Baloo's Bugle

July 2008 Cub Scout Roundtable Issue

Volume 14, Issue 12
August 2008 Theme

Webelos: Forester & Naturalist
Tiger Cub


Webelos Activity Pin Ceremony

Capital Area Council

Purpose: To recognize Webelos Scout(s) who have earned activity pins.

Props: Poster made to look like the Webelos colors with activity pins and cards attached.

Tonight we have the privilege of recognizing Webelos Scouts that have earned the _______ activity pin (and the _______ activity pin) since the last Pack meeting.

As you can see from our Pack's Webelos colors,
that __#__ Webelos Scouts have earned their pins.

Would Webelos Scout/s ____ (Name/Names) ______ and his/their parents please come forward? _____

(Name of the 1st Scout) ____ I see that you have earned the ___ (name activity pin) _____pin, would you like to share one thing that you did to earn this pin? I would like to give this to your parent/s and ask that they pin it to your colors.



Capital Area Council

Be sure to check out ,the International Paper site, to obtain FREE materials for helping you with Forester.  I received my copies very fast.  The posters and activity materials are great.  International Paper did a great job.  Thank you so much.  CD

Den Activities

«  Collect leaves for identification. Boys could mount them or make leaf prints.

«  Bring a log to den meeting or find a tree stump and have the boys count the annual rings to determine the age of the tree. See if they can tell something about the kind of weather -dry or wet spells -- through which the tree lived by looking at the rings.

«  Visit a lumberyard or saw mill, nursery, or tree farm. A local lumber dealer can help the boys by furnishing wood samples for their collections.

«  Check the local forester about advice on planting projects and seedlings.

«  Plant a tree.

«  Make a tree survey in your area.

«  Ask a fireman or forest ranger to tell the boys about wildfire and how to control it.

«  Teach the boys to measure tree diameter and height.

«  Check with a local conservationist for advice on planting project and seedlings.

«  For a long-term project, adopt a tree and keep a diary on it. Measure its girth, estimate its height, record when it buds, when it loses its leaves, and other interesting things.

«  Make a tree identification kit for your den from strips of bark, leaves or needles and cones or seeds.

«  Ask the County or State Parks Department if your den can plant trees. The parks will provide the trees and designate where to plant them.

«  Teach the boys the Outdoor Code

«  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


P Exhibit: Forest plants; poster of tree's life history; leaf prints.

P Demonstrate-. Tree planting methods; show samples of woods.

We often forget how important trees are in our lives.

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

ü  Give shade, beauty, and relief for the drabness of concrete.

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

ü  Provide homes and shelter for birds, which in turn help reduce insect pests.

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

ü  Screen impurities, trap the dust in the air.

ü  Help prevent soil erosion.

ü  Provide a barrier that helps screen out noise. Properly placed, they can reduce traffic noise up to 60%.

ü  Put oxygen in the air.

ü  Produce humidity and cut the smog.

ü  Are our principal air conditioners. The cooling effect of a healthy tree is equivalent to 10 room-size air conditioners operating 20 hours a day.

ü  In state and national forest, provide recreational retreat for millions of people.


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

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

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

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

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

P Screen impurities, trap the dust in the air.

P Help prevent soil erosion.

P Provide a barrier that screens out noise.

P Put oxygen in the air.

Smokey's Pledge

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 has been put out with water

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


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

2.       Protect the root 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.

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

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

5.       Cut off one half inch of the 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. This is a skill, and care should be taken to control and shape growth and to protect tree health by eliminating dead, diseased, and injured wood.

6.       Put some fertile soil in the hole.

7.       Set the tree in a hole no deeper than it was at its original site.

8.       Install support stakes. One to three wooden stakes usually will support trees that have a trunk diameter of no more than two inches. The wooden stakes should be 6 to 8 feet long and strong enough to hold the trunk rigidly in place.

9.       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.

10.    Wrap the trunk with a protective covering such as burlap, cloth strips, or paper. Don’t use polyethylene plastic.

11.    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.

12.    Care for the tree after planting. Water well and Stand Back And Be Proud!


1.       Cut off one-half inch of 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.

2.       Consult a nurseryman or a good tree manual before starting to prune.

3.       Put some fertile soil in the hole.

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

5.       Install supporting stakes. One to three 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.

How Trees Grow

·         A tree has three main parts. The roots anchor it in the ground and absorb water and minerals from the soil. The trunk and branches carry sap and lift the leaves into the sunlight. The leaves are the food factories of the tree.

·         A tree grows higher and wider by lengthening its twigs and branches at the tips. At the ends of the twigs, the terminal buds are continually adding new cells. Meanwhile, the twigs, branches, and trunk grow thicker.

·         Most trees have a section called the cambium, which is a layer of cells where the growth in diameter occurs. Every year the layer of cambium between the sapwood and the inner bark adds a layer of new cells to the older wood. Each layer forms a ring. By counting these rings you can tell the age of a tree.

·         Water and dissolved minerals travel up from the roots to the leaves in the new layer of wood inside the cambium. This part of the trunk is called sapwood. Other sap carries plant food down from the leaves through a layer inside the bark.

