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Baloo's Bugle

April Cub Scout Roundtable Issue

Volume 7, Issue 9

Happy Trails
Webelos Outdoorsman & Handyman
Tiger Big Ideas 16 & 17



Pony Express Trail Relay
Heart of America Council


The pony express is an exciting relay race for daring young men and fast horses.  The course is laid out (in the backyard or park) between St. Joseph, Missouri and Sacramento, California.  Along the way are many of the hazards encountered on cross-country travel in the year 1860. Divide the group into two teams and each team into two pairs of riders.  (One to start and the other to relieve at South Pass, Wyoming, the half way station)

Each station should be marked with a sign indicating its location and name.  Since the team riding west will wear red bandanas their direction cards should be marked with a distinguishing red signal dot.  Mark the west to east team’s cards with green signal dots to mat match their green bandanas.  West to east the course is run in reverse with the directions changed accordingly .

Equip the Stations

St. Joseph, Missouri and Sacramento, California:  Have a supply of paper bags for the starting ceremonies .  Half way between the first two and the last two stations:  Hang a coat hanger on a bush, clothesline or whatever is handy.  Rock Creek, Nebraska: Arrange several pans of water in two parallel rows with a good supply of paper towels and a wastebasket at both ends.

Between Julesburg, Colorado, and Ft. Laramie, Wyoming: Lay a rope on the ground in a straight line from one station to the other.

Ft. Laramie, Wyoming: Suspend a tire from a tree or post.

Ft. Bridger, Wyoming: Place a plate of crackers at the station.

Gait Lake City, Utah: Have a supply of pillows at the station.  To give everybody a chance to carry the mail, riders may be changed more often or run the race as many times as it is necessary to use up all the players.  Like any obstacle race or treasure hunt, (and this is a little of both), the route must be laid out in advance of the race.  Lay the course over as large an area as possible.

Rules of the game: Measure all ponies’ tails before the start of the race.  Since the tails shouldn’t be allowed to touch the ground, it is important that all tails be exactly the same length.  If they are not, a little barbering is in order. All instruction cards should be followed exactly.  Of course the rules and obstacles can be varied.  The important thing is to see that the mail goes through!

Directions for riders:

Start at St. Joseph Post Office at the sound of the cannon: On the signal, blow up a paper bag, break it.  Mount horse and proceed at a trot to the ferry. Dismount. Remove vest carefully and hang it up.  Hop to the next station.

Rock Creek: Dismount. Remove shoes and socks and hold them in your hand.  Carry horse over your shoulder while you “ford the creek” by walking through the pans of water.  Once across the creek, dry your feet on a paper towel.  Throw towel in wastebasket.  Put on socks and shoes.  Mount horse and take giant steps to next station.

Fort Kearney: You are attacked by Indians and must circle around to avoid them.  Turn around and around all the way to the next station.

Julesburg: You must follow a narrow mountain pass.  Walk on the rope without falling off, all the way to the next station.

Fort Laramie: Go through narrow gorge by wriggling through the tire while on your horse.  Walk to the next station.

South Pass: Change horses and riders. Proceed to next station at top speed.

Fort Bridger:  Dismount. Sit down and eat a cracker.  While the cracker is still in your mouth, whistle for your horse.  Mount and continue at a gallop to next station.

Salt Lake City: Pick up a new saddle (pillow) and put it on horse.  Continue on to the next station, skipping all the way.

Ruby:  Dismount.  Remove saddle (Leave pillow at station) and walk horse to next station.

Cold Springs: Remount.  Horse sees rattlesnake.  Rear up and buck to the next station.

Carson City:  Dismount and put on vest left by other rider.  Very rough terrain between this station and the next.  Take two steps forward and one step back all the way.

Sacramento: You made it.  Dismount. Blow up your paper bag and break it to signal your safe arrival.  When the riders meet on the trail, the one who reaches the station between them first has the right of way.  The other rider must wait for him to pass through the obstacles to the next station before continuing.


Straight Shooters
Heart of America Council

Equipment: Soda straw, toothpicks, Small pan and table.

Each player is given a soda straw and five toothpicks. Place a small pan on a table about five feet from the shooting line.  In turn, players put one toothpick at a time into their straw and try to blow the toothpick into the pan.


Lasso the Steer
Heart of America Council

Equipment: Cut a steer’s head, complete with horns, from cardboard or plywood.  Place on a stake to stick in the ground, or lash to the back of a chair so that it sticks up over the back.  Have the boys form a loop in a piece of rope about 25 feet long.  Mark a line about 15 feet from the steer’s head to stand behind.  Each boy in turn tries to throw the loop over the steer’s head.  Allow each Cub three turns and score as follows:


Loop thrown over either horn 5

Loop thrown over head only 10

Loop thrown over head and one horn 15

Loop thrown over head and both horns 20

The boy with the highest total points is the winner.


Cardboard Horseshoes
York Adams Area Council

This is something they can make and then play.  Make a stencil they can trace onto heavy cardboard and then cut out.  (Make sure the design is simple enough that they can cut it out of the cardboard.)  If you make several tracings, then several layers of cardboard can be glued, hot glued, or taped together to give the shoes strength.  Use pieces of dowel or 12-inch nails hammered in the ground for the posts.


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