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WEBELOS &

ARROW OF LIGHT DEN

WELCOME TO THE WEBELOS AND ARROW OF LIGHT DEN

Welcome to the Webelos and Arrow of Light 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 Webelos and Arrow of Light Scouts! 

Webelos are boys and girls in the fourth grade in fall of 2020, OR are joining Cub Scouting in the fifth grade.  Arrow of Light Scouts are boys and girls in their second year of the Webelos program, typically in fifth grade.

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 WEBELOS ADVENTURE:

WEBELOS WALKABOUT

REQUIRED ADVENTURE - FOR WEBELOS SCOUTS

Hiking is walking with a purpose. It is great exercise and a fun activity to do with your den or family. In the Webelos Walkabout adventure, you’ll learn how to prepare for a hike, what you should bring along, and what you should do if there is an emergency. During your den hike, you’ll also have the chance to do a service project.

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

PLAN A HIKE

*required for adventure*

Requirement 1: Plan a hike or an outdoor activity. 

Before you take a hike, you need to have a plan. Where are you going? How far will you hike? How long will the hike take? What will you do along the trail? To create your hike plan, work with your parent or your den to decide the following information. You can find a planning sheet in your connected worksheet. 

  • Hike location

  • Hike distance

  • Gathering place

  • Gathering time

  • Hike start time

  • Hike finish time

  • Other information you think might be important for your group

How fast can you hike? On a 3-mile hike, a den or a family can expect to average about 1-2 miles an hour, including stops.

If you are planning to use an existing trail (at a state park, for example), try to get

a copy of the trail map. Study it ahead of time to learn more about the trail. Is the

trail easy or hard? Where can you get water and go to the bathroom? Is there a

good place along the trail to eat lunch? If you’re making up your own route, work

with your den leader to create a map.

Before you head out on any type of outdoor hike, campout, or activity, you want

to make sure you have a plan!

 

 

Planning on doing another outdoor activity? Use the outdoor activity planning sheet in your connected worksheet!

MAKE A FIRST AID KIT

*required for adventure*

Requirement 2: Assemble a first aid kit suitable for your hike or outdoor activity. 

When you’re hiking, you have to take care of any minor emergencies that come up. The Scout motto is “Be Prepared.” One way to be prepared is to carry a first-aid kit whenever you go hiking.

What are some minor emergencies you might encounter when on a hike? What items should you take along to handle these emergencies? List these in your connected worksheet. 

With your den or with your family, put together a personal first aid kit containing the items below, but also the items you identified above.

 

Personal First-Aid Kit

Include these items for a personal first aid kit to carry on Scouting outings:

  • Adhesive bandages

  • Moleskin

  • Antibiotic ointment

  • Latex-free gloves

In addition to the basic items to the left, consider including:

  • Gauze pads

  • Adhesive tape

  • Soap

  • Scissors

  • Mouth barrier

  • Pencil and paper

  • Antiseptic wipes

OUTDOOR CODE & LEAVE NO TRACE

*required for adventure*

Requirement 3: Recite the Outdoor Code and the Leave No Trace Principles for Kids from memory. Talk about how you can demonstrate them on your Webelos adventures.

There’s nothing like a hike to remind Scouts of the importance of caring for the earth. And Scouts of all ages can make a big difference when they act responsibly in the outdoors. After all, there are millions of us out there!

 

Just think about the good that happens when that many people promise to do their best to protect nature and keep our country beautiful. That’s what the Outdoor Code and the Leave No Trace Principles for Kids do—they remind us that even the little choices matter when it comes to nature.

 

As a Webelos Scout, you’ll give extra attention to being conservation-minded, which means protecting natural resources. Two of the Leave No Trace Principles for Kids will help you do that: “Know Before You Go” and “Choose the Right Path.” When you plan ahead, you’ll be familiar with the area and prepared for your outing. When you stay on existing trails, you’ll protect the land around them.

 

So, to be sure you’ll have those words guiding you in this adventure (and in the many even greater adventures to come), take some time to memorize the Outdoor Code and the Leave No Trace Principles for Kids. 

LEAVE NO TRACE HIKING

Caring for the environment is an important responsibility of every hiker. The principles of Leave No Trace can help you live up to that responsibility and enjoy the outdoors fully by knowing that you are respecting the environment.

 

Leave No Trace Principles: As you and your group plan a hike, ask yourselves how you can follow each of the principles of Leave No Trace.

  • Plan Ahead and Prepare. When planning your hike, contact
    the land managers of the area you intend to visit or the Leave No
    Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics (see the resources section for
    contact information). Explain your desired route and ask how
    you can best implement Leave No Trace. Here are some
    additional guidelines to remember.

    • Know the regulations and special concerns for the area you
      will visit. 

    • Prepare for extreme weather, hazards, and emergencies.

    • Schedule your trip to avoid times of high use.

    • Visit the backcountry in small groups no larger than parties of four to six hikers.
       

  • Travel on Durable Surfaces. Stay on existing pathways to help protect the surrounding landscape from being trampled, eroded, and compacted.

    • In popular areas, hike on durable surfaces such as established trails, rock, gravel, dry grasses, and snow.

    • Protect shoreline vegetation.

    • Walk single file in the middle of the trail, even if it is wet or muddy.

    • Conduct activities in areas where vegetation is absent.
       

