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BEAR DEN

WELCOME TO THE BEAR DEN

Welcome to the Bear Den! While each rank in Cub Scouting is referred to as a "den" as a group of people, a "den" is also a place that animals can retreat to and call home. This is your den for the HomeScouting Adventure Club for Bears! 

Bears are boys and girls in the third grade in fall of 2020. When you're ready, get started on your first HomeScouting Adventure!

Looking for last month's adventure? Click the Link Below!

NOTE: Access to the March HAC is only for HAC subscribers, you can subscribe now by clicking here

APRIL ADVENTURE:

BEAR NECESSITIES

A bear is at home in the outdoors, and so is a Bear Scout! In this adventure, you’ll learn how to plan and set up a campsite, cook a meal with your den, and watch for changes in the weather. But best of all, you’ll get to go camping! Are you ready?

Make sure to download the connected worksheet for this month's adventure!

GO CAMPING!

*required for adventure*

Requirement 1: While working on your Bear badge, attend one of the following:

  • A daytime or overnight campout with your pack or family

  • An outdoor activity with your den or pack

  • Day camp

  • Resident camp

Scouts love camping because they know how to take care of themselves outdoors. For this requirement, go on a camping adventure! This could be a pack overnighter, a campout in your backyard, an outdoor activity with your den or pack, or attendance at a day or resident camp. 

HAVE A STAR PARTY!

If you go camping, while on your campout have a star

party and observe the night sky!

There are so many exciting things to see in the night sky. Thousands of stars, constellations,

the Milky Way, planets, the moon, satellites, and airplanes over head every night. We can see old stars dying and exploding. We can see meteor showers, or shooting stars. Sometimes it is rare to see some of these sights. But on any clear night of the year, you usually can see the Moon and a dazzling array of stars. Did you know that the sky changes as the seasons change? The earth rotates and tilts back and forth. This makes the night sky different in each season. 

You can see many constellations and planets in the night sky without a telescope. Pick a night to head outside, find a place that is dark enough to see the night sky. Make sure to pick a clear night when there is no cloud cover! Then create your own constellation and share it with your family!

DRAW AND NAME YOUR OWN CONSTELLATION

If you could make your own constellation, what would it look like? What would your constellation be named? 

Draw a picture of your constellation. Create a story about how your constellation got its name. Share your picture and story with the rest of the members of your family!

ITEMS TO BRING ALONG

*required for adventure*

Requirement 2: Make a list of items you should take along on your activity for requirement #1. 

Being comfortable in the outdoors means taking along the right gear to keep you warm, dry, and safe. You don’t need all the comforts of home, but a few key things can really help you enjoy your campout. Make a list of personal items you should bring along on your campout, including your Cub Scout Six Essentials. You should take them on every outing. If you need help making your list, your den leader or a parent may have some ideas to help out or you can check out the Pack Personal Gear Checklist, below!

CUB SCOUT SIX ESSENTIALS

FIRST AID KIT

A kit should include a few adhesive bandages, some moleskin (a sticky bandage that you can
put over a blister to keep it from getting worse or rubbing), and soap or hand sanitizer. 

FLASHLIGHT

Check your batteries to make sure they have plenty of power. Your flashlight will be only used in an emergency, so save the batteries for times when you really need them!

FILLED WATER BOTTLE

You should bring enough water for you to drink through your whole hike and back. And make sure
your bottle is full when you start out! It is not safe to drink water you find along the trail. 

TRAIL FOOD

Trail mix or an energy bar provides quick energy when you need it.

SUN PROTECTION

Sunscreen should be SPF 30 or greater. A hat is good to have too!

WHISTLE

It's only for emergencies, but a whistle will last longer than your voice.

