Pathfinder Pathways

Nature Nuggets

Color Hike

Use this activity to explore the variety and beauty of nature’s colors. Working with a small group is best.
Time – Forty-five minutes
Materials – Different colors (preferably pastels) of construction paper.
Directions – Give a small piece of construction paper to each camper. Make sure everyone has a different color. Have the Pathfinders each search the woods, fields or meadows until they find something that’s as near to the color of their paper possible. When they find it they should return to you but leave the discovery undisturbed. When everyone comes back, as a group go to each discovery and look at it together.

 - Youth Ministry Camping

Creation Week

This game is played by dividing everyone into six groups, each group representing one of the days of creation. At a given signal the groups go out and collect specimens that were created on the day of creation they are representing. At a given time all the groups return, and beginning with the groups representing the first day of creation, each group gets up and shows their specimens, telling as much as they can about them and how they fit into the week of creation. For such days as the fourth day of creation where one cannot bring in the sun, moon and stars; for instance the sun is responsible for the green grass. So that everyone has a part in the game, it is better if everyone in the group has a chance to speak and not just have one person be the spokesman.

Meet a Tree

This game is for groups of at least two. Pair off. Blindfold your partner and lead him through the forest to any tree that attracts you. (How far will depend on your partner’s age and ability to orientate himself. For all but very young children, a distance of 20-30 yards usually isn’t too far.)

Help the "blind" child to explore his tree and to feel its uniqueness. Specific suggestions are best. For example, if you tell children to "Feel the tree", they won’t respond with as much interest as if you say "Rub your cheek on the bark." Instead of "Explore your tree," be specific: "Is this tree still alive…Can you put your arms around it? ...Is the tree older than you are? ...Can you find plants growing on it? …Animal signs? … Lichens? … Insects?"

When your partner is finished exploring, lead him back to where you began, but take an indirect route. (This part of the game has its fun side, with the guides leading their partners over imaginary logs and through thickets that might easily have been avoided.) Now, remove the blindfold and let the child try to find the tree with his eyes open. Suddenly, as the child searches for his tree, what was a forest becomes a collection of very individual trees.

A tree can be an unforgettable experience in the child’s life.

Sharing Nature with Children
By Joseph Cornell

Pine Needle Coil Baskets - Here are instructions for making a round-bottom pine needle coil basket.