  • Dispose of Waste Properly. Remember this solid guideline: Pack it in, pack it out. Make it easier on yourself by limiting the amount of potential trash you take. Especially important is the disposal of human waste. Use toilet facilities whenever possible. Otherwise, urinate away from trails, camps, and other gathering places. Choose rocks or bare ground; animals may strip vegetation in order to consume the salts left by concentrations of urine. Pack out solid waste, or use a cathole. Check with the land agency for the area you will visit to find out the preferred method. To dig a cathole, choose a remote spot at least 200 feet from camps, trails, water, and dry gullies. With a trowel, dig a hole 6 to 8 inches deep in the topsoil. Take care of business, re-cover the hole, and disguise the site with leaves or other ground cover. Organic material in the topsoil will slowly break down the waste, making it harmless.
     

  • Leave What You Find. A cluster of flowers beside an alpine trail. Bricks from a historic homestead. A bird’s nest on a low bush. Every hike will bring with it a new discovery to see and enjoy. Here are some reasons why you should leave what you find.

    • Future hikers will have the excitement of discovering for themselves what you have found.

    • Plant and wildlife environments will not be harmed. Leave rocks and other natural objects as you find them. Avoid introducing or transporting nonnative species.

    • Archaeological, cultural, and historic structures and artifacts preserve a record of America’s past; some are sacred to American Indians and other Native Americans. Observe, but do not touch or take.
       

  • Minimize Campfire Impacts. Most hikers are prepared to spend a day outdoors without needing a campfire. If you do expect to cook or get warm, plan ahead with options that do not depend on kindling a blaze. In any case, it is wise to know when a campfire can be lit and when a fire could scar the land. In many areas, fires are discouraged, prohibited, or allowed by permit only. If you must make a campfire:

    • Use established fire rings, fire pans, or mound fires.

    • Keep fires small. Use only sticks from the ground that can be broken by hand.

    • Burn all wood and coals to ash, make sure the ashes are cold out, then scatter the cool ashes.
       

  • Respect Wildlife. Sharing the outdoors with wildlife is one of the great pleasures of hiking. Respect wildlife by always traveling quietly and observing animals from afar. You are too close if your actions cause an animal to change its activities. Always avoid wildlife when they are mating, nesting, raising young, and during other sensitive times.

    • Never feed wild animals. Doing so damages their health, alters natural behaviors, and exposes them to predators and other dangers. Store all your food and trash securely.​
       

  • Be Considerate of Other Visitors. Extending courtesy to other outdoor visitors is a natural habit of hikers. Speak softly and respect their desire for quiet and solitude. Leave radios and electronic devices at home. If you carry a mobile telephone for emergency communication, turn it off and stow it in your pack until you need it. Appreciate the company of those you meet on the trail and at campsites near yours. Observe proper trail etiquette. If you encounter horseback riders or pack animals, stop and ask the lead rider what you should do. The lead rider will probably ask you to step a few paces downhill from the trail and stand quietly while the animals pass. If you encounter other hikers or backpackers going uphill when you are going downhill, give them the right-of-way. Step aside on a rock or a log to minimize your impact, and watch your footing when you step below the trail.

Leave-No-Trace-Seven-Principles-Infograp

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.

GO ON A 3-MILE HIKE

*required for adventure*

Requirement 4: With your den or family, hike 3 miles. Before you go,

plan and prepare a nutritious lunch or snack. Enjoy it on your hike,

and clean up afterwards. 

BEFORE YOU GO

Eating is fun—especially when you’ve been working hard. You don’t want hunger to keep you from finishing your hike or having a great time, so it’s important to bring plenty of food on your trek.

 

Work with your den or with your family to plan a nutritious lunch tor snack for your hike. Remember to think about food that will be filling and easy to carry. You’ll be taking any trash with you when you leave, so simple foods are the best. Below are some ideas:

  • Granola

  • GORPgood old raisins and peanuts

  • Apples, oranges, carrots, and bananas

  • Need to pack a lunch? Sandwiches, fruit, carrots, nuts, and raisins are all tasty. Instead of sandwiches, you
    might try crackers with cheese or peanut butter.

 

Water is even more important than food though. Fill at least one water bottle before you start out,
and sip from it often. In hot weather, you may need to carry several water containers.

When you’re done eating and ready to move on, do a check of the snack area. Look for food scraps, wrappers,

and any other waste that wasn’t there when you arrived. (And if you did find trash when you got there, well,

you’re Cub Scouts—you know what to do!)

WHILE YOU GO

Once you have a plan and are ready for emergencies, it’s time to go hiking! Unlike camping, hiking

doesn’t require a lot of equipment. There are some things you should always carry, however. You might

have used the Cub Scout Six Essentials in the past. Since you’re preparing to be in a Scout troop, you can use a new list that includes some additional essential items. They are called the Scout Basic Essentials.

SCOUT BASIC ESSENTIALS

Pocketknife

First-aid kit

Extra clothing

Rain gear

Water bottle

Trail food

Matches and fire starters*

Sun protection

Map and compass

Flashlight

When you join a Scout troop, you can earn your Firem’n Chit. That will allow you to carry matches and a fire starter.

Adding some or all of the following items to your day pack can come in handy:

  • Duct Tape. Wrap a length of it around a plastic water bottle and you will always have some handy.

  • Whistle. A whistle can be heard for longer distances than shouting can and requires less energy.

  • Signal Mirror. A metal signal mirror can be slipped into your first-aid kit or a side pocket of your pack. Keep it in its case or slip it inside a spare sock to protect it from becoming scratched and dull.

  • Thin Wire. A few feet of thin wire can come in handy for repairing camping gear.

  • Garbage Bag. A heavy-duty 30- to 39-gallon plastic bag, preferably in a bright color, can be used for emergency rain gear, to protect tinder and kindling from the rain, and to shield your sleeping bag and other equipment.