 

You might want to pack an extra pair of socks in case your feet get wet or it rains. A rain poncho, waterproof jacket, or even a large plastic garbage bag with holes cut out for your head and arms will keep you dry if it rains. What other gear should you take? Remember, you'll have to carry it all yourself and bring it all back!

cub scout

six essentials 

  • First Aid Kit

  • Flashlight
  • Filled Water Bottle
  • Trail Food
  • Sun protection
  • Whistle

Keep your backpack and the Cub Scout Six Essentials in one place so you can grab them easily when you are ready to go on any Cub Scout Adventure. Remember to fill your water bottle just before your hike. What should you add to your kit to help you to be prepared if rain is coming? You will want to pack a lightweight rain poncho or waterproof jacket and an extra pair of socks. Is there anything else you should pack? Will you need insect spray? Talk to your adult partner and den leader to make sure you have everything. And remember, you have to carry everything you bring on the hike and all the way back again.

PACK PERSONAL GEAR CHECKLIST

Below you can find a downloadable pack personal gear checklist with the items you'll need on any type of campout!

While on your hike, use one of our HomeScouting Scavenger Hunts to see what you can find in the wild! Click on one of the Scavenger Hunt's below to download!

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BE PREPARED AS A GROUP

*required for adventure*

Requirement 3: Make a list of equipment that your group should bring along in addition to your personal gear for the activity you selected for requirement #1.

Besides your personal gear, you will need some other items that the whole group will use. With your den or family, make a list of some of those items below. 

SET UP A TENT

*required for adventure*

Requirement 4: Help set up a tent. Pick a good spot for the tent, and explain to your den leader why you picked it.

Where you put up your tent is an important part of being comfortable on a campout. Your tent should be in a flat area that is clear of any low spots where water will collect if it rains. It should also be sheltered from strong winds. During cold weather, try to face the door of your tent away from the wind.

Before you put up your tent, move any rocks, sticks, or other hard objects from the tent site. They can hurt bare feet and damage the bottom of your tent. After you take down the tent, put back the objects you moved near where you found them. Also, pick up anything you and other campers brought to the campsite. Scouts always leave no trace!

TIE A TWO HALF HITCHES KNOT

*optional for adventure*

Requirement 5: Demonstrate how to tie two half hitches and explain what the hitch is used for. 

Every knot has a specific use. The two half hitches knot is used to tie items to a post or tree trunk. The knot is easy to untie when you are ready, but it will hold tight while in use. Each wrap around the rope is called a half hitch. Making two of them around the rope is what gives this hitch its name.

 

Tie a rope to a tree or post using two half hitches, then pull hard. Did the knot hold? Now stop pulling, and see how easy it is to untie. Just push the free end of the rope back through, and the knot is untied!

TWO HALF-HITCHES: Use two half hitches to tie a rope to a tree, ring or dock. If you need more security, take a second turn around the tree, or just add more half-hitches.

 

HOW TO:  Pass the running end of the rope around the post or through the grommet. Bring the end over and around the standing part of the rope, then back through the loop that has formed. This makes a half-hitch. Continue taking the end around the standing part to tie another half-hitch (this time outside the loop). Be sure to go around the standing part in the same direction. Pull the knot snug and slide it against the pole or grommet.

THERMOMETERS & BAROMETERS

*optional for adventure*

Requirement 6: Learn how to read a thermometer and a barometer. Keep track of the temperature and barometric pressure readings and the actual weather at the same time every day for seven days.

Have you ever watched weather forecasters on TV and wondered how they know what the weather will be tomorrow? They use many tools to report and predict the weather.

 

One important tool is a thermometer, which tells how hot or cold it is. What is the hottest weather you’ve ever felt? What is the coldest?

Another important tool is a barometer. It reads barometric pressure, which is the pressure the air in the atmosphere places on the ground. Keeping track of changes in barometric pressure can tell us how the weather will change. If the pressure is falling, a storm is probably coming. If the pressure is steady or rising gently, the weather should be calm and nice!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pay attention to how the weather feels to you when you know the temperature. You’ll be able to better prepare for outings that way. When the temperature is going to be 50 degrees during the day, you know you’ll need a jacket!

 

Understanding barometric pressure and weather forecasts can also help you be better prepared for outings. If you know that afternoon storms are likely, you can change your campout schedule to hike in the morning and stay close to camp in the afternoon.

