The Canadian Camping Association (CCA) gave us permission to reprint a nature hunt idea that encourages exploration. Developed by Jean Funk, chairman of the CCA's environmental concerns committee, it's best suited to Cubs working in sixes, but Beavers can try some of it, too, with a leader guiding a small group. Send off each six with a bag, a pad of paper, a pen or pencil, and a box of wax crayons.
Please do not pick, harm, or remove any piece of anything that is still alive.
- Bring back something you can see light through.
- Bring back something to make music with.
- Bring back a soft rock.
- Bring back something gooey.
- Find three things that have changed: since this morning...since last winter...since you were born... Tell us about them.
- Find and draw a picture of something that is ending its life and something that is beginning its life.
- Bring back the sound of the rain, even if it isn't raining.
- Find something natural to mark with. Bring back a picture you drew with it.
- Find three signs that animals are living here. What animals do you think they are?
- Describe something that changes so slowly you don't notice.
- Draw the wind.
- Bring back a piece of litter. Tell or write a story about its life. What would happen to it if you left it where you found it?
- Measure and record the length of the shadow of the tallest person in your group, using a finger, toe, hand, foot, arm, or leg as a ruler.
- Find something you would like to make better. Tell us how you would improve it.
- Using everyone in your group, make a human sculpture to show the other groups something that you see on your hike.
- Bring back rubbings of three different textures. Tell us where you got each rubbing from.
- Draw a picture using five different colors you see.
- Find something you don't understand and make up a question about it to ask the others.
- List 10 words to describe a natural object 10 paces to your left.
- Find and draw or describe a sign of the season.
As a follow-up activity, Jean suggests the boys sort the non-living objects they bring back from the hunt into groups: e.g. interesting shapes or patterns, interesting smells. interesting colors, interesting to touch. seeds, insect homes, or food. food for mammals, etc. Later, they can use the objects to make a display in the meeting place or to create a nature craft.