We welcome scouting groups of any age, and are always excited to host a group at the Preserve. Let our experienced naturalists teach your troop about conservation of Georgia’s native species.
Tours and programs have a $75.00 minimum and are $8-$10 per scout once the minimum is met. We currently offer three program options: a 60-minute Nature Hike, a 90-minute Themed Program and a 90-minute to 2-hour Badge Program. Additionally, all programs qualify for a Blue Heron Nature Preserve Patch. The Preserve also has ample opportunities for Eagle Scouts and Bronze, Silver and Gold Award projects. Continue reading for program descriptions. To schedule a program or find out more about large group discounts and scholarship availability, please fill out our program inquiry form here.
When can I schedule a program?
- Programs are available any day or early evening of the week, depending on previous scheduling.
Can I schedule more than one program in one day?
- Yes, just plan on a half hour break between each program, for lunch or snack.
Will my program include time for our troop meeting?
- Blue Heron Nature Preserve is a City of Atlanta Public Park and our outdoor space is open from dawn to dusk. You are welcome to arrive early or stay after the program for your meeting outdoors.
Can parents and siblings attend the program?
- Parents and siblings are welcome to join us. However, the $8.00-$10.00 fee per scout also applies to siblings. Parents and Scout leaders are free.
Are adult leaders required to stay with the group?
- We must have an adult chaperone for every group. For groups of 15 or more children, we ask that at least 2 adult chaperones be present.
We offer three different styles of programs for both Girl and Boy Scouts, and within each of those program types are many options for topics or themes. The three main styles are: Nature Walks, Themed Programs and Badge Programs.
Nature Hike for Girl and Boy Scouts
Program Length: 60 minutes
Program Fee: $75.00 minimum; $8 per scout for groups 10 or more.
Program Description: Join a Blue Heron Naturalist for a guided nature hike around the Preserve. We will explore our woods, creek and meadows as we learn to identify the native plants and animals that inhabit the Preserve.
Themed Programs for Girl and Boy Scouts
Program Length: 90 minutes
Program Fee: $75.00 minimum; $10 per scout for groups of 8 or more.
Program Description: Explore any aspect of nature and the outdoors that interests your group. Our themed program options range from fort building to birding, and offer scouts the opportunity to take an in-depth look at a specific subject. Every program includes a tour of the Preserve and an art activity. While not geared towards any specific badges, these programs do cover many of the requirements for multiple badges. (link to school programs page)
Badge Programs for Girl and Boy Scouts
Program Length: 90 minutes to 2 hours
Program Fee: $75.00 minimum. $10-$12 per scout once minimum has been met.
Program Description: Badge programs at BHNP are designed to meet most or all the requirements of your Girl or Boy Scout badge, pin, loop and other awards related to the outdoors and the environment. Each program includes time outdoors exploring the Blue Heron Nature Preserve, so please come prepared with outdoor clothing and shoes, insect repellant and a reusable water bottle. Don’t see what you are looking for? Contact Amy with the requirements your group is looking to complete, and we will design a program for you! Continue reading to explore the options we offer.
Girl Scout Badge Programs
Letterboxer – The ultimate treasure hunt! You and your sisters work together to decipher clues to find hidden letter boxes, and collect stamps in your own log book, then create your own Letterboxer adventure!
Hiker – Get ready to get out in the great outdoors and make your hike the greatest experience ever! Create your own GORP to take along!
Bugs – Go on a buggy hike to find out about the creepie crawlies out in the forest and in the gardens. Explore which ones are beneficial or pesky, and tickle your taste buds with a little honey!
Senses – Use your senses, girl! We will explore the forest with our ears, eyes, taste buds and noses, and even find a mystery tree with our fingers!
Gardener – As we explore the BHNP, we’ll find out how many ways there are to create gardens. Let’s get a little dirty exploring soils and what plants need to grow up healthy, then we’ll plant seeds to grow at home.
Flowers – A flower is just a flower, right? No way! There’s more to a flower than just its good looks. Dissect a flower to see how it works, and find out how flowers can be helpful to you. We’ll make newspaper flower pots to start your own flower garden.
Animal Habitats – Did you ever wonder who lives in your backyard? Let’s explore the forest and Nancy creek, discovering where the wild animals go, what they need and where they hide their babies. Then we’ll make our own wild animal nest using materials we find in the forest!
