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Bear Habitat

Required Adventure

A bear is at home in the outdoors, and so is a Bear Cub Scout. In this Adventure, you’ll learn how to plan a one-mile walk with your den. Your walk may be around where you live, it may be on a historical trail that has been in use for hundreds of years, or it may be on a nature trail.  

When we are outside we also have responsibilities to make sure that others can enjoy the outdoors, too.  Knowing and following the Leave No Trace Principles for Kids helps us do just that. 

Requirements

Prepare for a one-mile walk by gathering the Cub Scout Six Essentials and weather appropriate clothing and shoes.
Backpack Packing Challenge
LocationIndoor
Energy 3
Supply List3
Prep Time3

Cub Scouts learn to pack a backpack for a walk.

  • Backpack 
  • Cub Scout Six Essentials, recommend using small or youth-sized items 
    • Filled Water Bottle 
    • Whistle 
    • Flashlight 
    • Sunscreen, Hat, Sunglasses 
    • Trail Mix 
    • Small first aid kit 
  • Articles of clothing for current weather conditions: jacket, hat, raincoat, gloves, sunglasses, boots, socks, etc.  
  • Bear handbook 

Before the meeting: 

  1. Watch the four-minute video on the Cub Scout Six Essentials.  
  2. Review the Cub Scout Six Essentials in the front of the Bear handbook so you can explain the items to the den. 
  3. Remind Cub Scouts, parents and legal guardians for Cub Scouts to bring their Cub Scout Six Essentials and a day bag and to wear the clothes they will wear on the walk.
  4. Gather your Cub Scout Six Essentials and place them in your day bag. 

During the meeting: 

  1. Ask Cub Scouts to line up with their day bags and place the contents in front of them at their feet. 
  2. Bear handbook Start with the Cub Scout Six Essentials, one item at a time, as they pick up their item discuss the item and why it is important. After describing the item, the Cub Scouts put the item back into the pack.  
  3. Discuss appropriate clothing for the current weather.  
    • Sunshine – hat, light-colored clothing, sunglasses 
    • Rain- rain jacket with hood or hat 
    • Cold – warm jacket, hat, gloves, scarf 
  4. Discuss appropriate footwear. 
    • Footwear must always be closed-toed for Scouting activities.  The right shoes depend on where you will be walking.  For a paved path walking shoes or sneakers work fine.  For outdoor or more rugged paths shoes that have a harder sole and provide greater ankle support are best.  Shoes should fit snug and if the shoe has laces, they should be tied appropriately based on the design of the shoe. 
    • Socks are a must for walks.  The best socks will keep your feet dry and pull moisture away from your feet.  This helps to prevent fungus that may cause bad smells and itchy feet. 
    • If your feet get wet during the walk just make sure that when you are finished, you take them off along with your socks and allow your feet to dry.
“Know Before You Go” Identify the location of your walk on a map and confirm your one-mile route.
Digital Path Finding
LocationIndoor
Energy 2
Supply List3
Prep Time3

Cub Scouts use digital mapping devices to view a one-mile route.

  • Smart device with an App that has a mapping function, one for every two Cub Scouts 
  • Paths for Everyone worksheet, found in Additional Resources 
  • Printer 
  • Map with route 

Before the meeting: 

  1. Identify an area where the den could take a 1-mile walk. 
  2. Print Paths for Everyone worksheet, one for each Cub Scout. 

During the meeting: 

  1. Gather the Cub Scouts and assign buddies.  Give each buddy group a smart device with the mapping App already open with the area where your den will take their 1-mile walk. 
  2. Explain to Cub Scouts that this is a map of the area that they will take a walk at.  Show them the scale of the map.  The scale of the map will change when they zoom in and out.  The scale is usually in the lower right corner. 
  3. Have Cub Scout buddies identify a one-mile route.  Have them share their routes. Review everyone’s route and come together to identify the route that the den will take. 
  4. Discuss how to find the starting point, ask them to highlight the starting point.  Have them find several other points along the route, such as bathrooms, water fountains, scenic areas, or other points of interest, and the ending point.  
  5. Have Cub Scouts gather around a table and give each Cub Scout a printed copy of the Paths for Everyone. 
  6. Ask the following questions: 
    • Which of these paths is most appropriate for our den? 
    • Is there anyone in our den who might have a hard time on any of these paths? 
    • What are some safety concerns for each type of path? 
    • Do you know if the route we have chosen contains any of these paths? 
    • What kind of terrain do you think our route should have? 
    • Does our route have any terrain that is too advanced for our den? 