 

Use the chart in your connected worksheet to track the weather for a week. Take temperature and pressure readings at the same time every day so you can compare. Circle whether the pressure is rising or falling for each day. In the last column, write a description like “sunny and breezy” or “heavy rain.” You can get your readings using a thermometer and a barometer. Or, with your parent’s or guardian’s help, you can also find temperature and pressure readings on the Internet or your local television news broadcast

 

 

 

 

THERMOMETER

BAROMETER

BEAR NECESSITIES

DEN ADVENTURE VIDEO  

APRIL BONUS ADVENTURE:

FUR, FEATHERS, & FERNS

In this adventure you will explore the world of mammals, birds, plants, and more. You will learn more about where wild creatures live and you will do your part to help them. You will practice the Outdoor Code by showing ways to be considerate in the outdoors. So grab your binoculars and start exploring the natural world.

Make sure to download the connected worksheet for this month's adventure!

SIGNS OF WILDLIFE ON A HIKE

*required for adventure*

Requirement 1: While hiking or walking for one mile, identify six signs

that any mammals, birds, insects, reptiles, or plants are living

nearby the place where you choose to hike.

WARMING UP

Do you remember that as a Cub Scout you must always Do Your Best? One way is to prepare for hiking by

warming up your muscles. To warm up for your hike, walk or jog for a few minutes and then do these stretches. When you stretch, don’t bounce. Just move gently until you feel your muscles start to stretch.

 

Quadriceps (muscles in the front of your thighs): Stand up and hold on to a sturdy support. Grab your left ankle and bring it up behind you. With your knees close together, push your hips forward until you feel the muscles stretching. Hold for 20 seconds. Repeat on the other side.

Calves (muscles in your lower legs): Stand up and take a big step forward with your right leg. Keep your left leg straight. Lean forward a little so that your body and left leg form a straight line. Hold for 20 seconds. Repeat on the other side.

Hamstrings  (tendons on the backs of your thighs): Sit on the floor with your right leg straight out and your left leg bent. With your back straight, bend forward from your hips, reaching toward your right foot. Hold for 20 seconds. Repeat on the other side.

Abductors (muscles in your hips, bottom, and sides of your thighs): Sit on the floor with your right leg straight out. Bend your left leg so your left foot is to the right of your right knee. Twist your upper body to the left until you feel the muscles stretching. Hold for 20 seconds. Repeat on the other side.

Hip Flexors (muscles in your hips that flex your thigh bones): Kneel on the floor, then position your right leg so your right foot is in front of you and your right knee forms a 90 degree angle. Push forward with your hips, keeping them as square as possible. Hold for 20 seconds. Repeat on the other side.

With your den or a family member, explore your neighborhood or the area around your den meeting location, or take a 1-mile hike. Bring binoculars and a notebook and pencil to take notes or a camera or smartphone to take pictures. Be sure to pack your Cub Scout Six Essentials. (see Bear Necessities adventure above for the list of the Cub Scout Six Essentials)

 

As you walk, look up, down, and all around for signs that mammals, reptiles, insects, or birds have been there. Also look for different types of plants. Write down what you see in your connected worksheet.

 

Here are some things to look for:

  • Partly chewed leaves or flowers that insects or mammals have left

  • Slime trails that show where snails have traveled

  • A bird flying by with a leaf or twig in its beak on its way to build a nest nearby

  • Scratch marks on a tree where an animal has marked its territory

  • Holes that lead to the underground home of a mammal, reptile, or insect

  • Animal scat (droppings) that indicates a creature ate a meal nearby

All Scouts learn and follow the Outdoor Code. As Bears, you’ll focus on the part of the Outdoor Code that says to be considerate in the outdoors. Two of the Leave No Trace Principles for Kids go right along with that idea. Those principles are “Leave What You Find” and “Be Kind to Other Visitors.” After your hike, discuss, ways that you demonstrated those principles. How do those principles support the Outdoor Code?

While on your hike, use one of our HomeScouting Scavenger Hunts to see what you can find in the wild! Click on one of the Scavenger Hunt's below to download!