·         As the tree grows, the older sapwood stiffens and loses connection with the leaves. Then it just stores water, and finally, it becomes solid heartwood.

·         While the cambium makes the tree trunk and its branches grow in size, the leaves produce the food, which builds the tissues of the tree. Using the energy from the sunlight, the green coloring matter in the leaves (called chlorophyll) takes carbon dioxide out of the air. It combines the carbon dioxide with water and dissolved minerals from the roots to form sugars and starches.

FOREST FIRES--We Must Protect Our Forests!

Life is short. Forest animals lives are in our hands. When the trees and grass grow dry as timber, don’t leave burning embers at a campground. Even contained fires can quickly get out of hand and grow like fury. A few smoldering twigs can become a rampaging blaze. A single careless toss can turn the forest world into wholesale horror. Fire destroys burrows, nests, seeds, roots, hunting territories, mating grounds, and LIFE. It takes no more than one fool to start a fire. It often takes an army of cool heads to put one out. Man is responsible for 58% of all forest fires, and about 1/3 of that number are set on purpose. People who use the woods for recreation are responsible for 1/3 of all forest fires each year.

Learn How To Use Fires Safely – Or Stay Home!

«  Lightning causes many forest fires too, but when it strikes it often happens on top of a hill, where the temperature is cooler, the fuel supply is sparse, and the flames are more easily spotted.

«  Animals caught in a forest fire can’t outrun the flames. Think about them on your next trip, and rake the ashes of your campfire extra carefully. You’ll be glad you did and so will the animals.

«  A surface fire burns along the floor of the forest. It is usually slow moving and close to the ground, but it can spread fast. It kills small trees and will permanently damage larger trees. Most fires are this type.

«  A ground fire burns on or below the forest floor. Lightning often starts these fires. They move slowly, and often go undetected for weeks. They are hard to put out. The heat they create beneath the ground destroys the trees’ roots and any chance for life.

«  A crown fire moves faster than most people can run! These fires often start as surface fires, and are blown by wind into the tree crowns. Fir forests are especially vulnerable. The needles and cones catch fire easily and quickly. A grove of trees “topping out” in this way is doomed.

«  A fire has to be fed or it dies. If you want to kill one fast, cut off its supplies: heat, fuel, and air. The main elements which influence the spread of fire are fuel (such as dry grasses, dead leaves, brush, small trees, logs, top soil); weather (wind, moisture, and temperature); and slope.

Wood Collection

ü  Make a collection of various types of tree limbs cut in cross-sections. These show heartwood, growth rings, cambium layer, and bark.

ü  Do not cut these from live trees, but from limbs that have fallen off.

ü  If green, allow to dry in a warm place for several weeks.

ü  Saw the ends squarely and retain the bark.

ü  Then cut them crosswise, lengthwise, and slanting to show all the features of the wood.

ü  Sandpaper your specimens, then brush on shellac.

Diameter Tape and Cruising Stick

Foresters use cruising sticks to measure a tree’s diameter and height. These facts are essential in figuring the amount of wood in a tree.

Tree Diameter: Cut a strip of flexible paper or cardboard about ½ inch wide and 45 inches long. Begin at one end of the paper strip and make ink markings 3.14 inches on tape equals 1 inch of tree diameter. To measure tree diameter, wrap tape around tree at chest height, about 4 ½ feet above ground. The diameter of the tree in inches will be at the mark nearest where the tape over-laps the zero end.

Tree Height: Glue a strip of hard paper or cardboard on one side of a yardstick. Begin at one end and make marks 6.16 inches apart with ink. Label the first mark 1, the second 2, and so on. To measure tree height, stand 66 feet from it. Hold arm horizontally and the stick vertically at arm’s reach – about 25-inches from the eyes. Slide stick up or down until the top of the stick is in line with the top of the tree. Without moving, sight bottom of tree (be sure stick is still vertical) and see the place on the stick where line of sight crosses it. The nearest figure is the number of 16-foot lengths in the tree. If the figure is 2, there are two 16-foot lengths, so the tree is 32 feet high.

Tree Quiz

1)         Which tree has the softest wood?

2)         Which tree is shaped like a vase?

3)         Which trees are the tallest?

4)         Which trees are the oldest?

5)         Which tree has a leaf shaped like a mitten?

6)         Which tree gives maple syrup?

7)         Which tree has paper-thin bark?

8)         Which tree is used for baseball bats?

9)         Which tree is suited to make your pencils?

10)      Which conifers lose all their needles in the fall?

11)      Which evergreens bear berries instead of cones?

12)      Which broad-leaf keeps its leaves all year?

13)      What part of the tree is used for making paper?

14)      What part of the tree gives us turpentine?

15)      Which tree is our most important lumber tree?

16)      Which trees are softwoods?

17)      Which trees are the hardwoods?

18)      Which trees are often called "Stinkweed"?

19)      Which tree is used for making matches?

20)      Which tree is used to make spools?

Play On Names

Match each statement on the left to the appropriate tree on the right.

