This short video from Leap Frog shows the different parts of a map including the compass rose, legend, and scale. It describes how these parts are used to read the map.
Outdoor Skills and Awareness
Know how to STOP when you are lost or separated from your group. Review this acronym with your group before going out on a campout or hike with your group. Being prepared can assist searchers who are looking for a missing person or group.
Debbie asks if winter camping is appropriate for Cub Scouts. The age-appropriate guidelines provide some insight. But how cold is too cold for Cub Scouts?
TakeMeFishing.org has an interactive map which will help you to locate the places to fish closest to you. Just enter your zip code. You might be amazed to find local parks that allow fishing!
Knowledge of fire safety and the fire triangle is an essential outdoor skill. Scouts should understand the science of fire when camping. Newer scouts often struggle to get a fire going. Understanding the way fire works and what is required to start and sustain a fire not only helps them build fires. It also helps scouts know how to contain fires and put them out.
The nice folks at Flowfold sent me one of their Optimist Mini Backpacks for review. This is a 10L backpack and is just the right size for a day pack. I used it over the weekend at a youth camp where the buildings were very spread out and I wanted to be able to keep a few things with me all day.
Sometimes Scouts have trouble coming up with new ideas when planning meals for camp. Foil packs, hamburgers, hotdogs, repeat. Get creative with some new ideas.
Every Scout who is spending time outdoors should be familiar with the Outdoor Code. It is especially important for Webelos, Scouts BSA, and Venturers who are out camping regularly.
All four of my boys had their physicals yesterday. And I took along the BSA medical form to have it filled out so they would be ready for camp this summer. Sometimes this takes parents by surprise. Remind them to make an appointment and get it done if they haven’t already.
Scouts BSA working on their Tenderfoot rank need to learn about poisonous plants. Being able to identify hazardous plants will help all Scouts who are in the outdoors, so this knowledge is not just for rank advancement.
When preparing for a campout, one of the most common questions from less experienced campers is “What should I bring?” This article from Boy’s Life magazine is a good list of must haves for that campout.
This is the fourth in a series about the BSA Hornaday Award Program. In this segment, examples are given for project categories which were not discussed in the previous articles.
Kim Gilbert of Pack 533 in Andover, Kansas sent me this take on ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas so I could share it with you. Thanks Kim! I’m sure many of the Cub Packs out there will enjoy this.
If you are out with a goal oriented group and you want them to take some time to explore, consider adding one or more additional hiking activities.
The We Don’t Have a Skit skit is great because it can be used with any number of Scouts. It is also a good skit to do with younger Scouts because they don’t have to remember many lines.
This is the fifth and final article in a series about the BSA Hornaday Award Program. In this segment, the Hornaday award requirements for Venturers are described.
Marianna from Pack 377 in Fort Meade, MD sent in these two songs which she made up to help teach herWolves about square knots and overhand knots.
Heres another silly song for you. This works well at Christmas (because of the tune) or at camp (because of the theme).
When discussing pocket knife safety with Cub Scouts, they demonstrated their safety knowledge with a fake pocket knife made from cardboard.
I like to review some fire safety rules with my Webelos before the fire is built. That way they all know the expectations.
Even as winter approaches and it gets to cold for the Cub Scouts to get out tent camping, we can still get them outdoors on a day hike. Make sure your Cub Scouts know the 10 Outdoor Essentials.
Skits can be a great way to start an instruction program. They get everyone’s attention focused. This is a skit I saw at a camporee, but it would also work as an introduction to a session on fire building.
One thing new scouts (and new leaders) often ask the first few times they go camping is “What do I need to bring?” Download a suggested list of personal camping gear.
Doing a scavenger hunt while hiking will help scouts really explore the world around them while they are walking. This post includes a suggested list in printable format.
The new Cub Scout program introduces the SCOUT water safety chant. This helps younger Scouts learn the rules for safe aquatics activities.
My Webelos den is going to district camporee at the end of the month. So at last night’s Outdoorsman focused meeting, we did some menu planning.
Scouts should know how to build a fire. I am always amazed how many kids don’t understand the concept of using tinder and small sticks. This snack will help introduce the concept.
Tin can lanterns make a very versatile craft project for Cub Scouts. You can make the holes in any pattern you like – a star for Christmas, a ghost for Halloween, a heart for Valentine’s day. Webelos and Bears can probably do this project themselves with some adult supervision. Younger scouts will need more direct help from the adults.
These guidelines are appropriate for a front country adventure in an area like a park. That is the only type of hiking which is appropriate for Cub Scouts. If you are going on a back country hike, then you need to consider some other safety rules, like bringing a fire source and knife.
Some of you may have Scouts BSA in your families who are in the process of becoming members of the Order of the Arrow. Just when you thought you were getting a grasp on Scouts BSA, they threw something new at you!