Here is an activity that will prove quite a challenge to the majority of Cubs, and yet give them a skill that could prove most useful and beneficial to them later in life. Although vegetables are often expensive to buy, they are relatively easy to grow, and Cubs could easily plant, care for and reap a useful crop within a growing season.
If you are not sure on the correct procedure for preparing the soil, planting etc. call in someone who can train your Cubs for this activity. As growing things does take time and patience, your role will be one of continuous encouragement while the garden grows.
Do ensure that the Cubs commence this activity at the start of the growing season, and that they plant the correct seeds for the size of their garden and the time of year. Most seed packets give lots of tips about planting the crop, so you Cubs could be guided by this. The parents of your Cubs will certainly appreciate what their children are doing, and some Cubs who have sufficient room to plan a fairly large crop, could even earn money to buy more seeds by selling some of their produce to relations or friends.
However, if a Cub lives in a flat or a home where there is no place for a garden, they can successfully plant herbs or a few vegetables in containers. Again, they have to be sure of the correct soil and watering for these plants, but they too will reap crops and learn a skill that will be very useful later in life.
To introduce Cubs to gardening, here are some fun activities you could do with the whole pack.
- Scoop out the top of a potato and in the space plant some mustard and watercress. When this starts to grow it will look like hair on a head.
- If you have sufficient space at your Pack meeting place and have the necessary permission, you could set up and care for a Pack vegetable garden.
- Cardboard egg cartons make wonderful seed starters as you can plant the egg cartons directly in the garden once the plants have grown a little.
- Planting sunflowers: let the Cubs grow the huge Russian Mammoth sunflowers. They'll get leaves as big as their heads! When the plants begin to die, they can hang the seed heads out as natural bird feeders.
From the Pack Scouter's Working Kit