Part 4 – Outdoor Scouting

(Outdoor Scouting)

Compass and Navigation
Discuss how a compass works and show you know the 4 principal points A compass is an extremely simple device.
A magnetic compass consists of a small, lightweight magnet balanced on a nearly frictionless pivot point. The magnet is like a needle (thus it is called that). One end of the needle is marked "N," for north, or colored (usually red) to indicate that it points toward north. Visually, that's all there is to a compass.
The reason a compass works - you can think of the Earth as having a gigantic bar magnet buried inside it. In order for the north end of the compass to point toward the North Pole, you have to assume that the buried bar magnet has its south end at the North Pole. If you think of the world this way, then you can see that the normal "opposites attract" rule of magnets would cause the north end of the compass needle to point toward the south end of the buried bar magnet. So the compass points toward the North Pole.
While mentioning magnets, quite powerful ones can be obtained free, by carefully dismantling an old (dead) computer hard drive.
On a map, north is generally at the top (or the 12 o'clock position).
The 3 other principal points are South (the South Pole) which is in the opposite direction to North, East and West. using the clock image, East would be at 3 o'clock, South at 6 o'clock, and West at the 9 o'clock position.
Make a simple compass ONE METHOD is to use a cork, a needle, and a magnet. Alternatively, a straightened paper clip and a piece of styrofoam (or foam “peanut”) will work just as well – no need to glue with these, just put the wire through the foam). Stroke the magnet along the needle or wire towards the tip several dozen times first. This will magnetise the needle.
Next, GLUE the needle onto a slice of cork and allow to dry. When placed into a bowl of water, the needle will act like a compass and point to north.
If you would like ideas for different compass types, has an alternative type with a raised disc in a box, and
Tim Hunkins shows how to hang a needle and card in a jar to make a compass.

If out in the bush, a piece of magnetised wire, laying on a leaf, in a bowl/pool of water will work just as well!

Maps and Hiking
Attend at least two outdoor outings with your Pack. To allow a cub to achieve this, there must be enough outings on in the year!
This gives you good reason to arrange a few outings each year at least. It is then up to the Cub to attend - though you can point out this requirement to encourage them to attend a few!
Dress correctly and pack your own daypack for the outings. Wear warm enough clothing and shoes suitable for walking. Take enough water and food to cover the entire journey/outing. Also take a raincoat/poncho in case of rain, and a jacket etc for warmth, even on a hot day.
Everyone should have a personal first aid kit as well.
Fire Lighting
Demonstrate the correct way to strike a match SEVERAL relay type games can be used for this –
  • run to light a candle,
  • run and light a candle then extinguish using a water pistol,
  • light candle and carry to other end and back without it going out
are three suggestions to get you started.
Outdoor Cooking
Prepare and cook for yourself a damper/twist. This can be easily incorporated into a Pack Holiday.
However, if one is not available, Have a Campfire evening at Cubs, and cook the damper or twist and on the same fire have the Silver level cubs cook sausages.(keep in mind that the damper requires HOT COALS, not lots of flame, in order to cook)


  • 2 cups of Self Raising Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup Powdered Milk
  • about a cup of water
  • (a teaspoon or 2 of sugar can be added too if you like - but I don't add it).

Mix and knead well, then take about a "handful" each, roll into a long thin "sausage" about 1-1.5 cm thick, and wrap around a long stick (about 1cm diam is best).
If it is on too thick, it will not cook through before the outside burns.
Hold or place dough over hot coals, rotating periodically until the whole outside is a golden brown.
If it is cooked properly, it should be easily slid off the stick. If it "sticks" to the stick, it needs to cook some more.
Slide off the stick and fill the hole with butter and honey (or better still, butter and golden syrup).
The above quantity of mixture will be enough for 8-10 damper twists.


© 2008 Ian Moggs - rights are given for copying and printing for personal use or use in cub-scout or similar groups.
Last updated 28th June 2010.