Scouts BSA 31-Day Challenge

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Here are 31 days of fun and exciting activities you can enjoy alone, with your family, and with friends virtually or through social distancing. Explore as many as you like, in any order. You may even learn a new thing or two! Have fun and stay safe!

  • Read the Declaration of Independence. Pay close attention to the section that begins with “We hold these truths to be self-evident” and ends with “to provide new Guards for their future security.” Rewrite that section in your own words, making it as easy to understand as possible. Then, share your writing with your Family and discuss the importance of the Declaration to all Americans.
  • Explain the National Register of Historic Places and how a property becomes eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. Make a map of your local area, marking the points of historical interest. Tell about any National Register properties in your area. Share the map with a family member, and describe the historical points you have indicated.
  • Read a biography of someone who has made a contribution to America’s heritage. Tell some things you admire about this individual and some things you do not admire. Explain why you think this person has made a positive or a negative contribution to America’s heritage.
  • Discuss with your Family the career opportunities in American heritage. Pick one that interests you and explain how to prepare for this career. Discuss what education and training are required for this career.
  • Select two individuals from American history, one a political leader (a president, senator, etc.) and the other a private citizen (a writer, religious leader, etc.). Find out about each person’s accomplishments and compare the contributions each has made to America’s heritage.
  • Chart the organization of your local or state government. Show the top offices and tell whether they are elected or appointed.
  • With your family, watch a movie that shows how the actions of one individual or group of individuals can have a positive effect on a community. Discuss with your Family what you learned from the movie about what it means to be a valuable and concerned member of the community.
  • Develop a public presentation (such as a video, slide show, speech, digital presentation, or photo exhibit) about important and unique aspects of your community. Include information about the history, cultures, and ethnic groups of your community; its best features and popular places where people gather; and the challenges it faces. Stage your presentation in front of a family member.
  • Predict what would happen if you placed an iron nail in a copper sulfate solution. Then, put an iron nail in a copper sulfate solution. Describe your observations and make a conclusion based on your observations. Compare your prediction and original conclusion with what actually happened. Write the formula for the reaction that you described.
  • Construct a Cartesian diver. Describe its function in terms of how gases in general behave under different pressures and different temperatures. Describe how the behavior of gases affects a backpacker at high altitudes and a scuba diver underwater
  • Cut a round onion into small chunks. Separate the onion chunks into three equal portions. Leave the first portion raw. Cook the second portion of onion chunks until the pieces are translucent. Cook the third portion until the onions are caramelized, or brown in color. Taste each type of onion. Describe the taste of raw onion versus partially cooked onion versus caramelized onion. Explain what happens to molecules in the onion during the cooking process.
  • In a clear container, mix a half-cup of water with a tablespoon of oil. Explain why the oil and water do not mix. Find a substance that will help the two combine, and add it to the mixture. Describe what happened, and explain how that substance worked to combine the oil and water.
  • Using resources found at the library and in periodicals, books, and the internet (with your parent’s permission), learn about two different kinds of work done by chemists, chemical engineers, chemical technicians, or industrial chemists. For each of the four positions, find out the education and training requirements.
  • Discuss each of the following documents with a Family member. Tell how you feel life in the United States might be different without each one. Then choose one document and explain how it impacts you and your family. a. Declaration of Independence b. Preamble to the Constitution c. The Constitution d. Bill of Rights e. Amendments to the Constitution
  • List the six functions of government as noted in the preamble to the Constitution. Discuss with a Family member how these functions affect your family and local community.
  • Name your two senators and a member of Congress from your congressional district. Write a letter about a national issue and send it to one of these elected officials, sharing your view with him or her. Show your letter to a family member, along with any response you might receive
  • Choose a speech of national historical importance. Find out about the author, and tell a family member about the person who gave the speech. Explain the importance of the speech at the time it was given, and tell how it applies to American citizens today. Choose a sentence or two from the speech that has significant meaning to you, and tell your family why.
  • Explain what citizenship in the nation means and what it takes to be a good citizen of this country. Discuss the rights, duties, and obligations of a responsible and active American citizen
  • For one day, keep a log in which you describe your communication activities. Keep track of the time and different ways you spend communicating, such as talking person-to-person, listening to teachers, listening to the radio or podcasts, watching television, using social media, reading books and other print media, and using any electronic communication device. Discuss with a family member what your log reveals about the importance of communication in your life. Think of ways to improve your communication skills.