1.       This tree comes in twos                A  Date

2.       This tree is nearest the sea.         B  Aspen

3.       This tree is a romantic evening for 2. C  Locust

4.       This tree keeps you warm             D  Pear

5.       This tree was an Egyptian plague     E  Tulip

6.       The tree we offer when we shake hands F  Beech

7.       This tree is used in kissing Weeping Willow

8.       This tree is always crying              H  Palm

9.       This tree is a Colorado ski slope         Fir

What Wood Would You Use?

Match the products to the appropriate tree listed below

Wood Products

1.       _____ baseball bats, tool handles

2.       _____ furniture, lumber, barrels

3.       _____ paper, soft lumber (derby cars)

4.       _____ gunstocks, cabinets

5.       _____ bowling alley lanes

6.       _____ lumber for outdoor decks

Tree Types

A        redwood

B        black walnut

C        pines

D        maples

E        ashes

F        oaks

Useful Wood Products from Trees

Write the letter of the wood product listed below, next to the correct tree variety on the top.

Tree Types

1.       _____ Cedar

2.       _____ Redwood

3.       _____ Long Leaf Pine

4.       _____ Pecan, Oak, Ash

5.       _____ White Pine

6.       _____ Douglas Fir, Ponderosa Pine

Wood Products

A        pulpwood for paper, lumber

B        lumber, turpentine, tar

C        lumber, telephone poles

D        shingles

E        furniture

F        weather-resistant lumber

Lumber Production in the United States

Circle the correct answer in each set of braces {}.

P The major { softwoods OR hardwoods } are Douglas fir and Southern pines.

P Production of lumber in the United States is { 15% OR 85% } from softwoods, { 15% OR 85% } from hardwoods.

Leaf Scavenger Hunt

Give yourself one point for each item found.

1.       _____ Leaves can have teeth (jagged edges)

2.       _____ Leaves can have lobes ("fingers")

3.       _____ Leaves can have palmate vein patterns (spreading from single base point)

4.       _____ Leaves can have pinnate vein patterns (spreading out from central vein)

5.       _____ Leaves can have parallel vein patterns (long veins parallel to each other)

6.       _____ Leaves can grow in opposite arrangements (two leaves start out from same point)

7.       _____ Leaves can grow in alternate arrangements (leaves are not at same point on branch)

8.       _____ Leaves can grow in whorled arrangements (leaves are grouped at points)

9.       _____ Leaves can have simple leaves (one leaf)

10.    _____ Leaves can have compound leaves (many leaves on a stem)

11.    _____ Leaves can be evergreen

12.    _____ Leaves can be deciduous

Forest Plants Useful to Wildlife

Match the forest plants to their best uses.

Forest Plants

1.       _____ Wild flowers

2.       _____ Wild berries

3.       _____ Grasses, mosses

4.       _____ Hollow trees

5.       _____ Chestnut trees

6.       _____ Pine trees


A.       shelter, homes for small animals

B.       food for birds, animals

C.       nectar for bees to make honey

D.       food for deer, other animals

E.       nesting for red-cockaded woodpecker

F.       food for wild turkeys

Forest Fun

Fill in the blanks with the name of the tree the statement reminds you of.

Sumac                  Walnut               Mesquite

Rubber                   Oak                    Spruce

Ash                       Elder                       Pine

Orange                  Apple                   Locust

1.       ______ A person who is old.

2.       ______ Something that stretches

3.       ______ A bright color

4.       ______ A nut

5.       ______ Small insect

6.       ______ Another name for cleaning up

7.       ______ OK spelled with an A in the middle

8.       ______ A present for a teacher

9.       ______ The most "knotty" wood

10.     ______ The sound a slap makes

11.     ______ Fire leftovers

12.     ______ A city in west Texas

Forest Layers

Put the appropriate words into the blanks in the paragraph below -  

Litter         trees       ground cover      shrubs

There are several layers to most forests.

The most evident are the __________ that fill most of our vision.

Then lower are the bushy ____________

These are followed by the fallen leaves and mossy __________ ___________ covering the forest soil.

Sometimes a fourth layer, ___________, is added by careless humans who don't clean up after themselves.


Six Forest Trees and Useful Wood Products:

Cedar -    shingles

Redwood -          weather resistant lumber

Longleaf Pine - chief lumber producing pine of the southern United States - also turpentine and tar.

Pecan., Oak, Ash - (hardwood) furniture

White Pine -        pulpwood for paper and lumber

Douglas Fir and Ponderosa Pine - chief lumber producing pine of the Pacific States - also telephone poles.


About 85% from Softwoods

About 15% from Hardwoods

Six Forest Plants Useful to Wildlife:

·         Wild flowers, such as honeysuckle - nectar for bees to make honey.

·         Wild berries, such as blueberries - food for birds and animals.

·         Grasses and Mosses - food for deer and other animals.

·         Hollow trees (cottonwood) - homes and shelters for small animals.

·         Chestnut trees - food for wild turkey.

·         Pine trees - red cockeyed woodpecker, an endangered species nests only in pine forests.

·         Cypress trees - ivory billed woodpecker (almost extinct) lives on wood boring insects that tunnel under bark of dead Cypress trees.