POCKETKNIVES

A pocketknife is a useful tool to have with you, but it can also be dangerous if you don't know how to use it the right way. Learn about three different types of pocketknives and some basic pocketknife safety. 

 

The jack knife is only hinged on one end, but it may have more than one blade. Outdoorsmen
such as hunters, campers and fishermen tend to like these knifes.

 

The pen knife has hinges and blades on both ends of the knife. Often, they
will have two or three blades at each end. They are also smaller than the other
two types.

 

The multi-purpose knife is popular because there are so many different things they can
have on them.  Obviously, they'll have a knife blade, but they can also have a file, scissors,
tweezers, can or bottle openers and even a mini-saw blade. 

KNIFE SAFETY RULES TO LEARN AND LIVE BY

  • A knife is a tool, not a toy.

  • Know how to sharpen a knife. A sharp knife is safer than a dull knife because it is less likely to slip and cut you.

  • Keep the blade clean and dry.

  • Never carry an open pocketknife.

  • When you are not using your knife, close it using the palm of your hand and put it away.

  • When you are using the cutting blade, do not try to make big shavings or chips. Cut slowly and steadily.

  • Make a safety circle. Before you pick up your knife to use it, stretch your arm out and turn in a circle. If you cannot touch anyone or anything else, it is safe to use your knife. While using your knife, be sure to watch in case someone walks toward you and gets too close. If that happens, put your knife away until it is safe to continue.

  • Always cut away from you, never toward you.

  • Never hand a knife to someone else blade first. Learn and use the “eye contact” method of handing a knife to someone else. Do not release the knife until the other person makes eye contact with you and acknowledges he has the knife.

  • Never use a knife on something that will dull or break it.

  • Never throw a knife for any reason.

  • Always think before you cut. Do not use your knife to strip bark from a tree or to carve your initials into something that does not belong to you.

When you go hiking, you have to take care of your feet. High-top shoes or boots are the best because they keep out rocks and sand and help protect your ankles. Your shoes should fit fairly tightly around your heel, but there should be room to wiggle your toes. If your shoes don’t fit well, you can get blisters, and that’s no fun! When you get new boots or shoes, always break them in by wearing them part of every day for a week or more before you go hiking. Socks are almost as important as shoes. They soak up moisture and cushion your feet. Hiking socks made of polypropylene or a wool/nylon blend work better than cotton socks. Take an extra pair on your hike and put them on at your lunch break. Your feet will thank you.

HOW TO HIKE

You may know how to walk, but hiking is different. Here are some things that make hiking easy and fun:

  • Look around. Unless the trail is rocky or uneven, stop looking at your feet and start looking at the world around you. Spread out on the trail so you can see more than your buddy’s back.

  • Take breaks. Plan to stop for 10 minutes after every 30 minutes of hiking. Stretch your muscles and study the world around you. Make sure everyone gets to rest. If possible, take breaks after you climb big hills—not before—so the hiking will be easy when you start up again.

  • Stay on the trail. Don’t go around muddy spots or take shortcuts. That makes trails wider and damages the environment.

  • Walk in single file. If you’re hiking along a road, stay in single file on the left side. Wear white or reflective clothing or carry a flashlight.

  • Respect other hikers. Don’t be too noisy. If you meet other people, give them the right of way, especially if they are going uphill or are on horseback.

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!

scane.PNG
scabengerhunt.PNG

*ONE of the following is required for adventure*

PREPARE FOR DANGERS ON YOUR HIKE

*one is required for adventure*

Requirement 5: Describe and identify from photos any poisonous plants and dangerous animals and insects you might encounter on your hike.

Most plants are beautiful and harmless, and most animals are more afraid of you than you are of them. However, you should be aware of the poisonous plants and dangerous animals that you might see on the trail—even in a city park or neighborhood.

SAFETY TIPS AROUND ANIMALS

SAFETY AROUND DOGS

It is not unusual to come upon dogs as you walk through cities, towns, and near
farms. You may meet them on trails, too. Since you are a stranger to them, they
might snarl and bark at you. Avoid eye contact; talk to the dogs you encounter
in a calm, quiet voice and give them plenty of room as you pass. Do not
threaten them, but if you have a hiking stick or trekking poles, keep them
between you and the animals. Cross to the far side of the road or trail if you
can, or avoid a dog’s territory by taking another route.

SAFETY AROUND WILD ANIMALS

Seeing deer, raccoons, skunks, squirrels, and other animals that make their homes in the outdoors is a special part of any hike. If wild animals must alter their normal habits, you are too close. They are not likely to become aggressive unless they feel threatened. Enjoy watching wild animals, but keep your distance. Do not disturb nests or burrows.

Be aware of the kinds of predatory animals you might meet during your adventures. Wolves, coyotes, and cougars (mountain lions, panthers, pumas) are curious. If you meet such an animal, do not approach the animal, run, or play dead. Face the creature and slowly retreat. Make yourself “big”—wave your arms and clothing above your head. Be noisy; throw rocks and sticks. If you encounter a bear, do not run or shout. Stay calm, back away, and avoid eye contact with the animal.

VENOMOUS REPTILES

Snakes and other reptiles will usually get out of your way when they see you coming. But if you stumble over one, it may bite. Fortunately, most snakes and other reptiles don’t have poison in their bites. Here are the few that do.

