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Baloo's Bugle

December 2001 Cub Scout Roundtable Issue

Volume 8, Issue 5
January Theme

Did You Get My Message
Webelos Fitness & Readyman




National Capital Area Council


Skits are another form of communication.  They’re usually a dramatized joke or funny situation with a snappy line or sight gag at the end.  Skits help channel a boy's imagination.  He doesn't just play he's a pirate -- he IS a pirate, sailing the ocean blue under the Jolly Roger. Dramatics are important in the growth of a boy because it gives him an outlet for the "let's pretend" part of his character.  It gives him a chance for creative expression.  Skits help develop his power of observation and recognize the desirable characteristics in the people he sees.  Skits help develop his coordination and timing, thus increasing his self-confidence. Skits show the importance of teamwork and cooperation.

Skits also set the mood of the monthly theme.  Skits serve as icebreakers and comic relief during the pack meeting. Skits take the pack meeting out of the hands of adults and focuses on the boys.

Once in a while there is a shy boy who would prefer not to take part in skits.  A costume often will help overcome his shyness.  He can also handle other important roles like lighting, scenery or sound effects.

If a boy is having trouble remembering his lines, write them down on index cards or use cue cards (poster board size).


Keep It Simple

Simple lines, simple costumes, and simple props are more effective than elaborate ones done poorly.  A sign can do wonders , it turns a box into a wagon, boat, plane, etc. It can even turn a boy into a tree or a mountain.


Basic Elements Of A Good Skit


Good skits….

Are short (3 to 5 minutes)

Have simple dialogue ... no long memorized lines

Can use pantomimes

Let every boy participate

Have liberal usage of stage direction ... who goes where, when and does what



Boys must speak loudly, slowly and face the audience. If the audience applauds or laughs, Scouts should pause before continuing.

You can pre-record all the sound effects, dialogue, music, etc. and play it back on a tape recorder. The advantage is that they can be heard. A disadvantage is that you can't react to the audience and if anything goes wrong, you'll have to ad-lib. Lip syncing takes lots of practice.


Scenery can be made from corrugated cardboard, sheets or props you have in the house. Use latex or tempera paints to decorate as needed. Alternatively, you can just explain to the audience beforehand, "Here is the bedroom..." and so forth. Use the power of suggestion!

Make-up helps the audience identify the character and makes them more real.

1. Make-up base can be made with equal parts of liquid cleansing cream and powdered sugar. This makes a simple white base for clown make-up. Add food coloring for monster make-up (green) or Indian war paint (red, yellow and blue).

2. An eyebrow pencil can be used to darken or change the shape of eyebrows, to line the eyes, to make freckles, moustaches, sideburns, beards, and wrinkles.

3. Beards can be made with coffee grounds applied over a layer of Vaseline or cold cream.

4. Cornstarch powder or talcum powder in the hair makes characters look older. Hair usually begins to gray at the temples first.

5. A wig can be made by pulling an old stocking down over your hair and ears. Tie it off and cut off the excess. Use scotch tape to fasten colored cotton balls all over the stocking.

6.Indian braids can be made by cutting 3 strips of crepe paper into lengths about 3/4" wide. Twist each strip around the other. Now braid the 3 strips together.

7. Wounds can be made by drawing them with lipstick. Blend it in slightly with your finger. Edge the wound with white liner.

8.  For shoulder padding, make small triangular cushions and insert them under the shirt with the points toward the neck. Cushions are made from scrap cloth stuffed with rags or foam.

Nose putty is often needed to make lumps, creepy hands, etc. Mix together 2 teaspoons white vegetable shortening, 5 teaspoons cornstarch, 1 teaspoon white flour, a few drops of glycerin, and food coloring. For a brown color add 2 teaspoons cocoa.

Role Playing

Help each boy bring his character to life. Add makeup to age him; use a wig to disguise him; to walk with a limp, place a small rounded rock in his shoe; to look old, have him walk with his feet about 8 inches apart.

Sound Effects

If you plan to use sound effects in your skit, it is important to have access to a microphone. Check with the facility where you are holding your pack meetings. Most rental stores carry karaoke sound machines. Also, you can pre-record your sounds on an audio cassette and play them back when needed.

Try some of the following techniques to add sound to your skit:

Airplane: Heavy paper striking blades of electric fan

Auto brakes: Slide a drinking glass across a pane of glass

Crashes: Drop two pie pans taped together with metal jar lids inside.

Crickets chirping: Run a fingernail over a fine-tooth comb

Door slam: Slam two hardback books together

Fire: Crumple and twist cellophane into a ball and then release it.

Gong: Hit a pan with a metal spoon.

Gurgling stream or boiling liquid: Put a straw in a cup of water and blow hard.

Hail: Pour rice on an upside down flat cake pan.

