Scout Activities

We have a variety of fun-filled activities for scouts to earn badges, learn something exciting and have fun.

Visit Basics

Scout groups are welcome and encouraged to visit the park at any time during our normal hours of operation. Please make your group reservation at least two weeks in advance by calling 630 260 8162.

There is a $5 per car parking fee to visit Cantigny as a scout outing. Tiger Cubs and Daisies may follow the same reservation procedure, but are required to bring one parent per child. We strongly encourage Scouts to be in uniform.

Any scout group that would like to organize a family outing for their pack/troop is asked to call 630 260 8162 for reservations.

Explore

Scout groups are invited to visit the McCormick Museum (guided tours only) and the First Division Museum (self-guided tours only). Please indicate if your group plans to visit either museum when you make your reservation. We require a minimum of one chaperone for every 10 Scouts entering the museum.

Cantigny’s gardens are open for self-guided exploration. Stroll through the Formal Gardens, stop and smell the roses in the Rose Garden, and marvel at the creative displays in the Idea Garden.

End your visit with a stop in our Prairie Garden. Spend a quiet moment studying Spirit of Commitment, a statue at Reflection Point. In this work, artist Jeff Adams links four figures physically and allegorically to reflect interrelationships philosophically and across time. These people show sacrifice, strength, courage, love, resolve, and hope. In their commitment, we find the potential for good, for freedom, for a better world. As Boy and Girl Scouts share the same ideals of citizenship and service, Reflection Point is a place to stop and reflect on what it means to be a Scout.

Hike

Hiking our 2 1/2-mile wood-chip nature trail, filled with the wonderful sights, sounds and smells today’s kids experience all too rarely, is a great experience. A map can be found inside the Visitors Guide.

Pick up a copy of our Hiking Trail Tree Identification Guide at the Visitors Center kiosk desk to use along the trail. Completion of the Guide meets some of the requirements for the Webelos Forester Activity Badge, Boy Scout Forester Merit Badge. and Junior Girl Scout Outdoor Connections badge. (This guide is recommended for summer and fall when the trees have leaves.)

Fish

Scout groups can fish  at Shaffner Pond, in the northeast corner of the park. Fishing is allowed Saturday and Sunday mornings from sunrise to 8:30 am and Mondays between 9 am and 5 pm. Please call Security at 630.260.8207 to arrange a fishing outing. The pond is home to bluegill, bass, carp, and catfish and is strictly catch and release. Please bring your own fishing poles, bait, and gear. People over age 16 who are fishing must have a valid fishing permit.

Learn

Cantigny has partnered with the DuPage Rivers Fly-tyers (DRiFT) to offer Boy Scouts an introduction to fly fishing. Boy Scouts can try their hand at different styles of casting, be introduced to fly-tying, and spend time fishing. For more information or to schedule an outing, please contact Fred Hodge, DRiFT Merit Badge Coordinator, at 630 279 9643.

Our campsites may be reserved during daylight hours Monday-Thursday for Scout activities. Practice pitching tents, learn to build a fire, cook a meal, or review safe camping procedures.

Badge Programs

Cub Scout Badge Programs

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Girl Scout Badge Programs

We offer a variety of Girl Scout Badge Programs.

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FIRST DIVISION MUSEUM SCOUT PROGRAMS

Discovery Backpacks

Cub Scout Discovery Backpacks

Three badges can currently be earned through the use of our Scout Discovery Backpacks. Each pack accommodates up to 20 youth with at least 2 adult chaperones. These backpacks contain all the materials, maps and directions needed to complete required badge activities during a self-guided visit. They are first come first served. Our packs may be used outdoors April-October and can be completed in approximately 1½ – 2 hours. Backpacks may be kept for up to three hours.

Brownie Senses Backpack:

You have five senses that work together to let you see, hear, smell, taste, and touch the world around you! This backpack includes the materials, instructions, and activities that involve the five senses. After participating in all activities, girls will have completed the requirements to earning their badge. Senses badge not included.

Scout Flag Backpack:

This backpack includes activities related to the U.S. Flag including patriotic songs, background information, flag etiquette, flag folding, flag raising, and more. Gather your troop around our flagpole and explore all the activities! This backpack contains the information and supplies that will support partial completion of the following:

  • Brownie Girl Scouts: Wave the Flag Try-It
  • Junior Girl Scouts: United We Stand Badge
  • Wolf Scouts: Your Flag Achievement
  • Bear Scouts: Country Achievement
  • Webelos: Citizen Activity Badge

Webelos Into the Woods Backpack:

Webelos will explore the various aspects of forests and trees through the activities included in this backpack. Be prepared for a walk through our forest areas and hands-on exploration including reading tree rings and discussing forest layers. This backpack includes the instructions and supplies needed to complete five of the Into the Woods requirements. Into the Woods pin not included.

Fees and reservations:

Scout Discovery Backpacks are available at no charge. A valid driver’s license is required as a deposit at check-out time and a usage agreement must be signed. These backpacks are first come first served. Discovery Backpacks are available for pickup at the Visitors Center Information Desk at 9 am. Discovery Backpacks must be returned in their original condition after the three hour ‘rental’ period. Discovery Backpacks loaned out after 2 pm may only have 1-2 hours of usage depending on when the Backpack was checked out. (All Backpacks must be returned by 5 pm).