Gila monster: Found in parts of Nevada and Utah and down into Mexico

Eastern diamondback rattlesnake: Found along the Atlantic coast from North Carolina to Florida and west to Louisiana

Western diamondback rattlesnake:

Found in the southwestern United States, from Missouriand east Texas to southern California

Prairie rattlesnake: Found in the western half of the United States

Sidewinder or horned rattlesnake: Found in the deserts of the Southwest

Coral snake: Found in some Southeastern states and in southern New Mexico and Arizona

Copperhead: Found in most Southern states, but also as far north as Massachusetts and as far
west as Illinois and Texas

Water moccasin (cottonmouth): Found in or near water from southeastern Virginia to Florida to east Texas and up through Arkansas and parts of nearby states

DANGEROUS INSECTS

Snakes and other reptiles will usually get out of your way when they see you coming. But if you stumble over one, it may bite. Fortunately, most snakes and other reptiles don’t have poison in their bites. Here are the few that do.

Bees, hornets and wasps: Most flying insects are just annoying, like mosquitos. A few of them can be dangerous for people with bad allergies. If someone gets stung by a bee, hornet, or wasp and has trouble breathing, it’s important to seek medical help right away. People who know they are allergic to insect stings usually carry special medicine called epinephrine with them all the time. If you carry this medicine with you, be sure your leader knows about it!

Ticks: Ticks are hard-shelled insects that like to bury their heads in your skin. (Yuck!) You should check yourself for ticks when you’ve been in the woods. If you find one, have an adult gently pull it out with tweezers. Wash the area with soap and water and put antiseptic medicine on it.

Chiggers: Chiggers are too small to see, but they can cause big itches when they burrow into your skin. Don’t scratch chigger bites; cover them with calamine lotion or special chigger medicine, such as 1 percent hydrocortisone ointment.

Spiders: Some spiders, especially the black widow and brown recluse, can make you sick if they bite you. Symptoms can include redness and pain at the bite site and also fever, chills, nausea, vomiting, joint or muscle pain, and cramps. Anyone who has been bitten by a spider should see a doctor as soon as possible.

POISONOUS PLANTS

Most plants are beautiful and harmless, and most animals are more afraid of you than you are of them. However, you should be aware of the poisonous plans and dangerous animals that you might see on the trail - even in a city park or neighborhood. 

Here are the most common poisonous plants. If you touch them, your skin may get red and itchy. You can prevent a reaction by washing with soap and water as soon as possible. 

 

Poison Ivy.

Poison ivy grows throughout most of the continental United States as either a shrub or a vine. Look for leaves with three leaflets and maybe white berries.  

Poison Oak.

Poison oak grows as a low shrub in the eastern U.S. and as clumps or vines on the Pacific coast. Look for clusters of three leaves and possibly yellow-white berries. 

 

Poison Sumac.

Poison sumac grows as a tall shrub or a small tree in wet areas in the northeastern, midwestern, and southeastern United States. Look for leaves with seven or more leaflets and possibly yellow-white berries. 

To avoid poison ivy and poison oak, remember this rhyme: "Leaves of three, let it be; berries white, poisonous sight"

BE A LEADER ON YOUR HIKE

*one is required for adventure*

Requirement 6: Perform one of the following leadership roles during your hike: trail leader, first-aid leader, lunch or snack leader.

On your hike, you can help your den by serving as a leader. Here are some jobs you can do:

  • Trail leader: Responsible for calling breaks, following the map, setting a comfortable pace, and pointing out hazards to other hikers

  • First-aid leader: Responsible for carrying the first-aid kit (or assigning someone else to carry it) and helping to give first aid if needed

  • Lunch or Snack leader: Responsible for assigning other to carry food, identifying a lunch spot, and supervising cleanup

The best leaders lead by example. That means they show other people how to act instead of telling them what to do. They also work just as hard as the other members of the team. Nobody likes to be bossed around by somebody who’s not working. 

 

After the hike, discuss how you did as a leader. Identify one or two things you could have done better.

WEBELOS WALKABOUT

DEN ADVENTURE VIDEO

 

APRIL AOL ADVENTURE:

OUTDOOR ADVENTURE

REQUIRED ADVENTURE - FOR ARROW OF LIGHT SCOUTS

There's nothing like the great outdoors! In this month's HAC, you will get the chance to plan and go on a campout that includes a campfire program and fun activities like geocaching and star study. You’ll also learn what it means to leave no trace when you’re camping.

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

Before getting started, determine if your family or den is going to participate in a campout or a daytime outdoor activity. Your campout can be in your backyard! Then follow the requirements for your activity. 

REQUIREMENTS FOR A CAMPOUT

PARTICIPATE IN A CAMPOUT

*required for adventure*

Requirement 1: With the help of your family or den leader, plan and conduct a campout.

If you went camping when you were younger, your parents or other adults may have done all the planning. As an Arrow of Light Scout, you get to help plan your own adventures.

 

Work with an adult to help plan your campout. Pick a location and dates, and make a list of activities that you could do on the campout. Find a campout plan in your connected worksheet!

Campout Ideas

What can you do on your campout? Here are some ideas.

  • Take a hike.

  • Complete a compass course or geocaching game.

  • Play a wide game like capture the flag.

  • Have a first-aid relay.

  • Compete in a sports tournament.

  • Have a special cooking contest.

  • Go stargazing.

  • Do nature crafts.

  • Have a scavenger hunt. Use our HomeScouting Scavenger Hunt worksheet!!

  • Complete a service project.

  • Plan and participate in a campfire program.

  • Conduct a flag ceremony or flag retirement.

  • Plan and participate in an interfaith worship service.​

CAMPING GEAR

A big part of being prepared is taking the right equipment on camping trips. Below are things you should take on den and pack outings. This list is like the Cub Scout Six Essentials you might have used before, but you’ve got some new items as you get ready to join a troop. You can borrow some items until you are ready to invest in new equipment.