Horse hooves: Alternately tap two inverted cups or bowls on a wood floor or board.

Knock at door: Hit a half-gallon plastic milk jug on the end with a rubber spatula.

Rain: Fill a soup can 1/3-full of dry peas or beans. Roll the can slowly on a table.

Rustling in underbrush: Crush broom straw.

Sword fight: Hold an aluminum cookie sheet in one hand, & hit with a metal spoon.

Telephone ring: Use a bicycle bell.

Thunder: Grasp a metal cookie sheet on one end, placing your thumb on the underside. Shake the cookie sheet so it vibrates. Bang it against the knee for an occasional loud thunderclap.

Writing Your Own Skit

Writing your own skits is simpler than it would first appear. First, determine what the moral of the skit will be. Then follow this simple outline to write your skit.

Boy wants something ... friendship, a gold mine, a trophy, to find something

Boy goes to get it ... by canoe, plane, horseback, foot

Obstacles stop boy ... crocodile, native hunters, a locked chest

Boy achieves goal ... through an act of kindness, bravery, wisdom, magic, unexpected help of some kind.


Write your skit to be 7 to 10 minutes long. The boys will shorten the skit when they present it.

How Scouting Came to America

Cub #1: How good must a Good Turn be to be good? The answer is best given by telling you the story of how Scouting came to America. It shows that it isn't the size of a Good Turn that counts. What is important is the spirit with which a Scout does a Good Turn. "Do a Good Turn Daily" is the Boy Scout Slogan.

Cub #2: One day in 1909 in London, England, an American visitor, William D. Boyce, lost his way in a dense fog. He stopped under a street lamp and tried to figure out where he was. A boy approached him.

Scout: "Can I be of help, sir?"

Boyce: "You certainly can. I need to find this office."   (He shows the boy a paper)

Scout: "I'll take you there."

Cub #3:  When they got to the destination, Mr. Boyce reached into his pocket for a tip. But the boy stopped him.

Scout: "No thank you, sir. I am a Scout. I won't take anything for helping."

Boyce: "A Scout? And what might that be?"

Cub #4:  The boy told the American about himself and his brother Scouts. Boyce became very interested. After finishing his errand, he had the boy take him to the British Scouting office.

Cub #5:  At the office, Boyce met Lord Robert Baden-Powell, the famous British general who had founded the Scouting movement in Great Britain. Boyce was so impressed with what he learned that he decided to bring Scouting home with him.

Cub #6:  On February 8, 1910, Boyce and a group of outstanding leaders founded the Boy Scouts of America. From that day forth, Scouts have celebrated February 8 as the birthday of Scouting in the United States.

Cub #7:  What happened to the boy who helped Mr. Boyce find his way in the fog? No one knows. He had neither asked for money nor given his name, but he will never be forgotten. His Good Turn helped bring the Scouting movement to our country.

Cub #8:  In the British Scout Training Center at Gilwell Park, England, Scouts from the United States erected a statue of an American buffalo in honor of this unknown Scout. One Good Turn to one man became a Good Turn to millions of American boys. Such is the power of a Good Turn.


Roving Reporter (Skit)
Sam Houston Area Council

Reporter: Good evening, ladies and gentlemen.  Here' s your roving reporter with another man-on-the-street interview.  Tonight we are going to talk about mountains.  Here's a man right here.  How do you do, sir, can you tell me what is your impression of mountains?

First Man: "High!"

Reporter: Hi, yourself!  Now tell me, what is your impression of mountains?

First Man: Just like I said  "High!"

Reporter: Oh! Ha, ha, ha.  My mistake.  When you said  "High! ", I thought you said "Hi!” get it? Oh well, let's talk to someone else.  Here's a man.  Tell me, sir, how do you feel about mountains?

Second Man: Well, I've never been there, of course, but if I had to feel about mountains, I'd do like always, feel with my fingers.

Reporter: Ha, ha, ha, ha.  Seems we have some jokesters about today.  Well now, let's try our question on this little boy here.  Tell me, sonny, have you ever gone over the top of a mountain?

Small Boy: Yes, sir, lots of times.

Reporter: My, I'm surprised to hear that, must have been a hard trip for a youngster, actually to go clear over the top of a mountain.

Small Boy: Oh! No, sir, we were in an airplane.

Reporter: (to himself) This is getting ridiculous, but I’ll try one more time.  How do you do, sir, May I ask you a question?

Third Man: Why sure, what’s your Problem?

Reporter:    Tell me, sir, what’s your impression of life in the mountains?

Third Man: Well, from what I hear, it's a lot like an umbrella.

Reporter: An umbrella? I don't quite understand what you mean.

Third Man: Yup, like an umbrella.  Life in the mountains is either up or down.

Reporter: Sorry, folks, some days you can't win.



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