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kenk

2nd Class - Identify or show evidence of animals - How?

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This requirement has caused some discussion in my troop as to exactly how Scouts should be expected to complete this.

 

The requirement says:

 

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

 

How does your troop expect Scouts to complete this requirement?

 

In my son's troop there is an expectation that the Scout will point out the animals or evidence while an adult leader is present. I've been wondering if secondary evidence would be sufficient - pictures taken (not clipped out of a magazine or web site), detailed notes from a field log book, ...

 

Also, the requirement does not list amphibians (frogs, salamanders) or arthropods (isopods - curly bugs, centipedes, millipedes, spiders, crabs, crayfish, insects). Do you not allow these animals to be included in the list of 10?

 

I'm not so surprised that arthropods have been left off, as an observant boy could probably find 10 of them in very short time, but I'm kind of surprised that amphibians were left off the list.

 

 

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Normally we include anything that is the animal world. Insects, frogs or whatever is not a domesticated animal. The information in parentheses are some examples in my opinion.

 

Sounds, tracks, scat or living places can be shown and count towards the ten. One boy even showed me a dropped fish that had marks on the body, he convinced me that a hawk or eagle dropped it.

 

Cats, dogs, horses and ferrets don't count.

 

Sometimes trying to figure out the requirement is hard!

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I have accepted descriptives, pictures, shed snake skins, parts of frogs (yech), small animal bones/skull, gnawed acorns.

 

Pictures of local animals where the scout described somethin about where they can be found, what they eat, tracks, etc....

 

I will not accept just the names of the animals and the "deer in the headlight look" when I ask them about the "list".

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Yeah, we allow anything in the animal kingdom. We allow bird calls, feathers, tracks, scat, fur, trails, and actual animals. It's pretty easy around here because we have a lot of diversity and the boys have usually acquired some of these skills before they arrive in the troop.

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In this age of instant earning, what I like to do (and don't get nearly enough chance to do) is first, walk down the trail with Scouts in tow and point out the signs I see and invite them to point out some of their own (squirrel nest, bird nest, bird songs bird, buck rub, chipmunk, squirrel, turn over stick and see centipede, etc. etc. ) , then after lunch, we go out on a DIFFERENT trail, and I let them find their own signs to point out to me.

One can usually find ten animals or signs or indications of animals even in the winter.

 

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Nothing more then the old Stalking mb requirements of long ago. We used plaster of paris, sketches, and photography. With todays digital cameras this should be a cinch.

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I stick with the wording of the requirement and let the Scouts decide how to meet them.

 

The requirement says identify or show evidence. Some scouts have asked to be able to identify by sight, like pointing out a type of animal and identifying the exact breed. Pictures are allowable, and I've had scouts bring a photo gallery in to show 10 different animals. And yes, Scat, tracks, sounds, even the smell of a skunk counts as I read the requirement!

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We pretty much do as SSScout does. Generally the Scouts point out the signs to an adult who is hiking with them. This can be done effectively on pretty much any camping activity. Also, we only allow the animals that are listed in the requirement.

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Decided to give this requirement a "road test" while out on me early morning walk. Within a short amount of time was able to bag the following... Canadian Geese (scat, and sounds), Fish Crow (sound), Common Crow (sight), Deer (scat, signs, sight), Beaver (sign), Wild Turkey (sight), Egret (sight), Blue Heron (sight), Pileated Woodpecker (sound), Red bellied Woodpecker (sign), Turkey Vulture (sight), Squrrel (sight, signs), Say's Phoebe (sight), Black Bear (old signs), Carolina Wren (sight), Eastern Towhee (sight), Red Milkweed Beetle (sight), Wood Duck (sight), male Cardinal (sight), Barn Owl (signs), Possum (sign), Racoon (sign), Red Neck (beer cans)....

 

As a heads up, deer season is still in effect here in me neck of the woods. Suggest wearing a bit of blaze orange before rambling about...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I guess it depends where you live....

 

Gazing out widow by computer: Great Egret (a big sucker, too), Snowy Ibis, Blue Heron, fiddler crabs by the thousands, eastern oysters.

 

On walk: Welk (shells and egg sacs), Skate case, coquina shells (some folks call them periwinkles), sandpipers, laughing gulls, brown pelicans and a bunch of different terns (I don't really know the difference between them).

 

Last night: deer munching the landscaping in the road medians (there are more deer around here than mosquitos .... of course the mosquitos are bigger.....)

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I try to encourage the boys to provide evidence, show, etc. several kinds of animals. Trying to stay within the bounds of not adding requirements, I will say that is good but can you show that there are other animals besides 10 pieces of evidence for birds. If they balk and insist that they fulfilled the requirement, I pass them. Most of the time they will provide evidence of other species. I try to ask questions to be sure that they actually found whatever and have a reasonable explanation. Occasionally, the story is awful weak that they understand what they did. In those cases, I gently suggest getting something else.

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When we go camping or hiking we have the scouts point out what can be seen ie identify. Sound comes into play with chirps, croaks, and other calls made by animals. Lastly visual evidence; nests, tracks, feathers, fur or shed skin. 10 animals or sign on a 5 mile hike is very easy. With each sign we have the scout to tell us what the animal is or what animal made the sign. We also ask questions such as; Is the animal an omnivore, herbivore or predator? Is the animal one that hibernates? or Is it migratory?

 

As the troop hikes we also do plant identification. Types of oak, pines and other plants in our area. We try to find but stay out of poisonous plants as well.

 

We do these hikes year round.

 

As our scouts get older they start to lead on the hikes and mentor younger scouts (They like showing off the nature knowledge they have)

 

Woirks for us.

 

 

 

 

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