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THE OUTDOOR CODE

As an American, I will do my best to –
Be clean in my outdoor manners.
Be careful with fire.
Be considerate in the outdoors.
Be conservation minded.

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*complete THREE of the following requirements to complete the adventure*

VISIT A LOCAL NATURE CENTER

*three are required for adventure*

Requirement 2: Visit one of the following: zoo, wildlife refuge, nature center, aviary, game preserve, local conservation area, wildlife rescue group, or fish hatchery. Describe what you learned during your visit.

Many organizations and government agencies work to protect animals and plants. Some of them have facilities you can visit to learn more about their work and perhaps see the creatures they protect. You may even be able to help them help those creatures! Agencies like the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service use volunteers to remove invasive species, conduct wildlife surveys, plant native grasses along riverbanks, and put identification bands on migratory birds.

 

EXTINCT & ENDANGERED ANIMALS

*three are required for adventure*

Requirement 3: Name one animal that has become extinct in the last 100 years and one animal that is currently endangered. Explain what caused their declines.

An animal species becomes extinct when its last member dies. Extinction happens for many reasons, including loss of habitat, overhunting, climate change, or the appearance of a new predator or disease. You’ve heard of animals like dinosaurs that became extinct millions of years ago. But some animals became extinct more recently. A good example is the passenger pigeon. When Europeans first came to North America, there were billions of passenger pigeons. In the 1700s, a man named Cotton Mather wrote about a flock of birds that was a mile wide and took several hours to pass overhead!

 

Passenger pigeons were an important source of food in the 1800s, and they were hunted nearly to extinction. A few survived in captive flocks, but the last passenger pigeon, Martha (named after Martha Washington), died in 1914 at the Cincinnati Zoo.

Not all stories have sad endings. After World War II, the American bald eagle was in serious decline. A pesticide called DDT was poisoning the fish that eagles liked to eat and hurting the eagles. In 1967, the species was listed as endangered. DDT was banned in the United States in 1972, which helped eagles rebound. Conservationists also worked hard to breed captive eagles, reintroduce them into nature, and protect their nest sites. By 1995, bald eagles were listed as threatened, which is better than endangered. In 2007, the species was removed from the list of threatened and endangered species altogether. (It is still illegal to kill, sell, or possess bald eagles without special permission.)

Threatened, Endangered, and Extinct - What's the Difference?

Threatened means a species is likely to become endangered if people don’t work to protect it.

Endangered means a species is likely to become extinct in all or a major part of its natural habitat.

Extinct means a species no longer exists.

There are many reasons to conserve threatened and endangered species:

  • Contributions to medicine. Many important medicines come from plants. For example, scientists make cancer medicine from the bark of the Pacific yew tree.

  • Contributions to agriculture. Birds and insects pollinate one third of the food we eat. For example, bees pollinate fruit and nut trees and melon vines.

  • Environmental monitors. Problems with animal species can alert humans to dangers to our planet. For example, the decline in bald eagles helped people discover that DDT was dangerous.

  • Keeping the food chain going. Animals and plants are part of a food chain that provides food for other animals (including us!). For example, eagles eat snakes, which eat mice, which eat crickets. If crickets became extinct, mice, snakes, and eagles would all go hungry.

  • Beauty. Nothing compares with the beauty of nature!

OBSERVE WILDLIFE FROM A DISTANCE

*three are required for adventure*

Requirement 4: Observe wildlife from a distance. Describe what you saw.

If you’ve ever seen an animal in the wild, you know how exciting watching wildlife can be. It is

important to watch from a distance, however. Some animals can be dangerous to you. Also, you

don’t want to scare an animal off or disturb it while it is eating. A good place to spot wildlife is along

shorelines. Even if you don’t see any animals, you’ll probably find lots of footprints where they’ve come

down to get a drink.

 

Some wildlife refuges and parks have blinds that you can get behind to watch birds and other animals. A blind is a camouflaged wall or shelter with windows in it. Sometimes, one-way glass is used so you can see out but the animals can’t see in.

