Scout Programs

Stroud Center education activity patch
Our unique activity patch features the winning design from our patch design contest, submitted by Reagan Hyman from Brownie Troop 457 in West Chester, Pennsylvania.

Stroud Water Research Center offers programs year-round for Girl Scouts of the USA and Boy Scouts of America groups. Your den, pack, or troop will learn about stream and watershed health through fun, hands-on educational activities while earning a unique Stroud Center activity patch.

Available Programs

Day and overnight programs are available. Overnight programs include leave-no-trace camping in our experimental watershed, followed by more activities the next day. There is limited availability for overnight programs.

Programs can simply be for fun with watershed science or to complete Scout adventures, merit badges, awards, journeys, advancement, or service requirements.

Programs currently offered

Click or touch a program title to view its description.

Boot-in-the-Water Stream Studies

Scouts of all ages investigate stream health with hands-on activities, which may include collecting and identifying aquatic macroinvertebrates, performing water chemistry experiments, assessing stream habitat, and more.

On-the-Water Canoe Programs

Scouts explore a local river or reservoir using the Stroud Center’s fleet of canoes. Programs include canoeing instructions, watershed educational activities, and time paddling on the water. Canoe programs are available for Scouts BSA and Girl Scout Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors.

Learn to Fish and Cub Scouts: A Bear Goes Fishing

Scouts of all ages learn to fish or practice their technique using the Stroud Center’s fishing equipment at a nearby waterway. A fishing program can help fulfill requirements for badges, awards, and more, like the Cub Scout A Bear Goes Fishing Adventure.

Girl Scout Think Like a Citizen Scientist Award Badge

Together with Stroud Center educators, Girl Scouts of all ranks will get their boots wet in a citizen science stream study, explore stream habitats studied year-round by real scientists, discover the creek critters who call our waters home, and conduct experiments that put the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) in “stream”! This program is approximately 3 to 4 hours long. This program can optionally include an on-the-water canoe experience (for Cadettes, Seniors, and Ambassadors only).

Girl Scout WOW! Wonders of Water Journey

The program will include LOVE Water and SAVE Water awards for the Journey, with the possibility of partial or full completion of SHARE Water and WOW! awards depending on time availability. This program is approximately 3 to 4 hours long.

Cub Scout STEM Nova Awards: Science Everywhere and Nova WILD!

During the Science Everywhere STEM Nova Award, Cub Scouts use the scientific method to determine the health of White Clay Creek at the Stroud Center. While completing requirements for the Nova WILD! STEM Nova Award, Scouts discover wildlife in streams and surrounding watersheds in Pennsylvania. These programs are approximately 3 hours long.

Scouts BSA Merit Badges

The Stroud Center offers programs to help Scouts BSA members earn select merit badges. The Stroud Center currently offers the Environmental Science, Fish and Wildlife Management, and Soil and Water Conservation merit badges. Merit badge programs include online and in-person activities. During an online meeting, a Stroud Center merit badge counselor will introduce the merit badge requirements and online learning platform. After Scouts complete the written requirements online, an in-person program will help Scouts fulfill the remaining requirements. Merit badge programs are offered on a rotating schedule.

Trout Unlimited STREAM Girls

STREAM Girls is an outdoor watershed education experience that combines science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM) with recreational fly-fishing to empower today’s girls to become tomorrow’s leaders. Non-formal participants, primarily middle school Girl Scouts (Juniors and Cadettes), forge lasting connections with their backyard watersheds while exploring freshwater habitats, discovering wriggling stream bugs, collecting real data on watershed health, diving into the art of fly-tying, and learning fly-fishing from local anglers. This program is typically offered in the spring of every year.

Service Projects

All ranks of Scouts can complete service projects as a part of Gold Awards, Silver Awards, Eagle Scout Projects, and more. Service projects may include planting and monitoring riparian forests, constructing outdoor learning tools, and more. These activities are planned on a case-by-case basis.

Questions? Email

Thomas P. Bentley Muddy Boots Fund

The Stroud Center and Chester County Council, BSA, thank Greg, Keith, and Ray Bentley for their generous support and creation of the Thomas P. Bentley Muddy Boots Fund.

What People Are Saying About Our Scout Programs

“We got to put on big boots and play in the stream to collect aquatic insects, and then use microscopes to help identify them. What kid doesn’t like to play in a stream and turn over rocks?” — Scott Heath, Pack 216 Cubmaster

“I loved getting critters from the East Branch of White Clay Creek. I liked finding them under rocks and leaves and learning all their names … I learned a lot from that!” — Sarah, age 7

“Knowing what makes fresh water good for fish and aquatic insects helps you protect the water because a lot of plants, insects, and animals depend on healthy water.” — Zach, age 9

“I just really appreciate all the Stroud Center did for our Cub Scout program. My son was quite happy with the experience, and months later, he still talks about things we learned there when we are hiking.” — Philip Grant, Cub Scout Wolf Den Leader

“The Stroud Center really takes studying water and soil seriously. We were able to hike around the forest and go on an entire outing to study how soil connects to water.” — Danny, Age 11

“The Stroud Center’s education team has done an amazing job with delivering programs. We are delighted that our Scouting membership is taking full advantage of this great program opportunity.” — Richard Curth, Chester County Council, Boy Scouts of America

Stroud Center Scout News

A Wish Come True: Thousands More to Learn Freshwater Science, Stewardship in New Education Pavilion
A Wish Come True: Thousands More to Learn Freshwater Science, Stewardship in New Education Pavilion
The pavilion adds a fourth outdoor space, which will allow our educators to keep class sizes small even when there is a group as large as 120 students ...
Scouts Get Their Boots Wet for Science and Stewardship
Scouts Get Their Boots Wet for Science and Stewardship
Our badge program for Cub Scouts invites young minds to explore the scientific method and exercise their most powerful scientific tools: their senses ...
Fourth graders taking tree measurements
Learning Leading to Action: Young Heroes Protecting Our Waterways
Students are not only learning how to protect our waterways; they are also conducting their own scientific research or restoring healthy streams — or sometimes both ...
"Muddy Boots Fund" Created to Benefit Boy Scouts and Stroud Center
“Muddy Boots Fund” Created to Benefit Boy Scouts and Stroud Center
As a result of a generous gift from brothers Greg, Barry, Keith, and Ray Bentley, the Chester County Council Boy Scouts of America and the Stroud Center are expanding their ...
The winner of our activity patch design contest
And the Winner Is …
In fall 2017, the Stroud Center’s Education Department sponsored a design contest to develop an activity patch for use in its scout and other youth programs. The public was invited ...
Thomas P. Bentley Muddy Boots Fund for Chester County Council, BSA Programs
Thomas P. Bentley Muddy Boots Fund for Chester County Council, BSA Programs
The establishment of the Muddy Boots fund has made Stroud Water Research Center education programs free for youth in Chester County Council, Boy Scouts of America. Programs have expanded to ...