is crucial for helping them understand their impact on the environment.

Finally, this adventure helps Bear Cub Scouts build social skills. They learn how to be considerate of others while sharing outdoor spaces. By working as a team, Bears strengthen their cooperation and communication skills. This makes the outdoor experience more enjoyable and safe for everyone involved.

Requirements for the Bear Habitat Adventure

Bear Habitat Adventure Requirements

  1. Prepare for a 1-mile walk by gathering the Cub Scout Six Essentials and weather appropriate clothing and shoes.
  2. “Know Before You Go” Identify the location of your walk on a map and confirm your 1-mile route.
  3. “Choose the Right Path” Learn about the path and surrounding area you will be walking on.  
  4. “Trash your Trash” Develop a plan for what you will do with your personal trash or trash you find along the trail. 
  5. “Leave What You Find” Take pictures along your walk or bring a sketch book to draw 5 things that you want to remember on your walk.
  6. “Be Careful with Fire” Determine the fire danger rating along your path.
  7. “Respect Wildlife” From a safe distance, identify as you look up, down, and around you, 6 signs of any mammals, birds, insects, reptiles.
  8. “Be Kind to Other Visitors” Identify what you need to do as a den to be kind to others on the path.
  9. Go on your 1-mile walk while practicing your Leave No Trace Principles for Kids.

Resources for the Bear Habitat Adventure

Cub Scout Six Essentials

Prepare to Walk

Prepare for a 1-mile walk by gathering the Cub Scout Six Essentials and weather appropriate clothing and shoes.

For requirement 1 of the Bear Habitat adventure, den leaders should guide their Bears to prepare for a one-mile walk. Here are some simple steps to help:

  • Teach the Cub Scout Six Essentials: Explain what each item is for and why it’s important to bring them on the walk. These items are:
    • A water bottle to stay hydrated.
    • Sun protection like sunscreen or a hat.
    • A flashlight in case it gets dark.
    • A first aid kit for safety.
    • A whistle to signal for help if needed.
    • A trail food like snacks for energy.
  • Check the Weather: Help the Bears learn how to check the weather forecast. Choose clothing and shoes that are right for the weather. If it’s cold, wear warm layers. If it’s sunny, wear a hat and sunscreen.
  • Plan Your Gear: Make sure each Bear has a backpack to carry their essentials. Everything should fit comfortably so they can walk without trouble.

See more ideas for game and activities, and get a handout to send home, on my Cub Scout Six Essentials page.

Here is another option for fulfilling Bear Habitat Adventure requirement 1:

  • Backpack Packing Challenge
    • Cub Scouts learn to pack a backpack for a walk.
    • Supplies: backpack, filled water bottle, whistle, flashlight, sunscreen, hat, sunglasses, trail mix, small first aid kit, clothing appropriate for the weather, Bear handbook
    • indoor, moderate energy, 3 to 5 days prep

By following these steps, den leaders can ensure their Bears are well-prepared for their adventure.

Know Before You Go

“Know Before You Go” Identify the location of your walk on a map and confirm your 1-mile route.

For requirement 2 of the Bear Habitat adventure, here’s how den leaders can help their Bears “Know Before You Go”:

  1. Find a Map: Choose a map of the area where you will walk. A park map or a simple trail map works well.
  2. Show the Route: On the map, point out the starting point and the route you will follow. Make sure it’s a one-mile loop or out-and-back walk.
  3. Discuss Landmarks: Identify any landmarks on the map with your Bears. This could be things like a big tree, a stream, or a rock formation. This helps them recognize these spots during the walk.
  4. Confirm the Route: Double-check that the route is safe and suitable for the group. Make sure it’s not too difficult for the Bears.

Here are some options for fulfilling Bear Habitat Adventure requirement 2:

By preparing with a map and knowing the route ahead of time, Bears will be more confident and safe during their walk.

Choose the Right Path

“Choose the Right Path” Learn about the path and surrounding area you will be walking on.  

For requirement 3 of the Bear Habitat adventure, den leaders can help their Bears “Choose the Right Path” by discussing these simple steps:

  • Research the Path: Before the walk, look up information about the path. Find out if it’s flat, hilly, or rocky. Knowing this helps you prepare the Bears for what to expect.
  • Stick to Paths and Trails: Try not to disturb wildflowers and other plants. Don’t trespass on private property.
  • Learn About the Area: Teach the Bears a bit about the area. You might discuss the types of trees, animals, or special landmarks they might see. This makes the walk more interesting.
  • Safety Check: Make sure the path is safe for the group. Check if there have been any recent issues like fallen trees or flooded areas.
  • Plan for Rest Stops: If the path is long or challenging, plan a few stops where the group can rest and have water.

Here are some options for fulfilling Bear Habitat Adventure requirement 3:

  • Ask the Path Expert
    • Invite a guest with knowledge of the path to speak about the history of the path.
    • Supplies: Map or picture of the area you where Cub Scouts are walking
    • indoor, very low energy, more than one week prep
  • No Two Trails Alike
    • Cub Scouts learn about special attributes of the Bear Walk route.
    • Supplies: Digital map of route
    • indoor, low energy, 3 to 5 days prep

By learning about the path and the surrounding area, Bears have a safer and more enjoyable walk.

