Baloo's Bugle

June 2007 Cub Scout Roundtable Issue

Volume 13, Issue 11
July 2007 Theme

Theme: Rockets Red Glare
Webelos: Aquanaut & Geologist
Tiger Cub


Welcome Bear Leaders – as of June 1 you may be a Webelos leader.  Take your Scouts to resident camp – take them outdoors.  They will think you are great!!

Don’t miss Webelos resident camp (or whatever your council calls it) this summer.  This is the best place to help your Webelos begin preparing for Boy scouts and to help them earn those outdoor badges!!!

When are you taking your Den for a Webelos overnighter??


Baltimore Area Council

Every Scout is a swimmer! The Aquanaut Activity Badge teaches swimming skills, water and boat safety, and snorkeling. Swimming and water sports provide the finest exercise a boy can get, and the skills will last a lifetime.  The Scout who is a swimmer has self-confidence.  These activities can be done year-round as many School pools have open swim sessions for the public. Aquanaut is in the Physical Skills group.


  • To teach safety precautions on, in, or near the water.
  • To increase the boys' swimming skills and endurance.
  • To introduce Webelos to snorkeling.

Remember!  Any activity around water requires the presence of someone who has taken the “Safe Swim Defense” course.  Any boating activity requires the presence of someone who has taken the “Safety Afloat” course.

Where to Go and What to Do

  • Take the den swimming.  Let them try some of the swimming skills.
  • Have a splash party for your Webelos and allow them to bring their friends (a good recruiting idea). Alternately, have a parent and scout swim coupled with swim tests and instruction in using fins, mask and snorkel
  • Have a scuba diver give a demonstration of mask, fins, and snorkel.
  • Teach the 3 basic water rescue methods.
  • Practice rescue breathing on a mannequin.
  • Have a swim instructor or coast guard explain how to handle emergencies in the water.
  • Find out more about water pollutants in lakes and rivers in the area. How do they affect water consumption and recreation?
  • Have a quiz on boat safety rules.
  • Ask Boy Scouts to demonstrate and teach water rescue techniques.
  • Attend a Swimming meet or diving exhibition.
  • Visit a Boatyard.
  • Visit a municipal swimming pool to see water-filtration system and discuss lifeguard skills and training.
  • Have a Den or Pack meeting at a local pool. Be sure to make a reservation!
  • Study about the water pollutants in the lakes and rivers in your area and their affects on the uses of water for consumption and recreation.

Games for Aquanaut

The Guess What I'm Doing Game

On separate slips of paper, write some directions. (Make them roles from Safe Swim Defense). Put the slips in a hat and ask the first player to pick one. He reads his directions silently and pantomimes the action. The player who first guesses what he is doing becomes the next pantomimic.

Yacht Race

Line your gang at one end of the swimming area, giving each racer a soda straw and a small sailboat made of a flat board, an upright stick and paper sail. Make the sailboats as much alike as possible so that everyone has the same chance of winning. The Cub Scout regatta boats could also be used. On a signal, the swimmers must begin to blow their craft forward by puffing through their soda straws. The use of hands to put the boats back on course is forbidden. Whoever blows his boat across the finish line first is the winner.

Nuts and Bolts

A good way to get used to being underwater is to play this game. Toss a large bolt with a nut on it into waist-deep water. Bend down to find the bolt and unscrew the nut while you are under the water. If you can't finish the job, you must drop the bolt, come up for air and go down again until you have separated the two. When they are separated, straighten up to show them, throw them in again and go under to replace the nut on the bolt. This may be played individually or as a team relay game.

Note: Be careful of throwing these bolts into a plastic lined swimming pool so you do not damage the liner. Be sure to remove all nuts and bolts after the game so they do not rust and stain the lining of the pool.

Find the Number

About 20 large, flat rocks are plainly marked on both sides with numbers ranging from one to five. These are thrown into water that may be from two to six feet deep, depending on the swimming ability of your group. On a signal, everybody dunks to try to bring back as many numbered rocks as possible to his station on shore. Only one rock may be carried at a time. The player who collects the highest total when the numbers on his rocks are added up is the winner. Any flat, non-floating objects may be used instead of rocks.

