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Baloo's Bugle


July Cub Scout Roundtable Issue

Volume 9, Issue 12
August Theme

Circle the Wagons
Webelos Naturalist and Forester
  Tiger Cub Activites



Note from Commissioner Dave This Webelos section is reprinted from the August 2002 Baloo with a few additions.  I need to improve my resources for Webelos Activity Badges.

Both badges this month offer you an opportunity to promote understanding of the Outdoor Code and give you opportunities for practical application.

The Outdoor Code

BSA Outdoor Code Wallet Card (#33428A)

As an American, I will do my best to -

Be clean in my outdoor manners.

   I will treat the outdoors as a heritage.

   I will take care of it for myself and others

   I will keep my trash and garbage out of lakes, streams, fields, woods, and roadways.

Be careful with fire.

   I will prevent wildfire.

   I will build my fires only where they are appropriate.

   When I have finished using a fire, I will make sure it is cold out.

   I will leave a clean fire ring, or remove all evidence of my fire.

Be considerate in the outdoors.  and

   I will treat public and private property with respect.

               I will use low-impact methods of hiking and camping. 

Be conservation minded

   I will learn how to practice good conservation of soil, waters, forests, minerals, grasslands, wildlife, and energy.

   I will urge others to do the same.


Bay Area Council

There's no greater thrill than being in the forest, amongst the trees, hearing the wind in the treetops and feeling the peace there.

These activities will help you to appreciate the woodlands around you.

Activity #1:

Almost any one can figure out the age of a tree by counting its rings. Now you can do the same by dating a twig by looking at its bark.

Every tree branch ends in a "terminal bud," which contains the growth for the next season. Every spring, the leaves sprout from that bud and the twig lengthens. At the end of the growing season, the leaves fall and a new bud is formed to protect the tip of the growing branch. Wherever the terminal bud is formed, a band is left around the twig.

By looking at the distance between the bands, you can get an idea of how fast the twig grew and how many seasons it's been growing. The more bands, the more seasons.  The longer the distance between bands, the more the twig has grown that year.

Activity #2:

Tree seed art-take a plastic grocery bag and go on a seed collection hunt.  Be sure to gather seeds that have already fallen to the ground.  Some seeds will have casings or pods, some may have what looks like wings, while others will be in protective shells.  After collecting, clean off any dirt and attach to a poster board using white glue that dries clear.  To preserve your picture, wrap in clear plastic wrap and tape it to the back of the poster board.

The Web Of Life.

Materials needed: ball of string or yarn, scissors, plain white stickers and pen.

Everyone stands in a circle and the den leader begins by asking each individual to name a tree that grows in the forest. The first to speak up will be given the end of the string or yarn.  Next, ask the boys to name an animal that depends on that tree for food or shelter and then hand the ball of string to the boy that answers.  This creates the first strand of your web of life.  See if anyone can name an animal or plant that depends on the first animal and pass the ball of string to him.  Continue until each child has answered a question and is holding a part of the web of string.  You can use the stickers to place the name of the animal or plant suggested by the boy and put it on his hand.

After playing the game, ask the boys to imagine that a forest fire has wiped out all the trees in their forest.  Have the boy representing the tree tug on his end of the string and tell each child who feels a tug to give a tug in turn.  Very quickly, each boy in the web should feel the impact of the loss of the tree. 

Forest Glossary:

Soil Layer is the foundation of the forest.  It supports and provides moisture and nutrients to plant and tree roots. It consists of decomposed plant matter and inorganic mater, like rocks, minerals, and clay.

Litter layer is the floor of the forest, where decaying plant matter and fungi undergo the transformation into soil. Bacteria, insects, and worms in the litter help break down the plant matter. Field layer is the firstlayer of growth on the forest floor-a soft carpet of moss and ferns, wild flowers, grasses and other low plants.

Understory is made up of bushes, shrubs, woody plants, and young trees reaching up to the forest canopy. It provides a habitat for birds and insects. Canopy is the highest layer of the forest-the intertwined branches of mature trees that shade and protect lower forest layers and provides a habitat for insects, birds and small mammals.






Baltimore Area Council

A forester deals with the care and growing of trees, and a Webelos Scout working on his Forester Activity Badge will learn how to recognize different species of trees by their shape, foliage, bark and types of wood, as well as how they live and grow.

A forester must learn how to do a great variety of things as well as know many facts about trees. Some of his tasks are making tree inventories, estimating the lumber content in standing timber, surveying, logging, and marking of trees for harvesting.  He is interested in Woodlands conservation and learns how to preserve and protect them from fire and disease.  A forester must have excellent health and a love of the outdoors.

Den Activites

Baltimore Area Council

Teach the boys the Outdoor Code

Plant a tree

Make a collection of leaf prints.

Take a hike to identify trees

Grow a tree from seed to plant

Visit a tree farm or nursery

Visit a lumber yard or sawmill

Smokey's Pledge

Baltimore Area Council

I promise that:

I will not play with matches.

I will tell people who smoke to use an ashtray.

I will see that campfires are in a clear place, at least 5 feet from anything else that will burn.

I will not leave a campfire until it is put out with water

I will tell all my friends to always be careful with fire.



Provide fuel, furniture, paper, wax, cork, oils, gums, rubber, syrup, nuts and fruits.

Give shade, beauty and relief from the drabness of concrete.

Make it cooler in the summer with their shade and warmer in the winter by serving as a wind break.

Provide homes and shelters for birds, who in turn help reduce insect pests.

Make an area more attractive and appealing and so it increases property values.

Screen impurities, trap the dust in the air.

Help prevent soil erosion.

Provide a barrier that screens out noise.

Put oxygen in the air.

How To Plant A Shade Tree

Baltimore Area Council

Select the tree and decide when and where to plant it.

Protect the roots from drying. Unpack a bare-root tree immediately and place it in a bucket of water or thin mud. Do not plant with packing material attached to roots.

Cover the roots with fertile soil, tamping. it or settling it with water. Pour protective mulch, such as wood chips or peat moss around the base after water has soaked in.

Wrap tile trunk with a protective coveting such as burlap, cloth snips or paper.  Don't use polyethylene plastic.

Dig a hole large enough to hold the entire root system without crowding.

Make certain that drainage from the hole is good. Planting-holes must be drained for trees to grow satisfactorily.

Fasten the trunk to the stakes with canvas tape or loops of wire passed through a section of rubber or plastic hose or similar material.

Care for the tree after planting. Water well for at least a year & ENJOY!

Cut off one-half inch and file ends of the roots to expose live root tissue.

Prune the top of the tree as needed to compensate for roots lost in digging and moving.  Consult a nurseryman or a good tree manual before starting to prune.

Put some fertile soil in the hole.

Set the tree in the hole no deeper than it was at its original


Install supporting stakes. 1 to 3 wooden stakes usually will support a diameter of no more than 2". The wooden stakes are strong enough to hold the trunk rigidly in place.

Wall Plaque

Baltimore Area Council

Make this wall plaque from the cross section of a tree log. Sand both sides smooth, allowing the cambium rings to show clearly.  Apply several coats of varnish for a deep, glossy finish.



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