Character Development

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					                                                                                Ideas for Connecting Core
                                                                                Values with Outdoor Activities
Character Development
                         Citizenship                       Compassion                           Cooperation                          Courage
       Hikes         Hike to a polling place during     Take turns carrying items for       Plan a hike that includes        Meet the challenges of the
                     an election. Hike to a museum      each other on the hike. Do an       opportunities for problem        trail. Plan ahead for situations
                     or historical building and learn   “inch hike” to become aware         solving by teams (set these up   that will challenge the boy’s
                     about the history of your com-     of small animals we may harm        ahead of time). Discuss how      courage, including hug a tree
                     munity. Take an historical hike.   if walking quickly.                 following the leader can help    if “lost.”
                                                                                            the team.

 Nature Activities   Clean up trash in a designated     Make bird feeders and keep          Watch an anthill and point       Study a certain species and
                     area. Observe a certain spe-       them filled for at least one        out cooperative behavior. Pair   how it reacts to danger, pay-
                     cies to see how its citizens       winter season. Play the Cam-        boys to work together when       ing attention to how adults are
                     live together and what “laws”      era Game (Cub Scout Leader          doing an activity.               courageous when guarding
                     they obey.                         How-To Book).                                                        their young.

  Service Projects   Raise the flag at the local        Give service to elderly or dis-     Have den or pack collect recy-   Arrange for a safe visit to a
                     school every morning for a         abled people, such as helping       clable materials to earn money   food kitchen or homeless
                     specific period of time. Do        with trash, filling bird feeders,   for a good cause.                shelter and talk about how it
                     some community clean-up            planting flowers, sweeping,                                          takes courage to ask for help
                     projects.                          watering, taking in newspaper,                                       from others and courage to
                                                        etc.                                                                 help those who are different
                                                                                                                             than we are.

 Games and Sports    Play a team sport and discuss      Experience a disability in a        Play some games that involve     Play a game in which a boy
                     how the whole is greater than      game or sport (for instance         cooperation of team members.     has to ask for help from
                     the sum of the individuals         by being blindfolded or having      (There are many outdoor          someone else. For some
                     making it up. Relate this to       an arm rendered unusable).          games involving cooperation      people, admitting they need
                     everyday life and our society.     Show understanding when             in the Cub Scout Leader How      help is having courage.
                                                        others have trouble with a          To Book.)
                                                        game. Never tease. Show how
                                                        winning is doing one’s best.

    Ceremonies       Hold a ceremony to inaugu-         Hold a ceremony to recognize        Demonstrate cooperation in a     Award the “Lion’s Heart” to a
                     rate the denner or to graduate     compassionate behavior,             ceremony. (Example: one boy      boy who shows real courage
                     Wolf Cub Scouts to Bear or         especially to peers.                alone cannot light a candle      in any appropriate situation.
                     Bear Cub Scouts to Webelos                                             with a match if the wind is      Place flags at a cemetery on
                     Scouts, complete with ”tux,”                                           blowing, but can do it when      Memorial Day.
                     ”top hat,” and judge.”                                                 another boy shields the wick
                                                                                            from the wind.)

    Campfires        Reenact the signing of the         Give a skit showing opportuni-      Give a skit showing coop-        Give each boy a speaking
                     Declaration of Independence        ties for compassionate behav-       erative behavior. Boys show      part in the campfire, even if
                     or other historic event.           ior. Don’t laugh if someone         cooperation by joining in with   some fear speaking in public;
                     The boys could even be in          makes a mistake. Clap for           songs and other campfire         give plenty of praise for their
                     costume and use a huge             everyone.                           elements.                        efforts. Do a skit about a hero.
                     feather pen.

     Den Trips       Visit a local governing body—      Visit shut-ins or elderly people    Visit a grocery store or other   Visit a dentist’s office. Many
                     city council, county commis-       at times other than holidays.       business and talk about how      people are afraid of dentists.
                     sion, school board—to see          Be patient and compassion-          the employees cooperate to       Visit with a firefighter, or EMT.
                     government in action. Have         ate when waiting for others         make the whole enterprise
                     lunch with the mayor or chief      who need to rest or who are         work smoothly.
                     of police.                         slower.

 Pack Overnighter    Boys make up “laws” to             Bring someone who needs             Every boy brings one item for    Have a story-sharing hour
                     govern their “tent city,”          friends (child or adult). Share     a special dessert or breakfast   around the campfire where
                     discussing how good law            belongings with others who          treat or craft project. Care-    adults share their experiences
                     benefits all citizens.             may have forgotten some-            ful planning is necessary to     of being afraid or uncertain,
                                                        thing. Be kind to those who         ensure the project will not      and how they handled it. Plan
                                                        may feel uncomfortable being        work if not all the parts are    a camp at military installation.
                                                        away overnight.                     there.
                                                             Health and
                               Faith                                                              Honesty                       Perseverance
      Hikes         Conduct a Scouts Own hike.          Go on an exercise hike with       Follow the Outdoor Code            Plan a hike where boys
                    Hike to a place of worship.         stations to do specific exer-     when hiking. After a hike,         encounter obstacles similar
                                                        cises (many local parks have      report accurately, what was        to those an early explorer
                                                        these already set up). Learn to   observed or done.                  might have encountered. Talk
                                                        take your pulse when walking                                         about how pioneers and early
                                                        to see how your body is react-                                       explorers persevered to reach
                                                        ing to the exercise.                                                 their destinations.

