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Adventures In Coins

Elective Adventure

To most people, coins are used to buy things they want or need. But coins can also tell a story. The pictures on United States coins tell a lot about our country’s culture and history. In this Adventure, you will get to be a numismatist (noo-MIZmuh-tist). A numismatist is a person who studies coins and money. You’ll learn where coins are made and the meaning of their pictures and words.

Requirements

Identify different parts of a coin.
Coin Designer Challenge
LocationIndoor
Energy 2
Supply List2
Prep Time2

Cub Scouts will design their own coin.

  • Coin Designer Challenge found in Additional Resources
  • Printer
  • Pencils, crayons, or markers

Before the meeting:

  1. Print Coin Designer Challenge worksheets, one for each Cub Scout.

During the meeting:

  1. Explain to Cub Scouts that they are going to design their own coin. Pass out the worksheet.
  2. Ask Cub Scouts to choose a theme for the coin. It could be related to a favorite hobby, a historical event, a fictional story, or something else of personal significance.
  3. Have Cub Scouts think about what they’ll put on the obverse (front). Give them some ideas such as:
    • Portrait: Consider including a portrait, either of a fictional character or someone important to the theme.
    • Date: Add a year or date that holds meaning for the theme.
    • Symbolism: Incorporate symbols that represent the theme or story. For example, if it’s about space exploration, include stars, planets, or rockets.
    • Denomination: Clearly label the coin’s value if it’s part of a play or educational activity.
    • Have Cub Scouts think about what they’ll put on the reverse (back) such as:
  4. Design Continuation: Ensure that the reverse complements the theme on the obverse.
    • Motto or Slogan: Add a motto, slogan, or catchphrase that relates to the theme or story.
    • Country or Origin: Include a fictional country or origin for the coin. Kids can get creative with this aspect.
    • Edge: Design the edge of the coin, considering unique patterns, lettering, or features.
  5. After Cub Scouts have finished their designs, have them take turns sharing it with the rest of the den.

Coin Designer Challenge worksheet

Requirement 1 Coin Hunter’s Odyssey
LocationIndoor
Energy 2
Supply List2
Prep Time2

Learn about coins in a coin scavenger hunt.

  • Coins of different denominations (at least 25)
  • Coin Hunter’s Odyssey worksheet found in Additional Resources
  • Printer
  • Pencils, enough for each Cub Scouts

Before the meeting:

  1. Print Coin Hunter’s Odyssey worksheets, one for each Cub Scout.
  2. Gather coins of different denominations. Make sure that you have coins that match each of the items on the scavenger hunt list.
  3. Hide the coins around the meeting location.

During the meeting:

  1. Give each Cub Scout a copy of the Coin Scavenger Hunt.
  2. Explain to Cub Scouts that they’re going on a scavenger hunt to find coins that have the characteristics listed on their paper. Tell them the boundaries of their hunt (coins are all inside the room, coins aren’t in any cabinets or drawers, etc.)
  3. Have Cub Scouts walk around the room looking for the coins. Give them a set amount of time for the activity. Ten minutes will be sufficient.
  4. Once the time is up, gather around and ask Cub Scouts to share their sheets.

Before the meeting:

  1. Print Coin Hunter’s Odyssey worksheets, one for each Cub Scout.
  2. Gather coins of different denominations. Make sure that you have coins that match each of the items on the scavenger hunt list.
  3. Hide the coins around the meeting location.

During the meeting:

  1. Give each Cub Scout a copy of the Coin Scavenger Hunt.
  2. Explain to Cub Scouts that they’re going on a scavenger hunt to find coins that have the characteristics listed on their paper. Tell them the boundaries of their hunt (coins are all inside the room, coins aren’t in any cabinets or drawers, etc.)
  3. Have Cub Scouts walk around the room looking for the coins. Give them a set amount of time for the activity. Ten minutes will be sufficient.
  4. Once the time is up, gather around and ask Cub Scouts to share their sheets.
Coin Quest Adventure
LocationIndoor
Energy 2
Supply List2
Prep Time2

Cub Scouts learn about the characteristics and values of different coins.

