When you’re planning your Cub Scout year, check out any local nature centers or parks. Many of them have great programming that you can consider. Most even have programs that are specifically for Cub Scouts.
I've found that the employees of nature centers are very knowledgeable and enthusiastic about their work. And that enthusiasm rubs off on the boys.
A lot of nature centers and parks have an online schedule so that you can see what programs they are offering. If you see a program that you want to attend, be sure that you call as soon as possible. Most of the ones in our area have a maximum number of attendees.
Let them know that you have a Scout group. They may have special programs that will allow boys to complete adventures. Or they may schedule an event just for your group.
I learned an important lesson when I was trying to schedule an outing to our local nature center. You really need to call early! There may only be a few staff members or volunteers who present the programs, so they could be limited. In an ideal world, I would call them when I’m doing my Cub Scout planning and ask about programs they can do for my Cubs.
Even if you can't attend a program, take your Cub Scouts to visit local nature centers anyway! There are many adventures in the Cub Scout program that require a visit to a nature center or similar location.
Tiger Adventure – Tigers in the Wild 7: nearby nature center, zoo, or another outside place with your family or den. Learn more about two animals, and write down two interesting things about them in your Tiger Handbook.
Bear Adventure – Fur, Feathers, and Ferns 3: 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.
Webelos/AOL Elective Adventure – Into the Wild 9a: Visit a museum of natural history, a nature center, or a zoo with your family, Webelos den, or pack. Tell what you saw.
Webelos/AOL Elective Adventure – Into the Woods 4: 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.
Do you have nature centers in your area that you can take advantage of?
Yours in Scouting,
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Bat House Photo Courtesy of Grant, My Kindergartener, who was the official photographer the day of our visit!