 

You can also use a periscope to peek over a wall or around a corner at wildlife. The directions below show how to make a simple periscope out of milk cartons. A field guide will help you identify what you see.​​

CARDBOARD PERISCOPE

MATERIALS NEEDED:

  • Two quart-sized milk cartons (or cardboard of similar size)

  • Two small mirrors (approx. 1.5 inches square)

  • Utility Knife

  • Hot Glue

DIRECTIONS

  1. Find two small mirrors the same size. You can use any flat mirrors, whether the frame is rectangular, round, or some other shape. The two mirrors don't even have to be the same shape, but they do need to be small enough to fit into a milk carton. You may be able to find small mirrors at a craft or art supply store, or from an online store.

  2. Cut the tops off two clean milk cartons. Find two empty milk cartons, each at least one quart (one liter) in size and wide enough to fit your mirrors. Cut off and discard the triangular top of each one, then wash the inside thoroughly to get rid of smells.

    • A long, sturdy cardboard tube could also work.

    • You could use a large, flat sheet of sturdy cardboard instead. Lightly score it with a craft knife to divide it into four sections, then fold it into a box and tape together.

  3. Tape the two cartons together. Use packing tape or another strong tape to tape the open ends of the cartons together, making one long box. To fasten the cartons together more securely, try taping the inside of the box together on one side, then taping all four outside surfaces.

    • You can tape two tubes or two homemade cardboard cartons together in the same way, to make a longer periscope. However, the longer the periscope is, the smaller the image will be

  4. Cut a hole on one side just big enough for a mirror. Place one of the mirrors on one of the vertical sides of the milk carton, about 1/4 of an inch (6 mm) from the end. Trace the mirror with a pencil, then cut on the pencil marks to create a hole.

    • A craft knife may be the easiest tool for cutting the hole, but should only be used with adult supervision, as it is very sharp.

    • If you are using a cardboard tube instead of a milk carton, flatten it slightly so you can trace the mirror.

  5. Insert a mirror facing the hole at a 45º angle. Use sticky putty or double-sided tape to attach the mirror you traced onto the inside wall of the carton, across from the hole you cut. Arrange the mirror so the whole surface can be seen when you look through the hole, but have it point downward toward the opposite end of the carton at a 45º angle.

    • To test whether it's at a 45º angle, use a ruler to measure the distance from the closest corner of the carton to where the lower edge of the mirror touches the carton's side. Then measure the distance from the same corner to the opposite end of the mirror, where it touches the carton's top. The two distances will be the same if the mirror is angled at 45º.

    • Don't use glue yet, since you might need to make adjustments to the mirror's position.

  6. ​Cut a hole at the other end, facing the opposite direction. To find out where to cut, place the carton in front of you on its short end, with the first hole you cut near the top. Rotate the carton so that hole is on the opposite side. The second hole will go on the side that is now facing you, right at the bottom of this side. Trace the second mirror and cut as you did before.

  7. Insert the second mirror facing the second hole. Just like the first mirror, this should be visible from the hole, and should face the other end of the carton at a 45º angle. At this angle, one mirror will reflect light directly down through the periscope, and the second will reflect it directly through the hole and into your eye. You will see this reflected light as an image of whatever is on the opposite hole of your periscope.

  8. Look into one hole and adjust. Do you see a clear image when you look through one of the holes? If it is blurry, or you only see the inside of the periscope, adjust the position of the mirrors. Once both of them are at 45º angles, you should be able to see through the periscope clearly.

  9. Attach the mirrors permanently. If putty or tape isn't enough to keep the mirrors steady, attach them with glue. Once they're permanently stuck in the right position, you can use your periscope to spy on people, or see over the top of a crowd.

    • If too much light is coming through the "eye" end of your periscope, making it difficult to see the reflection, tape black construction paper over the outside edges of the hole.

EXAMINE PLANTS CLOSELY

*three are required for adventure*

Requirement 5: Use a magnifying glass to examine plants more closely. Describe what you saw through the magnifying glass that you could not see without it.