Diary of a Tree

Read the tree diary below and draw a picture of the tree rings the way you think they would look based on the tree's thoughts.

Year 1- (this one is done already) I am one year old today! Happy Birthday to me! I am as thin as a reed and I bend easily in the wind.

Year 2 - Today I turned 2! It's been a tough year. There are a lot of big trees all around me and I have a hard time seeing the sun. I wish they would sit down or something.

Year 3 - Three years old! Yipee! Still kind of crowded around here. But I do see some sun on my south side every day. We had a very long winter too.

Year 4 - The trees on my east and north side all rotted and fell to the ground. Lots of neat stuff in the soil all around me now. I just love gooey stuff.

Year 5 - I'm a big boy now! This has been a fun year. Lots of rain and sun. I'm not crowded any more and soon I will be a big tree too.

Year 6 - Happy Birthday to Me! It's been a hot year. I'm so thirsty.

Year 7 - I would like a cup of water for my birthday.

Year 8 - It's not so fun being a big tree. I wish it would rain. It's so hot!

Year 9 - It's great to be a tree! Lots of sun and rain. I've had the best year of my life! Must have been that new rain dance I learned that did the trick.

Year 10 - Another great year! And guess what? I'm 10 years old! YIPPPEEEE!

Parts of a Tree

Each layer of a tree cookie (cross-section) can tell us something about the tree's life and the climate in which it grew. Write the correct parts of the trees in the appropriate blanks.

Cambium           growth ring          heartwood

outer bark            phloem                   xylem


Item 1 is called the ____________. It is a layer or zone of cells, just one cell thick, inside the inner bark. This produces both the xylem and phloem cells. This is where diameter growth occurs, and where rings and inner bark are formed.

Item 2 is the ____________ or inner bark. It carries sugar made in the leaves or needles down to the trunk and roots, where it becomes the food the tree needs for growth.

Item 3 is the ____________ or sapwood. It carries the sap up from the roots to the leaves. Sapwood gives a tree its strength.

Item 4 is a ________________. The lighter portion is called the "early wood" (because it grows in the spring), and the darker portion the "late wood" (which grows in the summer). Together, they represent one year of growth.

Item 5 is the ____________. This develops as a tree gets older. It used to be sapwood, and gives the trunk support and stiffness. It is often darker than sapwood, since its water-carrying tubes get clogged up. This tree has not developed this yet.

Item 6 is the ________________. This layer protects a tree from insects and disease, excessive heat and cold, and other injuries.

Tree Baseball

·         Divide den into two teams.

·         Prepare a list of questions about forestry ahead of time.

·         Write them on index cards.

·         Rate them according to difficulty: single. double, triple, home run.

·         To play: the batter tries to answer the question.

·         Advance according to the regular rules of baseball.

·         Each team has three outs.

·         Play until a preset score is reached.

·         Try these true or false questions:

·         You will need to make up your own questions, too!

1.       The Balsa tree has the softest wood. (True)

2.       There are taller trees than the Redwoods. (False)

3.       There are older trees than the Sequoia (False)

4.       Sassafras tree has a leaf shaped like a mitten. (True)

5.       Red Cedar trees are used for baseball bats. (False, White Ash)

6.       The Yew tree bears berries instead of cones. (True)

7.       Evergreens are the hard woods. (False. Soft)

Activity - Using twigs to age a branch
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 - 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 posterboard 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.

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: Grow A Sock

Collecting seeds and nuts is a natural activity in the fall. However, a collector often overlooks many seeds because they are small or hard to recognize. An entertaining way to collect some hard to find seeds is to take a sock walk.

Previously unnoticed seeds will be easily collected and as a bonus, one method of seed dispersal will become very obvious. Things You Can Use: Long socks with fuzzy outer surfaces to which seeds will stick (i.e. adult knee socks).

What to Do

Dress each Webelos in knee high socks.

1.       Go for a walk through a densely vegetated area. An empty lot overgrown with weeds would be excellent.

2.       Return to your meeting place and look at the socks! Then take them off.

3.       Wet the entire sock, and place it in a cake pan placed on a slant. Fill the lower portion of the pan with water so that the sock remains wet.

4.       Put the pan in a warm place and watch the seeds sprout.

Want To Do More?
Pull the seeds off the socks. Sort and place them into cups by species. Allow them to dry. Divide each cup of seeds in half. Place one half in a freezer for 2 weeks. This is to simulate winter. Some plants won’t grow without freezing. Next, plant seeds from both halves in “seedbed.”

Take sock walks at different seasons. Which seeds are harder to remove? Do some hurt you? Can animals help seeds find new places to grow? Glue samples on cards to develop a seed collection. Repot sprouts and grow them to full size. What other ways does nature have of spreading seeds around (e.g. winged seeds-by-wind, berry seeds-by birds)? Plants with fur carried seeds need animals to make sure they are widely spread. Do you think the plants do something to help animals in return (provide food, shelter)?

Leaf Collections

Dry Leaf Collections-Put each leaf between a separate sheet of newspaper. Put several fold of newspaper on top of and underneath the sheets you are using to press the leaves. Put something heavy on top until the leaves are pressed out and dry.

