Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Scouting in our Homeschool

Ok, I will admit to getting this topic from another blog.  But, it is one that is important to me, and I think it is worth talking about.  Warning - this is my longest post ever!

I guess I will start with a bit of background in my own scouting experience.  If you aren't interested, skip ahead a few paragraphs!

Me! - The red badge is for the Queen's Jubilee

When I was a child, way back in the 1970's, (Yes, way back then) - girls in Canada were in Girl Guides, and boys were in Boy Scouts.  In our School, Brownies and Cubs met at the school right after school.  So many kids were involved (I think pretty much all of us), that there were 2 packs for each.  So Brownies was Monday or Tuesday; Cubs was Wednesday or Thursday.  On the day of your meeting, you wore your uniform to school - so about 1/4 of the kids in your class were in uniform on almost any day.  (Guides and Scouts met nearby - I think at the nearby Catholic school - so they were in uniform too!)

My Brownie Handbook

Ok, I admit it - I was a rotten Brownie.  But, I have an excuse - my parents were separated and involved in a custody battle over me.  This was almost unheard of at that time.  So much of the Brownie Program back then was worked on at home, and there just wasn't the support at that time for me.  For a while, I wasn't even sure how people got all those pretty badges.... each week the badge pillow was at the meeting with badges other Brownies had earned... and I remember hoping there would be one for me.  Later I learned that you needed to call a badge examiner (yes, this is the old days!) to get tested for a badge.  In any case, I sent to 2 different Brownie Packs over 2 years (I moved) - and never earned a single badge.  I didn't go for the 3rd year, and never tried Guides.

Fast forward until I'm an adult - and my Brother becomes a Blazer Scout Leader, and his wife becomes a Cub Leader.  I'm pretty interested in all they are doing, and start reading the "Leader" magazine they they got.  I still wait a few years, but decide to become a leader - but have trouble deciding between Guiding and Scouting.  With more thought (and influenced, I'm sure, by my Brownie Experience) - I become a Scout Leader.  I also am "thrown to the wolves", as I'm the Scouter in Charge of a Scout Group that is struggling to   keep going.  After a couple of years, I also join Rovers as a "Youth Member".

Scout Handbook when I was a leader

Fast forward a couple more years, and some politics happen with my scout group - and I look for other opportunities.  I have 6 different groups wanting me for a leader, but I'm a little soured on it because of the politics - so I become an assistant Brownie leader for my Rover Advisor (who is also a Brownie Leader).  After a couple of years, I add in being a Guide Leader near my house.  I step aside as a Brownie leader after another year or so - and look towards being a Pathfinder Leader as well as a Guide Leader

One of the Guide Handbooks when I was a Guider

Soon I was moving, and having trouble fitting into the Guiding community in my new city - so I'm back to Scouting....  first as a Scout Leader - then a Cub Leader.    By then, I'm married to a wonderful man who also had over 20 years of Scouting experience (which I won't go into.)

Mike - playing a game with the Cubs

Still Reading????

So now, as you know, Delta is 9, Echo is 7, Foxtrot is 4, and Golf is 2.   Beavers in Canada are for ages 5-7, Cubs are 8-10, Scouts are 11-14, Venturers are 14-17, and Rovers are 18-26.    When Delta was 5, we honestly weren't to thrilled with the Beaver program, so we went to a different organization instead.  However, there was no doubt that we would be doing Scouting.  (Guiding has changed a lot since I was a leader there, so our girls will do Scouting too!)

Once he turned 8, he started cubs.   Our Cub pack has a Beaver Colony that meets at the same time - and our first year I had to take all the kids with me, so Echo started Beavers.   So far, it has worked quite well.
New Uniform!

So - Scouting and Homeschool.  Finally, I'm getting to the point.

The Scouting program in Canada has a lot that works well with Homeschooling.... and I'm sure it does in other countries too.  Right now, of course, my kids are in Cubs - so that is where the emphasis is.  If we are doing well with our regular subjects, I have NO PROBLEM taking the occasional day to let Delta work primarily on Badge Work.  And he occasionally will chose to work on badgework on his own.  I don't generally assign badgework or anything - but follow his interests and desires.   Today, for instance, we went over some of the items for First Aid badge - which works well as a subject for "Health"...

Here is the Canadian Cub Badges - with a few notes on how this can relate to school....

Black Star Area (The Natural World).  Great for any CM Homeschooler, as Nature Study fits right in there!

  • Black Star  -  (kind of a taste of various nature topics)
  • Astronomer  - great nature study!
  • Gardener - nature study / science (botony)
  • Naturalist - more nature study - knowing about animals/plants
  • Observer - more nature study - mostly ID'ing different things in nature
  • Recycling - great for chores... lol
  • World Conservation (old) Environment Award (new)  - learning about habitats, pollution, endangered species, etc.
  • Climate Change (new) 
  • Canadian Wilderness Award - having done a lot of things in Nature
In the Conservatory - Black Star
A Nature Hike - there is nature all over!
Animal Tracks.  (In our Yard!) - Naturalist

 Green Star Area (The Outdoors).  - more of a Scouting Skills area - but great for things to do outside!  

