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SequoiaWDL

2ND Class Requirement 5

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5. Identify or show evidence of at least 10 kinds of wild animals (birds, mammals, reptiles, fish, mollusks) found in your community.

 

Last weekend tenderfoot son made a list of wild animals he had observed either in our neighborhood or while on camping trips in nearby environs. He followed up by figuring out the specific species with some online research (and yes, with my help). He presented the list to the Troop Guide, who indicated that physical evidence would be needed for proper completion. Fine. We brainstormed on the way home how the boy could accomplish this: pictures of native birds would be easy. But a snapshot of the elusive red fox that hangs out on the edge of town may be nearly impossible, or if we could find his nest, get a picture from a distance without disturbing it. And maybe stopping on the trail to collect bear dung on our backpacking trip may have been a bit much to expect(LNT?). So what's the threshold here? I'll pass any ideas on to little anxious tenderfoot scout.

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Record Birds - if lucky get recording of Fox and kits, croaking frogs, tufts of fur, photos of footprints and yes scat. Both my sons stayed up at night to catch (with a camera) the raccoons at play and got up before dawn to catch the deer getting a drink. It can be a real special time for you and your boy.

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The threshold is not physical evidence. However, the wording of the requirement does leave a lot up to the discretion of the PL, TG or adult leaders - what does "identify" mean, for example?

 

Another option would be tracks - photos or plaster casts.

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Now, granted, the requirements (as usual) do lend themselves to some interpretation, and we aren't supposed to ADD or SUBTRACT from the requirements, but I frankly have never heard of this one being "homework".

Ideally, the Scout goes out in the woods with his leader and points or otherwise ID's the critter "in situ". Here's a gnawed acorn, that's a rabbit track, look! that's a white tail deer, listen to that blue jay, a crow, beaver chewed that tree, ants, cricket noise, fish fry in the stream, hawk (redtail? osprey?) over head, deer rub on the tree trunk, chickadeedeedee, mouse or vole tunnel thru the grass, there's a Scout's tent (wildlife!).

IDing them comes from instruction or study. Passing the requirement comes from doing it "out in the field". A Scout is Trustworthy, so it ultimately is up to the PASSER's judgement of the PASSEE.

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How about some fox scat? I'd suggest taking a photo of the scat, not actually taking the scat to the Troop Guide. Although....

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I compliment the TG on being thorough but my threshold is lower. A hand written note with all the critters he saw on the campout or around his house is good enough for me. Usually I will pick a few at random to discuss with the scout. If his eyes light up and as he starts tell me about seeing the critter I give creedence that the requirement was met.

 

 

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I sure wish my older brother had known about LNT back in the mid 70's. My patrol and I spent a whole afternoon picking "black jelly beans" that seemed to be all over the trail on our nature hike!

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I was discussing this issue with my sons, when they started laughing, they then told me about the TG who did not want any one scout to move ahead of the others in his patrol. So when my youngest told his brother his wildlife spotting list needed a little more work, his brother offered to keep him company and help. (that in itself is something) They took photos of animal traks and gather LOTS of scat. They carefully labeled it all. The TG was grossed out and didn't give the youngest much grief from then on in. When the troop is boy lead the SM can be blissfully out of the loop. :) haha

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Yeah Mafaking, that was what my boy expected. Maybe, just maybe, since my some made his little list presentation after the troop meeting, and the TI (actually he's not a TG as I had said earlier) may have been in a hurry to get home, he'd be willing to hear my son out at a more convenient time. Splitting hairs aside....

We do have a picture of some bear dung. Actually it was taken on a family trip to the Central Oregon coast back in 2005... It was in the middle of a busy trail, a MAGNIFICENT purple statue that was still steaming. Knowing the bear was still nearby was enough to elevate the heart rate a tad.

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