  • In a small-group setting, meet with other friends. Have them share personal stories about significant events in their lives that affected them in some way. Take note of how each one participates in the group discussion and how effectively each one communicates their story. Shared what you have learned with a family member about the differences you observed in effective communication.
  • Create a webpage or blog of special interest to you (for instance, a hobby, or a sport). Include at least three articles or entries and one photograph or illustration, and one link to some other webpage or blog that would be helpful to someone who visits the webpage or blog you have created. It is not necessary to post your webpage or blog to the internet, but if you decide to do so, you must first share it with your parents and get their permission.
  • Write a five-minute speech. Give it at a meeting of a group.
  • Compare the similarities and differences between composites and wood, aluminum, copper, and steel. Describe the physical, electrical, mechanical, corrosive, flammability, cost, and other such properties. For each of these raw materials, give one example of how it can be shaped and used for a specific application.
  • Discuss three different composite reinforcement materials, their positive and negative characteristics, and their uses. Obtain the MSDS for each one and discuss the toxicity, disposal, and safe-handling sections for these materials.
  • Find out about three career opportunities in composite materials. Pick one and find out the education, training, and experience required for this profession. Discuss this with a family member, and explain why this profession might interest you.
  • Explain the precautions that must be taken when handling, storing, and disposing of resins, reinforcements, and other materials used in composites. Include in your discussion the importance of health, safety, and environmental responsibility and awareness.
  • Show how you could safely save a person from the following: (a) Touching a live household electric wire (b) A structure filled with carbon monoxide (c) Clothes on fire.
  • Show three ways of attracting and communicating with rescue planes/aircraft.
  • Using a safety checklist, inspect your home for potential hazards. Explain the hazards you find and how they can be corrected.
  • Develop an accident prevention program for five family activities outside the home (such as taking a picnic or seeing a movie) that includes an analysis of possible hazards, a proposed plan to correct those hazards, and the reasons for the corrections you propose.
  • With another person, show a good way to transport an injured person out of a remote and/or rugged area, conserving the energy of rescuers while ensuring the well-being and protection of the injured person.
  • Make a time line of the history of environmental science in America. Identify the contribution made by the Boy Scouts of America to environmental science. Include dates, names of people or organizations, and important events.
  • Define the following terms: population, community, ecosystem, biosphere, symbiosis, niche, habitat, conservation, threatened species, endangered species, extinction, pollution prevention, brownfield, ozone, watershed, airshed, nonpoint source, hybrid vehicle, fuel cell.
  • Using photographs or illustrations, point out the differences between a drone and a worker bee. Discuss the stages of bee development (eggs, larvae, pupae). Explain the pollination process, and what propolis is and how it is used by honey bees. Tell how bees make honey and beeswax, and how both are harvested. Explain the part played in the life of the hive by the queen, the drones, and the workers.
  • Look around your home and determine 10 ways your family can help reduce pollution. Practice at least two of these methods for seven days and discuss with your Family what you have learned.
  • Do research on two invasive plant or animal species in your community or camp. Find out where the species originated, how they were transported to the United States, their life history, how they are spread, and the recommended means to eradicate or control their spread. Report your research orally to your Family.
  • Explain how you would obtain emergency medical assistance from: (a) Your home (b) A remote location on a wilderness camping trip (c) An activity on open water
  • Prepare a first-aid kit for your home. Display and discuss its contents with your Family
  • Describe the early signs and symptoms of each of the following and explain what actions you should take: (a) Shock (b) Heart attack (c) Stroke
  • Show the steps that need to be taken for someone who has a large open wound or cut that is not bleeding severely
  • Describe the signs and symptoms and demonstrate the proper procedures for handling and immobilizing suspected closed and open fractures or dislocations of the (a) Forearm (b) Wrist (c) Upper leg (d) Lower leg (e) Ankle
  • Show the steps that need to be taken for someone who has a large open wound or cut that is severely bleeding.
Day 10 – Game Design
  • Analyze four games you have played, each from a different medium. Identify the medium, player format, objectives, rules, resources, and theme (if relevant). Discuss with a family member the play experience, what you enjoy in each game, and what you dislike. Make a chart to compare and contrast the games.