Swimming Spell Down

  • Leader calls out a stunt.
  • Swimmers performing it to remain in the game.
  • Others are eliminated as in a spelling match.

Ideas to call out –

  • Swim with one arm out of water (side stroke)
  • Swim on the back with both arms out.
  • Steamboat (arms forward and feet do crawl kick)
  • Duck dive (Surface dive)
  • Log roll (arms and feet extended, roll the body)
  • Front somersault
  • Pendulum float

Paddle Wheel Contest

Needed: Foam kickboard for every two boys playing game.

This is a game played in waist deep water and the boys don't have to be strong swimmers to compete.


Each pair of boys grasp either end of the same board.

On signal, both boys start kicking, trying to force his opponent backwards.

Kim's Game Underwater

  • In five-foot deep water, make a small pile of five to ten familiar objects that do not float (spools, coins, metal nuts and washers, bolts, soda can full of water, etc. ).
  • Players swim out,
  • Surface dive to inspect the articles, and return.
  • They then tell the leaders all the articles they remember seeing.
  • The game ends with the swimmers retrieving all the objects.

Towel Rescue

Play this game in chest-deep water.

  • Divide the group into two teams.
  • Put one member of each team some distance from his teammates and give him a towel.
  • On signal, he walks or swims to his team, tosses the end of the towel to a teammate, and tows him back to the position from where he started.
  • The "rescued" boy then becomes rescuer and repeats the actions, "saving" another team member.
  • Continue until the whole team has saved and been saved.

Water Safety Quizzes

Water Safety

For each statement, circle the correct answer, DO or DON'T.

  • Show off in the water.
  • Dive into strange or shallow waters
  • Go in swimming right after eating.
  • Have your family physician tell you of any problems found in your fitness checkup

Boating Safety

Circle the correct answer(s) for each statement.

  • In a rowboat ( 1 OR 2 OR 3 ) people per seat is a safe rule.
  • (Children OR Scouts OR Adults ) should wear a life jacket in a boat 20 feet or shorter.
  • If your boat tips over (swim to shore OR hang onto the boat ).
  • Always keep a lookout for (other boats OR swimmers OR sharks).

Swimming & Rescue
Using words from the list below, fill in the correct answer for each description.

Surface Dive                  Crawl                          Stroke

Backstroke                      Go                       Sidestroke

Reach                     Buddy System                    Throw

  • Swimming with a buddy is good common sense because you can help each other if one gets in trouble or help each other to improve swimming skills.
  • This stroke begins with floating on your back
  • This stroke is done on either your left side or your right side.
  • In this stroke your head changes from facing down to facing to the side so you can take a breath of air
  • This skill involves floating face down, then bending sharply at the waist and aiming toward the bottom.
  • Rescue method where you extend something for the victim to grab onto
  • This rescue method involves providing a floating device to the victim.
  • This is the last rescue choice where you must get to the victim, preferably in a boat or other form of support.

Boat Safety

Fill in the blank with one of the following words:

weight                           shore                             hang

overload                       middle                       flotation

  • Always wear a personal _______________ device.
  • Don't _______________ the boat.
  • Balance the _______________ evenly in the boat.
  • If the boat tips over, _______________ onto it and kick to shore.
  • Step into the _______________ seat when changing seats or getting in.
  • Head for _______________ if bad weather comes.

Do's and Don'ts In and Around Water

Fill in the blank with DO or DON'T for each statement.

________________ Learn how to swim from a qualified instructor.

________________ Check with your buddy to see if he knows how to swim.

________________ Be a "show off" or bother others.

________________ Swim with a buddy.

________________ Dive into water without knowing its depth.

________________ Get out of the water when you are tired or cold.

________________ Swim alone.

________________ Beware of sunburn. Cover up and use sun screen.

________________ Dive into water without knowing what is under the water's surface.

Scout Rules for a Safe Swim

Number these items in order of importance to you.  Start with #1 being the most important.