  • One penny, one nickel, one dime, and one quarter for each Cub Scout
  • Wolf handbook

Before the meeting:

  1. Collect the coins you’ll need.

During the meeting:

  1. Place all the coins in a pile on a table, and ask Cub Scouts to each take one penny, one nickel, one dime, and one quarter.
  2. Have Cub Scouts work with a buddy.
  3. Ask Cub Scouts to work with their buddy to examine their coins. Have them identify the following:
    • The bust is a picture of a person’s head.
    • The legend is the main writing.
    • The field is the background of the coin.
    • The relief is all the raised parts of the coin.
    • The inscription is the writing on the coin.
    • The mint mark is a letter telling where the coin was made.
    • The edge is the outer surface of the coin. It could have lettering, designs, or ridges on it.
    • The rim is a raised area near the edge around the coin on both sides. It helps the coin keep from wearing out too quickly.
  4. Have each Cub Scout pick a coin.
  5. Tell Cub Scouts that you’re going to ask some questions about their coin. They should take turns answering them with their buddy.
    • What is this coin called?
    • What can you tell me about it?
    • Whose face is on the coin? What do you know about this person?
    • Does the coin have writing on it? What does it say?
    • What is the value of the coin?
    • Does the coin have a mint mark? What is the mint mark?
  6. Have Cub Scouts select a different coin and answer the questions for the new coin.
Find the mint mark on a coin and identify the mint facility where it was made and the year it was made.
Mint City Showdown
LocationIndoor
Energy 2
Supply List2
Prep Time2

In this activity, Cub Scouts will count coins from each mint.

  • Magnifying glasses, one for every two Cub Scouts
  • Five coins for each Cub Scout
  • Whiteboard and whiteboard markers
  • Pen or pencil

Before the meeting:

  1. Draw a line down the middle of the whiteboard and make two columns. Label the columns Philadelphia and Denver.
  2. Learn about mint marks on coins and the different locations where coins are made.
    • P = Philadelphia
    • S = San Fransisco
    • D = Denver
    • W = West Point

During the meeting:

  1. Distribute coins to Cub Scouts.
  2. Gather Cub Scouts and inform them that in the United States coins are made in four different places called mints.
  3. Show them what a mint mark looks like on a coin.
  4. Let each Cub Scout examine the different mint marks in the coins using a magnifying lens.
  5. Ask Cub Scouts to separate their coins by mint mark and count the number they have of each.
  6. Have each Cub Scout write the number of coins they have from each mint in the appropriate column on the poster board or whiteboard.
  7. Add up the totals in each column to determine how many Cub Scouts have from each mint.
  8. Ask Cub Scouts why they think there is more from one mint than the other. For example, if you live on the east side of the country, you may have more quarters from the Philadelphia mint.

Tip: Coin Anatomy Expedition, Mint Mark Masterclass, and Mint City Showdown could all be completed at the same den meeting

Mint Mark Masterclass
LocationIndoor
Energy 2
Supply List2
Prep Time2

Cub Scouts will learn about coin mint marks.

  • Magnifying glasses, one for every two Cub Scouts
  • Five coins for each Cub Scout

Before the meeting:

  1. Learn about mint marks on coins and the different locations where coins are made.
    • P = Philadelphia
    • S = San Fransisco
    • D = Denver
    • W = West Point

During the meeting:

  1. Gather Cub Scouts and inform them that in the United States coins are made in four different places called mints.
  2. Show them what a mint mark looks like on a coin.
  3. Ask Cub Scouts to use the magnifying glass to find the mint mark for their coins.
  4. Have Cub Scouts share what mints made their coins.

Tip: Coin Anatomy Expedition, Mint Mark Masterclass, and Mint City Showdown could all be completed at the same den meeting.

Play a coin game.
Coin Basketball
LocationIndoor
Energy 2
Supply List2
Prep Time2

Cub Scouts will play basketball with coins.

  • One quarter for each Cub Scout
  • One cup or bowl for each Cub Scout

During the meeting:

  1. Explain to Cub Scouts that they’re going to play coin basketball where they’ll try to toss a quarter into the cup or bowl.
  2. Have Cub Scouts sit at a table and place their cup two or three feet in front of them.
  3. Instruct Cub Scouts to hold the coin upright on its rim between one finger and thumb.
  4. Tell Cub Scouts to try tossing the coin into the cup a couple of times for practice. If they make it into the cup or bowl, they earn two points.
  5. After the practice time is up, tell Cub Scouts that they’ll have two minutes to toss the coin in the cup or bowl as many times as possible. Have them keep up with the number of points they earn.
Play Coin Bingo.
LocationIndoor
Energy 2
Supply List2
Prep Time2

Play Coin Bingo.