  • Define the term intellectual property. Describe the types of intellectual property associated with the game design industry. Describe how intellectual property is protected and why protection is necessary. Define and give an example of a licensed property.
  • List three career opportunities in game development. Pick one and find out about the education, training, and experience required for the profession. Discuss this with a family member why this profession might interest you.
  • Discuss with a family member five of the following 17 game design terms. For each term that you pick, describe how it relates to a specific game. Thematic game elements: story, setting, characters Gameplay elements: play sequence, level design, interface design Game analysis: difficulty, balance, depth, pace, replay value, age appropriateness Related terms: single-player vs. multiplayer, cooperative vs. competitive, turn based vs. real-time, strategy vs. reflex vs. chance, abstract vs. thematic
  • Describe four types of play value and provide an example of a game built around each concept. Discuss with a family member other reasons people play games.
  • Explain to a family member the most likely hazards you may encounter while participating in cooking activities and what you should do to anticipate, help prevent, mitigate, and respond to these hazards.
  • Using the MyPlate food guide or the current USDA nutrition model, give five examples for EACH of the following food groups, the recommended number of daily servings, and the recommended serving size: (1) Fruits (3) Grains (5) Dairy (2) Vegetables (4) Proteins
  • Using the MyPlate food guide or the current USDA nutrition model, plan menus for three full days of meals (three breakfasts, three lunches, and three dinners) plus one dessert. Your menus should include enough to feed yourself and at least one adult, keeping in mind any special needs (such as food allergies) and how you kept your foods safe and free from cross-contamination. List the equipment and utensils needed to prepare and serve these meals
  • Create a shopping list for your meals showing the amount of food needed to prepare and serve each meal, and the cost for each meal.
  • Time your cooking to have each meal ready to serve at the proper time.
  • List several reasons why you are important to your family and discuss this with your parents or guardians
  • Discuss with your family your understanding of what makes an effective parent and why, and your thoughts on the parent’s role and responsibilities in the family.
  • Plan and carry out a project that involves the participation of your family
  • Prepare a list of your regular home duties or chores (at least five) and do them for 90 days.
  • Discuss the role and value of laws in society with regard to crime and crime prevention. Include in your discussion the definitions of “crime” and “crime prevention.”
  • Prepare a journal from various sources that address crime and crime prevention efforts in your community
  • Research and teach your family how to protect themselves from crime at home, in your community, and while traveling.
  • Choose a career in the crime prevention or security industry that interests you. Describe the level of education required and responsibilities of a person in that position. Tell why this position interests you.
  • Explain the chemistry and physics of fire. Name the parts of the fire tetrahedron. Explain why vapors are important to the burning process. Name the products of combustion. Give an example of how fire grows and what happens.
  • Name the most frequent causes of fire in the home, and give examples of ways they can be prevented. Include a discussion about fires caused by smoking in the home, cooking, candles, fireplaces, and electrical appliances.
  • Explain the role of human behavior in the arson problem in this country
  • Draw a home fire-escape plan, create a home fire-drill schedule, and conduct a home fire drill
  • Create a time line for yourself or for a relative. Then write a short biography based on that time line.
  • With your parent’s or guardian’s help, choose a relative or a family acquaintance you can interview in person, by telephone, or by email. Record the information you collect so you do not forget it.
  • Name three types of genealogical resources and explain how these resources can help you chart your family tree
  • Review with your family the processes for producing printed communications: offset lithography, screen printing, electronic/digital, relief, and gravure
  • Explain the differences between continuous tone, line, and halftone artwork. Describe how digital images can be created and/or stored in a computer.
  • Find out about three career opportunities in graphic arts. Pick one and find out the education, training, and experience required for this profession. Discuss this with a family member, and explain why this profession might interest you.
  • Review post press operations and discuss the finishing operations of padding, drilling, cutting, and trimming.
  • Explain to a family member the role of inventors and their inventions in the economic development of the United States.
  • List three inventions and state how they have helped humankind.
  • Define the term intellectual property. Explain which government agencies oversee the protection of intellectual property, the types of intellectual property that can be protected, how such property is protected, and why protection is necessary.