Trash your Trash

“Trash your Trash” Develop a plan for what you will do with your personal trash or trash you find along the trail. 

For requirement 4 of the Bear Habitat adventure, den leaders can guide their Bears to “Trash Your Trash” with these steps:

  • Bring Trash Bags: Make sure every Bear has a small trash bag in their daypack. This is for collecting their own trash and any litter they find on the trail.
  • Explain Why It Matters: Teach the Bears why it’s important to keep nature clean. Explain that trash can harm plants and animals.
  • Set Rules: Make a rule that everyone must carry out their own trash. Also, if it’s safe, they can pick up litter they find on the trail.
  • Plan for Disposal: Decide where you will throw away the collected trash after the walk. Usually, there are trash bins at the start or end of a trail.

Here is an option for fulfilling Bear Habitat Adventure requirement 4:

By planning how to manage trash, den leaders help Bears learn responsibility and respect for the environment.

Leave What You Find

“Leave What You Find” Take pictures along your walk or bring a sketch book to draw 5 things that you want to remember on your walk.

For requirement 5 of the Bear Habitat adventure, den leaders can help their Bears “Leave What You Find” by encouraging them to record their observations creatively:

  • Choose a Method: Decide if the Bears will take pictures with a camera or draw in a sketchbook. Each Bear can choose what they like best.
  • Prepare Materials: If they choose to draw, make sure each Bear has a sketchbook and pencils. If they take pictures, check that they have a camera or a phone with a camera.
  • Set a Goal: Ask each Bear to find five things they find interesting or beautiful to take pictures of or draw. This could be a leaf, a bug, a flower, or a view.
  • Discuss Respect: Remind them not to disturb what they find. That way others who walk the path after them can also enjoy them. They should only look and take pictures or draw.
  • Share and Reflect: At the end of the walk, have each Bear share one picture or drawing and talk about why they chose it. Feel free to share, with permission, your Scouts’ wildlife photos or sketches in our Scout Leaders Facebook group.

Here is an option for fulfilling Bear Habitat Adventure requirement 5:

  • Take Only Memories
    • While on a walk, Cub Scouts take pictures or bring a sketchbook to draw five things that they want to remember.
    • Supplies: smart device or camera OR sketchbooks, pencils, crayons, markers
    • requires travel, very high energy, 1 to 3 days prep

This activity helps Bears appreciate nature without disturbing it and gives them a personal memory of their adventure.

Be Careful with Fire

“Be Careful with Fire” Determine the fire danger rating along your path.

For requirement 6 of the Bear Habitat adventure, den leaders can guide their Bears to “Be Careful with Fire” by checking the fire danger level:

  • Find Fire Danger Information: Before the walk, look up the fire danger rating for the area. You can find this information on the website of the local park, forest service, or fire department.
  • Explain Fire Danger Ratings: Teach the Bears what the fire danger ratings mean. Higher ratings mean they need to be more careful about fire safety.
  • Discuss Fire Safety: Talk about why it’s important to be careful with fire in nature. Explain how fires can start and spread, especially on dry days.
  • Make a Safety Plan: If the fire danger is high, plan to avoid activities that could start a fire. This could mean not using a camp stove or having a campfire.

Here is an option for fulfilling Bear Habitat Adventure requirement 6:

By understanding and respecting the fire danger ratings, Bears learn how to enjoy nature safely and help prevent wildfires.

Respect Wildlife

“Respect Wildlife” From a safe distance, identify as you look up, down, and around you, 6 signs of any mammals, birds, insects, reptiles.

For requirement 7 of the Bear Habitat adventure, den leaders can help their Bears “Respect Wildlife” by observing signs of animals safely:

  • Teach Observation Skills: Explain how to look for signs of wildlife. These can include tracks, nests, chewed leaves, or sounds.
  • Set Safety Rules: Make sure the Bears know to watch animals from a distance. They should not try to touch or feed wildlife.
  • Use All Senses: Encourage the Bears to use their eyes, ears, and noses to notice wildlife signs. Look up at the trees, down at the ground, and all around.
  • Identify Six Signs: Challenge each Bear to find and identify six different signs of wildlife, such as bird calls, insect nests, or reptile tracks.
  • Discuss What They Find: After the walk, talk about the signs they saw and what those signs tell us about how animals live.

Here is an option for fulfilling Bear Habitat Adventure requirement 7:

  • Wildlife Snapshot
    • While on a walk, Cub Scouts identify six signs of any mammals, birds, insects, or reptiles.
    • Supplies: none
    • requires travel, very high energy, 1 to 3 days prep

By learning to observe and respect wildlife safely, Bears enhance their understanding of nature and how to coexist with it responsibly.

Be Kind to Others

“Be Kind to Other Visitors” Identify what you need to do as a den to be kind to others on the path.

