Earth Connection Badge

Girl Scout Council of the Southern Appalachian’s Leaders Guide For:
Earth Connections Badge

Scavenger Hike Adventures
By Kat and John LaFevre/Girl Scout Council of the Southern Appalachian’s Partners

Follow clues inScavenger Hike Adventurestrail book to complete 4 out of 6 badge requirements (#2,#4,#7 &#8). Your troop may also complete requirements #1 and #5 at the same event to completeallbadge requirements for theEarth Connections Badge. Cosby Nature Trail is the site of thisScavenger Hike Adventure. It is a heavily wooded and fairly level one-mile national park trail: find old homesites, an old wagon road, a tree ripped open by a bear and much more!!! The trail has eight fun shallow stream crossings. (Picnic area and rest rooms are adjacent to the trailhead.) Cosby Nature Trail is just past the Cosby Campground office in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Trailbook provides detailed directions. Cosby Nature Trail is like hiking in the forest in the “Wizard of Oz!!!”

Scout Leader Suggestion: Using the book as a guide, divide your troop into smaller groups and the leader(s) will read the clues as scouts search for the cultural, natural and historical treasures along the trail. It worksbestif the leader(s) reads the clues and the scouts search for the treasures. Scouts will complete certificates and point tabulation in their booksafter the hike is completed.

Ecological Succession:

Find a former farm field and pasture–now a forest (Treasure #15)
Find a dead tree trunk–now home for a big bush (Treasure #19)
Find an old wagon trail/now a narrow path in the forest (Treasure #2)

Reading the Rings:

Find a tree separated from its trunk and explore the rings

Adapt or Perish:

Find hemlock trees letting lower limbs die to support growth at the top (#6)
Find a “spider” tree whose roots grew around an old stump that has since decayed to the ground (Treasure #10)
Find trees roots growing around rocks to search for food and water

Plants and People:

Find and identify dog hobble(Treasure #9)-Cherokee Indians used as ingredient for muscle pain medicine, hemlock tree (#4)Cherokee made tea from stem tops to help with kidney problems, spice bush (Treasure #13)Pioneers used to flavor opossom and season other meats and to make a drinking tea, rhododendron(#11)-Pioneers used this plant to tell temperature (see page125 in book to learn how), wild grapevine (#7)Cherokee would burn with Oak to “bring” a warm spell of weather in the middle of a period of winter cold and Virginia creeper(#11).

Questions/Guidance???e-mail Kat & John or click on special Girl Scout page.

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