  • Green Star  -  (kind of a taste of various outdoor skills)
  • Camping - life/survival skills
  • Cooking - Life Skills here!
  • Fishing - good hobby and survival skills
  • Hiking - fits in good with nature study again.... nature hikes!
  • Trailcraft - what to do if lost!
  • Watercraft
  • Winter Cubbing  - important in Canada 
  • Canadian Camper Award - quite skilled in Camping
  • Canadian Heritage Trails Award - Know a lot about Hiking 

Cooking Badge
Klondike Derby (outdoor skills competition)
- Winter Cubbing, Green Star, and many others

Quinzee - A Snow Shelter - Winter Cubbing

Tawny Star Area (Creative Expression).  - here are some of those Fine Art moments in a CM education
  • Tawny Star  -  (kind of a taste of various creative activities)
  • Artist - Requirements work well with Nature Notebooks and Drawing forms of Narration
  • Carpenter - great handicraft / life skills!
  • Collector - great opportunity to learn here with stamps/coins/or whatever.  Or nature collections (leaves, rocks).  
  • Computer - great skills for school!
  • Entertainer - singing, folk dancing, recitation, playing an instrument - lots of great options here!
  • Handicraft - obviously has great options for handicrafts for school
  • Musician - also obvious
  • Photographer - lots to learn about here - great for nature notebooks or other notebooking!
  • Reader - there is lots of reading in homeschool - and knowing how to use a dictionary, atlas, encyclopedia, the parts of a book, taking care of a book, etc - fits right in!
  • Canadian Arts Award - Knowing a lot about the Arts

Handicraft - making Wooden Models
Morse Code - Tawny Star
Kub Kar Races -
Designing and building a wood car!
- Handicraft
Red Star Area (Health and Fitness) - Having problems deciding on Health topics and PhysEd for homeschool?  Lots of ideas here!

  • Red Star  -  (kind of a taste of various health/fitness activities - mostly the Health stuff is here)
  • Athlete - Knowing basics on how to exercise, and demonstrate best in various activities - PhysEd!
  • Cyclist - How to safely ride a bike - more PhysEd
  • Skater - PhysEd
  • Skier - PhysEd
  • Snowboarder - PhysEd
  • Swimmer - PhysEd
  • Team Player - PhysEd
  • Canadian Healthy Living Award - Doing quite a bit in Fitness/Health
The Effects of Smoking  - Red Star
Make an Obstacle Course - Red Star

Stretches - Athlete

Blue Star Area (Home and Community) - here is a lot of Life Skills and "Social Studies"...
  • Blue Star  -  (taster)
  • Disability Awareness - What is out there to help a disabled person?  (ASL works here too)
  • Family Helper - Every Mom's Favourite Badge!!!!   Chore/Life skills
  • Family Safety - things any child should know - Health topic!
  • First Aid - things EVERYONE should know - Health topic!
  • Guide - Reading maps and giving directions.  Geography skills!
  • Home Repair - more great Life Skills!
  • Law Awareness - social studies...
  • Pet Care - "Something to Love"....
  • Emergency Preparedness Award - are you prepared for an emergency for 72 hours??
  • Canadian Family Care Award - skilled in Family Care skills

Sewing on a Badge - Family Helper
Vacuuming! - Family Helper

Purple Star Area (Canada and the World) - Social Studies topics!

  • Purple Star  -  (taster)
  • Aboriginal Awareness - some history, some social studies...
  • Canadian Heritage - more history, and Canadian geography too
  • International Trade - what is produce in Canada and exported?  What do we buy that has been imported?  Geography topics...
  • Space Exploration - Lots of fun, with drawing, models, or scrapbooking! 
  • World Religions - Social Studies...
  • World Cubbing - Learning about another Country!
  • Language Strip - Foreign Language study!
  • Religion in Life - (requirements vary depending on your religion...)
  • World Citizen Award - Current Affairs topics, the UN, and other things learned in this area...
Space Exploration - model of a space craft Delta designed
Meeting an Astronaut! - Space Exploration
And there are 2 "specialty" badges (1 for the pack, 1 for the cub) - so, once approved, you can earn a badge for work in an area not covered above.

Can't you just see a lot of possible school topics here?
Delta earned all 6 Stars!  On to the Awards!

I haven't discussed Beavers as much, as they don't have badges or a specific program.  However, in the meetings, Echo has done things like make bottle rockets, learn about simple machines, make butter, and done many other exciting things.


  1. So cool to read about how it goes up north! I feel so out of my depth with this and so does my hubby (who never finished cubs and is now assistant Cubmaster for our group). We're learning as we go and it does fit in with homeschool so well.

    1. Yes, it is interesting to see how different countries do Scouting. I used to own the Cub program books from the US, and at one time from Australia.