THE SCOUT BASIC ESSENTIALS

(Things you should take on every outing)

First-aid kit

Extra clothing

Rain gear

Filled water bottle

Pocketknife (if you’ve earned your Whittling Chip)

Flashlight

Trail food

Sun protection

Map and compass

*After you join a troop, you can earn your Firem’n Chit. That will allow you to carry matches and a fire starter.

Other Items to Pack for a Campout

OVERNIGHT GEAR

  • Tent or tarp, poles, and stakes

  • Ground cloth

  • Sleeping bag

  • Pillow

  • Air mattress or pad

  • Warm jacket

  • Sweatshirt (try to avoid cotton)

  • Sweatpants (for sleeping, try to avoid cotton)

  • Cup, bowl, knife, fork, spoon, mesh bag

  • Insect repellent

  • Extra Clothing

  • Toothpaste, toothbrush, soap, washcloth, towel, comb, personal medications**

  • Scout uniform

  • Durable shoes/boots (depending on the weather)

  • Hat

OPTIONAL ITEMS

  • Camera

  • Binoculars

  • Whistle

  • Sunglasses

  • Fishing gear

  • Notebook and pencil

  • Nature books

  • Swimsuit

  • Bath towel

  • Bible, testament, prayer book, or another book for your faith

**Parents should always notify the den leader of any personal medications that the Scout may be required to take on the outing, as well as when such medications need to be taken.

TENT SET UP

*required for adventure*

Requirement 2: On arrival at the campout, determine where to set up your tent. Demonstrate knowledge of what makes a good tent site and what makes a bad one. Set up your tent without help from an adult.

There are many things you can do to make your camp home as nice as possible, even if your tent may not be quite as comfortable as your bed back home. When you get to your campsite, spend a few minutes finding the best possible spot for your tent.

Look for a tent site that is flat or almost flat. A grassy area or an area covered in leaves will be softer than bare dirt. If bare dirt is the only option, a sleeping pad or inflatable mattress is a good idea! Look around to make sure the site is not in a natural drainage area or on a trail or path. Look up to make sure there are no dead tree limbs overhead that might fall in a storm. Leave some space between your tent and the next one for privacy. Once you’ve picked your tent site, move aside any rocks, pine cones, or sticks that would be uncomfortable to sleep on. Do not remove bushes or small plants; instead, put your tent in a spot where you will have only a small impact on nature. After the campout, restore the site to the way it looked when you arrived; Scouts always leave places better than they found them. Now, work with your tentmate or other Webelos Scouts to set up your tent. Put your gear inside and get ready to start your camping adventure.

Taking Care of your Tent

Your tent will last for years if you take care of it.

(Remember that a Scout is thrifty.) Here are some tips:

 

  • Always pitch it on a ground cloth, which is a sheet of plastic or tarp
    that protects the floor from dirt, sharp objects, and moisture. (Fold
    the corners of the tarp under the tent so the ground cloth is no
    bigger than the tent; otherwise, rain can get in between.)

  • Don’t wear your shoes inside.

  • Keep tent vents open to let moisture escape.

  • Keep all flames away from tents. Never use candles, matches, stoves, heaters, or lanterns in or near a tent. No tent is fireproof. All tents can burn or melt when exposed to heat.

  • Let the tent dry in the sun before you take it down. If you have to pack it up wet, set it up again as soon as you get home or hang it indoors until it dries completely. That will prevent mildew from ruining the fabric—and making it stink

SEVERE WEATHER

*required for adventure*

Requirement 3: Discuss what actions you should take in the case of the following extreme weather events which could require you to evacuate:

  1. Severe rainstorm causing flooding

  2. Severe thunderstorm with lightning or tornadoes

  3. Fire, earthquake, or other disaster that will require evacuation. Discuss what you have done to minimize as much danger as possible.

On most campouts, the worst weather you’ll see is rain and annoying heat or cold. Sometimes, however, the weather can be dangerous. It’s important to Be Prepared—that’s the Scout motto—for bad situations.

 

SEVERE RAIN AND FLOODING

Flash floods can occur when there is very heavy rain over several hours or steady rain over several days. Because flash floods can strike with little warning, you should never camp on low ground next to streams when rain is expected. When you’re camping in the mountains, be aware of the weather upstream from your campsite. Heavy rain miles away can turn into flash floods downstream. If flooding occurs, move to higher ground immediately. Stay out of streams, ditches, and other

flooded areas. Adults should never try to drive through flood waters, no matter how shallow

they may seem. Just a few inches of water can carry off a car!

SEVERE THUNDERSTORMS, LIGHTNING, AND TORNADOES

Thunderstorms can be loud and scary. Sometimes they produce dangerous lightning and

tornadoes. Lightning can strike 10 miles from a thunderstorm, so you should take shelter in a

building or vehicle as soon as you hear thunder—even if the sun is shining overhead. Make sure you’re not the highest object in the area, and avoid water, open areas, isolated trees, picnic shelters, and metal objects. If you’re caught in the open, spread out 100 feet apart and crouch down like you do when you play leapfrog. Tornadoes are funnel clouds that can form in spring and summer thunderstorms. The best place to be if a tornado hits is indoors, either in a basement or closet or against an interior wall. If you’re caught outside, get in a ditch and lie as flat as possible.

Did you know?

To get a rough idea of how far away a storm is, count the number of seconds between when you see lightning and hear thunder. Divide by five to get the number of miles.

