Waco Gem and Mineral Club, Waco, Tx

Badge 8 Field Trips


8. 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 rough 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 and gather together the proper equipment. The follow activities will help you get the most out of your field trip adventure.

Activity 8.1: *Field Trip Etiquette & AFMS Code of Ethics*

Note: This activity is required to earn this badge.

Learn and demonstrate knowledge of the AFMS Code of Ethics. Make a permission release form. Demonstrate field trip etiquette on your next trip. If the trip was on private land, did you first gain permission? Did you provide the owner with a release form? Did you fill in any holes you made? If at a road cut, did you keep rocks off the roadway?

Activity 8.2: Field Trip Planning

Choose a locality for a field trip from a guidebook or 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 8.3: *Taking a Field Trip*

Note: This activity is required to earn this badge.

Take a field trip to a collecting locality. Be sure to follow proper field trip etiquette during the trip—and have fun!

Activity 8.4: Record Keeping

Start and maintain a field journal of what you did and what you found during your field trips in a composition or 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. Was there a specific layer containing the fossil or mineral deposit? If so, how could others locate and identify that layer? If you have a camera, illustrate your field journal with photos, or provide drawings that may prove useful to others wishing to visit the site.

Activity 8.5: The Indoor Field Trip

Organize a field trip to a college geology department or to a museum, calling in advance to arrange a tour not just of the exhibitions on public display, but the treasures behind the scenes.