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Baloo's Bugle

September Cub Scout Roundtable Issue

Volume 8, Issue 2

Down on the Farm
Webelos Citizen & Showman
 Tiger Cub Big Ideas 1 & 2



Sam Houston Area Council

While completing this activity badge, the Webelos learns about entertainment.  He must choose among three alternative forms of entertainment skills, puppetry, music or drama.


A fun puppet to make is a wooden spoon marionette. The bowl of the spoon is the head.  Arms and legs are made from small dowel and are attached by using small eye screws and small eye hooks.  Costumes can be sewn with the help of Mom or another adult, or can be glued together with craft glue.  Hair is made from yarn or carpet.  Eyes can be found in the craft store and glued on or can be drawn. Controlling the marionette is done with a "plus" shaped frame.  Strings of transparent fishing line are run from the frame to the arms and legs.  One line is run from the center of the frame to the top of the spoon to hold it upright.  The rest is up to the Webelos.  The den can make up a play and have fun presenting it at a pack meeting.


If your Webelos went through Wolf and Bear, he had an opportunity to make and use musical instruments of has own.  In Webelos he is challenged at a higher level.  Working music into your den program will depend on the capabilities and interests of your boys.  Some will be able to play on an instrument already.  Others may wish to sing.  You can also introduce them to a lot of different types of music.  If they have in interest in rock or country and western music, they may not have heard classical, jazz, or blues.  How do they get exposure?

Musical recitals are held at all of the colleges.    Music students must perform as part of their studies and these recitals are interesting because they "showcase" individual instruments and voices in ways that the boys may not be familiar with.    Call the Music Department at any of the colleges for information. Make sure the boys are on their best behavior when they go, it is just common courtesy.

Have each boy contact a radio station and ask for the program manager.  Have them ask the program manager the following questions:

What type of music does your station play?
Why does it play that kind?
Who decides what music is played?

Have the boy report back to the den and then listen to that station for a little while to see what the music is like.

City Parks and Recreation sponsor free concerts in the city parks.  All types of music are performed. Contact Parks and Recreation for a schedule.

Record collections are fun to start. Some boys may already have a collection. Some boys may be collecting tapes and CDs as well so they will meet the requirement 5 in this way.

American Composers - Other than in the Webelos Book

Burr Bacharach
Irving Berlin
Eubie Blake
George M. Cohan
Stephen Foster
Norman Dello Joio
Henry Mancini
Gian-Carlo Menotti
Cole Porter
Richard Rogers
John Phillip Sousa

Have your boys do a brief report on one of these people, or any of the composers of their own favorite music.  Have them bring music by the composer to play after they tell about the person.

Folk music is found all around us. Most of the songs that we do in Cub Scouting use a tune that comes from folk music. The Cub Scout Songbook contains lots of folk tunes for the boys to use.

If you are not sure what a "staff" is and how "sharps and flats" are used, why not see if there is a piano teacher or some other music teacher that is a parent in your pack. Ask them to come to a den meeting and to help explain "music" to the boys. A guest can be a welcome relief to you and to your boys.

Musical Fun


Most boys have plastic bottles and jugs around the house.  Milk, bleach, laundry detergent and lots of other things come in plastic. Have the boys gather together as many different types of plastic containers as they can, preferably enough for each boy to have four. Now for the fun.  Turn each container upside down and it it with a wooden spoon.  What does it sound like? Put the high ones in one pile, the low ones in another and the middle tones in another. Have the boys each select one high, one low and two middles.  Using strapping or duct tape, tape them together to form your own version of a "steel drum" like those used in the Caribbean.  Mark the tone on the bottom so you and they know which is high, low and medium.  Of course, the bottoms will be up and the tops will be down.

Place a string around them so that they can hang from the boys necks at the right playing level and "let'er rip."    With practice, the boys could make some neat sounds with their "steel ensemble."


The Cub Scouting literature has poems and stories that can be used for monologues, but the public library has a lot more material.  Ask your librarian for directions to the literature and theater sections of the library.  The youth or juvenile section of the library also has material that is more suited to the age of the Webelos Scout.

Unless you have lots of time and some really talented boys, putting together a full scale one act play can be overwhelming.  A good skit is really a play in one act and can be more readily handled by 9 and I0 year old boys.  The Cub Scout How to Book contains some good ideas on how to write your own skit or one act play.  Let the boys be creative.  They can make the play up about anything they are interested in, sports, scouting, a silly moment in the den meeting, etc.  Making costumes and putting on "stage makeup" makes the task more fun and enjoyable.

If you want to have some fun in the pack for Halloween and the Cubmaster can spare the time, The Cremation of Sam Magee is a great project.  The poem can be found in Creative Campfires or in a book of poetry by Robert Service, the author.  Two dens may wish to plan and produce this "bone chiller" of a story.  You may want adults to read the parts and let the boys act them out.  It's great!  Attending plays in your area, especially for a Webelos den, can be a little difficult.  The boys may tend to get bored and the cost is sometimes very high.  Some ideas for you to consider include:

Contact the little theatre groups in your area to see if they have up coming plays.  They always do "run throughs" to see if the cast knows their lines and may allow you to sit in for a while.

Check with the speech and drama department at the local high school to see if they can offer you a similar opportunity as listed above.

The University Interscholastic League and other organizations hold competitions in speech and drama throughout the school year.  Contact your local high school to see when and where the next competition is being held. You may be able to take your boys where they can see one-act plays, monologues and other speeches and poems being performed. These "meets" are great because all forms of drama are found in one location, at the same time.

If your boys want to know the difference between opera and light opera, get a copy of any Wagnerian opera from the library and a copy of a Gilbert and Sullivan opera (Pirates of Penzance is fun, especially the Modern Major General song).  Play sections of each.  This comparison is worth millions, not thousands, of words.

For a dramatic play and musical play difference you can watch the public television schedule as well as the schedule for the Arts and Entertainment network, if you have cable.    Frequently both types of plays appear and you can video tape them for playback for the boys.

William Shakespeare is one of the most written about authors.  His poetry and plays are still popular today.  You can find information on Shakespeare at any library.  Illustrations and drawings of the Globe Theater are in most books about him.  The boys can use these drawings to create their drawing of the Globe.  Theater in the round is a challenge for any actor or performer.  You must share your time with all of the audience so they must continually turn around to face different parts of the audience without the audience noticing it.  Have the boys practice reading a story while the rest of the den is seated around them.  Have the reader practice moving around so that all of the boys get a chance to see his face.  It's easier said than done.




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