Black Star

Black Star - Natural World Canadian Wilderness Award Recycling Naturalist Observer Gardener Astronomer World Conservation Baden Powell always said that one of the most interesting things you can do is explore the world. You don't even have to travel to a far country. Baden Powell taught us that the best and easiest way to explore is to keep our eyes and ears open and notice what's going on around us. If you are interested in learning about nature, here's a good place to start. Black Star Activities will introduce you to the natural world and how it works.

To earn the Black Star, choose and do any 5 of the A requirements and any 2 of the B requirements. These activities can be done by yourself, or with your six, pack, family or friends.


A Requirements

  1. Care for a lawn or garden for a month.
  2. Without harming nature, mount and label a display of natural things, such as leaves, weeds, rocks, or seeds and tell about your collection.
  3. Grow a plant indoors and describe how it grew.
  4. Grow a sugar or salt crystal on a string.
  5. Plant a tree or shrub; describe how trees grow and why they are important to nature.
  6. Point out or describe some sources of pollution in your neighbourhood and describe possible solutions.
  7. Make a rain gauge and use it to record rain or snowfall for a month.
  8. Make and set up a bird bath, bird house, or bird feeding station, and look after it for a season.
  9. Show how to use and take care of common garden tools.
  10. Using the water cycle, show the route water takes to your home or show how acid rain is formed and how it affects nature.
  11. Point out the North Star and three constellations.


B Requirements

  1. Visit a natural area of your choice and point out some different ways the local plants and animals depend on one another for life.
  2. Go on a ramble and identify six different kinds of birds, or keep a record of birds using a bird bath or bird feeder for a season. Know which birds are protected in your area.
  3. Visit one of the following places: conservation area, weather station, fish hatchery, observatory, tree farm, fire ranger tower, farm, greenhouse, park, zoo, forestry station and dam. Learn about how this place helps the environment.

ASTRONOMER BADGE

  1. Teach another Cub how to use the pointer stars of the Big Dipper to find Polaris, the North Star.
  2. Show how to orient and read a seasonal star map. Be able to find five constellations of your choice.
  3. Learn and tell a story related to a constellation or an aboriginal legend regarding the night sky.
  4. Know and describe 3 sky features:
    1. Milky Way
    2. Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights
    3. Comets
    4. Meteors
    5. Planets
    6. Stars
    7. Satellites
    8. Eclipses
  5. Know the phases of the moon and the noon's role in causing ocean tides.

GARDENER BADGE

  1. Show the proper use of a spade, fork, and rake and how to care for them.
  2. Prepare, plant and look after for three months, one of the following:
    1. A garden at least 1.5 square meters in size
    2. A window box at least 60 cm x 25 cm. in size
    3. Two or more perennial
    4. A plant terrarium
  3. Identify and name from life any three of the following:
    1. Six garden flowers
    2. Six garden vegetables
    3. Four common weeds
    4. Three common friends of the garden
    5. Three common pests of the garden
  4. Choose and do any two of the following:
    1. Grow a bulb
    2. Grow a tree seed,
    3. Start a vegetable from seed on blotter or paper towelling
    4. Grow a plant from seedlings
    5. Grow a plant from the tops of turnips, carrots, radishes, parsnips or beets.

NATURALIST BADGE

Do any six of the following:
  1. Find different kinds of seeds that travel by "helicopter ", "parachute", "sling shot", as a "hitchhiker", or by "animal express". Discuss how seeds are dispersed.
  2. With the help of an adult, dye a piece of cloth or T-shirt using plants to make the colour.
  3. Make a plaster cast or take a picture of an animal track.
  4. Show at least three different ways animals camouflage themselves.
  5. Show at least three different ways animals survive the Canadian winter.
  6. Show at least three examples of how plants and animals protect themselves from weather or predators.
  7. Take a hike through an urban community to look for nature.
  8. Observe any wild animal and report on what you learned from its behaviour.
  9. Find examples in books or real life and tell how plants and animals attract or repel others using colour and smell.
  10. Describe or draw some ways animals capture or eat food.

