Exploring • Hiking • Discovering & More!
Looking for a unique scout program that meets your badge and activity requirements? Bring your troop out to Hickory Knolls! To schedule an adventure, contact Laura McCoy at email@example.com or 630-513-4393.
Guided Program Option
Enjoy the trails and exhibits of Hickory Knolls with a trained educator who will lead you through hands-on activities to help scouts earn badge requirements.
- All programs last one hour and are held at the Hickory Knolls Discovery Center
- Offered M-F after school, Thursday evenings and select weekends
- Fee is $50 for a group of up to 15 scouts, $3 per additional scout or participating child
- Adult leaders and parents are free
Self-Guided Program Option
The ‘Badge in a Bag’ program allows an adult to lead a program for scouts using a fully-created curriculum, list of activities and all materials.
- ‘Badge in a Bag’ binder and materials can be reserved for the entire day
- Ability to take materials off site to use at your meeting
- Allows for more flexible scheduling
- Fee is $15 for a full-day use of the curriculum with a separate $25 refundable deposit
- Leaders may make arrangement to pick-up the bag ahead of time, based on availability
- Scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis
Naturalist staff available to assist with individual scouts working on Bronze, Silver or Gold Awards or an Eagle Scout Rank.
The Comforts of Home
Investigate how a bird’s nest is like your home. Explore other areas where animals make homes. This activity is designed for Kindergarteners and 1st graders.
You’re Going To Use That?
Discover the difference between garbage and recyclable materials. Learn how to decrease your impact by making a no waste lunch. This activity is designed for Kindergarteners and 1st graders.
H2O: What is it? Where is it?
Explore where water is found, how it is recycled and some interesting properties that make water so unique. This activity is designed for 2nd & 3rd graders.
This is Bugging Me!
Is a bug an insect or an insect a bug? Learn about the characteristics of insects and their habitats. Take a hike to find these tiny creatures and meet some up close. This activity is designed for 2nd & 3rd graders.
Hittin’ the Dusty Trail
Review how to prepare for a hike, read trail maps and even use a compass or guide books. This activity is designed for 2nd & 3rd graders.
Green Building Investigation
Explore the many green features of Hickory Knolls. Enjoy a discussion on energy – its uses and sources. This activity is designed for 4th & 5th graders.
Going Beyond the 3 R’s
Discover how packaging products can be ‘rethought’ and how we can ‘repurpose’ many things around us. This activity is designed for 4th & 5th graders.
Flowers play an important role. While they are beautiful with a lovely scent, they have many different purposes. Learn how we benefit from them. This activity is designed for 4th & 5th graders.
This Isn’t Mr. McGregor’s Garden
Observe Peter, Hickory Knolls resident rabbit, and compare his indoor habitat to his friends and their wild cousins. This activity is designed for 4th & 5th graders.
- Gather the outdoor items you need to have with you when you go on an outdoor adventure and understand how they are used. Commit to understanding and practicing the buddy system.
- Learn what SAW — Stay, Answer, Whistle — means. Demonstrate what you can do to stay safe if you become separated from the group when you are outdoors.
- Demonstrate an understanding of respect for animals and nature when participating in a learning hike.
- Take a 1-foot hike. Make a list of the living things you find on your hike. Point out two different kinds of birds that live in your area.
- Be helpful to plants and animals by planting a tree or other plant in your neighborhood.
- Create a birdhouse. (Not completed with this program)
- With an adult partner, go on a walk and pick out two sounds you hear in your “jungle.”
Additional: Read the Outdoor Code, included in this booklet, and discuss what you can do today!
Tigers in the Wild
Complete Requirements 1-3 plus at least one other.
- With your parent, guardian, or other caring adult, name and collect the Cub Scout Six Essentials you need for a hike. Tell your den leader what you would need to add to your list to prepare for rain.
- Go for a short hike with your den or family, and carry your own gear. Show you know how to get ready for this hike.
- Do all three:
- Listen while your leader reads the Outdoor Code. Talk about how you can be clean in your outdoor manners.
- Listen while your leader reads the Leave No Trace Principles for Kids. Discuss why you should “Trash Your Trash.”
- Apply the Outdoor Code and Leave No Trace Principles for Kids on your Tiger den and pack outings. After one outing, share what you did to demonstrate the principles you discussed.
- While on the hike, find three different kinds of plants, animals, or signs that animals have been on the trail. List what you saw in your Tiger Handbook.
- Participate in an outdoor pack meeting or pack campfire. Sing a song or act out a skit with your Tiger den as part of the program. (Not completed with this program)
- Find two different trees and two different types of plants that grow in your area. Write their names in your Tiger Handbook.
- Visit a nature center, zoo, or another outside place with your family or den. Learn more about two animals, and write down two interesting things about them in your Tiger Handbook
- Show you are prepared to hike safely by putting together the Cub Scout Six Essentials to take along on a hike.
