The Texas Skies District of the Sam Houston Council of the Boy Scouts of America held their Hornaday Award Weekend recently at Camp Bovay near Navasota, Texas. The Hornaday Award recognizes Scouts for their contribution to conservation and environmental projects in their community. The award is named for William T. Hornaday, an American zoologist largely credited as leading conservation efforts to save the American bison from extinction.
The Hornaday Award Weekend offered an opportunity for Scouts to earn six different merit badges, including Environmental Science, Fish & Wildlife Management, Forestry and Soil & Water Conservation.
NRCS Resource Soil Scientist, Dennis Brezina, and Soil Conservationist, Willie Holmon, assisted in teaching the Soil & Water Conservation merit badge.
Brezina and Holmon discussed different physical properties of soil, such as the definition of soil, soil-forming factors and the components of soil. The Scouts were able to feel the three size-separates that make up soil texture by texturing samples of sand, silt and clay. Brezina presented an experiment on how water infiltrates differently through the three different soils. The Scouts were also taught about the different types of soil erosion and how water erosion is initiated by raindrop splash.
The Scouts then braved the rain and went to the field. Brezina showed them how soils change according to different landform positions. He also used the soil probe truck to demonstrate the soil occurring on a ridgetop and the different soil occurring in a lower saddle position.
Boy Scouts learn about water infiltration using three different soil types at the Hornaday Award Weekend held at Camp Bovay near Navasota, Texas.