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Baloo's Bugle

April 2002 Cub Scout Roundtable Issue

Volume 8, Issue 9
May Theme

Webelos Outdoorsman and Handyman





Magic Wand
York Adams Area Council


¼-inch wooden dowel 12 inches long


Glossy black paint

Glossy white paint

Masking tape

Sand the ends of the dowel to round them.  Then paint about 2 inches on each end white.  When it’s thoroughly dry, wrap some masking tape around the white where it meets the bare wood, and then paint the middle black.  (If you don’t have glossy paint, you can varnish the whole wand when you’re finished.  Also, several thin coats will look better than one think one.)  Peel off the tape when the paint is dry and the wand is ready for your magic show!


Cents of Strength
York Adams Area Council

Effect: Borrow a penny from a friend.  Toss it into your left hand a few times and then, using only your concentration and some bad acting, you open your hand to find that you have bent the penny!

The Secret

What you need:

A bent penny. (You knew that, right?) Just take a penny, stick it in a vise and bend it with some pliers.  You may want to wrap the penny in a cloth so as not to scratch it while you bend it. Bend it so that the coin is bent, but not folded in half.  A set of keys or a lighter in your right pants pocket.

The Preparation:

Have the bent penny in your right hand inside your curled fourth and fifth fingers.

The Method:

Borrow a penny from a friend and pick it up with your right hand, holding it with the thumb, index and middle fingers. Since the last two fingers are already curled-up (with the bent penny inside), this should look natural.

Now, you need to toss it into the left hand a few times, each time closing the left hand around the coin and opening it up. Do this twice.  Next, execute the Bobo Switch. This is a wonderful utility move that you should know.  This will switch the bent coin for the borrowed one.  (The description of the Bobo Switch begins with the first toss above.)

Right now, the bent coin is in your left hand, so you need to do some acting here. First, we need to get rid of the borrowed coin that is in your right hand.  So, just say, "I'll wave my keys over my left hand."

What you do is this: your right hand, with its palmed coin, goes into your right pants pocket, drops the coin and comes out with the keys.  Don't make a "move" out of it; just do it.  Then, wave the keys over your left hand. Now, your right hand is "clean", with no borrowed penny in it!

Now to the acting... just squeeze you left hand and look as if you are concentrating on that hand.  Sweat a bit, if you can.  Then, slowly open up your left hand and show them the bent penny.  Let them keep the penny and they'll be telling their grandchildren about you years later!


Invisible Vision
York Adams Area Council


A neat card trick that's easy to do!

Effect: Have someone pick a card, look at it and return it to the pack.  You shuffle the deck and explain that you will use your special "Invisible Vision" to locate their card.  Going through the pack, you pull out one card.  It's their chosen card!

What You Need: You need to get a pack of cards where there is a design on the backs of the cards. The design should be asymmetrical, that is it should look different if you hold it upside-down.  Cards with pictures on them are great for this trick.

You might also locate some of the recently printed Rider Back Bicycle decks.  For some reason, the backs of the cards are printed off-center and this will work for the trick.

Set up the deck to that all of the cards are facing the same direction.

To Perform:

Shuffle the deck. When you do this, you must shuffle them so that the cards are shuffled in the same direction.  That is, when they are shuffled, the backs of the cards stay the way they were when you set up the deck.  Any overhand shuffle will do. Have your friend freely select any card.  Have him look at his card and remember it.

Note: how your friend is holding the card.  If he hasn't turned the card end-for-end, you must turn your pack around so that when he returns his card, it will be the only "reversed" card in the pack. (If he has turned the card end-for-end, just keep your pack the way it is.)

Have him return his card and shuffle the pack as before so that the cards remain facing the same direction. At this point, you have a pack of cards with the backs all facing the same way — except for one card.  Fan the cards with the backs towards you. If you are looking at the backs and they are all pictures, it will be way too obvious to your friend that his card is the only reversed on there, so be sure he doesn't see the backs.  (Of course, if you are using those off-center Bicycle decks, you can let him see the backs and it will be all the more mystifying!)

Explain that you are using your "Invisible Vision" to locate his card, and when you see his card, pull it out and dramatically exclaim that this is his card.  Return it to the pack and shuffle it so that you do mix up the way the cards are facing.  Any riffle shuffle will do here.  This way, you can let the pack be examined!