Outdoor Art Explorer– Our art & environmental educator will lead your troop in an engaging five-step process that puts nature at your fingertips and art in your heart. We’ll design projects in a variety of mediums, make music outside, and tap into our creative voices through favorite animals, inspiring original works and maybe even a life-long love of art and nature.
Boy Scout Badge Programs
Tigers in the Wild – Tigers learn what to take along on a hike to make it a fun and safe adventure. We will discover the principals of Leave No Trace and the Outdoor Code as we search for plants and signs of animals in the forest. Let’s wrap up our day with a Leave No Trace skit!
Meets requirements 1,2,3,4,6 &7.
Backyard Jungle – While we are on a hiking adventure we’ll bird watch, plant watch and animal watch! When we stop for a 1-foot hike, we can search for living things right under our feet. We’ll finish up by making cool bird feeders to hang at home.
Meets requirements 1,2,4,5.
Paws on the Path – Let’s buddy-up and explore BHNP on a one-mile hike! We’ll prepare first by making sure we know the six essentials of safe hiking. Along the way, we will show everybody that we know how to practice the Outdoor Code and Leave No Trace. What do you think we will find on our adventure?
-We will not cover the “map of where you live” portion of this program.
-Please come prepared to lead your Wolves in reciting the Outdoor Code.
Fur, Feathers, Ferns – Are you ready for a one mile hike? Let’s search for signs of wildlife from afar and close-up as we explore even the tiniest of them all, and find out how nature recycles!
Meets requirements 1,3-7.
-Bears will plant seeds in compostable pots for you to use in creating your own garden.
-Please prepare requirement #2 ahead of time, so we may share on our hike.
Webelo /Arrow of Light Adventure
Into the Wild – As we hike through the forest and wetlands of BHNP, we will find out how the plants and animals survive there and why they are there. We’ll search for birds and find out how far and wide they can travel to survive in their world. Come prepared to get wet (weather permitting), and get down into beautiful Nancy Creek while we share the importance of wetlands.
Meets requirements 4-9, part of 3.
Into the Woods – Did you know that there are at least ten reasons to hug a tree? There are so many kinds of trees and each one is important in so many ways! Let’s go on a tree walk, and explore very cool facts about Georgia’s trees. Do you know what the oldest living thing on earth is?
Meets requirements 1-4.
Leaders: Please complete requirement #5 independently. You can also prepare for our adventure by asking your scouts to look around their homes for items that are made from wood.
Thinking about Blue Heron for your Eagle Scout Project or other Scout Projects? We have available sites for:
- Animal Habitats
- Observation Platforms
- Habitat Gardening
- Arbor Walks
Expectations for scouts:
- The scout will contact Linda Reed, email@example.com, to present his project idea for acceptance, feasibility and feedback.
- The scout will present a draft proposal to Ms. Reed before taking it through the scout approval process. This can be a rough email description of the work scope and proposed timeline. Please note: the more thorough and professional the proposal, the better chance of acceptance. Once approved by Ms. Reed, the scout will continue communications with Brooke Vacovsky, firstname.lastname@example.org, who will help with details and logistics of the project.
- The scout will schedule any needed appointments with either Ms. Reed or Miss Vacovsky (office hours: 9 am - 5 pm). Email is the best communication method between visits. Once approved, work on the project may take place after office hours or on weekends.
- The scout will commit to a start date to begin the project. If the start date is not honored, the project will be available for another scout to pursue.
- The scout will provide before and after photos to the Preserve.
- The scout is responsible for obtaining all materials for the project.
Bronze, Silver and Gold Girl Scout Awards
We welcome Girl Scouts to the Preserve to complete any of their highest awards. We also welcome Girl Scout troops to the Preserve for individual or group programs. Contact Amy, our Education Director, to discuss girl scout projects and educational programs: email@example.com.
Local Girl Scout Clara completed her Silver Award with us at our Doggie Daze event, and it was a hit! She set up a dog wash for all the dogs coming back from hikes on the trails or in the creek, and people were very appreciative. Clara said “I really loved getting to participate in this neat community event! Meeting dogs of all shapes and sizes and their owners was a highlight for me.”
Scouting Badges Available
We have beautiful badges to order and purchase for all scouts. This badge fills the requirement of a visit to a nature preserve. Please contact Amy, our Education Director, to pre-order: firstname.lastname@example.org.