_______ Know the dangers of water.

_______ Know your abilities and your limitations in water.

_______ Always swim with a buddy.

_______ Know your boat or watercraft.

_______ Get regular physical examinations by your family doctor.

_______ Wait a while after eating to give your food time to digest.

_______ Practice to improve your abilities.

_______ Know and follow all waterfront rules and beach regulations.

_______ Never dive into unknown waters.

_______ Never show off or take a dare.

_______ Never swim underwater more than a few seconds.

_______ Never drink alcoholic beverages.


In the puzzle below, locate the words that appear on the word list. You may find the words written backward, forward, up, down or diagonally. When you find a word, circle it on the puzzle and cross it off of the word list.

AQUATICS                   FINS                          POOL

SNORKEL            BUDDY BOARD                      GO

RESCUE BREATHING                                    SWIM

BUDDY PLAN           LIFELINE                        ROW

TARGET           DROWN PROOFING              MASK

SAFE SWIM               THROW

Sam Houston Area Council

Swimming is one of the best sports that a boy can be involved in.  It is one of the few sports in which every muscle in our body is exercised.  As Webelos leaders, we have the responsibility to develop self-confidence in every boy in our den or patrol.  Through learning to swim, each boy will gain a sense of self-achievement, as well as gaining a skill that may save his life or other lives some day.  Learning to swim at this age, well enough to pass the BSA swim test, will make his eventual advancement to the Boy Scout’s First Class Rank much easier.


  • Check health condition of participants.
  • Secure safe facilities.
  • Use qualified supervision.
  • Have lifeguards and lookouts.
  • Identify swimming ability groups.
  • Teach the Buddy System.
  • Maintain good discipline.
  • Follow pool rules.
  • Teach rescue methods.


  • Make a simple buddy board and make buddy tags for all the boys.  One tag per boy with his name on it, and color the tag blue for swimmers, red for novice swimmers, and white for non-swimmers.  Insist they place their tag on the board, on the same hook as their buddy’s tag, when they are in a swimming or boating area.
  • Visit a SCUBA dive shop and teach boys how to use a mask, fins, and snorkel.
  • Teach basic rescue methods such as “reach, throw, row and tow.”
  • Visit a high school swim meet or water polo match.
  • Instruct the boys how to use their clothes for floatation purposes.
  • Work on the Swimming Belt Loop or Sports Pin.



Some boys may not be able to swim yet.  Floating and treading water exercises can help overcome fear or unfamiliarity with water.


In waist-deep water, take a deep breath.  Reach down and wrap arms around knees.  Hold the knees.  Your body will bob to the surface and float.  Grab quick breaths and float again.


In waist-deep water, take a deep breath, reach down and grab ankles.  Hold ankles.  Your body will bob to the surface and float.  Grab quick breaths and float again.


In shoulder-deep water with supervision, teach methods for treading water by efficiently kicking, and making calm sweeping hand motions.  Teach them to float whenever they get tired.



Play in shoulder-deep to waist-deep water.  Split into two equal teams; start with all boys on one side of the pool except for one from each team.  The two boys on the opposite side of the pool each get a towel.  On signal, these boys swim to the other side of the pool and then they must tow one other Scout back across the pool using the towel.  Then the boy just towed does the same until all are towed across.


Cut up an old hose into 2” lengths, and write a number on each (a few with much larger numbers).  Scatter them in waist deep water.  Players try to retrieve as many as they can within a specific time (or they’re all found).  Add the numbers on all of the hose pieces that each collects, and that is their score.  If it’s a pack event, do this in age groups, for safety purposes.  Scatter at least five hose pieces per boy in the game.  Try the same game with numbered corks or as teams.


Time the boys successfully going through an obstacle course in the pool.  Place in the pool a series of hoops that the boys must swim through one at a time.  Pool noodles and hula hoops are examples of hoops that can float, or cut 6’-8’ lengths of an old hose and duct tape the ends to make water-tight, hollow hoops.  Have a few hoops floating on top of the water, but have most floating up-right underwater.  To make the hoops stand upright underwater, duct-tape a weight onto one side.  The heavier the weight, the deeper the hoop will sink.  Place the hoops in their proper place for every boy’s attempt.


Divide the patrol into two teams.  Give each team an old-fashioned nightshirt (or large pajama top or sweatshirt).  On signal, the first player on each team puts on the nightshirt and swims to the other end of the pool.  When he takes off, the next player puts it on and swims his lap.  The team who finishes first wins.  Let them find the best way to switch shirts, by racing twice.


