Friend of the Earth Challenge

Kathy Cormier and Diane Stewart

We hope you will enjoy working on this challenge. It is meant to be fun and a way to get you and your girls outside.
The challenge is divided into four sections. To complete the challenge:
Sparks – do 1 from each section for a total of 5
Brownies – do a total of 6 with a t least 1 from each section
Guides – do a total of 7 with at least 1 from each section
Pathfinders, Rangers, Guiders – total of 8 at least 1 from each section.

This Challenge will run until December 31


1. Make a wind sock and try it out.

2. Test the air quality:
-Wrap pieces of wide masking tape (sticky side out) around cardboard rolls
from paper towels or tissue paper (recycled, of course)
-Put a hole in the top of each roll and thread a string through it.
-Hang the rolls at various spots both inside and outside.
-After a week or so, take the rolls down. Look at the masking tape through a magnifying glass. How much pollution is carried in the air you breathe?

3. Look for signs of acid rain damage on the trees in your neighbourhood:
-bare branches at the top of trees
-leaves sparse on the branches
-remaining leaves discolored
-leaves begin changing colours earlier in the fall.
Why do you think this happened?

4. Explore different weather gauges. Find out what an anemometer is and make one. Try it in different places. (Perhaps you could try it outside your meeting place and then go to the shore for an outing and try it there)

5. Investigate the “world of waste” and the impact that different methods of garbage disposal (landfills, incinerators, etc) have on our environment. Make a list of things that you could do to improve this. Pick one of these and do it for at least two weeks, noting the difference that it makes (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Composting, etc.)

6. What does “endangered spaces” mean? How does this impact on endangered species? What is being done in Nova Scotia to guarantee both quantity and quality for our wildlife? Make an “otter biography” about one endangered species to show how their habitat contributed to it becoming becom


1. Make up a game about water for another age group in Guiding to play. This should be a learning game on one or more aspects dealing with water.

2. Make a mobile showing the water cycle.

3. Investigate C.A.R.P. – what does this stand for and what are they doing for our environment?
Perhaps you could invite a speaker to talk to your Unit about their program.

4. Investigate a pond or marshland.

5. Make a toad home or a toad hole.

6. Create an oil spill. Experiment with “cleaning material” to clean up the spill.


1. Go outside for a walk – sketch or photograph wildflowers. Find out the names of the wildflowers and use the sketches or photographs to make a scrapbook to be used as a Unit resource.

2. Go for a sock walk – you need a large pair of old socks for each person. Find a weedy vacant lot, park or field. Put the socks on over your shoes. Walk around among the plants. Sit down, take off your socks, and pick the seed off them. Make piles of the different kinds of seeds and see how many you found. Imagine what would happen if your socks were a rabbit’s foot or fox’s tail. Take each seed and try to find the kind of plant it came from.

3. Investigate endangered plants. What plants are endangered in Nova Scotia and Canada. Make a picture of one of these with materials of your choice.

4. Investigate rainforests. Find out where they are found, why they are disappearing and what effect this has on us. Using an arts medium of your choice, create something about rainforests, Eg. Poster, mural, song, rap, etc.

5. Investigate flowers that attract butterflies, bees and birds. Plant some seeds and when it is warm enough, transplant outside to create your own
“butterfly/bee garden”.

6. Adopt a Tree – everyone should have her own personal tree! Keep a journal where you write what you want – what it looks like, how it sounds. You can trace a leaf or note the day it starts to bloom or when it changes colour in the fall. You can describe your tree’s residents and visitors – the insects, birds, and squirrels you see. Maybe you’d like to make a bark rubbing of your tree. You can also write down the things you think about when you sit under your tree – things you might not want to tell just anybody, except a good solid friend who won’t tell anyone else


1. Invent an animal. Small pieces of styrofoam (about 5cm. Cube), 2 boxes of Toothpicks (up to 25 players), masking tape, glue markers, plasticene, paint, and brushes. All optional items (this game can be carried out with just the first two items). 2 separate outdoor locations, such as a grassy area, a treed area, a rocky place, a hedgerow, a beach. Two teams are chosen. Each player is given a piece of styrofoam and each team is given a box of toothpick. Make an imaginary animal that is camouflaged from predators in its own habitat. Each team is taken to its habitat and boundaries are set (about 3metres x 3 metres). Explain that the players should consider the colours and shapes in the habitat. Materials in the habitat may be used, such a grass, leaves, soil, if they are not pulled off living plants. The styrofoam cube can be re-shaped, but pieces must be carefully collected for disposal, because this material is not biodegradable. After the animals are completed (they can be named!), the players hide them in the habitat. They should not be completely covered, but have a section showing. The teams change habitats, but it is much more fun to go to one habitat first, with both teams. The predator team looks for the animals, and brings them out as soon as they are found. If any are not found, the hiding team members go and find them. These are the successful camouflagers. The same is done at the other habitat. Some habitats are easier to work with than other. Some examples of camouflage can work as well in other habitats. These can be points for discussion. Think also about animals you know that are well camouflaged, and some that would find it very hard to hide. How do they protect themselves? (From Guidestuff #91)

2. Visit a zoo, Wildlife Park or a farm.

3. Read a story or watch a video about a species that is now extinct or one that
is endangered.

4. Make a bird feeder, nesting box or birdhouse that would be suitable
for the birds found in your area.

5. As a Unit, make a display of endangered species, out of materials of your choice – modeling clay, toilet paper rolls, construction paper, etc.

6. Write a poem describing an endangered species by using the letters in its
Name. See the example below:

S wift fox
W andering the blustery prairie
I n search of prey.
F or me, it shows
T that all life forms are linked. We must

F ight for your life
O or we’ll all be
X tinct


1. In the spring, go for a walk – observe nature and record what you see. Return to the same place in the autumn – how many of the things are still
there? How many new things did you see? What would you conclude?

2. Discuss with the girl’s ideas for a project for Earth Day/Environmental Week. (eg. Litter chase, Swap Saturday, Wasteless Wednesday, etc.). Do
one of the projects.

3. Discuss ways you could “conserve” around your home. As a group, make a chart of these and take them home for two weeks to see how you do.

4. In a camp setting, create an interpretive trail for others to follow.

5. Create your own rainbow legend. Many myths and legends around the world involve rainbows – many First Nations people believe rainbows are a bridge
between earth and the heavens; in the Philippines rainbows are supposed to bring happiness and children make wishes when they see one. Write you own
legend – the characters could be the sun, rain, a green frog, etc. Then, as a group, make your own rainbow! (directions included)

6. An old adage is “Leave nothing but your footprints; take nothing but pictures”. Today we often call this “no trace camping” in Guiding. During
camp period, keep a log of how you have practiced this.

7. Participate in a local or provincial environment program – eg. Frog Watch, Beach Sweep, Nova Scotia Pick-Me-Up, Yellow Fish Road.

8. Design a patch that could be used for “Friend of the Earth” challenge another year.

9. During camp period, make a useful object, using recycled materials.

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