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How To Use The Homestead Homeschool Curriculum As A Scouting Alternative Or Family Enrichment Program


How The Homestead Heritage Explorers Scout Program Works

Many American families are searching for an alternative to Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts for several reasons. The removal of God from the organization, a lack of focus on outdoor skills and patriotism, as well as an increasingly liberal political tone in troop materials, often being chief among them.

Did you know Boy Scouts can now earn a badge for their video game playing prowess? I was shocked when a neighboring homesteader told me her son became very frustrated and bored during his most recent scout meeting because the troop leader brought in game consoles for the boys to play on. In an effort to keep up trending interests of modern youth, the basic building blocks of scouting is being discarded in rapid fashion by both Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts, according to tales from some former members and the list of badges that can be earned on their websites.

Tens of thousands of former Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts (and often their leader parents) have found the right fit for them in some great and growing groups like Trail Life, American Heritage Girls, Frontier Girls, and Pathfinders. 

While those new groups have a lot to offer, they are not singularly focused on teaching children to become self-reliant and prepared for homesteading life, living off grid, or to survive a disaster.

Homesteading, off grid, and prepper families often live in extremely rural or even remote, locations. Finding one of the emerging new scouting clubs to join is simply either not feasible for geographic reasons, involves participation guidelines that are either too rigid, expensive, or privacy infringing for the taste of some prepping parents.

In an effort to offer a more scouting type experience, explorers at all levels can earn badges and awards to mark their accomplishments. The HHE program incorporates adult-guided activities, tribe (that is my favorite word for a mutual assistance groups, so it is now being applied as a synonym for "troop" in the program) activities, as well.

The parents of an individual explorer will monitor badge progress and then order the badge. If extended family members, mutual assistance group members, or children from a nearby homestead all become involved in HHE and form a tribe, the self-appointed adult leader(s) can monitor badge progress and then order the awards for a nominal fee.

Both boys and girls can participate in the program together. This makes participation far easier for parents who do not have time to drive to two formal traditional scouting troop meetings each week. Is there value in the bonding that takes place and ease of learning that can occur when boys and girls learn separately? There sure can be, so work the HHE program that way anytime you see fit. The flexibility of the program is part of what makes it so unique.

If you choose to participate in the Homesteading Heritage Explorers program with other friends and family members, the meeting place and schedule is entirely up to you.

  • Everyone getting together to can the harvest? Turn it into the monthly HHE meeting. 
  • A mutual assistance group training coming up? Use the HHE program as a training series for the children and grandchildren of the members.
  • HHE was created to start teaching self-reliance skills to children as young as 2! Yes, you read that right, it is never too young to introduce homesteading skills.
  • You can download the uniform shirt design to wear if working the program as a tribe and planning on engaging in community service projects, marching in parades, etc.

    Homestead Heritage Explorers Program Levels

    Ages 2 to 4

    Ages 5 to 7

    Ages 8 to 9

    Ages 10 to 12

    Ages 13 to 15

    Ages 16 to 18

    Badges - Self-Reliance Educational Units

    Agriculture Badges

    • Growing Your Own Groceries - multiple badge opportunities
    • Get to Know the Barnyard
    • Get to Know the Garden
    • Natural Pesticides
    • Growing Your Own Apothecary
    • Making Essential Oils
    • Container Gardening
    • Vertical Gardening
    • Indoor Gardening
    • Dwarf Fruit Tree Cultivation
    • Seed Starting and Preservation
    • Edible Landscaping
    • Greenhouse Creation
    • Composting
    • Small Livestock Husbandry - multiple badge opportunities
    • Medium Livestock Husbandry - multiple badge opportunities
    • Large Livestock Husbandry - multiple badge opportunities
    • Food Preservation - multiple badge opportunities
    • Agricultural History
    • Homesteading Design - multiple badge opportunities
    • Beekeeping
    • Tree Tapping
    • Manual Tools 
    • Farm Equipment Identification
    • Pasture Cultivation
    • Natural Livestock First Aid
    • Farmer's Market Volunteer or Booth Operator - multiple badge opportunities
    Outdoor Skills and Wilderness Survival