OBSERVER BADGE

Do any five of the following:
  1. Recognize, point out (from life rather than a book where possible), and describe some of the habits of six animals.
  2. Recognize, point out (from life where possible), and describe some of the habits of six birds .
  3. Recognize and imitate three bird calls .
  4. Recognize and point out from life six spring, six summer, or six autumn wild flowers.
  5. Recognize, observe and report the habits of six insects .
  6. Recognize and point out from life six trees or shrubs and describe some of their uses.
  7. Recognize and point out four features of the night sky such as stars, constellations, planets, etc.
  8. Describe the signs for different types of weather.
  9. Recognize and point out six different kinds of rocks or minerals .
  10. Recognize four different animal tracks or animal signs.

RECYCLING BADGE

Do any 3 in each of the categories:
  1. Reduce
    1. Look in your home or in a store for products that could be sold with less packaging.
    2. With the help of an adult, check the tire pressure in a car to see if the tires are properly inflated to improve gas consumption.
    3. Bring your own non-disposable mug and eating utensils to use at camp or bring a garbage-free lunch to school regularly.
    4. Make a list or draw how you and your family could reduce the amount of electricity used at home.
    5. Describe in writing or by drawing, how you and your family could save water when washing, cooking and doing yard work.
    6. Make a list or draw how you and your family could reduce the amount of heat needed to keep your home warm.
  2. Reuse
    1. Choose something that you currently throw away and come up with a new idea on how to reuse it safely.
    2. Explain and show new uses for old plastic containers.
    3. Explain and show new uses for old jars and cans.
    4. Make a project from old lumber or Christmas trees.
    5. Describe and show new uses for different kinds of paper, greeting cards, bags and cardboard boxes.
    6. Repair and donate old toys to somebody.
    7. With help from an adult, collect old clothes, furniture or books and donate them.
  3. Recycle
    1. Build a composter and either use it yourself or give it to a friend.
    2. Help publicize a home toxic waste collection day in your community, such as for collecting old paints, garden chemicals, oil, etc.
    3. Tell or show your pack three products that are made with recycled materials.
    4. Participate in a recycling project such as a bottle or paper drive.
    5. Visit or learn about a company or industry that is involved in recycling or collecting recyclable materials.
    6. Make a list of products that display the recycling symbol.
    7. Using old paper products, make your own recycled paper.
    8. Help organize or participate in a recycling program .

WORLD CONSERVATION BADGE

Do any 6 of the following:
  1. Go on a hike in or around two different habitats such as a field, marsh, bog, woodlands, seashore, prairie or tundra. In each habitat discover the following:
    1. What animals live there
    2. What kinds of plants live there
    3. What the ground or soil is like
    4. What the sources of water are for this area.
    5. Compare the two habitats and discuss why some plants and animals five in one place and not the other
  2. Visit a habitat and discover what kinds of plants and animals are there that provide food for other animals. How does food encourage or limit what animals live in the area?
  3. Visit a habitat and discover what kinds of animal and insect homes are there. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each kind of home you find.
  4. Visit a habitat and look for signs of water. How does water affect where and what kinds of plants and animals live there?
  5. Find out what it means to be an endangered species. Choose one endangered species and make a poster or a presentation to your pack on how it has been hurt by a lack of food, water, shelter, space or other causes. What can people do to help this endangered species survive?
  6. Do a project that improves food, water, shelter or space for wildlife. Some ideas are:
    1. build and install bird houses or feeders
    2. clean up a stream or creek
    3. plant trees or shrubs that have fruit for animals to eat
    4. remove trash or stop erosion so more; plants and animals can use the area
  7. Discuss the different kinds of soil, water and air pollution that exist. How do these forms of pollution affect your health and the environment, and what can be done to stop or limit pollution sources?
  8. Write some rules for good behaviour while in the outdoors and share these with your six or pack.

CANADIAN WILDERNESS AWARD

  1. Earn the Black Star .
  2. Earn the World Conservation Badge.
  3. Earn one other Natural World related badge.
  4. Learn about and, if possible, visit a Provincial or National Park or Wilderness Area. Create a report or display that highlights the reasons why the park is there and some problems facing the park.
  5. Participate in a conservation project which improves a local park, sanctuary, refuge or other wilderness area.
  6. Help show other Cubs some aspect of nature study of your choice.