Front Line Stuff
Edited by Robert Peterson
Age-Appropriate Service Projects for Webelos Scouts
In our November-December 2004 issue, Webelos Den Leader H.S. noted that service projects are required for several Webelos activity badges and awards. He asked for examples of good projects. Readers offered several ideas.
It seems that my den is in the middle of a service project all the time. Last fall we collected food for a local food bank that was depleted when Hurricane Ivan went through. We participated in a local fall cleanup, and we are in an ongoing aluminum can collection project.
I'm sure a church or other local group can point H.S. in the right direction to help someone.
Pack Committee Member T.M.,
Our town's conservation agent, James Pjura, helps us choose projects needed by the town. He joins in working on the project and talks to the Webelos Scouts about pollution and how they can help the environment.
The project the boys liked best was picking up trash in a local park and along its riverbank.
Afterwards, we take a picture of the boys and Mr. Pjura with the collected trash and have a celebratory conservation pizza party.
Our elementary school PTA has a monthly fund-raiser selling foods that are delivered to the school. My old Webelos den served the PTA by bringing wagons to school and wheeling the heavy food boxes to customers' cars.
The boys had a lot of fun doing it, and the customers and PTA were genuinely grateful. The boys learned a lesson about service by turning down the numerous tips that were offered.
Assistant Scoutmaster R.R.
Is there anything better than getting your feet wet, checking out bugs, and picking up trash? They can be combined in a fun-filled educational project for the World Conservation Award. It's perfect for Webelos Scouts.
A stream survey combines ecology, community awareness, and a stream cleanup in one morning or afternoon. The main purpose is to monitor the health of a stream by identifying and counting the macroinvertebrates (bugs, worms, and crayfish). The healthier the stream, the more invertebrates.
You need a small-holed net, bug identification cards (available from the Izaak Walton League, www.iwla.org/sos/sostools.pdf), and tally sheets. An adult group that monitors local waters may help you get started, giving the boys an even greater sense of the work's importance.
After the survey, ask the Webelos Scouts to pick up the ever-present trash in and around the stream, or ask them to restore an eroded bank.
Another project would be to get permission to stencil "No Dumping" at storm drains to remind people not to pollute waters.
Also good for Webelos Scouts is participating in a Scouting for Food project.
Our Webelos Scout den had a camping trip last year to Fontainebleau State Park on Lake Pontchartrain, where we arranged for a service project with the park rangers. We painted nature trail signs over two miles of trail through a swamp and down to the lake. We also identified plants and wildlife along the way.
The park rangers were so pleased with our work that they invited us back for a free weekend.
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