  • Explain to a family member the term patent infringement
  • Explain what freedom of the press is and how the First Amendment guarantees that you can voice your opinion. In your discussion, tell how to distinguish between fact and opinion, and explain the terms libel, slander, defamation, fair comment and criticism, public figure, privacy, and malice. Discuss how these matters relate to ethics in journalism
  • All on the same day, watch a local and national network newscast, listen to a radio newscast, and (with your parent’s permission) view a national broadcast news source online. List the different news items and features presented, the different elements used, and the time in minutes and seconds and the online space devoted to each story. Compare the story lists and discuss whether the stories are fair and accurate. Explain why different news outlets treated the stories differently and/or presented a different point of view.
  • Using a radio or television broadcasting style, write a news story, a feature story, and a critical review of the event.
  • Find out about three career opportunities in journalism. Pick one and find out the education, training, and experience required for this profession. Discuss this with a family member, and explain why this profession might interest you.
  • Discuss the following: Justinian’s Code, the Code of Hammurabi, and the Magna Carta
  • Tell what civil law is; tell what criminal law is. Tell the main differences between them. Give examples of each.
  • Explain the requirements for becoming a lawyer in your state. Describe how judges are selected in your state.
  • Make a list of 15 jobs that deal with some aspects of law or legal processes. Tell which you prefer. Why?
  • Explain the meaning of “animal,” “invertebrate,” “vertebrate,” and “mammal.” Name three characteristics that distinguish mammals from all other animals.
  • Explain how the animal kingdom is classified. Explain where mammals fit in the classification of animals. Classify three mammals from phylum through species.
  • From study and reading, write a simple life history of one nongame mammal that lives in your area. Tell how this mammal lived before its habitat was affected in any way by humans. Tell how it reproduces, what it eats, and its natural habitat. Describe its dependency upon plants and other animals (including humans), and how they depend upon it. Tell how it is helpful or harmful to humankind.
  • Trace two possible food chains of carnivorous mammals from soil through four stages to the mammal.
  • Discuss the health-care provider–patient relationship with your family, and the importance of such a relationship in the delivery of quality care to the patient. Describe the role of confidentiality in this relationship.
  • Tell what is meant by the term “primary care” with regard to a medical specialty.
  • Briefly describe the types of work done by physicians in the following specialties: (1) Internal medicine* (2) Family practice* (3) Obstetrics/gynecology* (4) Pediatrics* (5) Psychiatry (6) Surgery
  • Discuss the roles medical societies, employers, the insurance industry, and the government play in influencing the practice of medicine in the United States
  • Tell a family member what radiation is.
  • Describe the radiation hazard symbol and explain where it should be used. Tell why and how people must use radiation or radioactive materials carefully.
  • Compare the amount of radiation exposure of a nuclear power plant worker to that of someone receiving a chest and dental X-ray
  • Tell the meaning of the following: atom, nucleus, proton, neutron, electron, quark, isotope; alpha particle, beta particle, gamma ray, X-ray; ionization, radioactivity, radioisotope, and stability.
  • Name the five general groups of musical instruments. Create an illustration that shows how tones are generated and how instruments produce sound.
  • Teach three songs to a group of people. Lead them in singing the songs, using proper hand motions.
  • List five people who are important in the history of American music and explain to a family member why they continue to be influential. Include at least one composer, one performer, one innovator, and one person born more than 100 years ago.
  • Interview an adult member of your family about music. Find out what the most popular music was when he or she was your age. Find out what his or her favorite music is now, and listen to three of your relative’s favorite tunes with him or her.
  • Choose an item that your family might want to purchase that is considered a major expense. Write a plan that tells how your family would save money for the purchase.
  • Prepare a budget reflecting your expected income (allowance, gifts, wages), expenses, and savings for a period of 13 consecutive weeks.
  • Explain to a family member what the following investments are and how each works: (a) Common stocks (b) Mutual funds (c) Life insurance (d) A certificate of deposit (CD) (e) A savings account (f) A U.S. savings bond
  • Explain to a family member the following: The differences between a charge card, debit card, and credit card. What are the costs and pitfalls of using these financial tools? Explain why it is unwise to make only the minimum payment on your credit card.
  • Demonstrate how to tie the following knots: clove hitch, butterfly knot, round turn with two half hitches, rolling hitch, water knot, Carrick bend, sheepshank, and sheet bend.
