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Ranger Emblems

Ecology
Requirement #1 - Learning About Ecology To assist in helping the Rangers learn the different terms connected with ecology have the Rangers compete in looking up the terms in dictionaries. Have the Rangers bring their own dictionaries from home or borrow dictionaries from other adults so that there is one dictionary for each boy. Call out the terms in random order having the Rangers race to see whom the first will be to find that term. If the boy can match the term to the proper definition, he is awarded a point. This can be done individually or by dividing the boys into two different teams. Make sure that the team or individual that wins is rewarded with some sort of prize for their efforts. To reinforce the knowledge of the terms a variation of "Steal the Bacon" game could be used: Put all of the ecology terms on index cards. Lay the index cards on the floor at the center of the room. Line the Rangers up at each side of the room. Assign numbers to the boys. Read a definition and then call out a number. The Rangers with that number will go to the middle of the room and grab the term that matched the definition. If the right term is grabbed and returned safely to the side a point is awarded. Requirement #2 - The Gift of Observation Going on a hike is not always possible. The following information will assist the Rangers in realizing how many different organisms exists in a small section of ground. Under a square-yard of pasture in Denmark, for instance, the soil is inhabited by roughly 50,000 small earthworms and their relatives, 50,000 insects and mites, and nearly 12 million roundworms. And that tally is only the beginning. The number of soil animals is tiny compared to the number of soil microorganisms: a pinch of fertile soil may contain over 30,000 protozoa, 50,000 algae, 400,000 fungi, and billions of individual bacteria. There is a large number of web pages on the Internet concerning ecology groups. If a hike is not possible, a virtual hike might be the next best thing. There are ecology groups dealing with many different animal species as well as natural resources. Use your favorite search engine and look for "Ecology." The search will turn up more information than you will have time to offer to the Rangers. If you do not have access to a computer, most local libraries now provide limited Internet access.

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Requirement #3 - The Effects of Pollution If the Rangers are struggling to come up with six different causes of pollution, have them think about what they did from the start of the day, the products they used and where the products came from. Most people use many products that are manufactured at factories that create pollution. The Rangers most likely traveled during the day in motor vehicle causing pollution. Paper trash is usually a very obvious item of pollution that the Rangers would see everyday. It might be helpful for the Rangers to understand the efforts that local industries are making to try and prevent pollution. Contact a local industry and see if they would be willing to speak to the boys about the efforts that are being made to limit pollution. Industries have various plans to cut down on paper usage, recycling of paper products, efforts to contain hazardous materials and other anti pollution efforts. Sharing these efforts with the Rangers will help them in understanding the many different pollutions that are effecting the environment today. Requirement #4 - The "Five Ecology R's" The American Heritage Dictionary defines biodegradable as: Capable of being decomposed by natural biological processes. While going on the visit to a local supermarket or grocery store have the Rangers choose before hand where in the store that they would find the most biodegradable items. Have the boys commit to a certain isle that they think the most would be. After the search, see which Rangers knew before hand where to find the biodegradable items. (Note: Often the contents are biodegradable, but the packaging is not. Even the rubber band around celery or the plastic bag for the potatoes brings into use products that are non-biodegradable.) Requirement #5 - Ecology Service Projects With a small group of Rangers doing a project might seem like an overwhelming task, but it does not have to be. Look into existing ecology groups and the projects that they are currently working on. The groups are often looking for volunteers that can help with short term projects. Other resources could be service clubs and having the Rangers assist another service club with their project.