    • Tree Identification
    • Plant Identification
    • Bird Identification
    • Insect Identification
    • Reptile Identification
    • Fish Idenfitication
    • Wild Edibles - multiple badge opportunities
    • Orienteering -multiple badge opportunities
    • Fire Starting
    • Shelter Building - multiple badge opportunities
    • Signaling
    • Tracking - multiple badge opportunities
    • Trapping - multiple badge opportunities
    • Hunting - multiple badge opportunities
    • Fishing - multiple badge opportunities
    • Firearms - multiple badge opportunities
    • Slingshots 
    • Knives - multiple badge opportunities
    • Archery - multiple badge opportunities
    • Outdoor Cooking - multiple badge opportunities
    • Camping - multiple badge opportunities
    • Boating - multiple badge opportunities
    • Horseback Riding - multiple badge opportunities
    • Rock Climbing
    • Hiking - multiple badge opportunities
    • Swimming 
    • A Profile in Frontier History
    • A Profile in Survival
    • Homesteading History
    • Compass Usage
    • Outdoor Safety
    • Leave No Trace
    • Self-Defense - multiple badge opportuniteis

    • Solar Cooking
    • Upcycling
    • Recycling
    • Engineering - multiple badge opportunities
    • Rocks and Minerals Identification
    • Seasons
    • Mechanics - multiple badge opportunities
    • Amateur Radio
    • Weather 
    • Soil Testing
    • Water Testing
    • Rocket Stove - multiple badge opportunities
    • Rainwater Collection
    • Drip Water Irrigation
    • Fire Safety
    • Natural Disasters
    • Forge Building - multiple badge opportunities
    • Alternative Energy - multiple badge opportunities
    • Nutrition and Health - multiple badge opportunities
    • Natural Resource Management - multiple badge opportunities
    • Computer - design a book or video about homesteading using a computer
    Homesteading Skills

    • Carpentry - multiple badge opportunities
    • Blacksmithing - multiple badge opportunities
    • Leathercrafting - multiple badge opportunities
    • Mechanics - multiple badge opportunities
    • Hide Tanning 
    • Sewing - multiple badge opportunities
    • Knitting - multiple badge opportunities
    • Embroidery - multiple badge opportunities
    • Quilting - multiple badge opportunities
    • Baking - multiple badge opportunities
    • Pottery 
    • Knots
    • Rope Making
    • Basketweaving
    • Butchering - multiple badge opportunities
    • Wood Identification
    • Power Tools - multiple badge opportunities
    • Welding - multiple badge opportunities
    • Plumbing - multiple badge opportunities
    • Off Grid Sanitation
    • Profile of a Homesteader 
    • Interview a Homesteader
    • First Aid - multiple badge opportunities
    • Soap Making
    • Candle Making
    • Natural Cosmetics Making
    • Natural Cleaners Making
    • Natural Body Care Products Making
    • Paper Making
    • Homemade Toys
    • Homemade Gifts
    • Building with Scavenged Materials
    Patriotism and Character

    • Adopt a Veteran 
    • Adopt a Soldier 
    • Adopt a Senior Citizen 
    • Community Service - Volunteer component
    • Community Helpers
    • Revolutionary War History
    • Civil War History
    • Local History and Heritage
    • Profile of a Veteran: Interview Component
    • Branches of the Military
    • State History and Heritage
    • Helping Farmers - Volunteer component
    • Helping Animals - Volunteer component
    • Helping Heroes: Volunteer component
    • Constitution All-Star 
    • Profile of a Founding Father
    • Profile of a President
    • Profile of a Female Patriot
    • Profile of a Military Hero
    Discovery and Physical Challenges

    • Father and Son Homesteading Project
    • Father and Daughter Homesteading Project
    • Mother and Son Homesteading Project
    • Mother and Daughter Homesteading Project
    • Grandparent (or elderly loved one) and Explorer Homesteading Project
    • Filed Trip to Homesteading, Heritage, or Patriotic Place - multiple badge opportunities
    •  Ziplining
    • ATV Riding
    • Preparedness - multiple badge opportunities
    • Obstacle Course 
    • Bright Future - career path exploration through internship or volunteering
    • Laura Ingalls Wilder Project
    • 1800s Living Project


    Self-Reliance Award
    Conservation Award 
    Survivor Award
    Settler Award
    Independence Award
    Pathfinder Award
    SOAR Award - highest honor a Homesteading Heritage Explorer can earn.

    Homestead Heritage Explorers Uniform 

    If you are going to engage in the Explorers program as a tribe and participate in community events, this is the suggested uniform. The simple uniform is designed for all age levels. If the kids have not worn out their uniform, they could pass all but their sash laden with badges, down to younger siblings.

    • Red Sash - Explorers make the sashes themselves out of a red linen fabric.
    • White short sleeve T-shirt or red long sleeve T-shirt or sweatshirt
    • Navy blue or denim shorts, shirt, skort, or pants 


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