The USGS Visitors Center at the National Center in Reston, Virginia
Attention: Scout Leaders
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) offers assistance to scouts and scout leaders on earning the geology badge. Through our tour program at the National Center, we offer a number of activities to help scouts with the numerous requirements for this badge. We are however, finding that more groups are arriving without previous knowledge of what requirements are necessary.
It is imperative for scout leaders and parents to review the requirements for the badge prior to arrival. A number of areas need to be reviewed, such as the definitions of igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks. In addition, an explanation of how mountains are formed and how to use the hardness scale for identifying rocks and minerals is also beneficial. All of this information is found in the Boy Scout manual.
The Visitors Center is here to reinforce the understanding of rocks and minerals in everyday life. One of the mechanisms we use is a movie entitled “Every Stone Has A Story.” This movie helps children understand the importance of rocks and minerals. It will reinforce much of what they need to know and understand. It is important for the children to be informed prior to attending the tour because the information is quite overwhelming.
We would like to suggest that you read, review, and discuss the pertinent material in the scout’s manual before arriving. Please note that we are not allowed to sign off on the different requirements for their badge, but are willing to help the scouts obtain as much information as possible within the time that is given.
Thank you for your cooperation in this matter.