Scouts USA Badge Programs
NJSGC offers the Paws on the Path required Adventure to help cub scouts obtain their Wolf badge. This is an outdoor programs so scouts should dress appropriately. Programs are conducted by NJSGC educators.
Paws on the Path
Get ready for an amazing coastal adventure! We start in our laboratory classroom where we learn how to make and interpret trail markings from shells, twigs, and rocks. We’ll study hiking safety and etiquette, and learn good hiking principles. While on their hike from Fort Hancock through the maritime forest and around historical sites to the Sandy Hook beach, scouts will do a Scavenger Hunt that helps them identify and explore this seashore environment full of marine creatures, unique plants, and fascinating shells.
NJSGC offers the Fur, Feathers and Ferns required Adventure to help cub scouts obtain their Bear badge. This is an outdoor program, so scouts should dress appropriately. Programs are conducted by NJSGC educators.
Fur, Feathers and Ferns Adventure
Scouts will go seining in Sandy Hook Bay (net and boots provided) to discover what lives in the water and the salt marsh, and learn about their adaptations to living in the harsh maritime environment. We will investigate endangered species habitats at the marsh. Scouts will also visit NJSGC’s classroom to see our many aquariums of fish, turtles, and crabs, and learn about their life cycles. We will explore composting and plant a garden-in-a cup using native vegetation.
NJSGC offers this Arrow of Light Elective Adventure for cub scouts who want to earn their Webelo badge. Scouts will explore Sandy Hook’s salt marsh at Horseshoe Cove, so they should dress appropriately. Programs are conducted by NJSGC educators.
Into the Wild
Scouts will go seining in Sandy Hook Bay (seine net and boots provided) and identify aquatic wildlife such as fish and shrimp. We will go bird watching to learn about various migrating species and other cycles of life. Scouts will explore animals living in and near the Salt Marsh, including endangered species, and learn about producers and consumers. Poisonous plants will be identified on a marsh hike through the watershed. Scouts will also visit NJSGC’s laboratory to see our 10 aquariums of fish, turtles, and crabs, and learn about marine food chains in our classroom.
OCEANOGRAPHY MERIT BADGE
In a fun “hands on” ocean experience at Sandy Hook, Scouts USA can complete all badge Requirements (except #8) of the Oceanography Merit badge in one day, with the help of a NJSGC Instructor. Scouts will explore the salt marsh and discover why the ocean is important to people. Activities include measuring beach water quality, studying waves and currents, viewing worldwide sand samples under the microscope, plankton collection and identification, laboratory experiments, and seining in Sandy Hook Bay. If scouts choose to, they can complete Requirement #8 (and the badge) by writing a 500-word report about their visit to NJSGC or give a 5-minute speech about Oceanography to their troop. A pre-program activity packet is sent to each troop leader before the program. It includes a mandatory Oceanography Worksheet and directions on how to make a plankton net. The packet and plankton net MUST be completed and brought to the scheduled program. This program is conducted by NJSGC educators who are also certified merit badge counselors. The program runs approximately four hours and scouts will need transportation to the marsh site.
ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE MERIT BADGE
In this interactive program at Sandy Hook, scouts will learn the basics of environmental science as we explore various aspects of the maritime environment. Through seining (net and boots provided), we will learn what lives in Sandy Hook Bay and about aquatic-based food webs. Hiking through the salt marsh, we will learn about its ecology through birding, plant identification, tidal impacts, water chemistry tests, and conduct a vegetation survey. We will study the effects of pollution on various environments both at the beach and in the laboratory, including simulated oil spills and acid rain, and discover how waves and tides affect pollution. Scouts will learn about biodegradable materials. We will study ocean acidification and soil erosion effects and analyze an Environmental Impact Statement. All badge requirements will be covered in one day except #4A. If scouts choose to, they may finish the badge by writing a lab report for Requirement 4A using vegetation data collected at the marsh. A pre-program activity packet is sent to each troop leader before the program, including an Environmental Science Worksheet which scouts MUST complete and bring with them to the scheduled program. This program is conducted by NJSGC educators who are certified merit badge counselors. The program runs approximately five hours and scouts will need transportation to the marsh site.
HORSESHOE CRAB TWILIGHT BEACH WALK
Our annual twilight walk of discovery at Horseshoe Cove on Sandy Hook will be held again in 2016. There are two available sessions: June 17th from 6:00 – 8:00 pm, and June 18th from 6:00 – 8:00. With a warm high tide and a full moon, it’s the perfect time to see horseshoe crabs on the beach. We will learn about this amazing living fossil through hands-on exploration, crafts, a Powerpoint lecture, touch tanks, and other activities in our laboratory classroom. Open to all ages of scouts and their families. Dates have not yet been set for 2019.