Tip: Possible apps/websites to create a digital map: 

Paper Paths
LocationIndoor
Energy 2
Supply List3
Prep Time3

Cub Scouts use paper maps to review the route of the one-mile walk.

  • Highlighter, one per Cub Scout 
  • A printed map of the location of your walk, one per Cub Scout 
  • Paths for Everyone worksheet, found in Additional Resources 
  • Printer 
  • Map with route 

Before the meeting: 

  1. Determine a route for a one-mile walk. 
  2. Print out a mathat includes the area for the walk for each Cub Scout.  Take note of the scale of the map. 
  3. Print Paths for Everyone worksheet, one for each Cub Scout. 

During the meeting: 

  1. Gather the Cub Scouts and give each Cub Scout a copy of the map that includes the area for the walk 
  2. Explain to Cub Scouts that this is a map of the area that they will take a walk at.  Show them the scale of the map.  Using rulers and pencils Cub Scouts identify a one-mile route on the map. 
  3. Have Cub Scouts share their routes. Review everyone’s route and come together to identify the route that the den will take. 
  4. Discuss how to find the starting point, ask them to highlight the starting point.  Have them find several other points to highlight along the route, such as bathrooms, water fountains, scenic areas, or other points of interest, and the ending point. They should have a highlighted route from beginning to end.  
  5. Have Cub Scouts gather around a table and give each Cub Scout a printed copy of the Paths for Everyone. 
  6. Ask the following questions: 
    • Which of these paths is most appropriate for our den? 
    • Is there anyone in our den who might have a hard time on any of these paths? 
    • What are some safety concerns for each type of path? 
    • Do you know if the route we have chosen contains any of these paths? 
    • What kind of terrain do you think our route should have? 
    • Does our route have any terrain that is too advanced for our den? 

Paths for Everyone worksheet

“Choose the Right Path” Learn about the path and surrounding area you will be walking on.
Ask The Path Expert
LocationIndoor
Energy 1
Supply List2
Prep Time5

Invite a guest with knowledge of the path to speak about the history of the path.

  • Map or picture of the area you where Cub Scouts are walking

Before the meeting: 

  1. Identify a path or trial in your community.  
  2. Research who owns the trail and who is responsible for maintenance. 
  3. Invite a guest to come speak about the path, its history, and its maintenance.

During the meeting: 

  1. Before the guest speaks, remind Cub Scouts to be respectful during the presentation. 
  2. Encourage Cub Scouts to ask questions. 
  3. Have the guest speak about the path, path surface, and maintenance. 
  4. Thank the speaker at the end of the meeting. 

After the meeting: 

  1. Send a thank you card to the speaker.
No Two Trails Alike
LocationIndoor
Energy 2
Supply List2
Prep Time3

Cub Scouts learn about special attributes of the Bear Walk route.

  • Digital map of route

Before the meeting: 

  1. Identify a trail in your community. 
  2. Download any necessary apps or software for the identified trail. 

During the meeting: 

  1. Ask Cub Scouts to look at a digital map of their route. Show Cub Scouts how they can zoom in or out of the map to find unique characteristics of their route. Ask them the following questions:
    • Does our route have a name? ex. trail or location name 
    • Is our route a part of any parks? ex. city, state, national 
    • Is our route a part of any wilderness reserves? 
    • Are there other trails attached to our route? Why is this important to know? 
    • Can you predict what the landscape will be along your route?
“Trash your Trash” Make a plan for what you will do with your personal trash or trash you find along the trail.
Trash Timeline Game
LocationIndoor
Energy 4
Supply List2
Prep Time2

Play trash timeline game to understand decomposition time and the need to trash the trash.

  • Trash Timeline Cards found in Additional Resources 
  • Trash Timeline found in Additional Resources 
  • Trash Timeline Key found in Additional Resources 
  • Cardstock 
  • Printer  
  • Time

Before the meeting: 

  1. Set up meeting space such that Cub Scouts have room to move about. 
  2. Print two sets of Trash Timeline Cards, two sets of Trash Timeline, and cut them out. 
  3. Ensure access to Trash Timeline Key, either by printing or digitally. 

During the meeting: 

  1. Divide the Cub Scouts into two teams. 
  2. Give each team a set of Trash Timeline cards. 
  3. Explain the rules: 
    • The object is to place their cards on the correct decompensation time of the item on the timeline. 
    • The timer will be set to five minutes. 
    • Once the time is up, the leader will walk through the timeline and say if the place trash card is correct or not.  
    • The team with the most correct wins.  
  4. After Cub Scouts have completed their guesses, put the items in the actual order on the timeline of decomposition. 
  5. Ask Cub Scouts if they were surprised with the results. 
  6. Ask Cub Scouts what they plan to do to keep this trash out of nature.