- Tell what the buddy system is and why it is always used in Cub Scouts.
- Describe what you should do if you get separated from your group while hiking.
- Choose the appropriate clothing (discussed before activity) to wear on your hike based on the expected weather. Discuss what you wore to this program and why. Before you hike, recite the Outdoor Code and the Leave No Trace Principle for Kids with your leader. After hiking, discuss how you showed respect for wildlife.
- Go on a 1-mile hike with your den or family. Watch and record two interesting things that you’ve never seen before.
- Name two birds, two insects and two other animals that live in your area. Explain how you identified them.
- Draw a map of the area near where you live using common map symbols. Show which direction is north on your map.
Fur, Feathers and Ferns
- While hiking or walking for one mile, identify six signs that indicate mammals, birds, insects, reptiles or plants are living nearby the place where you choose to hike.
- Name one animal that has become extinct in the last 100 years and one animal that is currently endangered. Explain what caused their declines.
- Visit one of the following: zoo, wildlife refuge, nature center, aviary, game preserve, local conservation area, wildlife rescue group or fish hatchery. Describe what you learned during your visit.
- Observe wildlife from a distance. Describe what you saw.
- Use a magnifying glass to examine plants more closely. Describe what you saw through the magnifying glass that you could not see without it.
- Learn about composting and how vegetable waste can be turned into fertilizer for plants.
- Plant a vegetable or herb garden. (Not completed with this program)
Into the Woods
- Identify three different groups of trees and the parts of a tree.
- Identify six trees common to the area where you live. Tell whether they are native to your area. Tell how both wildlife and humans use them.
- Identify six plants common to the area where you live. Tell which animals use them and for what purpose.
- Visit a nature center, nursery, tree farm or park, and speak with someone knowledgeable about trees and plants that are native to your area. Explain how plants and trees are important to our ecosystem and how they improve our environment.
- Develop a plan to care for and then plant at least one plant or tree, either indoors in a pot or outdoors. Tell how this plant or tree helps the environment in which it is planted and what the plant or tree will be used for. (Must be completed at home or at meeting)
- Make a list of items in your home that are made from wood and share it with your den. Or with your den, take a walk and identify useful things made from wood.
- Explain how the growth rings of a tree trunk tell its life story. Describe different types of tree bark and explain what the bark does for the tree.
Into the Wild
Complete six of the nine requirements:
- Create a ‘zoo’. (Not completed with this program)
- Set up an aquarium or terrarium. (Not completed with this program)
- Watch birds for one week. (Not completed with this program)
- Learn about the bird flyways closest to your home. Find out which birds use these flyways.
- Watch at least four wild creatures (reptiles, amphibians, arachnids, fish, insects, or mammals) in the wild. Describe the kind of place (forest, field, marsh, yard, or park) where you saw them. Tell what they were doing.
- Identify an insect, reptile, bird or wild animal that is found only in your area of the country. Tell why it survives in your area.
- Give examples of at least two of the following:
- A producer, a consumer, and a decomposer in the food chain of an ecosystem
- One way humans have changed the balance of nature
- How you can help protect the balance of nature
- Learn about aquatic ecosystems and wetlands in your area. Talk with your Webelos den leader or family about the important role aquatic ecosystems and wetlands play in supporting life cycles of wildlife and humans, and list three ways you can help.
- Do ONE of the following:
- Visit a museum of natural history, a nature center, or a zoo with your family, Webelos den or pack. Tell what you saw.
- Create a video. (Not completed with this program)
- Do the Following:
a. Explain the meaning of the word “Geology.”
b. Why is this science important?
c. Share with your family or den why it is important. (Follow up with leader to fulfill this requirement.)
- Look for different kinds of rocks or minerals while on a rock hunt with your family or den.
- Do the Following:
a. Identify the rocks you see on your rock hunt.
b. With a magnifying glass, take a closer look. Determine any differences in your specimens.
c. Share what you learned.
- Do the Following:
a. Test rocks according to the Mohs Scale of mineral hardness.
b. Record your results in your handbook. (Follow up with leader to fulfill this requirement.)
- Identify geological features on a map.
- Do the Following:
a. Identify some of the geological building materials used in building your home.
b. Identify some of the geological materials used around your community. (Not completed with this program)
c. Record the items you find. (Follow up with leader to fulfill this requirement.)
- Do either 7a or 7b
a. Go on an outing to a place you located on your map.
b. Do the Following:
i. With your family or den, visit a geologist or earth scientist. (The staff at Hickory Knolls has an extensive background in earth sciences and will touch on topics that meet this requirement.)
ii. Ask a geologist or earth scientist about the importance of fossils.
iii. Ask a geologist or earth scientist about what you can do to help preserve our natural resources.
- Do at least one earth science demonstration of investigation with your den or with adult supervision, and explore geology in action.