Pikes Peak Pebble Pups

Pikes Peak Pebble Pups

Thursday, April 21, 2011

April Merit Badge: Field Trips

The ultimate hands-on activity is a field trip.  Little can replace the thrill of discovering a precious gemstone or a fossil first-hand.   Also, a lapidary project has a lot more personal value and meaning if you collected the material yourself.  But before you start down the road, you need to know the laws of your state and rules governing proper behavior for collectors and respecting private property. You also need to consider what you'll be collecting and how you'll collect it and then make plans to gather together the proper equipment. 

Pebble Pup collecting fossil insects and plants at the Florissant Fossil Quarry
 To earn your field trip merit badge, you must complete three of the following activities:

Activity 1: Trip etiquette. Learn and demonstrate the knowledge of the AFMS Code of Ethics (Google this).

Activity 2: Field trip planning. Choose a locality for a field trip from a guidebook for from suggestions by adult members in your club.  Draw a map and directions to your site. List what you expect to find, then list the tools and supplies you'll need to collect and transport your finds home.

Activity 3: Going on a filed trip. (required to earn this badge): take a filed trip to a collecting locality.  Be sure to follow proper field trip etiquette during the trip, and have fun.  The club will soon post all field trip opportunities.  There will be a Junior/Pebble Pup field trip on June 11. Look at the previous post.

Activity 4: Record keeping. start And maintain a "field journal" of what you did and what you found during your field trips in a composition of spiral-bound notebook, three-ring  binder, or other record book or on the computer. Take notes while in the field and later write up a formal report including observations about the locality and specimens.  Pinpoint where you found your rocks, minerals, or fossils, so that others could locate the spot. If you have a camera, illustrate your field journal with photos, or provide drawing that may prove useful to others wishing to visit the site.

Activity 5: The indoor field trip. Organize a field trip to a college geology department or to a museum. The Denver Museum of Nature and Science is a good place to visit, so is the museum at the Colorado School of Mines.  They have a specimen of Veatchite.

A field trip leader is assisting pebble pups with questions

A field trip leader comes well prepared.  It is good to have knee pads if you will be searching on the ground for specimens

A group of Junior and Pebble Pup members exploring the landscape for peridot

Pebble Pup searching for gems

Pebble Pup collecting peridot

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Welcome! This is the gateway to adventure and discovery

Through this blog pebble pups and junior members of the Colorado Springs Mineralogical Society can access their lessons, work on assignments and projects, and receive details about field trips in the Pikes Peak Region. This Internet program is also suitable for young people who are interested in Earth science but do not live near a rock club or gem and mineral society or for young people anywhere who want a deeper dive into these topics. The only requirement is that all participants must be members of the Colorado Springs Mineralogical Society and must fill out the CSMS membership form (under important websites) and send their registration and membership fee in. Steven Veatch is the senior instructor and will need an email from you with your name, address, phone number, and permission from your parents to participate in this program.