Den Activities

  1. Take a treasure hunt for rocks and minerals.
  2. Start a collection of geologic materials used in home construction. Make a display for pack meeting.
  3. Visit a geology exhibit, department, museum or collection.
  4. Tour a quarry, mine or gravel pit. Look for fossils.
    ( Do NOT go alone to any of these places. Get permission from the owner. Try to get someone who is familiar with the quarry, mine, or gravel pit to take you. Be sure to follow safety precautions)
  5. Visit an industry that uses geological materials
  6. Visit and watch the seismograph for earthquake activities
  7. Make a mineral hardness kit
  8. Have a demonstration of a rock tumbler
  9. Make a buckskin nugget pouch to carry rocks. This will complete a Craftsman requirement
  10. Have a contractor come to talk to boys about minerals used in home building such as slate, limestone, brick marble, cement, and gypsum
  11. Visit a jeweler’s shop.


Let’s Go Rock Collecting

Before going on your field trip, be sure and turn in your tour permit and get permission slips from the parents. You will need to be aware of the clothing you wear. You will need to bring lunch, water, collecting bag, notebook labels, tools, goggles and face shields and a FIRST AID KIT.

Clothes: Wear old comfortable clothes you would wear hiking. Ankle high hiking shoes will help prevent bruises from contact with sharp stones. Collecting bag: A knapsack type collecting bag is ideal. Use one with pockets to hold maps, notebooks, small tools and labels. Use lunch-size brown bags to hold specimens. Take along newspaper to wrap the rocks in first.

Field notebooks and labels:

As you collect each specimen, give it a number. Put the labels on the rock before you wrap it up. In a small pocket notebook list the following information:





Later at home you can enter the information in your permanent record.


  1. Hammers: A geologist hammer weighing 1-2 pounds is a practical hammer to take along on your expedition.
  2. Chisels: 1 or more steel chisels are essential collecting tools. Do NOT use wood working chisels, at they become dull and nicked quickly.
  3. Magnifiers: A good hand lens or pocket magnifier will help you identify many characteristics of rocks.
  4. Compass: A good compass is an invaluable tool. Learn how to use one to keep from getting lost.
  5. Goggles & Face Shields: These are important pieces of safety equipment to use while hammering. Your eyes will thank you.

First Aid Kit :

Any trip away from home requires a first aid kit. Keep one handy.


  1. Ask for permission before going on private property.
  2. Don’t meddle with tools, machinery or animals.
  3. Leave gates as you found them.
  4. Stay on roads, don’t walk or drive over growing crops.
  5. Take only what you will use for yourself, leave something for others after you. Be courteous and considerate of the rights of others, and leave things as you found them as much as possible.

Rock Formation

Stalagmites are mineral formations on the floor of a cave.
2 cups water, 1/2 cup Epsom salts, heavy cord, tray or board


  1. Into a cup of water stir 1/2 cup of Epsom salts
  2. After all of the salt is dissolved, pour 1/2 of the solution into a second cup
  3. Set the 2 cups about 4-5 inches apart on a tray or a board
  4. Attach a piece of heavy cord into the solution in one cup. (Be sure this is cord that will absorb liquid. A piece of cloth twisted until it is rope -like will also work.)
  5. Attach the other end into the second cup. Let the cord loop slightly in the middle.
  6. In a short time the liquid should begin to drip. Be sure that it drips very slowly. Soon you should see a stalagmite.

Make Your Own Fossils

To make your own fossils, you need a small cardboard box, clay, plaster, and a shell.