For requirement 8 of the Bear Habitat adventure, den leaders can guide their Bears to “Be Kind to Others” on the trail:

  • Discuss Trail Etiquette: Teach the Bears basic trail manners. This includes staying to the right, passing on the left, and announcing when passing others.
  • Share the Space: Remind them to be aware of other people using the path. This means not blocking the path and allowing others to enjoy their time in nature too.
  • Use Quiet Voices: Encourage the Bears to use quiet voices on the trail so they do not disturb other people or wildlife.
  • Be Helpful: Teach them to be helpful, like assisting others with directions or picking up dropped items.
  • Leave No Trace: Reinforce the importance of leaving no trash behind and keeping the trail clean for everyone.

Here is an option for fulfilling Bear Habitat Adventure requirement 8:

  • Consider Others
    • While on a walk, Cub Scouts find one way to be considerate to other visitors on the path.
    • Supplies: none
    • requires travel, moderate energy, 1 to 3 days prep

By practicing kindness and consideration on the trail, Bears learn to respect others and make the outdoor experience enjoyable for everyone.

Leave No Trace Frontcountry Guidelines

Go for a Walk

Go on your 1-mile walk while practicing your Leave No Trace Principles for Kids.

For requirement 9 of the Bear Habitat adventure, den leaders can guide their Bears through a one-mile walk while reviewing the previously mentioned Leave No Trace Principles for Kids:

  • Know before you go
  • Choose the right path
  • Trash your trash
  • Leave what you find
  • Be careful with fire
  • Respect wildlife
  • Be kind to others

Read more about the Leave No Trace principles here

Here is an option for fulfilling Bear Habitat Adventure requirement 9:

  • Leave No Trace Walk
    • Cub Scouts go on a one-mile walk while practicing Leave No Trace Principles for Kids.
    • Supplies: Activity Consent Form, filled water bottles, whistles, flashlights, sunscreen, hats, sunscreens, trail mix, small first aid kits, den first aid kit
    • requires travel, very high energy, 1 to 3 days prep

By actively engaging in Leave No Trace practices during their walk, Bears learn to be responsible stewards of the environment.

Safety Resources

Before any activity, check the SAFE Checklist to make sure everyone is safe. Everyone involved in Scouting America activities should know the Guide to Safe Scouting and other relevant guides or books. Also follow any state or local rules that are more strict than Scouting America rules and guidelines.

Before starting this Adventure, complete the following:

During the Adventure:

  • Use the buddy system.
  • All adults should actively supervise.

Before starting this Adventure, review Digital Safety and Online Scouting Activities.

More information

Frequently Asked Questions for the Bear Habitat Adventure

What are the Cub Scout Six Essentials?

The Cub Scout Six Essentials are items every Cub Scout should carry on outings for safety and preparedness. They include a water bottle, sun protection, a flashlight, a first aid kit, a whistle, and trail food. Learn more about the Cub Scout Six Essentials here.

How do I find a suitable one-mile route for the Bear Habitat Adventure?

Look for local parks, nature reserves, or community trails that are safe and suitable for children. You can check park websites or contact local park services for recommended routes. A one mile walk in an urban setting is also an option for the Bear Habitat Adventure.

What should the Bears do if they find trash on the trail?

They should safely pick it up and carry it out in their trash bag. This helps keep nature clean and safe for everyone.

How can we practice being kind to others on the path?

Teach the Bears to greet others politely, give right of way where appropriate, and keep noise levels low to avoid disturbing others.

What should we do if we see wildlife?

Observe wildlife from a distance. Do not try to feed or touch animals. Use binoculars or a camera to watch them without getting too close.

Why is it important to use a map for the Bear Habitat Adventure?

Using a map helps ensure you stay on the correct path and teaches the Bears navigation skills. It also helps them understand the layout of the area they are exploring.

Can we do the Bear Habitat Adventure in any season?

Yes, but make sure to check the weather and prepare accordingly. Dress appropriately for the conditions and adjust your gear to ensure everyone’s comfort and safety.

A Walk on the Wild Side

The Bear Habitat Adventure is an outdoor activity designed for Bear Cub Scouts. It encourages them to explore nature while learning essential outdoor skills. This adventure is all about getting ready, being observant, and respecting the environment.

First, the Bears prepare for their one-mile walk. They gather the Cub Scout Six Essentials, which include items like a water bottle, sun protection, and a first aid kit. They also need to wear clothing and shoes suitable for the weather. This preparation teaches them the importance of planning ahead for safety and comfort.

During the walk, Bears practice the Leave No Trace Principles. They learn to respect wildlife by observing animals from a distance and not disturbing their habitats. They also keep the trails clean by picking up any trash they find. This helps protect the natural beauty of the area for other visitors.

Bears also use this opportunity to learn about the natural world. They might take pictures or draw things they find interesting. This activity helps them appreciate the details of the environment. They also learn to be considerate of other people on the trail, practicing kindness and good trail manners.

The Bear Habitat Adventure teaches Bear Cub Scouts valuable lessons about preparation, respect for nature, and consideration for others. It’s a fun and educational experience that helps them develop a lifelong appreciation for the outdoors.

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