Crayon Print

Lay a leaf on the table with vein side up. Put a clean sheet of paper on top of it. Hold the leaf in place with your hand and make parallel strokes back and forth over the leaf with your crayon until the print shows on your paper.

Inkpad Leaf Prints

Put a leaf, vein side down, on your inkpad. Cover it with a piece of newspaper and rub your hand back and forth over it. Then put the leaf, ink side down, on a clean sheet of paper. Put a newspaper over it again and rub.

Paraffin Coated Leaves

Melt paraffin in a double boiler. When it is melted, turn off the heat. Dip one leaf at a time into the melted wax. Shake off the extra drops of wax into the pan. Hold the leaf until the wax hardens, then lay it on waxed paper. Using this method, you can get the leaves in their green color, or the brilliant colors of autumn.

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 first layer 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.

Forester Song

(Tune: Rock A Bye Baby)

Out in the forest, under the tree,

See the scouts trekking, finding species.

This tree’s familiar, this one is not.

Oh no, don’t touch that bush, or you’ll get spots!

Tree Rings

Go to the end of Baloo for a nice tree cookie picture for counting rings.  Assume the tree was cut down after the 2007 ring grew and before the 2008 grew.

Principal Forest Areas of the US

Download a free blank outline map of the US from

Then using the map in the Webelos Book have the boys color in the principal forest areas of the US. (page 262)

ANSWERS to Tree Quiz

1)         Balsa

2)         Elm

3)         Redwood

4)         Sequoia

5)         Sassafras

6)         Sugar and Black Maple

7)         White Birch

8)         White Ash

9)         Red Cedar

10)      Larch and Bald Cypress

11)      Yew Cedar Juniper

12)      Live Oak

13)      Cellulose

14)      Long Leaf and Loblolly Pine

15)      Douglas Fir

16)      Evergreen

17)      Deciduous

18)      Ailanthus

19)      Aspens

20)      White Birch



Greater St. Louis Area Council

No matter where you live, there is a world of undiscovered secrets of nature still waiting to be explored. A naturalist is a student of natural history that includes the many found in nature. The Naturalist activity badge is concerned mainly with plants or animals. This badge helps the Webelos Scouts learn about the world of nature and develop an appreciation for it.

A naturalist stands like Columbus on the prow of his ship with a vast continent before him except that the naturalist’s world can be at his feet…a world to be discovered. It could

be in the boy’s backyard, a nearby park, the woods, fields or even a country roadside. It is inhabited with many kinds of insects, birds, plants, animals, trees, and other forms of life.

A boy’s interest in this badge may lead him into a hobby or vocation. It will help him prepare for the new adventures in the world of nature which he will find in the Scout troop.

Pack and Den Ideas

ü  Make an insect study laboratory

ü  Make bird feeders of houses and observe the birds who use them

ü  Make terrariums

ü  Start a nature collection

ü  Invite a conservationist to visit den meeting and talk about some phase of nature

ü  Make a leaf collection… and some leaf prints

ü  Learn to identify poisonous plant and reptiles

ü  Take a bird watcher’s hike. Identify birds. Make note about location, species, etc.

ü  Make a bird migration map

ü  Study wildlife homes

ü  Collect tadpoles; keep in aquarium and watch them grow

ü  Make a list of all plants in a given area

ü  Take a nature hike and look for animal tracks. Make plaster casts of the tracks

ü  Make a net and go insect hunting for an insect zoo

ü  Visit the zoo.

ü  Observe fish at night. Put a flashlight in a plastic bag and seal it. Attach a string and place in a stream or lake. Watch the fish that are attracted to it.


Hiking with Bugs

Personnel: 6 Cubs (Cub 2 should be the smallest).


A tent set up as in the out of doors,

2 small flashlights.

Setting: 4 very tired and dirty Cubs, are scratching and examining their bites

CUB 1: Boy am I glad to be back from that hike. I'm tired.

CUB 2: The mosquitoes must have called up all of their relatives and told them we were coming. I've been eaten alive.

CUB 3: They said a day hike, not an all day hike. Not only were we out near the river, but we were out all day. Gave those critters too much of a chance to eat at me.

CUB 4:   I feel the same way. I couldn't feel worse if I'd been run over by a semi-truck.

CUB 1: Bugs! Bugs everywhere. I wouldn't mind if they didn't itch so much.

CUB 3: The blisters don't hurt as much as the itch itches.

CUB 4: Those insects hadn't seen human being in years. Here put some of this on all the spots. (Boys pass around a first aid ointment. Little lights start flashing in the dark, use 2 boys waving small flashlights)

CUB 2: We'd better get inside our tent now! The bugs are out looking for us with flashlights.



You will need:

Drawing paper/chalkboard,

Markers/chalk, and

Prepared list of animals

ü  Divide the Den into two teams, which line up relay fashion.

ü  In front of each team is a large sheet of blank paper.

ü  On signal, the first boy on each team runs to a leader who whispers the name of an animal.

ü  The boy goes to the paper and draws his subject.

ü  When his team members recognize the animal he draws, the next player runs to tell the leader.