Tornado Watch vs. Warning

The National Weather Service issues watches when conditions are right for severe weather and warnings when severe weather is occurring. Your leader or parent can carry a portable weather radio or use a mobile phone application to receive information about watches, warnings, and forecasts for your area.

FIRES, EARTHQUAKES, AND OTHER DISASTERS

In very rare cases, such as if there’s a forest fire, you may have to evacuate your campsite. Your leader will tell the den where to meet, take attendance, and move the group to safety.

Staying Found

Anyone can get lost, even adults. But you can do some things to avoid getting lost—and to stay safe if you do get lost.

  • Always stay with a buddy.

  • Let an adult know if you and your buddy need to leave the group, and tell where you are going.

  • Carry a whistle to signal for help. Three blasts in a row is the universal distress call.

  • If you think you are lost, remember to “STOP!” Stay where you are, and stay calm. Think about how you can help others searching for you. Observe your surroundings and watch for searchers. Plan how to stay warm and dry until help arrives. 

TIE A BOWLINE KNOT

*required for adventure*

Requirement 4: Show how to tie a bowline. Explain when this knot should be used and why. Teach it to another person who is not a Webelos Scout (ideally another Scout or sibling, but can be a parent as well)

 

A bowline is a very useful knot to learn. It makes a fixed loop in a rope that will not slip, unlike a tautline hitch or two half hitches. The bowline can be used to anchor one end of a rope to a tree or other stationary object, or as the loop around the person’s chest in a rescue situation—such as pulling a person out of a hole or off the side of a cliff.

This knot is popular among mountaineers, climbers, sailors and others. Use the bowline when you need a non-slip loop at the end of a line. The knot won’t slip, regardless of the load applied.

MATERIALS NEEDED

  • Knot Tying Rope​

DIRECTIONS

  1. Make a small overhand loop in the standing part of the rope.

  2. Bring the rope end up through the loop, around behind the standing part, and back down into the loop.

  3. Tighten the bowline by pulling the standing part of the rope away from the loop.

  4. Once you’ve mastered the bowline, teach it to a younger Cub Scout, sibling, or parent.

OUTDOOR CODE & LEAVE NO TRACE

*required for adventure*

Requirement 4: Recite the Outdoor Code and the Leave No Trace Principles for Kids from memory. Talk about how you can demonstrate them while you are working on your Arrow of Light. After one outing, list the things you did to follow the Outdoor Code and Leave No Trace.

 

Imagine arriving at a campsite and finding damaged trees, a smoldering campfire, and bags of trash that animals have torn into. Now imagine arriving at a campsite and feeling like you’re the first group that’s ever been there. Which campsite would you like more? The second one, of course.

 

The Outdoor Code is a promise all Scouts make to help care for the environment. It’s important to even the youngest Cub Scouts and the most seasoned leaders. Now it’s time to be sure you’ve learned it by heart.

 

Leave No Trace is a way of living in the outdoors that respects the environment and other people. By following Leave No Trace principles, we can take care of outdoor spaces and help preserve them for the Scouts of tomorrow. Are you ready to learn these principles, too?

A Scout is thrifty. Being thrifty means not wasting things—including natural resources. Leave No Trace principles and the Outdoor Code help you to be thrifty in the outdoors.

Find the Outdoor Code and the Leave No Trace Principles below or in the back of your Webelos handbook. Read them and say them aloud until you have them memorized. When you’re ready, recite them to an adult.

Leave-No-Trace-Seven-Principles-Infograp

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.

What can you and your family or den do to demonstrate the Outdoor Code and the Leave No Trace principles while on your outdoor activity?

OUTDOOR ADVENTURER DEN 

ADVENTURE VIDEO  

APRIL ELECTIVE ADVENTURE:

INTO THE WOODS

ELECTIVE ADVENTURE - FOR WEBELOS AND ARROW OF LIGHT SCOUTS

 

Trees and plants play important roles in nature. In this adventure, you will get to learn about the plants and trees in your community by exploring your area on a walk or visit to a local nature center, tree farm, or park. If you’ve ever stood beneath a towering redwood or enjoyed the colors of fall leaves or watched pine trees swaying in the wind, you know that trees and plants are beautiful. But they are also important to life on Earth. As you go into the woods in this adventure, you’ll learn what trees and plants do for us and for animals and why taking care of them is important to our planet’s wellbeing.

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

TYPES OF TREES & HOW THEY GROW

*required for adventure*

Requirement 1: Identify two different groups of trees and the parts of a tree.

Unless you live in the desert, on the tundra, or at the top of a very tall mountain, there are probably trees around you—even in the middle of a city. But what kind of trees are they? If you look closely, you will discover that different trees have different characteristics. Some grow very tall, while others grow out as much as they grow up. Some keep their foliage all year round, while others lose their leaves in the fall (often after those leaves have turned brilliant shades of yellow, red, and orange). Scientists divide most trees into two main groups: coniferous trees and deciduous trees.

 

CONIFEROUS TREES

Coniferous trees include pines, cedars, firs, and spruces. The seeds in these trees grow in cones, which is

where the word “coniferous” comes from. When a cone’s scales open up, the seeds fall out,

and new trees can take root. Coniferous trees tend to grow tall rather than wide; they have

a triangular shape like a Christmas tree.

Most coniferous trees are evergreen, meaning they don’t lose their leaves (which are called

needles) in the fall. However, some coniferous trees, like the bald cypress, do lose their leaves as

winter approaches.