Have the boys build similar wooden sailboats (like rain gutter regatta boats).  For a race, have them line up 5 yards from the bank and blow their sailboats back to shore by plowing through straws.  No touching them during the race!


One small can per team and two buckets per team 

Transport water from a full bucket to another bucket, while holding the water can above their heads.  Everyone on the team takes equal turns carrying water.  Each carrying can has many small nail holes in the bottom edge, resulting in a shower effect on the carrier.   After 5 minutes, the team that has the most water in the bucket they’re carrying it to wins.



Baltimore Area Council

Discover the world of volcanoes and learn why there are earthquakes. Find out what minerals are used in our everyday lives. Here’s another opportunity for the Webelos leader to present the subject of Geology in such a way that the boys will find it not only fun, but they’ll learn a good deal also. Boys have a natural curiosity about rocks, so use that as your jumping point. Geologist is in the Outdoor group of Activity Badges.


  • To teach boys to recognize common rock specimens.
  • To acquaint boys with uses of different rocks and minerals.
  • To make boys aware of the earth and its resources.
  • To introduce boys to earth’s devastating forces.

Where to Go and What to Do

  • Have a contractor tell the den about construction materials.
  • Make your own fossils.
  • Under the supervision of a knowledgeable adult, have the den build a “live” volcano.
  • Construct a geyser to see how it works.
  • Take a treasure hunt for rocks and minerals. Identify them and check specimens on mineral hardness scale.
  • Make a rock collection. Use cigar boxes, egg cartons, or small cardboard boxes with dividers to display rocks and minerals.
  • Start a collection of geologic materials used in home construction.
  • Visit a geology exhibit or department at a museum or collection.
  • Tour a rock quarry, mine or gravel pit. Look for fossils.
  • Visit an industry that uses geological materials.
  • Make a mineral hardness kit.
  • Study cause and effects of earthquakes.
  • Have a demonstration of rock tumbler.

Let’s Go Rock Collecting

Clothes: type of clothes you would wear hiking or hunting.

Collecting bag: a knapsack with pockets is ideal. Lunch size paper bags can be used to put individual specimens in. Also take newspaper to wrap rocks in first.

Field Notebooks and labels: Give each specimen a number and label it before you wrap it. In a small pocket notebook record: Name/ Location/ Date/ collector

Big and little hammers: An 8 x 10 pound sledgehammer and a 1 ½ to 2 pound hammer.

Chisels: One or more steel chisels (Wood chisels chip and dull too quickly)

Goggles and face shields: To protect face and eyes while hammering at rocks

Magnifiers: Hand lens or pocket magnifier

First Aid Kit



Ask for permission before going on private property

Don’t meddle with tools, machinery or domestic animals

Leave gates as you found them

Stay on roads, don’t walk or drive over growing crops

Take only what you will use for yourself or trading, leave something for others after you.

Be courteous and considerate of the rights of others

Listen to the leader.

Games and Activities

The Biggest Handful

Have the Webelos collect egg-sized rocks for this contest. See which boy can hold the most rocks in one hand.

Rock and/or Mineral Identification Contest

  • The first contest should try to identify rock as igneous, sedimentary and metamorphic.
  • The second contest should name the rock.
  • Have the boys identify common minerals found in your area.

Flash Cards

  • Cut out photographs of a variety of rocks and tape & each one onto an index card.
  • (You can buy rock hounds magazines and cut them up.)
  • Write the correct identification on the back.
  • Work in pairs to learn rock identification.

King of the Mountains

  • Draw a large circle on the ground.
  • The denner is chosen to be King of the Mountain.
  • The other boys must remove the King from the circle to become the new King of the Mountain.

Nuggets in the Bag

  • The Den Chief is to put a certain number (known only to him) of different sized rocks in a cloth drawstring.
  • Each boy is given the bag for 15 seconds.
  • He then passes it to the next boy.
  • When all the boys have had a chance to examine the bag for fifteen seconds, it is returned to the Den Chief.
  • The boy who guesses the correct number of rocks in the bag then takes his turn as the one who puts an amount of nuggets in the bag.