ü  If correct, that next player is given the name of another animal to draw.

ü  If not, the first boy continues his drawing until his team guesses right.

ü  Continue until all players have had a chance to draw.

Ani-mammal Conference-

Equipment:   Construction paper; scissors

Formation:   Pairs

Each person is given a cut-out piece of construction paper with the name of an animal (e.g. mouse; long tail).

The group is them put into pairs so that, for example, a rooster and a giraffe are together.

Each pair tries to figure out a name of their ani-mammal (e.g. Giroosteraffe).

Pairs can then set out to try and guess the names of other ani-mammals in the group.


Equipment:   1 ball, whistle

ü  The Group divides into two teams.

ü  Team A stands in a circle with one Scout in the center, holding the ball.

ü  Team B stands in line, like the tadpole's tail, coming from the middle.

ü  When the leader calls 'GO', the Cub in the center of the circle starts to throw the ball to his team, one by one. Meantime, the Scouts in Team B in turn run around the circle and back to their places.

ü  When the last Scout in Team B is back in his place, the leader blows the whistle and Team A stops.

ü  Team A says how many throws the Scout in the center has made and when the teams change places,

ü  Team B tries to beat Team A's score.


Insect Zoo

In addition to the insects listed with the requirement in the Webelos Scout book, beetles, caterpillars, and termites may also used. When setting up your “insect zoo” you should keep the following things in mind:

1.       Make sure when collecting any of the suggested insects, that you collect and keep them during the months when there is plenty of food for them. During the winter months, it is difficult to keep them alive because the unavailability of natural food.

2.       Care should be taken not to allow the “zoo” to become contaminated with uneaten food and waste materials.

3.       If soil is used, it should be kept moist not wet- by sprinkling or spraying many times a day.

4.       Make sure you do not overcrowd. Make a Terrarium- An old fish tank makes a great terrarium. It doesn’t matter if it leaks because you are not going to fill it with water. If you use an old fish tank, place a sheet of glass on top over rubber washers to allow air space between top and sides.

You can also make your own terrarium from window panes. Tape the panes together as a glass-sided box. Place this on a board and mark the outline of the glass sides. Cut ¼” groove in the board in which to set the sides. Tape a glass lid to the top on one side so that you can raise or lower it. Painting a scene on the back of the terrarium adds much to its appearance. You could cut appropriate scenes from a magazine and paste them on. Paint or paste scenes on the outside of the terrarium so that your pet will not scratch it off and ruin it.


Mosses are good plants to collect for terrariums.

Make sure you put enough water in the terrarium to prevent the moss from drying out.

It is every bit as important, that you do not put too much water in the terrarium or the plants will die from being rotted my molds and other fungal organisms.

Many kinds of grasses can be used in terrariums. Many times, the unusual or larger kinds of wild plants do not survive in a terrarium because the root may be injured during transplanting, or too much water, too rich soil, or too warm of temperature.


Frogs, toads, salamanders, and lizards are easy animal to keep in a terrarium (Toads do exude an offensive odor). Common insects can be placed in the terrarium with these animals for food.


Bug Match

·         Have someone cut out a bunch of different insect pictures and mount them on paper to hang around the Pack Meeting room. (Make sure you know the names of the different bugs.)

·         Label the pictures with letters or numbers.

·         Hand out sheets of paper with the names of the different bugs listed in a mixed up order.

·         Ask people to match the pictures with the names.

·         After the opening ceremony, read off the answers and ask everyone how they did.

·         Give an appropriate cheer/applause to the one(s) who got the most matches.

Rare Bird Facts

Fill in the correct answer(s).

1. What is the fastest flying bird?


2. How high can birds fly?


3. What is the Nebraska State (Insert your state, please) Bird?


4. What bird has become extinct in the last 75 years?


5. Why do all birds build nests?


6. Name three "major league" birds.


7. Which birds can fly backwards?


8. What bird is known for its famous deliveries?


9. What is the largest bird in North America?



10. What is the smallest bird in the world?


11. List three birds that cannot fly.


12. What color is a bluebird?


Answers - Rare Bird Facts

1.       Swifts have been timed at 200 mph.

2.       A vulture has been seen flying at 25,000 feet, but most birds rarely fly above 3,000 feet.

3.       Western Meadowlark

4.       Passenger Pigeon

5.       Birds build nests to "house" their eggs while they incubate

6.       Blue Jay, Cardinal and Oriole

7.       Hummingbirds or any bird using fluttering flight

8.       Stork

9.       Trumpet Swan

10.    Bee Hummingbird of Cuba - 2.25" long

11.    Kiwi, Penguin, Ostrich, Emu

12.    It appears blue because of reflection and diffraction of light due to the structure of feathers

Southern NJ Council

Naturalist is spending time with nature. Take some time to explore natures world around you along with your boys. Don’t know the name of a particular kind of bird? Make one up and see if you can identify it later. The main thing is don’t be afraid just have fun.

Hidden Nature Items

In the following sentences you will find hidden the 15 words listed below. They may be contained within one word or parts of several words. Circle each one as you find it. Example: The grasshopper jumped high.





