 Nature Activites   Identify divinity in the big and    Study what a certain species      Listen to boys when they are       Study plants that survive diffi-
                    small things of nature.             eats and how it lives. Discuss    participating in an activity and   cult environments. Encourage
                                                        how eating right relates to       praise honesty when you            boys to keep trying when an
                                                        health. Harvest healthy food      hear it.                           activity is difficult.
                                                        (with permission or at a pick-
                                                        your-own farm) or plant an
                                                        edible crop.

 Service Projects   Help clean up a local place         Make gifts using recycled         Make posters that address          Institute a tutoring program.
                    of worship or help with one         materials. Make exercise          being honest with parents          Boys can plan rewards for the
                    of their activities (feeding the    equipment for a local shelter.    about offers of drugs. Make        students who persevere until
                    homeless or conducting a                                              posters discouraging shop-         they finish.
                    blanket drive).                                                       lifting. Aim posters at peer

Games and Sports    Remind boys that their              Challenge each boy to             Play a game in which each          Play a game related to pio-
                    physical abilities are a gift and   compete against himself to        player must apply the rules to     neers and discuss their per-
                    reinforce that they should be       become more fit. Record ini-      himself. Discuss how honesty       severance to complete their
                    thankful that they are so won-      tial abilities and record again   makes playing games more           journeys. Tell boys that those
                    drously created.                    at end of a specific period       fun. Discuss how winning           who persevere improve their
                                                        to see improvement. Give a        feels when you are dishonest.      skills.
                                                        Fit Youth Award to all who
                                                        improve. Most outdoor games
                                                        and sports help to make bod-
                                                        ies more fit.

   Ceremonies       Hold a trail devotion. Hold         Incorporate exercise equip-       In a ceremony, tell the George     “Lewis and Clark” could
                    recognition ceremonies and          ment (real or prop) into a cer-   Washington-cherry tree             conduct an awards ceremony.
                    pack celebrations outdoors in       emony. The Cubmaster could        story or one about Abraham         “George Washington” could
                    the beauty of nature.               jump rope across the room or      Lincoln.                           also, after “crossing the
                                                        lift “barbells” to find awards                                       Delaware”. Pioneers could
                                                        for boys.                                                            deliver awards from a covered

   Campfires        Include an item related to duty     Plan an entire campfire around    Incorporate some good stories      Pioneer and frontier days are
                    to God. Sing a song for the         this theme. Use songs with        about the benefits of honest       good themes to incorporate.
                    closing ceremony that incor-        physical movements. The           behavior.
                    porates faith (applicable to all    opening and closing ceremo-
                    members’ faiths). Tell a story      nies and skits could all use
                    that incorporates the concept       health and fitness themes.
                    of faith.

    Den Trips       Take a field trip to a place of     Visit a local water treatment     Visit a local bank or court-       Visit a local gym and talk with
                    worship. Visit an early church      plant to see how this vital       house and include a discus-        a personal trainer. Visit with a
                    or mission and learn about          liquid is made safe for the       sion of honesty. Visit a local     doctor and talk about educa-
                    the history and faith of people     population. Visit a farm or a     retail store and talk about        tion. Visit a local outdoor track
                    who lived in your area earlier.     place where healthy food is       security and shoplifting. Turn     facility and talk with a long-
                                                        processed. Attend a sporting      something in to “Lost and          distance runner. All of these
                                                        event.                            Found.”                            demonstrate perseverance.

Pack Overnighter    Conduct a Scouts Own ser-           Boys plan the meals, discuss-     If the campground is an            Plan some Dutch oven
                    vice, even if the overnighter       ing good nutrition. Discuss       “honor-system type, have           cooking and open campfire
                    does not take place on a            the need for lots of water.       boys fill out envelopes and        cooking so boys experience
                    traditional day of worship. An                                        pay fees. Perhaps set up a         something like pioneer life.
                    after-dark or sunrise Scouts                                          camp “store” that operates
                    Own could also be planned.                                            on the honor system. Involve
                                                                                          boys in counting the money
                                                                                          so they see whether everyone
                                                                                          was honest in paying. Discuss
                                                                                          what the result will mean for
                                                                                          future overnighters.
                                                        Resourcefulness                             Respect                       Responsibility
      Hikes         Have fun even when it is hard       Take a “search and find” hike.      Involve boys in getting per-        Pair up with a buddy and be
                    to do. If possible, plan a hike     Look for different animal           mission to hike in a city, state,   responsible for him through-
                    that is challenging (lengthy or     homes and discuss how               or national park. Work with         out the hike. Stay on the trail.
                    difficult terrain). Have boys       resourceful they are in finding     park rangers in planning hikes      Leave no trace.
                    explore how to make this a          or making shelter.                  on the public lands. Don’t pick
                    good experience with positive                                           plants or harm wildlife.