Mineral Tag

  • This is played as regular tag, except that the players must be touching an object made from minerals to be safe.

Building the House of Diamonds

  • Two teams build a card house made of diamond playing cards.
  • Individuals can build with the cards also.

Rock Pick-Up

  • Arrange the players around a table or kneeling in a circle on the floor.
  • Give each a saucer with two toothpicks and 12 small rocks.
  • On signal, the contest is on to see who can be the first to lift out five rocks. With each round, increase the number of rocks needed to win.

Pet Rocks

  • Find smooth, flat or round rocks.
  • Be sure to clean off any dirt or sand and dry completely before starting.
  • Paint with acrylic paints.
  • Decorate faces by using goggle eyes, yarn for hair, markers, glitter, and any other tidbits you like.

Rose Rock Tie Slide

Materials: Rose rock 1 ½” diameter (Can be purchased at MJ Designs), plastic plumbing pipe ½” x ½,” epoxy, clear acrylic spray

  • Clean the rock with water and a small soft brush to bring out the petals of the rose.
  • Epoxy the rock to the piece of PVC pipe and allow to dry completely.
  • Coat the rock with several coats of acrylic spray.

Volcano Neckerchief Tie Slide

Materials: 1 ½” x ½” plastic pipe, Plaster or self-drying “Sculpy” Clay Paint

Use plaster or clay to build up the pipe in the shape of a volcano. Let the plaster or clay set up until completely dry and hard. Let some plaster “run” down the mountain to look like the escaping lava. Using green and or brown paint, paint the mountain. Use red to paint the lava flow.

Like a Rock

Use these words to fill in the blanks below

Magnifier                   volcanoes          sedimentary rock

geologist’s hammer     Mountains               igneous rock

safety glasses                 chisel            metamorphic rock

earthquake                    fossils                         Geysers

________________ Rock made by the cooling of magma; not layered; examples are granite and basalt.

________________ Sediment that under great pressure becomes rock; it is layered; examples are sandstone, shale and conglomerate.

________________ Baked rock or rock that has changed form; examples are marble and quartzite.

________________ Used to pull rocks out of the hillside and for breaking them apart.

________________ Used with a hammer to chip stone as well as for digging things loose.

________________ These help protect eyes while digging and exploring.

________________ This is a special type of glass that is used to make things appear larger so they can be examined more closely.

________________ Holes in the ground through which streams of melted rock pour out of the earth; may form into a mountain peak.

________________ Steam and boiling water that is blown into the air.

________________ Rocks in one area (under great pressure from other rocks) that crack together and cause the phenomenon of “shaking” earth.

________________ This land feature can be formed by volcanic action, erosion, or by uplift.

________________ A trace of animal or plant life from millions of years ago that has hardened into rock

Hardness Mineral Scratch Test Uses, Importance, etc.

