Excursions and field trips provide some of the most exciting parts of Scouting. Cub Scouts enjoy many outdoor experiences as they participate in the variety of activities that can be held outside, such as field trips, hikes, nature and conservation experiences, and outdoor games.
Kids enjoy visiting museums, business establishments, parks, and other attractions. Here are some suggestions:
- How Things Are Made – Visit manufacturing plants such as aircraft, automotive, appliance, or electronic firms; chemical, paper, plastic, paint, furniture, or toy plants; and handicrafts or other small-craft industries.
- How Your City Runs – Visit power, water, and sewage plants; a gas company; police and fire stations; city hall; municipal buildings; the county jail; a telephone company; the post office; the Red Cross; hospitals; newspaper plants; and radio, television, and weather stations.
- How Your City Is Fed – Visit truck and dairy farms, flour mills, and bakeries; food processing, canning, or bottling plants; stockyards and meat or poultry packing houses; a fish hatchery; beverage, candy, and ice-cream companies; markets; and food distributors.
- Learn About Your Heritage – Visit art galleries, museums, and memorials; celebrated old homes, monuments, and other historic sites; places of worship; civic centers; important local buildings; summer theaters and band concerts; and local historical celebrations.
When these field trips are coordinated with the required and elective adventures, they can help bring learning to life by allowing Scouts to experience firsthand the things they have been learning about. Most adventures will include opportunities for a den outing that may fulfill part of an advancement requirement.
A well-planned den outing will benefit everyone involved, providing an opportunity for Scouts and adults to acquire new interests and knowledge; develop a deeper understanding of and respect for other people; reinforce their attitudes of good citizenship, such as courtesy and kindness; and have fun.
A hike is a journey on foot, usually with a purpose, a route, and a destination. Cub Scout dens will have several opportunities for taking hikes related to adventure requirements.
Here are some suggestions for different types of hikes:
- Homes Hike – Look for spider webs, nests, holes, and other homes in nature. Make a list.
- Stop, Look, and Listen Hike – Hike for a specified length of time or for a certain number of steps. Then stop and write down all that you see and hear. Make several stops.
- Puddle Hike – Hike in a gentle rain or just after a rain, wearing appropriate rain gear. See how animals and insects take cover from the weather.
- Penny Hike – Flip a coin to see which direction you will go. Flip the coin at each intersection or fork in the road or trail.
- Color Hike – Look for objects of preselected colors. Make a list.
- Historical Hike – Hike to an historical spot. Know the history before going on the hike.
- City Hike – Look for scraps of nature between cracks in the sidewalk. Look at the buildings for various architectural details—carvings, cornices, etc. A vacant lot can provide a lot of interest; even one overturned rock can reveal surprises.
Games and Sports
Outdoor games and sports provide opportunities for teaching Scouts skills of good sportsmanship, including following rules, taking turns and sharing, getting along with others, and fair play. They provide the opportunity for every Cub Scout to learn the basic skills of a sport, game, or competition while learning good sportsmanship and habits of personal fitness in an environment where participation and doing one’s best are more important than winning.
For suggestions and instructions on games that could be played outside, see the den leader guide for each rank and the Cub Scout Leader How-to Book.
Planning Field Trips and Excursions
When planning a trip or excursion for your den or pack, keep the following guidelines in mind:
- Make sure that all activities are age-appropriate. Especially for pack excursions, which include Scouts of various ages, make sure there’s something that appeals to everyone.
- While it’s OK to include some activities just for the fun of it, make sure the featured event of an excursion relates to the adventure theme.
- Refer to the Guide to Safe Scouting to ensure that all activities are conducted in a safe manner.
- Be sure to file the proper forms and permits. A tour plan is recommended whenever the den travels to a place other than its regular meeting place (even for short in-town trips) and an informed consent form (permission slip) should be signed by the parent or guardian of every Scout.