 Nature Activites   Visit a herpetologist or ento-      Find nature everywhere: in a        Watch nature at work, but           Each boy brings a specific
                    mologist to talk about how          backyard, a puddle of water, a      do not disturb it. Talk about       nature item to the meeting,
                    insects and snakes contribute       vacant lot, a flowerpot. Exam-      respect for life.                   demonstrating he is respon-
                    to world ecology. Relate this       ine different birds’ nests and                                          sible to remember his assign-
                    to having a positive attitude       discuss how resourceful birds                                           ment. Also, each boy is to
                    about everyone’s place in the       are in finding materials to use.                                        show responsibility by bring-
                    world.                                                                                                      ing items that can be returned
                                                                                                                                as they were found, and not
                                                                                                                                disturbing any nature preserve
                                                                                                                                or ecology site.

 Service Projects   Make cheery cards for others.       Have the boys make a quilt          Demonstrate respect for fam-        Mow the grass for an elderly
                    Mail these to an “adopted”          from materials they glean           ily by offering to help family      neighbor for a specified time.
                    elderly or shut-in person           from their closets (with par-       members with tasks before           Make a duty roster.
                    on a regular basis. Look for        ents’ permission) or extra          being asked.
                    opportunities to serve friends      material the families have.
                    or family members who are           Donate the quilt to a local
                    having a tough time.                shelter.

Games and Sports    Bowling and golf are good           Play some problem-solving           Play croquet, which is a good       Have each boy bring a certain
                    games that bring the impor-         games. Have boys create             game that requires respect for      piece of equipment to play
                    tance of positive attitude to       their own game, or choose a         other players—waiting to take       a game (bat, ball, glove for
                    mind. Design a game where           pioneer-style game or a game        turns, conducting oneself in a      baseball).
                    boys have to turn “don’ts” and      from another culture.               courteous manner, etc.
                    ”can’ts” into “do’s” and “can’s”.
                    Always have a good attitude,
                    whether you win or lose.

   Ceremonies       Discuss the positive attitude       Point out the resourcefulness       In a ceremony, show respect         Do a den ceremony where
                    shown by the recipient of a         of a boy in accomplishing           for parents or leaders who          each boy is responsible to
                    public recognition, especially      advancement. Talk about pre-        helped teach the skills to meet     act or say his part. Adults
                    when it is for advancement.         historic people and how they        requirements for the award.         model responsibility by having
                                                        made tools from what they                                               advancement.
                                                        found. Note that we all must
                                                        work with what we have.

   Campfires        Use a story about positive          Have boys build an “indoor          Involve boys in planning            Boys could help set up and
                    attitude. Talk about why we         campfire” for those times when      appropriate activities for a        clean up the campfire area,
                    applaud and join in when oth-       they want a campfire setting        campfire. Discuss the impor-        making sure the fire is com-
                    ers are performing. Discuss         but cannot be outdoors.             tance of respecting others’         pletely out.
                    why it’s important not to grum-                                         feelings while having fun: no
                    ble or complain about your                                              put-downs or negative cheers.
                    part in a skit or ceremony.

    Den Trips       Visit with someone who has          Visit a recycling center. Visit a   Visit a local courthouse.           Visit a local bank or credit
                    overcome an adverse situation       quilt shop and talk about the       Talk about the jury system          union and talk about how
                    through positive attitudes.         history of quilts—how early         in America and how our law          these institutions are respon-
                    Thank others who show a             Americans used everything           respects each citizen by pre-       sible for safeguarding other
                    positive attitude when they         they had. Discuss how early         suming innocence until guilt is     people’s money.
                    have to wait in line, or take       Americans had to raise and          proven. Note that it is not that
                    second choice on something.         grow all of their own food.         way in all countries. Conduct
                                                                                            a mock trial during the visit or
                                                                                            in the den.

Pack Overnighter    Present boys with obstacles         Have an indoor overnighter—         Involve boys in setting rules       Have boys help plan one of
                    to overcome in order for            playing board games, cards,         for overnighter (quiet hours,       the overnighter activities. Be
                    overnighter to happen (can’t        or games the boys have made         duty roster, who eats first).       sure to discuss afterwards
                    get campground we wanted;           themselves.                         Discuss how many of these           how success is related to
                    rain forecast for that weekend;                                         relate to respect for others.       responsible behavior.
                    not enough tents or sleeping
                    bags, etc.). Guide them to
                    a resolution, emphasizing a
                    positive attitude.
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