  • TALC - Easily with fingernail. The softest of minerals; has a slippery, soapy feel. Used in powdered form for manufacture of paint, paper roofing material. rubber, face powder and talcum powder. Small parts fired in furnace used in electrical appliances. Occurs must abundantly in metamorphic rocks.
  • GYPSUM - Barely with fingernail. Of considerable commercial importance because of its use in production of plaster of Paris. Used for gypsum lath, wallboard and interior plaster. “Alabaster” is fine-grained, massive variety of gypsum that is cut and polished for ornamental purposes. Most commonly found as a sedimentary rock.
  • CALCITE -Barely with copper penny. Calcite has more varieties than any other mineral except quartz. One type of clear, colorless calcite is used for optical prisms because of its power of dividing a ray of light passing through it into two separate rays. Limestone and marble are varieties to calcite. Limestone is used in the manufacture of cement and mortar, also used as a building stone.
  • FLUORITE - Easily with knife blade. Fluorite is one of the most beautiful minerals occurring in many different colors. The chief use is in making steel. It also is used in making opalescent glass, in enameling cooking utensils, and in making hydrofluoric acid. Small amounts are used in making prisms and lenses. The phenomenon of fluorescence was first observed in fluorite and takes its name from this mineral. Commonly found with metallic ore minerals.
  • APATITE -Barely with knife blade. Among the large group of phosphates, apatite is the only one considered a common mineral. Commercially, its greatest use is the source of phosphorus for most commercial fertilizers. After being mined, both apathy and rock phosphate are treated with sulfuric acid to make superphosphate, for in this form they are much more soluble in the diluted acid of the soil.
  • FELDSPAR - Not by blade. Easily with window glass. The feldspars, all of them silicates of aluminum with potassium, sodium, and calcium and rarely barium, form one of the most important groups of all minerals. Found in most igneous rocks, as essential constituents of lost crystalline rocks, such as granite syenite, gabbro, basalt, gneiss and thus make up a large percentage of the earth’s crust. Used in manufacture of porcelain and as a source of aluminum in glass.
  • QUARTZ - Easily marks steel and hard glass. Quartz is the most common mineral, and in some of its varieties, one of the most beautiful. Makes up most of the sand on the seashore; occurs as a rock in the form of sandstone and quartzite and is an important constituent of other rocks such as granite and gneiss. Some varieties used as gemstones, as prisms, and cut into plates for control of radio frequency. Varieties; crystal, amethyst, agate, onyx, bloodstone, jasper, flint.
  • TOPAZ - Harder than other common minerals. Topaz is highly prized as a gem. Those from Brazil are the most valuable. The pink color of some gem Topaz is obtained by gently heating the dark yellow stones. It has a mineral hardness greater than any other common mineral except corundum.
  • CORUNDUM - Scratches Topaz. Clear blue varieties make “sapphire” and clear red the “Ruby.” Hardest mineral next to diamond. Long been used as an abrasive. “Emery” was the first type used in this manner. The ruby is used in the laser beam.
  • DIAMOND - Scratches Corundum; hardest mineral. Hardness of diamond is greater than any other known substance, natural or artificial; many times harder than corundum. Diamond is pure carbon and has same composition as charcoal, but does not burn readily. Highly prized as gemstone. Only 20% of diamonds are gemstones, the other flawed stones have industrial uses, drills, saws, cutting glass, etc.

Great Salt Lake Council

Discover the world of volcanoes and learn why there are earthquakes.

Find out what minerals are used in our everyday lives.

At first thought, geology may seem too specialized a science for Webelos to study. But since Scouting is essentially an outdoor program, knowledge of basic geology is valuable to the Scout. Just about everything on earth, including living things, have a relationship to geology in one-way or another. The Geologist activity badge is designed to increase the boys' awareness in the outdoors.

Geologist is another easy badge if you work only on the minimum requirements. It provides an opportunity to bring in an expert. The expert can be a person or a video. For this badge use illustrations. Use paper to show mountains uplifting or baking soda and vinegar to make a volcano. This is one of the badges that seems to be oriented toward increasing the boys’ awareness of the outdoors. While working on this badge, the boys will learn how the earth is formed, how rocks and minerals are used and how a geologist works. The Webelos Scout book contains information on volcanoes, geysers and the formation of mountains so that the boys will acquire a fairly good knowledge with only a little assistance. To most ten-year-old boys, the study of geology will not sound too exciting. Rocks, for most boys of this age, are for throwing. But the fact is, geology can be fun. Most boys have a rock collection. This natural curiosity about rocks can make this a natural starting point for the Geologist activity badge. If you can locate a rock hound in your pack or community, he can help the boys with some of the technical aspects of geology and study of rocks and minerals.

Weather Rocks

  • Collect a quantity of "weather" rocks to pass out to every family at the pack meeting.
  • Photocopy the following directions and sandwich between layers of clear contact paper.
  • Give one with each rock.
  • Make a big deal out of this wonderful present your den is giving away.

The directions are:

  • For best results, place your weather rock outside:
  • If you rock is wet…it's raining.
  • If your rock is white…it's snowing.
  • If your rock is moving…it's really windy.
  • If your rock is stiff…it's freezing.
  • If your rock is gone…sorry, you've been ripped off!


Sam Houston Area Council

The Geologist Activity badge is a fun and exciting time for the boys as they explore the outdoors for that perfect rock sample, explore what happens when you crush rocks or create a miniature volcano.  The hands-on activities will encourage the boys to become budding rock hounds and explorers.