Plants are beautiful at a distance, but sometimes they are even more fun to look at up close. When

you examine a plant with a magnifying glass, you can see all sorts of things that are hidden from the

naked eye. What can you see? You can see the veins that form a leaf’s skeleton. You can see tiny

aphids sucking sap out of a plant stem. You can see drops of dew rolling down pine needles. You can

see the tiny seeds that make up the eye of a sunflower. Grab a magnifying glass and start looking!

LEARN ABOUT COMPOSITING

*three are required for adventure*

Requirement 6: Learn about composting and how vegetable waste can be turned into fertilizer for plants.

When you eat a banana, do you throw the peel away? When you scrape extra food off your plate at dinner, where does it go? You can actually turn banana peels, food scraps, grass clippings, and even paper into fertilizer for plants by composting. Composting is a process where you mix organic materials in a pile or a container, along with a little water. Worms and insects chew up the material and help good bacteria grow in it. In a month or two, you end up with a dark, rich fertilizer that you can spread around plants to help them grow. You can make a compost pile in the corner of your yard, or you can use a special composting container. Below you can learn how to make a compost bin out of an old trash can.

BUILD YOUR OWN COMPOST BIN

MATERIALS NEEDED:

  • Trash can or large bin with tight fitting lid

  • Drill & drill bit (approx 1/4 inch)

  • Shovel

DIRECTIONS

  1. Find a plastic trash can or large storage bin with a tight-fitting lid.

  2. Ask an adult to drill or punch 10 air holes around the can near the top edge.

  3. Ask an adult to drill or punch 20 drain holes in the bottom, each one-quarter inch or three-eighths of an inch in diameter.

  4. Dig a hole about 15 inches deep in a corner of your yard that drains well.

  5. Set the can in the hole and push the dirt from the hole up around it.

  6. Start composting!

Here are some things that can go into your compost pile or container:

  • Table scraps (nothing greasy or meaty)

  • Fruit and vegetable scraps

  • Crushed eggshells

  • Leaves

  • Grass clippings (in thin layers)

  • Pine needles (in moderate amounts)

  • Flowers and chopped stems

  • Coffee grounds and filters

  • Tea leaves and tea bags

  • Newspaper and shredded paper (avoid glossy paper and colored ink)

  • Shredded cardboard

  • Barnyard manure (no dog and cat waste)

Add water from time to time so the compost stays as wet as a damp sponge. Once a week, stir the compost from the outside in. That’s all you have to do. The worms and insects will do the rest!

PLANT A GARDEN

*three are required for adventure*

Requirement 7: Plant a vegetable or herb garden.

Growing your own vegetables and herbs is a fun way to learn how plants grow. And nothing tastes better than food you have grown yourself. Some people think you have to have a big yard to have a garden, but you can grow vegetables and herbs in a small space using pots or plastic trays.

GROW A PIZZA GARDEN

If you like pizza, you’ll love growing your own herbs to put on it. Fresh herbs make any pizza better, whether you baked it yourself or bought it at a store.

MATERIALS NEEDED:

  • Some small pots with drainage holes (and trays if your garden will be inside)

  • Potting soil

  • Herb plants like basil, thyme, oregano, rosemary, and parsley

  • A place where the herbs can get lots of sunlight

DIRECTIONS

  1. Put some soil in the bottom of each pot so your plants will sit a couple of inches below the top.

  2. Remove the plants from their nursery containers. Place one in each pot and gently fill the pot with soil. Pat the soil down.

  3. Water the plants enough that water runs out the bottom.

  4. Place the pots where they can get sunlight.

  5. Water them when the soil feels dry, and add some fertilizer every two weeks.

  6. Once the herbs grow, just pinch off pieces to put on your pizza. (You can also dry herbs to use later.)

FUR, FEATHERS, & FERNS

DEN ADVENTURE VIDEO  

Created by the Buckeye Council, Boy Scouts of America

info@homescouting.org  |  2301 13th St NW, Canton, OH 44708