One of the elective adventures for our Bear Cub Scouts is Critter Care. It's very similar to the Pet Care belt loop and pin that was part of the now retired Sports and Academics program.
Since many families have pets, keeping a section on pet care in the new program was a great decision by the Boy Scouts of America. It will also help those kids who want a pet but who need to understand more about how to care for one.
Use these resources to help your Bear as he works on the Critter Care elective adventure.
Critter Care Requirements
1. Care for a pet for two weeks. Make a list of tasks you did to take care of the pet. If you do not have a pet, research one that you would like to have and write about the care it needs.
2. Learn more about your pet or a pet you would like to have. List three interesting facts that you learned about your pet.
3. Make a poster about your pet or a pet you would like to own. Share your poster with your den, pack, or family.
4. Do your best to train a pet to perform a trick or follow a simple command, and explain how you trained it. (If your pet is a hermit crab, fish, snake, or the like, you may skip this requirement.)
5. Tell three ways that animals can help people.
6. Tell what is meant by an animal being “rabid.” Name some animals that could have rabies. Explain what you should do if you are near an animal that might be rabid.
7. Visit with a local veterinarian or animal shelter caretaker. Find out what types of animals he or she might see on a regular basis. Ask what type of education is needed to become a veterinarian or shelter caretaker and why he or she chose to pursue this career
The May-June 2004 issue of Scouting Magazine had a great article titled Helping Children Take Care of Pets. If your family is considering a new pet, this is a good place to start.
Here are several worksheets that your Cub Scouts can use to reinforce the type of care that a pet needs. These would be fun gathering activities for the boys.
To satisfy requirements 2 and 3, here is a list of dog and cat books available through my Amazon affiliate link.
- Puppy Training for Kids by Coleen Pelar
- Everything Dog: What Kids Really Want to Know about Dogs (Kids Faqs) by Marty Crisp
- Puppies: Puppy Book For Kids! Learning The Fun Way To Love & Care For Your First Dog by Gary Dickinson
- National Geographic Kids Everything Dogs: All the Canine Facts, Photos, and Fun You Can Get Your Paws On! by Becky Baines
- ASPCA Complete Guide to Cats: Everything You Need to Know About Choosing and Caring for Your Pet by James Richards
- The Complete Cat's Meow: Everything You Need to Know about Caring for Your Cat by Darlene Arden
- 1,001 Things You Always Wanted To Know About Cats by J. Stephen Lang
- Cats (Complete Pet Owner's Manual) by Brigitte Eilert-Overbeck
Your Cub Scout will attempt to teach his pet a trick for requirement 4. If you have a dog, you'll want to check out these step-by-step instructions from Love Your Dog.
Cub Scouts no longer have to complete a pet-related service project, but it's still a great idea to do one. Use this resource that was published by the Harford County, Maryland Humane Society. The Community Service “Pet” Project guide has some awesome ideas.
If your son wants to learn about pets belonging to presidents, you can't go wrong with this fun book, Presidential Pets: The Weird, Wacky, Little, Big, Scary, Strange Animals That Have Lived In The White House!
What activities have your Cub Scouts done to earn their Critter Care adventure loop?
Yours in Scouting,
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