Trash Timeline

Trash Timeline Key

Trash Timeline Cards

“Leave What You Find” Take pictures along your walk or bring a sketchbook to draw five things that you want to remember on your walk.
Take Only Memories
LocationTravel
Energy 5
Supply List2
Prep Time2

While on a walk, Cub Scouts take pictures or bring a sketchbook to draw five things that they want to remember.

  • For picture taking, for each Cub Scout:  
    • Smart device or camera 
  • Or for drawing, for each Cub Scout: 
    • Sketchbook 
    • Pencils 
    • Crayons or markers

Before the meeting: 

  1. Remind Cub Scouts to bring a picture-taking device or drawing materials to the meeting. 
  2. Identify a place where the Cub Scouts will be taking a one-mile walk. 

During the walk 

  1. Check to make sure all Cub Scouts have their Cub Scouts Six Essentials. 
  2. Remind Cub Scouts that we “Leave What You Find” on the trail. Instead, they should take five pictures or make five drawings of things that interest them.  
  3. After the walk, ask them to share the things they took as memories and why they interested them. 

Tip: Requirements 5, 7, 8, and 9 can all be done on the walk. 

“Be Careful with Fire” Determine the fire danger rating along your path.
Fire Danger Matching
LocationIndoor
Energy 4
Supply List2
Prep Time2

Play a fire danger level matching game.

  • Fire Danger Matching Game found in Additional Resources  
  • Printer 

Before the meeting: 

  1. Print and cut out Fire Danger Matching game cards. Mix up the cards in the deck. Save the Answer Sheet portion of the printout as a reference sheet for meeting. 

During the meeting: 

  1. Place the Low, Moderate, High, Very High, and Extremely High cards in order on the table face up. 
  2. Place the remaining cards face down on the table. 
  3. Explain the fire danger rating system using the Fire Danger rating system as a guide. 
  4. Identify which Cub Scout will go first. 
  5. Ask Cub Scout to draw a card from the deck. 
  6. Ask Cub Scout to show and read the card selected. 
  7. Ask Cub Scout to place the card face up on the table in the proper pile. For example, if a bright green square is chosen, this card should go in the Low pile. 
  8. Ask the second Cub Scout to select a card from the deck. 
  9. Ask Cub Scout to show and read the card they select. 
  10. Ask Cub Scout to place the card face up on the table in the appropriate pile. 
  11. Play continues until all the cards have been read and placed in the correct pile. 
  12. Ask Cub Scouts at what fire danger level would a walk not be able to be done safely.  

On the walk: 

  1. Ask Cub Scouts to assess the fire danger rating for their walk. 

Fire Danger Matching Game

“Respect Wildlife” From a safe distance, identify as you look up, down, and around you, six signs of any mammals, birds, insects, reptiles.
Wildlife Snapshot
LocationTravel
Energy 5
Supply List2
Prep Time2

While on a walk, Cub Scouts identify six signs of any mammals, birds, insects, or reptiles.

Before the meeting: 

  1. Research the type of animals (mammals, birds, insects, or reptiles) that are common in the area that you will be walking.  This includes domesticated and wild animals. 
  2. Research the signs these animals leave behind. 

During the meeting: 

  1. Gather Cub Scouts and share with them the type of animals you may encounter on your walk and the signs they leave behind.  Ask Cub Scouts if they know of any other animals you may have left out. 
  2. Discuss the signs of the animals habitat, food sources, or travel paths. 
    • Listen for sounds. Not just the sound the animal would make, but also the sound of the animal moving. 
    • Look for where they live. A bird’s nest, a burrow (hole in the ground), or a plant. 
    • Look for what they eat. Many animals eat plants, so you might see a bite mark on a leaf. Others might go through trash that has food in it. 
    • Look for animal scat (poop). Different animals leave different types of scat. 
    • Look for animal tracks. If it has rained recently and there is mud, you may see footprints that animals left behind as they walked. 
  3. Ask how we can respect wildlife. 
“Be Kind to Other Visitors” Identify what you need to do as a den to be kind to others on the path.
Consider Others
LocationTravel
Energy 5
Supply List2
Prep Time2

While on a walk, Cub Scouts find one way to be considerate to other visitors on the path.

