Vintage/Retired GS badges and memorabilia
Pioneering by Rae’s Creations
Flower – Do all starred.
Triangle – Do 7 requirements including starred.
Circle – Do 9 requirements including starred.
Rectangle – Do all requirements including starred.
1. *The Oregon Trail was a famous trail followed by the pioneers in the 1840s as they ventured west. Would you have the courage to pack up everything you own, get in a covered wagon and travel 2,000 miles over hills, mountains and prairies, while braving blazing heat, thunderstorms, blizzards, and possible attacks from Native Americans? What is a pioneer? Why are these people considered American Pioneers?
2. Has someone ever given you something for free? What if it was land? American Pioneer families left their homes in the east and traveled west because land was cheap. Some pioneers were shopkeepers, doctors, ministers and veterinarians. Many stopped along the trail to make their homes, never making it to Oregon. Find a map of the Oregon Trail. How far is it from the beginning to the end of the trail. Name three famous stops along the trail.
3. In May of 1862, US President Lincoln signed the Homestead Act into law. The act allowed any head of household who was a citizen (or in the process of becoming one), including freed slaves, to claim 160 acres of unoccupied and surveyed Federal land for a small filing fee. All you had to do after that was build a home, plant crops, and live on the land for five consecutive years. After five years, you could file with the government and show you had satisfied the rules, and the land would become your property. It sounds easy, but was it? Many people attempting to homestead had little or no farming experience. Why do you think it would be hard to maintain 160 acre farm? Was the Homestead Act a good or bad thing for our country?
4. Pioneers had a daily life full of hard work and difficulties. Once a cabin and barn were built and the land was cleared, the crops needed to be planted. That does not include all of the every day chores that needed to be done. It took the entire family working together from sun up to sun down to get everything done. Why was it so important for the pioneers to first build a house and a barn? What kind of house would be built if you lived on the plains or beside a grove of trees or near a creek? What did women do on the farm? What did children do on the farm?
5. *Children as young as four or five years old were put to work on the farm as soon as they could help. During primitive settlement activities, boys and girls worked side by side. As the home became established, it became acceptable for young girls to work inside the house while their brothers helped outside. Even though the pioneer children worked hard, they always found time to play. What do you think each age group would do in the way of chores and why?
6. Some pioneer children went to the local one-room schoolhouse. There was only one teacher that taught all of the grades. They learned the basics such as reading, writing, math, spelling, and history. When writing, they used slates instead of paper. Slates were like small chalkboards they could hold in their hands. The children usually went to school in the winter and summer. Why did they stay home during spring and autumn. Discuss this with your leader.
7. Many settlers developed an attitude towards work that would make it more enjoyable. Instead of trying to make quilts alone, the women would gather and make quilts together. These were called quilting bees, or bees for short. While the women quilted, the men would build a barn or a house at the location of the bee, or do other work that was needed. After the work was done for the day, food was served. Kids played games. Adults danced. Why do you think that everyone liked going to a bee?
8. *Do the following:
a. Explain to your leader the most likely hazards you might encounter while participating in pioneering activities and what you should do to anticipate, help prevent, mitigate, and handle these hazards.
b. Discuss the prevention of, and first-aid treatment for, injuries and conditions that could occur while working on pioneering projects. Include specifically rope splinters, rope burns, cuts, scratches, insect bites and stings, hypothermia, dehydration, heat exhaustion, heatstroke, sunburn, and falls.
9. *Do the following:
a. Demonstrate the basic method of whipping a rope. Fuse the ends of a rope.
b. Demonstrate how to tie the following knots: clove hitch, butterfly knot, round turn with two half hitches, rolling hitch, water knot, carrick bend, sheepshank, and sheet bend.
c. Demonstrate and explain when to use the following lashings: round, shear, tripod, square, diagonal, and floor lashing.
10. *Candlemaking was an important and vital household chore. Every housewife made a supply of candles in the fall. Cows, sheep and pigs were slaughtered for the winter and all the suet and fat from these animals were conserved carefully. The average household needed around 400 candles a year. This was all-day, back-breaking, smelly, unpleasant “women's work.” Learn about the different methods of making candles. With your leader’s supervision make two candle rods by the dipping method.
11. *In the pioneer days, women didn’t use different kinds of soap for hygiene, laundry, baby care, dishes, or house cleaning. Everything was done with one type of soap, which was made from three main ingredients: tallow, lye, and water. Women would either buy cotton twist, or use the silky down from milkweed pods as wicks. What is tallow? What is lye? What is cotton twist? Make some soap.
12. Cloth is made by the process known as weaving. Blankets, rugs, and similar items are also made by this same process. Weaving involves passing threads first under and then over one another. The type of thread you use, and how tightly the threads are woven, determine the finished product. The main purpose of a loom is to make the weaving process easier. There are two points to keep in mind before you begin weaving. First, you will hear the terms “warp” and “weft” which are mentioned frequently when referring to woven handicrafts. There are also four main processes involved in weaving: shedding, picking, battening and taking up. Find out what these terms mean. Now that you know how simple it is to make your own cloth, all you need to do is make a loom and get your favorite thread or yarn and begin! Have a quilting bee with your group and make a quilt.
13. Rag rugs were frequently made by pioneer women. Before the railroads paved the way for cheaper textiles, the rugs were primarily made by recycling household fabric. It was another way they used their creativity to make sure that nothing was wasted. In the late 1800s, times were changing and an Arts and Crafts movement arose, making scrap rugs more popular than ever. Start smaller by making a set of braided coasters.
14. *There are many other items that the pioneers used every day that we now consider crafts. Select one of the following ideas and make it the way the pioneers did.
Build a wagon – With items found around the house, make your own pioneer wagon.
Learn to whittle – Carve a bar of soap.
Punched tin can lanterns – Make a candle holder out of a tin can, replicating the tin lanterns of the pioneer days.
Weave a basket – Weave your own basket out of folded pieces of newspaper or purchase a kit to make a more traditional basket.