DECIDUOUS TREES

Deciduous trees include oaks, maples, poplars, beeches, sycamores, ashes, and many other species. They are called deciduous because they lose their leaves each year. Instead of having needles, deciduous trees have wide, flat leaves that are good at capturing sunlight. These trees spread out as they grow, and they’re often bigger at the top than they are at the bottom. Deciduous trees don’t produce cones. Their seeds are contained in nutshells or fruit. Maple trees have special seeds that “fly” to the ground like little helicopters. A few deciduous trees are actually evergreens. The live oak is an example.

Did you know?

Evergreens do lose their needles. They just don’t lose them all at the same time.

What About Palm Trees? Palm trees, which are often seen in far southern parts of the United States, don’t really fall into either the coniferous or the deciduous category. They don’t have cones, and they also don’t drop their leaves in the fall.

HOW A TREE GROWS

A tree grows in its roots, trunk, and crown (its top, where all the branches and leaves are). The tree needs food to grow, and its roots and leaves play a part in the process of making food.

CROWN

The crown is the upper part of the tree, including the branches and leaves. The leaves take in sunlight and use it to make food for the tree in a process called photosynthesis. 

TRUNK

The trunk is a pathway for water and minerals (food) to move from the soil up through the trunk to the leaves. It grows outward and upward each year. As the truck grows taller, the crown of the tree grows higher in search of more sunlight. In trees used for lumber, the trunk produces most of the useful wood. 

ROOTS

Roots anchor the tree to the earth. They soak up the water, minerals, and nitrogen from the soil that the leaves need to make food for the tree. A layer of growth cells at the root tips makes new roots each year. Tree roots help slow erosion by holding soil in place. Even when a tree is cut down, the roots may sprout new growth to revive and, perhaps, bring the tree back to life.

TREES NATIVE TO YOUR AREA

*required for adventure*

Requirement 2: Identify four trees common to the area where you live. Tell whether they are native to your area. Tell how both wildlife and humans use them.

Some trees are native to your part of the country and have been growing there for thousands of years. Others, especially those planted in parks and around buildings, may have been imported from other areas. (Some of these are called invasive species; they are pests that tend to crowd out native trees.) A field guide to trees can help you identify trees in your area. It will show you characteristics that make it easy to tell one kind of tree from another. When you are looking at trees, take time to look closely at everything. Use a magnifying glass to study tiny details.

 

Check for:

  • Type of leaf. Feel it. Is it smooth or rough? Notice the shape.

  • Leaf edges. Are they smooth or toothed?

  • Type of bark. Is it smooth, rough, peeling, light, or dark?

  • Unusual features like thorns, flowers, or berries. Some trees have more than one leaf shape. The sassafras tree has three leaf shapes.

  • With coniferous trees, notice the length, shape, and grouping of the needles. Spruce needles are sharp and short, with four sides, and they grow separately on the twigs. Pine needles grow in bundles; count the number in a bundle for a clue to the kind of pine it is. Needles of a longleaf pine could be 18 inches long, but jack pine needles are only about 1 inch long.

  • The size and type of cone or fruit will also provide clues to the identity of the tree. The acorns on most oak trees have small, fairly smooth caps, but bur oak acorns have fringed caps that nearly cover the whole acorn.

 

How do the trees smell? Some trees, like pines and eucalyptus, give off wonderful scents, especially when the air is moist. If you look closely, you’ll see how trees support other forms of life. Look for woodpecker holes, insects hiding under the bark, mistletoe rooted in the branches, fungi growing on the bark, and the nests of birds and squirrels.

Larger animals use trees, too. Bears mark their territory by clawing and biting tree trunks. Beavers eat tree bark and cut down trees to build dams and homes for themselves. Mountain lions sharpen their claws on trees. Moose, elk, and deer use tree trunks or flexible saplings to rub the velvet off their antlers. They also eat tree bark, leaves, and stems.

STEP 1: GATHER FOUR LEAVES. Go outside and gather four different leaves to identify

STEP 2: LOOK THEM UP. Use the interactive map below to look up each of the leaves.

PLANTS COMMON IN YOUR AREA

*required for adventure*

Requirement 3: Identify four plants common to the area where you live. Tell which animals use them and for what purpose.

Much like trees, smaller plants and shrubs are important to animals. Bluebirds, catbirds, and mockingbirds eat the red berries of the holly bush. Deer, rabbits, birds, and insects feast on flowers, leaves, fruits, and nuts of both trees and plants. Hummingbirds drink nectar out of flowers. Birds build nests in trees and shrubs. See what you can learn about the plants in your area. If possible, observe a plant from a distance and watch an animal using it.

On your connected worksheet, list the name of the plant you discovered and some of its characteristics and use. 

  • Examples of characteristics include: color, feel, leaf shape, flowers

  • Examples of use include: food, shelter

Don't know what the plants are in your area?

Use this plant identification guide to help you out!

GROW & CARE FOR A PLANT

*required for adventure*

Requirement 4: Develop a plan to care for and then plant at least one plant or tree, either indoors in a pot or outdoors. Tell how this plant or tree helps the environment in which it is planted and what the plant or tree will be used for.

No plant or tree lives forever. Some die of old age, some get damaged by fire or lightning,

and some are cut down to be used for lumber or other purposes. You can help replace

lost plants or trees by planting new ones. If you’re lucky, you may someday walk beneath

the branches of a tree you planted!

 

A local nursery or garden center can help you select a plant or tree that will grow well in

your area. (You wouldn’t have much luck growing a palm tree in Minnesota or a Douglas

fir in Florida.) It helps to know how much sun the plant or tree will get and what type of

soil it will be planted in. Be sure to plant trees in places where they have plenty of room

to grow both up and out.

