Our club does a lot of outreach events for youth groups of many types.  Contact us about observing or working on requirements for Scout recognitions and awards. We have a Scouting coordinator with deep experience working with Scouts. Your Scout group is always welcome to come to our star parties.  Sometimes our volunteers are able to help you with events at other times and places. We can help you with Scout requirements and recognitions, or we can help you prepare a program for your unique interests. We will also be happy to talk with you about preparing a program for other youth groups.  Here are some resources for astronomy with Scouts:

Astronomy with Boy Scouts

This reference is for amateur astronomers who wish to help Boy Scout groups. Most of this material assumes you have some knowledge of astronomy. Boy Scout leaders, please see my notes for Boy Scout leaders. I intend for non-experts to use these pages as a reference. I welcome comments and feedback.

Boy Scouts are boys 11 to 18 years old. Their program offers opportunities for learning astronomy and doing astronomy activities:

  • First Class requirement #1: “Demonstrate how to find directions during the day and at night without using a compass.” The techniques for both day and night use astronomical knowledge.
  • The Astronomy merit badge: Working on this badge gives a boy a good introduction to the hobby. It requires multiple observing sessions.

Resources:

Astronomy with Cub Scouts

This section is notes about helping Cub Scout groups complete awards that are specific to that organization.

This reference is for amateur astronomers who wish to help Cub Scout groups. Most of this material assumes you have some knowledge of astronomy. Cub Scout leaders, please see my notes for Cub Scout leaders. I welcome comments and feedback.

Cub Scouts are boys 6 to 10 years old. Their program offers three opportunities for learning astronomy and earning advancements for doing astronomy activities. This page contains notes and an observing plan to help present information at a Cub Scout event that will help the boys earn these three recognitions :

  • The Astronomy academic belt loop, earned by Cubs at all ages for completing three introductory requirements in astronomy
  • The Astronomy academic pin, earned by Cubs at all ages for additional work more advanced than the work already done for the Astronomy belt loop
  • The Bear Space electives, earned by Cubs in the year they complete the Bear rank (generally 8 years old)

In addition, the Astronomy belt loop may be used to satisfy one of the requirements of the Scientist activity badge, which is part of the program for the oldest Cub Scouts, the Webelos rank. Although the Astronomy belt loop is available to all Cub Scouts, I often recommend pitching it more to the older boys. The Astronomy belt loop requires learning a good amount of book knowledge about astronomy. In my experience, younger boys don’t stick with it unless they have a high interest in astronomy or a leader who spends a lot of time working through the list of terms to learn.

Astronomy with Girl Scouts

This section notes are about helping Girl Scouts complete Astronomy activities.

This reference is for amateur astronomers who wish to help Girl Scout groups. Most of this material assumes you have some knowledge of astronomy. I intend for non-experts to use these pages as a reference. I welcome comments and feedback.

We offer programs to complete the astronomy-related Girl Scout badges at each age level, to use astronomy as part of the newer Girl Scout Journeys, and to teach Girl Scout leaders to do astronomy with their own troops. Girl Scout troops are always welcome to attend Rappahannock Astronomy Club star parties.  If you are a Girl Scout leader who would like to tailor an astronomy program to your current needs, I will be happy to help you put together something that fits.

The information I maintain about working with Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts contains lots of astronomy topics that are fun and helpful with Girl Scouts and other groups.

About the author.