  • Coin Bingo card found in Additional Resources
  • Printer
  • One of each for the caller: penny, nickel, dime, quarter, and dollar coin
  • One pencil or pen for each Cub Scout

Before the meeting:

  1. Print Coin Bingo Card, one for each Cub Scout.
  2. Collect coins.

During the game:

  1. Ask an adult or a denner to assist with this activity by keeping track of how many times a coin is called.
  2. Give each Cub Scout their bingo card and the coins.
  3. Explain that you’ll hold up a coin. Cub Scouts will identify the value of the coin and if they have that value on their bingo card, they’ll mark off the square on their card. They can only mark one square per turn. When they get four in a row, they should shout out, “Bingo!”
  4. Continue holding up coins until someone gets four in a row.
  5. When Cub Scout shouts, “Bingo,” ask the adult or denner to verify their results.
  6. The first Cub Scout who gets four coins in a row wins the game.

Coin Bingo card

Coin Wars Game
LocationIndoor
Energy 2
Supply List2
Prep Time2

The coin wars game will help teach Cub Scouts to add up the value of coins.

  • Coin Wars Game cards found in Additional Resources
  • Printer

Before the meeting:

  1. Print enough copies of the Coin Wars Game cards for each Cub Scout to have seven cards.
  2. Cut the pages into cards.

During the meeting:

  1. Ask Cub Scouts to buddy up. Give each set of buddies a stack of fourteen cards.
  2. Have one Cub Scout deal the cards to themselves and to their buddy.
  3. Each player turns over one of their cards and adds up the value of the coins on the card.
  4. The player who has the highest value gets all the cards for that hand.
  5. Continue playing until all the cards have been played.
Eggstravaganza Coin Quest
LocationIndoor
Energy 4
Supply List3
Prep Time2

Cub Scouts will practice their coin-counting skills with this fun coin game using plastic Easter eggs.

  • Plastic craft eggs, three for each Cub Scout
  • Permanent marker
  • About $10 in assorted coins
  • 2 baskets
  • 2 paper plates
  • 6ft long folding table

Before the meeting:

  1. Using the marker, write different amounts on each of the plastic eggs. For example, 84¢, 21¢, 38¢.
  2. After the amounts are written on the eggs, add the amounts up to ensure that you have the correct amount in coins.
  3. Set up an area free of obstacles to conduct a relay race.
  4. Make the relay course 30 feet long.
  5. Divide the eggs evenly into two baskets. Set up the table at the end of the opposite end of the starting line. Place the two baskets on opposite ends of the table.
  6. Divide the change into two equal portions onto the two paper plates. Place a plate next to each basket.

During the meeting:

  1. Gather the Cub Scouts and divide the den into two teams.
  2. Explain the rules of the relay.
    • The first person on the team will run to the table to their team’s basket. Pull out an egg and read the amount on the egg.
    • The person then places the correct amount of change to equal the amount that is on the egg, opens the egg and places the change into the egg, and then runs back.
    • The team will get 1 point for each egg that has the correct change in it.
    • The team that collects all the eggs first gets 1 point.
  3. The point system is set up so accuracy counts more than speed so the team that makes sure the amount in each egg is correct will more than likely win the race.
  4. Run the relay race, look for opportunities to celebrate those who demonstrate the Scout Oath and Law as they play.
Choose a coin that interests you and make a coin rubbing. List information next to the coin detailing the pictures on it, the year it was made, and the mint where it was made.
Coin Rubbings
LocationIndoor
Energy 2
Supply List2
Prep Time2

Making a coin rubbing to learn more about your favorite coin.

  • Wolf handbook or Coin Rubbings worksheet found in Additional Resources
  • Printer
  • Pencil for each Cub Scout
  • Assortment of coins, at least three for each Cub Scout

Before the meeting:

  1. Either ask that Cub Scouts bring their Wolf handbook to the meeting or print the Coin Rubbings worksheet, enough for 1 for each Cub Scout.

During the meeting:

  1. Place the coins on a table. Ask Cub Scouts to gather around the table.
  2. Have Cub Scouts pick out 3 coins of various sizes and denominations.
  3. Have Cub Scouts place the coin on a smooth surface. Using the page in the handbook or the worksheet, place the paper on top of a coin. Hold the paper firmly to keep the coin steady.
  4. Tell Cub Scouts to use the side of the pencil lead, rub back and forth across the paper over the coin. Have them continue rubbing until the entire side of the coin is copied on the paper.
  5. Explain that when Cub Scouts are done with that side, they should repeat for the other side of the coin.
  6. On their coin rubbing paper, Cub Scouts write down:
    • Type of coin
    • Pictures
    • Year
    • Mint
Print

Safety Moment

Prior to any activity, use the BSA SAFE Checklist to ensure the safety of all those involved.

All participants in official BSA Scouting activities should become familiar with the Guide to Safe Scoutingand applicable program literature or manuals.

Be aware of state or local government regulations that supersede BSA practices, policies, and guidelines.

To assist in the safe delivery of the program you may find specific safety items that are  related to requirements for the Adventure.

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