1.       The antics of the clown made everyone laugh.

2.       Lindbergh was a famous flyer.

3.       Liz Arden was pale after being sick.

4.       He didn’t plan to leave so fast.

5.       If Roger goes to the park I’ll go also.

6.       The camp lantern does not work.

7.       The car rotates badly when driving through slippery mud.

8.       Be easy on yourself, relax for a while.

9.       The dune buggy went fast.

10.    A corny joke can be so unfunny that it’s funny.

11.    The best reeds were picked for basket making.

12.    When Mr. Van Gard entered the room everybody looked his way.

13.    Alight dew or mist helps water the greenery in the park.

14.    He picked a bushel of apples from the orchard.

15.    The lava flow erupted from the volcano.

Nature Theme Riddles

ü  When is a baseball player like a spider? (When he catches a fly.)

ü  How do bees dispose of their honey? (They cell-it.)

ü  Which insect eats the least? (The moth. It eats holes.)

ü  Why is a frog never thirsty? (Because in an instant, he can make a spring.)

ü  What kind of bird is present at every meal? (A swallow.)

ü  Why is the letter A like a sweet flower? (Because a B (bee) is always after it.)

Wildlife As Pets

Keeping an animal is a tremendous responsibility. You are responsible for that animal’s health and happiness. Not meeting those requirements for the animal can have tragic consequences. Be sure you have the time, the patience, and the resources to keep that animal healthy and happy before you take it home.

Generally speaking, wild animals do not make good pets. There are enough kinds of domestic animals to choose the right kind for your household. But you can learn a lot about animals by watching them as they eat and live. So, a good plan would be to keep them for a short time and then turn them loose so that they can go about the business of being wild animals taking part in the web of life. Now here are some animals that you could keep long enough to learn about them.

Just remember, they do not like to go without food or water any more than you do, and that they will be happier in a clean cage or aquarium. Also, be sure that they have a place to hide and feel safe.


Nearly everyone finds turtles around their home each year. If you put scraps out in the same place every day, the turtle will show up for breakfast almost every morning during the summer. If you decide to keep one for a while, make sure that they have a place to sun, and a place to get out of the sun. A water dish sunk into the ground so that they can crawl in and sit in it is a good idea. A pen in the yard is usually the best place. Turtles love vegetables and fruit, tomatoes and melon rinds. They also need protein. Canned dog food should be fed to them first, with the vegetables for dessert. Do not keep them after Labor Day.


Bird Bakery

A simple bird feeder can be made out of two jar lids, a long nail and a donut. Find two lids about the same size as a donut. They can be either metal or plastic. Use a nail with a large head, and pound it into the center of each lid. You may have to work it a bit to get it through. (Be sure pounding is done on a thick board or on the ground.) To put the bird bakery together, stick the nail through one lid, through the donut hole, then through the second lid. Using pliers, bend the point of the nail as flat against the bottom of the lower lid as you can get it. This will hold everything in place, and also prevent injury to the birds that will use it. You might want to put a strip of filament tape across the sharp point of the nail. If the nail is too thick to bend, wrap tape around the end several times or tap the nail into a small piece of wood. Tie a string to the head of the nail and the feeder is ready to hang. Then check every few days to see if the donut needs replacing. You can use another donut, a bagel, dry dinner roll or even an apple.

Wormy Experiment

Try this experiment to show your den how worms work. Put four to five inches of rich soil in a large glass jar with a half-dozen earthworms. On top of the soil, put an inch of light sand. Sprinkle corn meal on the sand. Wrap black paper around the jar to shut out light. At your next den meeting, take off the paper and see what has happened. The worms will have moved dark soil up into the sand and sand down into the soil. You will see tunnels along the glass marking their travels. Explain that the worm’s tunnels bring oxygen and nitrogen to nurture life and that the tunnels help the soil hold water.

More Outdoor Observation

Following is a list of things you can ask boys at an outdoor meeting. Or maybe you would like to use one or more of these questions or activities in a short den opening or closing at each den meeting this month.

1.       What is the farthest thing you can see from here?

2.       Find a seed that floats in the breeze.

3.       Find a seed with wings.

4.       Find a seed that sticks to you.

5.       Find 3 things made by man.

6.       Listen! Do you hear –

a.    a bird

b.    a cricket

c.    distant car

d.    Anything?

7.       Can you find 2 things that are white or any color besides green?

8.       Look at moss through a magnifying glass.

9.       Find a picture in the clouds.

10.    How many different shapes of leaves can you find? Round, oval, long, heart shaped smooth edges, toothed edge, etc.

Nature Lore Trail

Make up your nature lore trail using the features of your site. The trail outlined here could be laid out in a park, picnic area, or wooded area. Before you begin, - tell the boys this is not a speed contest. Give each boy a score card, listing each station. The den leader at each station marks the bay’s score card. Although the stations are numbered, they need not visit them in order, as long as an adult is there to mark the score.

Station 1: “Be quiet for 2 minutes. Listen to all the sounds of nature. Write them on a piece of paper and give it to the leader when the time is up. (Boys should hear such things as buzzing insects, wind in the trees, bird songs, etc.)
Scores 1 point for each valid noise.

