Forestry Merit Badge
Activity Guide for Patrol Leaders
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    Forestry Merit Badge

    Aids for the Boy-Led Scout Troop

    Forestry Merit Badge is an excellent topic to work on an outdoor hi-adventure trek. Here the main activity is to identify different species of trees and collect some leaf and bark samples.

    Sample Activity Plan


    Forestry Merit Badge A) Make Your Plan
    The Trail to Adventure Fun!

      1. Merit Badge Activity Preview

      2. Sample Plan Outline
      Note: This Plan is a Draft - Some dates, events and activities may change after reviewing it with your leaders.

      • Make draft of Event Flyer (See Example Here).
      • Each Participant to be notified that he needs:
      • Event Dates / Places / Dress Code / Supplies / Etc.
      • Local Nature Guide Book - You or the Merit Badge Counselor may have a quality local nature guide book to help you properly identify local vegetation and wildlife.

      3. Meet the Merit Badge Counselor
      Review your plan with the merit badge counselor. Some activities require his advance approval. The Scoutmaster should be able to recommend a counselor to you.

      4. Patrol Leader Council
      Present Activity Proposal to your fellow patrol leaders and scoutmaster. Make assignments as needed.

      5. Hi-Adventure Plan

      • Contact the destination venue. Confirm that they can assist with the Field Trip Requirements. Reserve your Event Dates.
      • Troop Historian should be ready to take pictures on this activity to report back on the next troop blog, newsletter or court of honor.

      6. Announce & Start Activity

      • Get final approval from your scoutmaster.
      • Update event flyer (#2) above.
      • Distribute event flyer / Begin Introduction


    B) Introduction
    Present the plan to your patrol or troop (Either at your first activity meeting or sometime earlier.)

    Here are some ideas to show why this activity will be both fun and important.

    In working through the Forestry merit badge requirements, Scouts will explore the remarkable complexity of a forest and identify many species of trees and plants and the roles they play in a forest's life cycle. They will also discover some of the resources forests provide to humans and come to understand that people have a very large part to play in sustaining the health of forests.

    Hiking the Boy Scout Trail in the Redwood Forest!
    Show on Laptop or portable TV & crank up the sound!


    Dennis the Menace 2017


    Genealogy Merit Badge C) Study Hall

    Purpose: Help each Patrol Member learn key concepts on this subject. Include the following resources:

    Hi-Adventure Study Hall: - These study hall discussion topics may make for a great evening campfire discussion on your camping/hi-adventure outting.

      Req #3A: Importance of Forests


        Describe contributions forests make to:
        1. Our economy in the form of products.
        2. Our social well-being, including recreation
        3. Soil protection and increased fertility.
        4. Clean water.
        5. Clean air. (carbon cycling, sequestration)
        6. Wildlife habitat
        7. Fisheries habitat
        8. Threatened and endangered species of plants and animals

      Req #3B: Watersheds


        Tell which watershed or other source your community relies on for its water supply.

      Req #4: Forest Management
      Describe what forest management means, including the following:


        a. Multiple-use management
        b. Sustainable forest management
        c. Even-aged and uneven-aged management and silvicultural systems associated with each type.
        d. Intermediate cuttings.
        e. The role of prescribed burning and related forest management practices.

      Forestry Merit Badge Req #7: Forestry Hazards
      Do the following:


        a. Describe the consequences to forests that result from FIVE of the following elements: wildfire, absence of fire, destructive insects, loss of pollinating insect population, tree diseases, air pollution, overgrazing, deer or other wildlife overpopulation, improper harvest, and urbanization.
        b. Explain what can be done to reduce the consequences you discussed in 7a.
        c. Describe what you should do if you discover a forest fire and how a professional firefighting crew might control it. Name your state or local wildfire control agency.


    Forestry Merit Badge E) Forestry Hi-Adventure

    One of the highlights of a scouting hi-adventure trip in the woods is to stop and appreciate the great variety and majesty of these living things that are so much bigger than you and me.

    Req #1: Vegetation Collection & Identification (15 Species)


      Prepare a field notebook, make a collection, and identify 15 species of trees, wild shrubs, or vines in a local forested area. Write a description in which you identify and discuss the following:

        a. The characteristics of leaf, twig, cone, or fruiting bodies
        b. The habitat in which these trees, shrubs or vines are found.
        c. The important ways each tree, shrub, or vine is used by humans or wildlife and whether the species is native or was introduced to the area. If it is not native, explain whether it is considered invasive or potentially invasive.

    Req #2: Forest Observation
    Do ONE of the following: (Members of the group may easily pick between these three while out on the trail.)


      a. Collect and identify wood samples of 10 species of trees. List several ways the wood of each species can be used.
      b. Find and examine three stumps, logs, or core samples that show variations in the growth rate of their ring patterns. In the field notebook you prepared for requirement 1, describe the location or origin of each example (including elevation, aspect, slope, and the position on the slope), and discuss possible reasons for the variations in growth rate. Photograph or sketch each example.
      c. Find and examine two types of animal, insect, or damage on trees. In the field notebook you prepared for requirement 1, identify the damage, explain how the damage was caused, and describe the effects of the damage on the trees. Photograph or sketch each example.

    Req #6: Tree Hazards
    This part of your Forestry hi-adventure may count as a service project when you report your findings to the local ranger.


      In your camp, local recreation area (park or equivalent), or neighborhood, inventory the trees that may be a hazard to structures or people. Make a list by area (campsite, road, trail, street, etc.). Note the species and hazardous condition, and suggest a remedy (removal or trimming). Make your list available to the proper authority or agency.

    Req #8: Forester Interview


      Visit one or more local foresters and write a brief report about the person (or persons). Or, write about a forester's occupation including the education, qualifications, career opportunities, and duties related to forestry.


    Forestry Merit Badge G) Counselor Final Meeting

    Req #5A: Forestry Report
    Req #5 has several options, but if this activity is done as part of a forest area hi-adventure, we suggest meeting with the forest ranger and then writing a report afterwards.


      With your parent's and counselor's approval... Visit a managed public or private forest area with its manager or a forester familiar with it. Write a brief report describing the type of forest, the management objectives, and the forestry techniques used to achieve the objectives.

    Other Forestry Reports
    Review with your counselor your findings / reports on the following:


      Req #1: Sample of 15 Vegetation Species
      Req #2: Forestry Collections
      Req #8: Report on Interview with Forest Expert.


    H) Extra Credit

    Never add to or take away from the stated merit badge requirements. The material presented below is intended only to add fun for the patrol by way of either activity or community service.

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