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Project Wild + Scouting = Fun Nature Learning!

Linda Watson, one of our Backyard Nature Notes readers, recently told me about her "nature" work with a Girl Scout troop, and how she uses "Project Wild" materials to add a lot of fun learning to their weekly meetings.

Here is how she combines the two programs.

Project Wild and Girl Scout Badges

by Linda Watson
"As a Girl Scout Leader, there is nothing I enjoy more than taking the girls camping and exploring the woods.

"A few years ago, I discovered an organization that was designed to assist teachers with activities that were interdisciplinary while focusing on wildlife - Project Wild. I was very excited. I was given enough activities to keep an entire neighborhood of girls busy for a month.

"Even though the activities are designed for teachers - and this is very apparent when you read the key - I found it very easy to tie them in with the badges that the girls were earning. For example, I checked my badge book and saw that one badge required that the girls learn how to identify 10 trees. I had several options

- A walk through the woods with a field guide came to mind but would probably by rated as 'boring' by the girls.

- I checked my Project Wild book and found an activity called "Interview a Spider". It's designed for grades 5 -8 (Junior/Cadette level in Girl Scouts). The idea is for the participants to "interview" different animals (including birds, reptiles, insects, worms, etc.) by researching a particular animal then writing an article about it.

Now came the fun part, I told the girls they were to interview a tree.

Each girl was to first 'become' a tree. I had slips of paper with a different name assigned to each. To keep it relative, I only used the trees that would be found at camp. After discussing the elements of a good article, I had each girl look up the information on 'her tree', so she would be ready for any question that the 'reporter' would ask. Then, the girls played reporter and interviewed a fellow tree. Instead of writing a report, each girl introduced the tree to the group. by the end of the activity, the girls were outside looking for their counterparts in the woods.

More information on Project Wild can be found at
Girl Scouts of the USA Adult information (Parents and Volunteers)

For more articles about California Nature

California Beach Communities
Common Native Plants of Southern California Uplands
Natural Los Angeles Resources
Common Native Wildlife of Southern California
Common Native Birds of Southern California
Attracting California birds with native plants
Los Angeles Urban Forest
There's a Park Near You in Los Angeles
News about the SoCal Environment
Least Terns Preserve on the LA Beach
Visiting California Beach Communities - An Overview
Los Angeles Area Nature Link List