During the meeting: 

  1. Ask Cub Scouts how they can be kind and considerate to visitors on the path.  Make sure to cover the items that are listed in the Bear handbook. 
    • Know your right of way. For example, you should walk on the right side of a path and not the left side. Check signs on the path and follow their directions. 
    • If you’re on a trail or path that is wide enough for only one person and your den or family must walk single file, step aside, and give space to anyone who is going uphill. If it’s a flat area, be the first to step aside and give space for others to pass. 
    • Bicyclists yield to walkers/hikers. 
    • Be mindful of the plants or animals that are near the trail if you must step off the trail. 
    • Make yourself known. When you encounter other people, offer a friendly “hello.” This helps create a friendly atmosphere on the path. If you approach another walker from behind, announce yourself in a friendly, calm tone and let them know you want to pass. 
    • Stay on the path or trail. Going off a trail or path can damage or kill certain plant or animal species and can hurt the ecosystems that surround the trail. 
    • Always practice Leave No Trace principles: Leave rocks, vegetation, and artifacts where you find them for others to enjoy. 
    • Do not disturb wildlife. They need their space, and you need yours, too. Keep your distance from any wildlife you encounter. 
    • Be mindful of the path or trail conditions. If a path or trail is too wet, muddy, or slippery, turn back and do the walk another day or find a different path. 
    • Take time to listen. Be respectful of both nature and the other users and keep the noise from electronic devices off. 
    • Be aware of your surroundings. It will help keep you and any members of your group safe. Know the rules for walking on your trail or path. 
  2. Have Cub Scouts execute that plan during the walk.
Go on your one-mile walk while practicing your Leave No Trace Principles for Kids.
Leave No Trace Walk
LocationTravel
Energy 5
Supply List2
Prep Time2

Cub Scouts go on a one-mile walk while practicing Leave No Trace Principles for Kids.

  • Activity Consent Form 
  • Each Cub Scout brings their Cub Scout Six Essentials 
    • Filled Water Bottle 
    • Whistle 
    • Flashlight 
    • Sunscreen, Hat, Sunglasses 
    • Trail Mix 
    • Small first aid kit 
  • Den First Aid Kit to include an ace bandage and moleskin 
  • Activity Consent Form 
  • Each Cub Scout brings their Cub Scout Six Essentials 
    • Filled Water Bottle 
    • Whistle 
    • Flashlight 
    • Sunscreen, Hat, Sunglasses 
    • Trail Mix 
    • Small first aid kit 
  • Den First Aid Kit to include an ace bandage and moleskin 

This outdoor walk can be done in any environment, it may be in an urban, suburban, or rural area.  It may be a local park or neighborhood.  It may be outside of your normal meeting location.  

Before the meeting: 

  1. Based on requirement 2 have your route planned and distribute the route to all Cub Scouts, parents, and legal guardians. 
  2. Identify an adult who is not going on the trip.  Give a copy of the route you are taking and inform them of your start time and expected end time. 
  3. Remind Cub Scouts, parents, and legal guardians that Cub Scouts will need to bring their Cub Scout Six Essentials and to wear appropriate clothes and closed-toe shoes. 
  4. Three days before the walk check the weather and if severe weather is in the forecast, reschedule the walk. 
  5. Have parents and legal guardians complete Activity Consent Form. 
  6. The day before the walk remind Cub Scouts, parents, and legal guardians of the date, time, and location of your walk.   

During the meeting: 

  1. Check to see if everyone has their Cub Scout Six Essentials. 
  2. Tell everyone the route that will be followed for the walk. 
  3. Share any hazards that may be on the path and how to avoid them. 
  4. With your den, go on the one-mile walk while practicing the Leave No Trace Principles for Kids. 
  5. During the walk complete requirements 5, 7, and 8.  Review how the den is using the principles. 
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. 

Before starting this Adventure complete the following:  

  • Review Age Appropriate Guidelines for Scouting Activities. 
  • Complete the on-line training “Hazardous Weather” training module that is part of the Position Specific Training for den leaders my.scouting. If you have already completed den leader, Cubmaster, or pack committee chair training on-line, then you have completed this module.  
  • Watch the Weather Related Safety Moment video (1 minute 48 seconds). 
  • Review the BSA Annual Health and Medical Record for all Cub Scouts and adults going on the walk and check for any safety concerns. 
  • Watch the four-minute video on the Cub Scout Six Essentials.  
  • Become familiar with the Leave No Trace Principals for Kids found in the front of the Bear Handbook.   

If there is someone in the den, youth, or adults, who carries an EpiPen due to severe allergies make sure that at least one other adult knows how to administer the EpiPen. To learn more, review this Safety Moment on anaphylaxis 

During the Adventure: 

  • Use the buddy system. 
  • All adults are to provide active supervision. 

Before starting this Adventure, review Digital Safety and Online Scouting Activities.

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