Station 2: The Cubmaster has not slept for 3 days. His doctor says that he needs a sleeping potion made up of the following: 10 dandelion seeds, a bird feather, a fly, an oak leaf, 2 caterpillars, a maple twig, 5 pine needed, etc. (List about 10 items in your area within 20- 30 paces)
Scores 1 point for each valid item seen.

Station 3: Within 15 paces, you will find some items of an unnatural nature. For example, leaves on trees that don’t belong there, oak leaves on tulip tree, pine cones on an oak, etc.
Score 1 point for each freak discovered.

Station 4: Within 10 paces of this spot is an insect home. Find it, and tell what the insects are.
Score 5 points for discovery.

Station 5: Pick up a leaf or bit of grass and the toss it in the air. What is the wind direction?
Score 2 points for correct answer.

Nature Demonstration



1. Nature is Beautiful.

Show the beauty of the leaf; it’s shape, its veins and symmetry.

2. Nature is Useful.

Have several small sticks of wood. Tell hw wood has many times saved men’s lives by either providing warmth, fire for cooking or shelter.

3. Nature has Mystery.

Show the mystery of a bird’s nest. Why do different birds build different nests?

4. Nature has Magic.

Cut into an apple crosswise and show the “star” shape that holds the apple seeds. Hold up a seed and explain the magic that this small seed can grow into a large apple tree and bear fruit we can eat.

5. Nature is a Teacher.

Prepare a model of a kite. Explain Ben Franklin’s experience when he discovered electricity with his kite and key.

6. Nature has History.

Secure a stone with a fossil in it and talk about how this happens.

7. Nature is Fun.

Show a fishing pole. Tell a ‘Whopper” of a fish story.

8. Nature is Life itself.

Very simply and without much flourish, drink a glass of water.

9. Nature is the Future of Mankind.

Prepare 2 cardboard boxes in advance: s One box has soil in it, the other has a piece of healthy sod it. Using the box which had only soil, tilt it up and pour water into it, showing that the water will run off and leave gullies in the dirt. Using the other box to demonstrate that the water does not runoff the sod retains the water.

All mankind is separated from oblivion

by 3 inches of top soil.

Bees. Bugs and Butterflies

Have you ever walked through a park or meadow on a bright sunny day feeling like you are the only one around. Well, when we are outdoors, we are never alone.

There are thousands of tiny animals, called insects, surrounding us at all times.

There are more than 800,000 types of insects with more being discovered all the time. Butterflies, bees and ladybugs are only a few of the more commonly known insects.

All adult insects have three main parts to their bodies the head, thorax and abdomen. All insects have antennae, also. Most of them have one or more sets of wings. But, one way to tell an insect from any other type of animal is to count it’s legs. Adult insects always have six legs, no more and no less. This way we know that spiders are not insects because they have eight legs.

Insects make good pets. They do not require much space and are easy to care for you will find insects almost anywhere. Look in f lowers, on leaves of trees and plants, under bark, stones or logs, and in under ground burrows.

Make an insect cage and catch an insect to observe. Here are a few feeding tips.

Ants - drops of honey or bits of raw meat, apples, and bananas

Grasshoppers - fruit and vegetables

Praying Mantis - aphids and fruit flies

Lady Bugs and Beetles - aphids, fruits and boiled potato

Crickets - raw vegetables, fruit, dog biscuits and crackers

Bees and Butterflies - Should be set free to find flower nectar.

All insects need water. Place a few drops of water on a leaf, inside the cage, daily.

Insect cages can -be made from large glass jars and netting material. Oatmeal boxes, using a piece of nylon screen, also works well. Always place some grass, leaves or twigs inside your cage for the insects to climb on. In an insect cage, you can watch your insect’s life cycle. Admire its beauty and see how it changes.


Mother Nature’s Housing Developments:

ü  People don’t build homes in parks, but many creatures do. How many animal homes can your den find?

ü  Look for bird nests, cliff or barn swallows’ nest, squirrel nests, cocoons, insect galls, spider webs, paper wasps nests, mud dauber wasps’ nests, woodchuck burrow.

ü  It’s fair to count the evidence of homes, too, such as the little mud casts made by earthworms and a long raised mound across a lawn made by a burrowing mole.

ü  A hollow tree might be the home of several animals: woodpeckers, owls, bats, or white footed mice.

ü  If your park has a pond, look for mud chimneys of crayfish built near the shore.

ü  Award a prize to the one who finds the most animal homes.

ü  Caution the boys not to remove or destroy these homes.

Mixer Nature Game:

Have a list of familiar birds, animals, trees or insects and write the name of each on a card. Each week pin a card from one of these groups to the back of each Webelos Scout as he enters the meeting. Each boy must guess who he is by asking questions that can be answered with a yes or no. When he has successfully guessed the card is then pinned to the front of his chest.

Measuring Worm Race:

In this race all contestants line up at the starting line,

On Go, they fall forward to start and rest their weight on their hands.

Next they draw their legs up under them and then fall forward again on their hands,

This method of movement continues until the winner reaches the finish line.


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