Here are some planting tips:

  • Carry seedlings in a bucket or box. Keep the roots damp.

  • Place trees at least 6 feet apart. Place plants at least 6 inches apart (but follow the instructions that come with each plant).

  • Dig a hole just deep enough to hold the roots. Loosen the sides and bottom of the hole so that tiny roots can push into the soil. The roots should not be stuffed into the hole.

  • A seedling should be planted so that its old ground line is about one-quarter inch below the new ground level. (The ground line is the dark mark on the trunk.) Plants should be planted at the same ground level.

  • A seedling or other plant should be planted with its trunk straight up. Fill the hole with soil so it is even with the ground. The soil should not be sunken in or mounded up above the ground.

  • Press the soil down firmly around the roots to prevent air pockets. If you don’t, the tree or plant may die because the air pockets dry out the roots, preventing water and nutrients from reaching them.

  • A newly planted seedling needs lots of water, so soak the soil around the seedling with water, and then soak it again if it is planted in the ground. If you’re planting in a pot, make sure the pot is large enough to allow the plant or tree to grow (at least double the size of the container the plant arrived in). Be sure there are holes in the bottom of the pot to allow excess water to drain and a saucer underneath to catch the water. Place a layer of pebbles in the bottom of the pot to prevent the soil from draining.

  • Closely follow the instructions for watering given on any tag or label that comes with the plant or tree. Each type of plant has different watering needs. Be sure to provide water and food as required on a regular basis.

  • Cover the ground around the base of a seedling with several inches of mulch—composted leaves, wood chips, grass cuttings, straw, or sawdust. This holds in moisture and helps make the soil richer for the new tree. The mulch should be flat or slope down from the trunk to the ground. Don’t make it look like a volcano.

 

Your plant or tree can help the environment in several ways. Flowering plants provide food for bees and hummingbirds. Fruit and nut trees provide food for wildlife (and people!). Shade trees help keep buildings cooler. Evergreen trees offer shelter from winter winds. All trees provide habitat for wildlife and purify the air by taking in carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen.

Plant your tree in celebration of Arbor Day! Arbor Day is a secular day of observance in which individuals and groups are encouraged to plant trees. Today, many countries observe such a holiday. Though usually observed in the spring, the date varies, depending on climate and suitable planting season.

Learn more about how plants grow below!

*ONE of the following is required for adventure*

ITEMS MADE FROM WOOD

*one is required for adventure*

Requirement 5: Make a list of items in your home that are made from wood and share it with your den or family. Or with your den or family, take a walk and identify useful things made from wood.

 

Many things in your home are made from wood. In fact, your home itself may be made from wood. If you go into an unfinished attic or basement, you can see some of this wood in the form of studs, joists, and floor boards. Make a list of everything in your home that is made of wood, or take a walk around your neighborhood or school and look for other wooden things.

Wood and Plant Uses

  • Hickory and white ash are used to make baseball bats and tool handles.

  • Cedar is used to make porches, decks, and shingles for roofs.

  • Mesquite and hickory chips on cooking fires flavor food.

  • Paper is made of wood pulp.

  • Toothpaste contains cellulose gum, which is made from wood fiber.

  • Cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla come from trees.

  • Some candles are made from the waxy covering of the southern bayberry fruit.

  • Maple syrup is made from the sap of sugar maples harvested in the early spring.

RINGS OF A TREE 

*one is required for adventure*

Requirement 6: Explain how the growth rings of a tree trunk tell its life story. Describe different types of tree bark and explain what the bark does for the tree. 

 

Look at a large slice of a tree trunk or thick branch that shows rings. For most types of trees, there will be one ring per year. The width of each ring represents the kind of year the tree experienced. A thin ring may indicate a lack of rain or nutrients. A thick ring may mean plenty of water and food for that year. A scar may mean a fire damaged the tree.

 

MAKE A BARK RUBBING

Materials Needed:

  • Paper

  • Tape

  • Crayons

  • Trees

Directions:

  • Make a bark rubbing by taping paper to the bark of a tree

  • Rub the side of a crayon on the paper to transfer the texture of the bark to the paper.

Different types of trees have very different bark. Some bark is thick and deeply furrowed, some bark is smooth with pock marks, and some has flaky outer layers that fall off naturally

VISIT SOMEONE KNOWLEDGABLE ABOUT TREES

*one is required for adventure*

Requirement 7: Visit a nature center, nursery, tree farm, or park, and speak with someone knowledgeable about trees and plants that are native to your area. Explain how plants and trees are important to our ecosystem and how they improve our environment.

 

An ecosystem is a community of plants and animals living in an environment that supplies what they need for life. Within an ecosystem, tree and plants produce leaves, bark, fruits, nuts, and seeds that many animals eat. They also produce oxygen, which animals need to breathe. In fact, plants and trees produce most of the oxygen on Earth.

 

Through a process called photosynthesis, plants turn sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide into energy. A byproduct of photosynthesis is oxygen. You know where sunlight and water come from, but where does carbon dioxide come from? It comes from animals and humans every time we breathe out! That’s why scientists talk about the oxygen cycle that connects plants and animals.

By trapping carbon dioxide, plants and trees keep it out of the atmosphere. That’s important because too much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere contributes to climate change.

Plants and trees do some other important things. They stabilize the soil, which prevents erosion, and they provide shade and shelter for animals and humans. They can be harvested to create furniture, building materials, clothing, paper, food, and many other things we use every day.

INTO THE WOODS

ADVENTURE VIDEO  

Created by the Buckeye Council, Boy Scouts of America

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