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Baloo's Bugle


July Cub Scout Roundtable Issue

Volume 7, Issue 12

Summer Songfest
Webelos Naturalist & Forester
 

WEBELOS

Naturalist
California Inland Empire Council

Sponge Garden: A sponge is an ideal surface on which to grow seeds due to its ability to hold water in its many small cavities.  Soak the sponge and place it in a shallow dish of water.  Sprinkle seeds over the top surface of the sponge.  Try the seeds of grasses, sweet alyssum, coleus, and any other small seeds left over from planting a flower garden.  The shoots of almost any plants will be an attractive display.  Remember to keep water in the dish so that the sponge doesn't dry out. Also once the seeds begin to sprout, all the food in the seeds will be gone and you will need to add some liquid plant food to the water.

Jar Seed Germinator: Obtain a wide mouthed jar such as a mayonnaise, peanut butter, or wide mouthed canning jar.  Soak some seeds in some water overnight, these seeds can be edible seeds like beans, lentils, peas etc. or those packaged for growing in a vegetable or plant garden, get some paper toweling or blotting paper and fit snugly around the inside of the jar.  Stuff the middle of the jar with paper towels to help hold the paper toweling in place.  Also saturate the paper toweling with water until no more can be held.  Remove most of the excess water. Place the seeds between the paper towel and the glass about an inch or so down from the top of the toweling. Place them in different positions evenly spacing the seeds. During the next few days , the seeds will absorb the moisture from the toweling (Don't let the toweling dry completely it needs to stay damp) and the seeds will sprout, the roots will always try to grow down and the stems and the leaves upward, regardless of the position of the seed.  This is called geotropism and shows that plants respond to the earth's pull of gravity.  As a reminder, don't place the jar in direct sunlight.

Worm Condo

Materials:

Plastic container

Screen or piece of stocking

Rubber band

Dirt

Worms

Collect wiggly specimens in the yard or garden and observe them for a few days in a luxury "worm condominium"--even the most squeamish scout will feel safely separated from the condo's inhabitants.  First you'll need a clear plastic container.  Place another container, an inch or so in diameter, inside the larger container; the idea is to create a narrow enough space between the two containers that you'll be able to see the worms tunnel.

Put a piece of screen or stocking on top so you have good air flow (use a rubber band to secure it). Place fresh soil in the condo so your guests will have a supply of food (don't use potting soil--it's been zapped).  Make sure that the soil is moist but not drenched--the worms will appreciate it. Watch how the worms move and tunnel, and explain how they aerate the dirt in your garden and lawn, enabling plant roots to grow.

Once your scouts has observed the worms for a few days, return them to their native habitat, where they can do our gardens a good turn.

 

Make Your Own Ant Farm

Take a large peanut butter jar (empty and cleaned) and place a baby food jar upside down inside it. Fill the peanut butter jar with sand.  Make some holes in the top of the jar with a nail or screw.  Add a little honey or jelly every few days, along with a little water.  Now gather up some ants from outdoors.  After you've closed the lid, be sure to stop up the holes with cotton so the ants don't get out.  Now, remember to keep a cloth over the jar whenever you're not observing it.  This way the ants will make really cool tunnels right near the sides, instead of hidden deep to avoid the light.

 

Smokey's Deputies--SKIT
Northwest Suburban Council

Characters: Narrator, 3 boys in Smokey Bear costumes with "Deputy" badges, clown.

Scene: Outdoor scene with cardboard trees and buses. Posters as indicated in script.

Narrator: Ladies and gentlemen. For the first and only time, in our stage we present a trio of performing bears directly from Yellowstone Park. (Gesturing with sweep of hand.)  Take it away bears!

Bears: (enter singing...Tune: "Polly Wolly Doodle")
Oh, bears like cake, and bees like pie And a little bit of honey is fine'
But we don't like sparks in our national parks, And in forests of spruce and pine.
So beware, so beware, Put your campfires all the way out.
Let the fire burn down, sprinkle water all around. Put them out without a doubt.

Bear 1: Listen friends. Before you strike one match in my forest, check the Forest Ranger or an adult camping guide.

Bear 2: Never build a fire without an adult to help you.

Bear 3: That's right! Remember to have a bucket of water or dirt handy, right next to the fire.

Bear 1: And when you're through with the fire, don't go away and leave it. No sir. Let the fire burn down.  Break up the coals with a stick.  Sprinkle water or dirt on the fire until it is cold.

Bear 2: Be sure to check the fire to see that it is cold out before you leave the campsite.

Bear 3: Now everybody, please join us in the chorus of our song:

So beware, so beware Put your campfires all the way out
Let the fire burn down, sprinkle water all around. Put them out without a doubt.

(During the chorus, clown crosses stage carrying sign which reads: "You are no Match for Fire" When he reaches mid-stage, he turns sign over.  On back side it reads: "Don't clown around with fire.")

   

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