  • Make a rock collection
  • Take a field trip to the central Texas area and hike on the limestone formations.  Notice the folding a you drive through cuts in hills along side the road.
  • Construct a geyser to see how it works
  • Invite a housing contractor to come to your patrol meeting.  Ask them to bring building materials such as slate, brick, limestone, marble, cement, etc.  Where do they purchase these supplies?  Where do they come from originally?
  • Start a collection of geologic materials used in home construction.  Make a display for pack meeting.
  • Visit a geology exhibit, department, museum or collection.  The Houston Museum of Natural Science has several good collections.
  • Visit a rock collectors club meeting.  View the rocks on display.  How did the people get interested in this hobby?


Create a Texas Rock collection, of the types of rocks, minerals and gems that are possible to find in Texas.  Quartz, granite, gneiss, flint, schist, feldspar and limestone are common stones in the Llano area of central Texas.  Gold and silver ore are rare in Texas.  Agates, like the Balmorhea blue agate.  Blue Topaz is the Texas State Gem Stone.  Petrified wood is common near Houston.  Rock salt, from salt domes is a common underground formation, and salt domes can be a place that holds crude oil or natural gas.  In limestone, try to find small fossils, like ammonite shells.  The US Geodetic Survey lists the following as some of the minerals produced in Texas:  Clay, Granite, Limestone, Gypsum, Sand, Perlite, Sulfur, Salt and Talc.  Limestone is used in the manufacture of the cement, and it is combined with sand and other rocks to make the concrete for house foundations.  Gypsum is the rock in the sheetrock that covers the walls in most houses. 

Obviously, you want to modify this for your state.  CD



  • Clay     
  • Small waterproof containers
  • Leaves  
  • Small shells
  • Small dry bones

Fossils are found in sedimentary rocks that are formed by having layers of sand or mudslides covering objects and then solidifying.  To model this, mix clay and water so that it is gooey.  Cover the bottom of the containers and let dry for 3 days.  Lay a few objects on top of that layer and pour another layer to dry.  Continue layering and drying.  Have the boys discover how to find the clay “fossil” imprints.


Modeling clay can help Scouts understand many of the forces of nature that create hills and form valleys.  First roll out into flat pancakes of different colors of clay.  Lay these pancakes on top of the other and use a knife to cut out several 3”x 6” rectangles, so that you can see the layers clearly around all four sides.

Take one of the rectangles that you made and push from opposite sides.  Notice that the layers begin to look wavy.  This is an example of FOLDING.  You may also see some fissures forming.  See picture below -

Take two of your rectangles and slide them together.  Push harder and where the two rectangles meet, you should be able to observe the effects of FAULTING as they slip at the crack..  See picture below

Lay a clay rectangle over a small stone and notice an effect like DOME BUILDING, that would in nature be done by an upwelling of underground magma.

EROSION can be modeled by using a pitcher to slowly pour a stream of water over the hills that you formed.  Notice small valleys forming and how they don’t always form in straight lines.


Shield volcanoes are formed when molten rock is forced to the surface through cracks in the earth, and lava emerges.  As it flows and cools, the lava builds up slowly.  On a sunny day, make a small hole in the ground to form a crater.  Show how a shield volcano grows by pouring thick mud into the center of the crater, and as mud flows out, it simulates lava flows out of a shield volcano like Hawaii’s Kilauea.  Watch the mud dry in the sun, and this is much like lava cooling.


Geysers, real and model, can be very dangerous, since they involve boiling hot water and steam.  Steam can be invisible, and can cause serious burns.  One of the safest ways to demonstrate a geyser is when you are putting out a campfire.  Find a hole in a hot log and pour water into it.  The resulting steam plume shooting out of the hole is very much like the steam expelled by a real geyser after water comes into contact with superheated rocks below the surface of the earth.


Before your meeting, unscrew a stack of Oreo cookies, and make imprints with an assortment of (very clean) small plastic bugs or shells.  Put them back together so that they look normal.  During snack-time, have the boys twist off the Oreos carefully to discover and compare their “fossils”.


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