The Bugs Try-it is part of the “Legacy” badge set introduced in 2011. It replaces the retired Animals Try it.

Bugs help Girl Scout Brownies in lots of cool ways. Explore the world of bugs and learn more about these little creatures that do so much.

When a Girl Scout Brownie has earned this badge, she will know all about bugs.

Activity #1: Draw a Bug Poster

Before you can draw a poster of a bug, you’ll need to learn a little about them. The best source of information in your community depends on where you live. If you live near a university or college, contact a professor in the science departments—you might find a bug or insect expert or enthusiast. The University of Missouri Extension also offers a lot of information about insects for homeowners. Find your local office on its website and ask if they have an entomologist (someone who studies insects) on staff who can visit with your troop. In the St. Louis area, the St. Louis Zoo and Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House (both are Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri program partners) have experts on staff and run programs focused on bugs and insects.

Learn the difference between a bug and an insect. Using a small notepad or some paper, make a bug journal. You can use your bug journal to take notes, draw pictures and make observations while earning this badge. Pick a bug or insect and make an informational poster, including a hand- drawn picture of the bug or insect; where it lives; how long it lives; what it eats; what is good about it/what it not so good; and who its enemies are.

Activity #2: Try a Bug Craft

Learn about the life cycle of a butterfly by making a life cycle poster. A butterfly has four main stages of life, and the process between each stage is called metamorphosis. During each stage, the butterfly looks completely different. First, the butterfly lays eggs. Second, a caterpillar hatches from the eggs. Next, the caterpillar becomes a chrysalis (pupa). Finally, an adult butterfly emerges from the chrysalis.

Supplies: Construction paper (one piece/girl) Copies of attached template Safety scissors Crayons Glue sticks

Each girl should get a copy of the template on the next page and a piece of construction paper. Color in the templates. Then cut out each item on the page. Arrange the items on one page in the order of the life cycle, and glue the pieces down.

Activity #3: See Bugs in Action

Insects are busy, and we don’t always see them in action. This step is easy to do, especially during warmer times of the year. Look for three different insects. This could be an ant carrying food, a slug or snail moving across the patio, a bee buzzing from flower to flower or an earthworm burrowing into the ground. Look all around and be observant to find the insects. Use a magnifying glass to study smaller creatures. Use caution if you’re observing stinging insects, and never harm living creatures. Record your observations in your bug journal. After the activity, discuss what you think your insects were doing and why they were acting that way.

Activity #4: Explore Bug Homes

Insects live in interesting places. Brainstorm the kinds of homes bugs create or live in (wasp nest, bee hive, spider web, cocoon, etc.) Discuss what types of bugs you’ve seen around your homes. If you’re completing this badge during more than one meeting, find a spider and its web. Team up with an adult to watch it during different times of the day. In your bug journal, record what the spider is doing at that time, if the web looks any different, is there food stuck to the web, etc. Do not disturb the web or spider.

If you’re completing this step at a meeting, use craft supplies to make a model of a bug house of your choosing.

Activity #5: Take a Bug Field Trip

Get up close and personal with your insect friends! The simplest way to do this step is to go on a walk around the neighborhood. How many kinds of bugs can you find along the way? Bring your bug journals and magnifying glasses. Another option for a field trip is to visit a local farm, zoo or bug museum. If you go to a farm, you might see different bugs than in your neighborhoods. Ask the farmer about bugs that are helpful to their crops and animals, and which ones are not. If you visit a zoo or museum, check out their different bug collections. How do they group the bugs? What is the largest insect you can see? Are there any bugs you are allowed to touch?

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