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Nature offers many opportunities for individual Patrol and Troop projects. Be careful, however, to present a project so that Scouts are in no way misled. To illustrate, making and erecting bird houses and feeding stations, gathering and labeling nature collections, developing camp museums, laying nature trails or labeling trees, should each be presented as a job, not as recreation only.

 

A Summer Camp Project

This project was conducted in a newly organized Troop at its first summer camp by four Scouts and a Scoutmaster, none of whom knew a great deal about trees at the outset.

The Scoutmaster was interested in the project method of Scouting. He knew Scouts should do their own thinking, planning, executing and judging, and all with the least possible guidance by the Scoutmaster.

During the first week tree games were played, especially "Second Life" Tree Sock Ball. The games roused interest and started the Scouts asking why trees were not included as a requirement for the camp emblem. The question came up at an evening camp fire, and it was decided that a committee of one Scout from each tent, with the Scoutmaster as advisor, should draw up a list of twenty-five trees.

The next morning the Scoutmaster started the committee meeting by saying he thought twenty-five trees were too many, since nearly all of the boys were Tenderfoot Scouts. He said he would be satisfied if every Scout knew ten trees. The committee disagreed with him. They thought every boy in camp already knew ten trees. The Scoutmaster excused himself and told the Scouts to consider it and present their ideas with plan of action at the evening camp fire.

When evening came the committee did a superb job of selling the Troop the idea that twenty trees should be required for the camp emblem. It was also agreed that each of the four tents should find and label five trees with cards indicating names, uses and identification characteristics. The Troop members were to go out and find the trees, study the labels and report to a member of the committee.

It would be splendid to be able to report that at the conclusion of the project all the Scouts knew twenty trees, but the true report is that nearly all the Scouts were reasonably sure of ten trees, and more than half of the Troop satisfied a member of the committee that they knew twenty trees.

Incidentally, the Scout Executive reported that other Troops studied the labeled trees throughout the summer, and the next summer trees were included in the Council's requirement for the camp emblem.

 

Tips

Wouldn't it be fine if Troops throughout the country labeled trees on city greens, in parks or even on much traveled streets, provided permission has been secured from authorities?

Have a local tree expert check each species before the Scouts label trees. Then, rather than nailing, have them tie the labels to trees.

For numerous other nature projects, see the last page of most of the chapters in Book of Nature Hobbies.

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Additional Information:

Peer- Level Topic Links:
Tree ID Contest ] Cross Fire Leaf Quiz ] Tree Identification Hike ] Matching Leaves ] Tree Hunt ] Guess My Name ] 20 Questions Game ] 20 Tree Questions ] Second Life Tree Sock Ball ] Wild Edible Plant Naming ] Patrol Flash Nature Review ] Nature Go Down Review ] Service Project Contest ] [ Nature Projects ] Nature Treasure Hunt ]

Parent- Level Topic Links:
How to Use This Book ] Scout Ways ] Tenderfoot Requirements ] Scout Knots ] 2nd Class Knife Axe Fire ] 2nd Class Wildlife ] Compass Treasure Hunts ] First Class Wood Love ] First Aid Games ] Signaling Games ]

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Last modified: October 15, 2016.