  1. Cover the bottom of the cardboard box with modeling clay to a depth of several inches. The clay represents the soft mud found on the ancient sea floor.
  2. Press the shell firmly into the clay.
  3. Lift out the shell carefully so a clear imprint remains. You have now produced a mold.
  4. Mix a small amount of plaster with cold water in a paper cup. Stir with a wood stick or spoon.
  5. When plaster is consistency of thick cream, fill the mold.
  6. After the plaster is thoroughly hardened, carefully remove it from the mold. You now have a cast of the original shell.
  7. Now compare the original shell with the plaster cast. Notice that even some of the more delicate markings on the shell have been preserved in the plaster. The paleontologists use this same technique in reconstructing the shells of long dead animals. In addition, casts are useful in working with fossil footprints. When a track is filled with plaster, the resulting case will usually show clearly the size and shape of the foot of the animal, which made the track. From this information the paleontologist can often tell what animal left the footprint.


Make A Volcano


12 inch-square wood for base

Aluminum foil

Baking Soda


Red food color

Newspaper and wallpaper paste

  1. Make a cone-shaped base for papier-mâché by sticking pieces of coat hanger in wood base diagonally. Fill in under wires with wadded aluminum foil.
  2. Cover cone with papier-mâché. Leave an opening in top where jar lid can be set. Let dry.
  3. Paint with tempera or acrylic paint.
  4. Set jar lid upside down in top of volcano.
  5. To make volcano erupt, place 1 teaspoon of baking soda in the jar lid.  Add ¼ cup vinegar mixed with a little red food coloring and watch the action.  This is safe to use indoors.

Make Sandstone


Water, Salt, Nail, a small saucepan, spoon, fine sand (about one quart), a plastic or cardboard container, aluminum food container.

Pour one cup of water into a small saucepan and heat it on the stove over medium heat.  As the water heats, add the salt and mix well.  Continue adding salt and mixing it well until no more will dissolve in the water.  Remove the pan from the heat.  Place the sand in a deep, plastic container that is large enough for mixing.  Pour the salt solution into the sand and mix thoroughly.  The sand should be completely moistened.

Punch tiny holes into the bottom of an aluminum food container with a nail.  Press the sand and salt mixture into the container and pour away any excess water.  Keep this experiment in a warm, dry spot for several days.  After the sand has dried out, lift the chuck of material from the container and examine it.  You have just made sandstone.

The sandstone just made was created in much the same way that nature makes it. The salt clings to the particles of the sand and holds them together.  If you find sandstone in nature, you will find it is made of several layers.  This occurs when one sandy sediment is laid on top of another.  These layers are pressed together over time to make the rock you see today.

The Earth Bowl

The Earth Bowl is a three dimensional, edible representation of the earth in cross section.  (If time allows, have scouts participate in measuring the ingredients and constructing the Bowl.)


4 oz. pkg. raspberry gelatin dessert

4 oz. pkg. instant vanilla pudding

8 oz. pkg. black cherry gelatin dessert

4 cups boiling water (can be boiled and kept hot in thermos)

4 cups cold water

3 mixing bowls

12 graham crackers

1/2 cup melted margarine

1/4 cup granulated sugar

10" diameter clear glass bowl

(Small paper cups and spoons for after discussion)


Make the gelatin desserts in separate bowls and according to the directions on the side of the box.  Put in refrigerator to set.  Have the Scouts crush the graham crackers into fine crumbs.  This can be done by putting the crackers in a zip-lock bag and having the Webelos pound the bag until the crackers are in very fine crumbs.

Mix the graham cracker crumbs with the melted margarine and granulated sugar. Press the mixture on the bottom and along the sides of the glass bowl to form a crust.  Set aside.

After two hours the gelatin will set. Spoon the black cherry into the graham cracker crust.  Form it so that there is about a five inch pocket in the middle.

Next, spoon in the lemon gelatin, leaving a two inch hole.  Into this center, spoon the raspberry gelatin.

Allow time for each Scout to take a look at the Earth Bowl and discuss its layers. Then dig in!

Geologist Quiz

True or False
  1. The principal ore of the metal lead is galena. (T)
  2. Overflowing lava always makes mountains. (F)
  3. wood is an unusual type of fossil. (T)
  4. A knife blade can easily scratch feldspar. (F)
  5. Sandstone is igneous rock made of cold magma. (F)
  6. Scientists record earthquakes on a quakograph. (F)