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Devotional - Week 1 Read Psalm 24:1-2. A couple of years ago a dad and son found a gathering place for monarch butterflies in a Grand Rapids cemetery. They could hardly believe their eyes when they came upon hundreds and hundreds of them clinging to tree limbs several feet above the cemetery markers. When they went back a few days later, they were gone. They have reason to believe that the flock eventually ended up in a remote mountain site in central Mexico. Scientists have recently found 16 of these sites, ranging from 1 to 10 acres each, within a 100mile radius where millions upon millions of butterflies from North America spend the winter. No one knows how butterflies find their way to these tiny plots of land. Each new generation that migrates has never been there before. Something programmed into their tiny bodies directs them to a place they have never seen, but which they somehow know they must find. These butterflies are one more example of God's creatures being drawn along by the mind of their Creator. As the creator of the world, God also rules over the earth. All animals and people, all that live on the earth are under God's rule. God has created the world with living things interacting with each other and their environment. God has also created each of us as individuals. We are not just another creature that is part of an ecosystem, but individuals who can have a relationship with God, the creator of the world. Just as the monarch butterflies have a direction by their Creator, we are created with the inner desire to have a relationship with God. This can happen through Jesus Christ. Devotional - Week 2 Read Acts 17:24-27. God has created the world and everything in it, He is the Lord of heaven and earth. Entomologists estimate that more than one and a half million different kinds of insects exist in the world a diversity which exceeds all other living things put together. The astounding capabilities of some of these little bugs should convince anyone with an open mind that a great, allwise Creator brought them into being. God gives all men life and breath and everything else. When we think about God and his wonderful creation, it is sometimes hard to think that God could create everything that exists in this great world. We can realize that God created over one and a half million different kinds of insects, yet still cares about us as an individual. We can know that God has chosen this time for us to live. He has chosen a time when 120

we know more about our earth than ever before, a time when we are faced with the challenges of being caretakers of God's creation. We know that God has placed us here, today, so that we will be able to reach out and find Him. Devotional - Week 3 Read Psalm 36:6. Scientists tell us that 16 million tons of moisture fall upon the earth every second! God who created the universe employs a remarkable process to make this occur. The molecules of water, which are 800 times heavier than air, are changed into vapor by the heat of the sun's rays(Psalm 135:7). In this state they are lighter than air and become the invisible "water balloons of the universe," which ascend to form clouds. God's wisdom affects everything he has created: heaven, mountains, and "the great deep." God, in His great wisdom, has designed systems that bring 16 million tons of moisture each second to the earth. God is the ultimate preserver of His creation. God's love is so great that He also preserves us. God cares for us, He loves us, and wants the best for us. Devotional - Week 4 Read Isaiah 45:18. The entire universe testifies to the existence of an allpowerful Creator and Sustainer. The design, complexity, and consistency of the natural world leads to only one reasonable conclusion: Behind it all is a wise and powerful God. Fred John Meldau expressed in this way: "If one footprint on the sand convinced Robinson Crusoe that a person was on his island, then by the same logic we know that a Creator made the world because He left, as it were, countless footprints of His activities." And one of those "footprints" is the starry, nighttime sky. Take some time to think about the nighttime sky. God has placed every star in its exact place. When we look into the nighttime sky we see one of the beauties of God's creation - one of His "footprints." God's presence is all around us in His creation. You and I are part of that creation and we are the part that God saw was very good. We do not have to only experience God by viewing his creation, but we can experience God by having Him as part of our lives. God created us in His image so that we can have a relationship with our creator, God. This can happen through Jesus Christ. He is the only one who makes it possible for us to have a relationship with God. God created a beautiful earth for us to enjoy, but even greater is the privilege we have of having a relationship with the creator, God Himself. 121

Ecology Word Search ADAPTATION BIODEGRADABLE COMMUNITY CONSERVATION CONSUMERS DECOMPOSERS ECOLOGY ECOSYSTEM ENVIRONMENT HABITAT OXYGEN POLLUTE PRODUCERS RECYCLE REDO REFUSE RENEW REUSE SPECIES C Y P V D G N G I Z T Y J X S T J O Y G H J D L V E L C N O I S WY O S P T A E I M G O Q D X O X J F E D S L I D G Z J S T E R V D F O U D J Y B B I I MC P D N Z L O N U L I R K H E I R WC V O N N U E A A A A T O O T I C C M R E P I P M T F Z D H C N I O D L E Q K N R T T I T F U O N G S J U N A E K N V X A L L P E O N S E X P S M U P L X U S C S E O U V G M G R I R E P T G WR Y M MR GA Z S F O E R S E V R K N O M A A E Y G Z Z N C R H O O I C R E N S D O N D J X H B S S T U O C D E I M S A E E C R A L O A D I D I N N F G D A Y C G U N E C E F T S O C WP R Q E V U T C A B F S L R R F J O A A C T T R B E K U H M M A U B T E I O E L G C A A E B R C L Y O X T L L J E T E T I K F U C U S S A Q U C R I L E L V E WQ F K N T V J K L I E MW B Z S X F E V N G L Q M O B E L Q D O D O N V P

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