  • Demonstrate and explain when to use the following lashings: square, diagonal, round, shear, tripod, and for lashing.
  • Build a trestle using square and diagonal lashings. Explain why trestles are used when constructing pioneering projects.
  • Discuss with a family member the history of programming and programming languages, and discuss how programming languages have evolved over time to become easier to use while adding additional capabilities.
  • Create a list of 10 popular programming languages in use today and describe which industry or industries they are primarily used in and why.
  • Visit http://www.boyslife.org/programming, choose a sample program. Modify the code or add a function or subroutine to it. Debug and demonstrate the modified program to a family member.
  • Find out about three career opportunities that require knowledge in programming. Pick one and find out the education, training, and experience required. Discuss this with a family member why this career might be of interest to you.
  • Discuss the following with a family member the kinds of things robots can do and how robots are best used today the similarities and differences between remote-control vehicles, telerobots, and autonomous robots.
  • Learn about three youth robotics competitions. Tell a family member about these, including the type of competition, time commitment, age of the participants, and how many teams are involved.
  • Discuss with your family three of the five major fields of robotics (human-robot interface, mobility, manipulation, programming, sensors) and their importance to robotics development. Discuss either the three fields as they relate to a single robot system OR talk about each field in general. Find pictures or at least one video to aid your discussion.
  • Name three career opportunities in robotics. Pick one and find out the education, training, and experience required for this profession. Discuss this with a family member, and explain why this profession might interest you.
  • Discuss with a family member the importance of signs, signals, and codes, and why people need these different methods of communication. Briefly discuss the history and development of signs, signals, and codes
  • Describe what Morse code is and the various means by which it can be sent. Spell your first name using Morse code. Send or receive a message of six to 10 words using Morse code
  • Explain the braille reading technique and how it helps individuals with sight impairment to communicate. Then do the following create a message in braille at least six words long, and share this with a family member.
  • Discuss text-message symbols and why they are commonly used. Give examples of your favorite 10 text symbols or emoticons. Then see if your parent can identify the meaning or usage of each symbol.
    • Tell the purpose of space exploration and include the following: (a) Historical reasons (b) Immediate goals in terms of specific knowledge (c) Benefits related to Earth resources, technology, and new products (d) International relations and cooperation
    • Discuss and demonstrate each of the following: (a) The law of action-reaction (b) How rocket engines work (c) How satellites stay in orbit (d) How satellite pictures of Earth and pictures of other planets are made and transmitted
    • Discuss with a family member a robotic space exploration mission and a historic crewed mission. Tell about each mission’s major discoveries, its importance, and what was learned from it about the planets, moons, or regions of space explored.
    • Design a robotic mission to another planet, moon, comet, or asteroid that will return samples of its surface to Earth. Name the planet, moon, comet, or asteroid your spacecraft will visit. Show how your design will cope with the conditions of the environments of the planet, moon, comet, or asteroid.
    • Describe the top 10 mistakes new drivers frequently make. Name the two items you are required by law to carry with you whenever you operate a motor vehicle.
    • Describe how alcohol and other drugs affect the human body and why a person should never drink and drive, or drive while under the influence of any mind-altering substances including prescription drugs, cold medications, and illicit drugs. For the state where you live, find out what is the legal blood alcohol concentration and the consequences for driving while intoxicated or driving under the influence. Find out what the open-container law is in your state.
    • Using your family car or another vehicle, demonstrate how to check tire pressure and identify the correct tire pressure for the vehicle. Explain why proper tire pressure is important to safe driving
    • Using the internet (with your parent’s permission), visit five websites that cover safe driving for teenagers. Then, in a group session with at least three teenagers, discuss what you have learned.
    • Watch a movie based on the book. What was the same between the book and movie? What was different? Which did you enjoy more? Discuss this with a family member.
    • Read about the world around you from any two sources: books, magazines, newspapers, the internet (with your parent’s or guardian’s permission), field manuals, etc. Topics may include sports, environmental problems, politics, social issues, current events, nature, religion, etc. Discuss what you have learned with a family member.
    • Identify a book you have enjoyed. Find out what other books the author has written.
    • Write a review of a book. Include what you liked/didn’t like about the book. Include if you would recommend this book, and if so, who might enjoy reading it.