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, which includes the many
things, 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
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 back yard, 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 the
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.
- Make an ant farm
- Make an insect laboratory
- Make bird feeders
- Make terrariums
- Start a nature collection
- Invite a conservationist to visit den meetings
and talk about some phase of nature
- Make a leaf collection, and leaf prints
- Take a bird's watchers hike. Identify birds,
make notes about location, species, etc.
- Collect tadpoles; keep in aquarium and watch
- Make bird migration maps
- Study wildlife homes
- Make a list of all plants in a given
- Take a nature hike and look for animal
- Make a plaster casts of the tracks.
Take a Hike Survey
Preparation: Make a copy of the survey sheet
for each boy and bring along a tape measure and some
How big is nature? Can you hear it: How does it
feel? You'll need to use all of your senses to complete this
AROUND, WIDE, AND LONG
Use a tape measure to find
each of the measurements.
1. Circumference (distance around) of the biggest
2.Circumference of the smallest tree
3.Distance between any two trees
4. Length of a leaf close to the length of your
5. Width of something more narrow than your
6. Length of a friend's shadow
USING YOUR SENSES
Use your eyes,
ears, nose and fingers to find something that fits each
2. Makes a noise
3. Feels bumpy
4. Looks wrinkled
5. Likely to change the way it looks
HOW DOES IT FEEL?
objects that fit the descriptive words by the boxes below. Place
this paper over each object, one object to a box. Use a crayon or
pencil to make a rubbing of each object.
Under each box put one of the following
1. Smooth 2. Gritty . 3. Ridged 4. Grooved 5.
Pine Cone Battle
Have twice as many pinecones as players. Divide boys
into equal teams, each about 20 yards from a dividing line and
facing each other across the line. At signal, the battle starts with
each player throwing cones as close to the 20-yard marker as
possible, but staying on their side of the line. Those closest to
the 20-yard mark score two points. Team with the most point's
Arbor Day Treasures
Find tree name hidden in the following
- The ranger's map led us safely through the
- Will owls hoot in daylight?
- It's fun to hike and tramp in every
- Forest rangers wear white helmets.
- We saw a honey bee checking clover blossoms for
- Many forest fires are caused by human
- We got soaked when we were caught in a
- The boy's face darkened when she kissed him on
Answers: 1. Maple 2. Willow 3. Pine 4. Elm 5.
Beech 6. Fir 7. Oak 8. Cedar
One Leaf Trail
Lay a trail using one kind of leaf as a marker,
letting the stem point in the direction to be followed.
Do Trees Drink?
A simple demonstration can be done with celery. Use
a piece of celery with leaves for each boy. Place three drops of red
food coloring in a glass of water and place celery in the water.
Over a couple of days, the veins on the outside of the celery will
start changing color, showing how the liquid goes up the stalk. The
same type of activity takes place inside a tree.
Collect acorns or other tree seeds and plant in
small Styrofoam cups filled with dirt. Keep watered. After the seeds
sprout and are a fair size, plant in a suitable place like the
property of your charter organization. Get permission
Which tree is on the flag of:
4. South Carolina
Answers: 1. A Cabbage Palmetto Tree 2. Pine Tree 3.
Maple Leaf 4. Palmetto Tree 5. Pine Tree
How Old Is That Tree?
Houston Area Council
The only way to tell the age of a tree exactly is to
cut it down and count its annual rings of growth. However, we can
estimate the age of a standing tree using this method?
- Measure in inches the circumference of the tree
(distance around) about 4 1/2 feet above the ground.
- Divide the circumference by 3 to find the
- To find the tree's age, multiply the diameter
(in inches) by the correct factor listed in the table
These factors vary because of the
differences in the growth rate of trees. (Note: If the tree gets
more water and nutrients than average, it will be younger than it
looks. If it lives in stressful conditions -- poor soil, less than
average water, drainage, or disease -- it will be older than it
Houston Area Council
Make a neckerchief for each boy out of inexpensive
cotton fabric. When a boy can identify a particular forest tree
leaf, print the leaf on his neckerchief. Eventually each boy will
have a permanent record of the six forest trees he has
Leaf Prints -- Spread neckerchief fabric on a
sheet of newspaper. Place a leaf, vein side up, on another sheet of
newspaper and paint the leaf with fabric paint. Be sure to cover the
entire leaf, but try not to put paint on too thick or your finished
product may look smudgy. When the leaf is covered, turn it paint
side down onto the neckerchief. Cover the leaf with a single piece
of clean newspaper and gently move a roller back and forth over the
leaf two or three times. Pick up the newspaper and discard it, then
gently remove the leaf. Green leaves work just as well as dried ones
and often can be used for repeat images. To make the image
permanent, press the neckerchief with a warm iron after the paint