Cub Scouts, the youngest members of the Boy Scouts, follow a scouting program based on activities that encourage fitness, good citizenship and education. Cub Scouts range in age from 7 to 10 years old and their membership focuses on learning by doing. Activities are hands-on, both to encourage understanding and to hold the attention span of these young boys. Treasure hunt activities provide adventure and excitement, while teaching important scouting skills.
Young Scouts need to hone their map reading skills for later Scouting adventures. Making a treasure map is an ideal way to put cartography skills to practice and fully understand the purpose of maps. The Scoutmaster should begin the activity by reviewing a book on treasure maps and buried treasure, including map samples for the Cub Scouts to study. Teams of Scouts can then hide boxes that contain treasure, such as small toys or tools, in a park or campsite location. The team should work together to survey the area and draw a map that points to the location of the treasure box. Maps should include drawings of landmarks, such as large trees or buildings. The treasure location should be marked with an X. Teams can exchange maps to locate hidden treasures.
Nature Treasure Hunt
Children enjoy scavenger hunts and searching for treasure, so a nature scavenger hunt makes a fun activity for Cub Scouts. Teams of Scouts receive lists of different treasure characteristics, such as "something shiny" or "something buried." Using quick-developing film and cameras, the scout groups can enjoy a guided nature walk while searching for and photographing items that match the treasure descriptions. "Something shiny" could be flecks of mica on a boulder. "Something buried" could be partially visible tree roots. Each team will find different items based on their perception of natural treasures. This nature treasure hunt activity reinforces appreciation for the beauty of nature and teaches children to respect their natural surroundings by not disturbing them or removing items from them.
Searching for buried treasure requires Scouts to follow directions carefully because the treasure is not visible at ground level. Groups of six Cub Scouts each receive a treasure map and two shovels. A treasure chest has been buried in advance by the Scoutmaster, either in sand at a beach or in a large dirt area. The Scouts must choose two map readers, two diggers and two movers. When the treasure location is pointed out by the readers, the diggers shovel away the sand to reveal the chest. The movers carry it back to their base. This search activity encourages teamwork and delegation of responsibility.