Meeting Ideas
Trapper Trails Council

The boys can learn some simple magic tricks in their den meetings or at home and then individually or as a den they can perform their tricks at pack meeting for their families and fellow Cub Scouts.

There are many people who make magic their hobby and may be willing to come and perform their magic show at your pack meeting.  There are also some very professional magicians who charge a fee to come and do their magic shows, some of them are very good and do not charge a great deal of money.


Let's Do Magic - How?

Trapper Trails Council

Getting Started--Wear a costume, it makes the trick more entertaining and "magical".  Be sure you know what equipment you need for each trick, how to make anything special, and that it is in the right place.

Practice--each trick until you know it well!  Do it for your family or in front of the mirror.

Prepare funny and clever things to say while you are doing your magic.  Besides being entertaining, this 'patter' will keep your audience off guard.

Never repeat a trick! Save your best trick for last.

Keep your act just long enough to be interesting - if the audience gets restless, STOP!

Do not explain your tricks. Keep them guessing.

If you make a mistake - turn it into a joke. "Oh, oh, my

magic hat is taking a break or a nap"

Use A Warmup To Start With
Trapper Trails Council

Cubmaster enters, carrying a decorated box, asks for 2 volunteers to donate neckerchiefs.  CM tosses them into box, announces that it is a magic trick and if the right word is said; the neckerchiefs will come out 'tied'.  CM scratches head, admits he has forgotten the magic words. Maybe the cubs can help him. With each magic word he takes an item out of box (car, comb, ball, etc). Then CM remembers word - Akela!

All boys shout out magic word- Akela, CM looks into box, states the neckerchiefs are tied. Begins putting magic box away, of course, Cubs will want to see in box.  CM feigns sadness at not being trusted, opens box, and brings out a box of TIDE.

Upside Down George
Trapper Trails Council

Act – Fold paper dollar, unfold and George turns upside down.  How – Fold dollar bill so picture is right side up, fold in half, long way with picture inside.  Fold in half again from right to left.  Say magic words, unfold the bill from the back and from left to right.  Lift up the last fold and George will be upside down.


Appearing Penny
Trapper Trails Council


Act – Look through a paper cup, see nothing.  Cover cup with hand, say magic words, move cup, penny appears from nowhere.

How – Prepare cup: cut off bottom, trace cup rim on red paper, cut out circle and glue on cup rim.  When no one is watching, place penny on piece of red paper, put cup over penny with open end up.  Circle of red on cup rim covers penny.  Say magic word, lift cup and penny appears.


Tips and hints to help you become a successful magician
Central New Jersey Council

1. Practice in front of a mirror so you can see the trick as your audience will. Practice lots!

2. Practice the “patter” as well as the trick. Figure out before hand what you want to say during the show. Good patter will help distract the audience just enough to keep them from guessing how you’ve pulled off your magical feats! Here’s a start for you:

I have a magic trick for you.

It should be lots of fun.

Pay very close attention,

And guess how it is done!

3. Resist the temptation to tell how the trick worked... keep them guessing and they’ll be even more impressed with your show.

4. Never do the same trick more than once for the same audience. It makes it too easy for the audience to guess how it was done.

5. Control the seating arrangements,  some of the tricks require that the people be looking straight at you. Have the audience remain seated throughout the show.

6. Wherever you can, borrow the objects from the audience... coins, pencils, napkins, etc. Borrowing from the audience makes it seem like the magician hasn’t had time to do anything sneaky to the item. This makes everything seem more magical!

7. Lovely Assistant: a lot of the card tricks (or any other mind reading type tricks) work well using a magical puppet or stuffed animal as your assistant.

Try putting on an entire show where you aren’t a magician at all... instead claim that you bought a puppet from an old gypsy woman and it turned out to be magic (you can make up a cool story to use as your patter). Have the puppet or stuffed animal “whisper” the answers into your ear. Having a puppet do all the work, may keep you from getting stage fright! I’ve included the puppet image on all the tricks that will work well this way.


Central New Jersey Council


Go Visit a Magic Store

Make invisible ink (using lemon juice) to send messages back and forth

Make Magic Wands

Learn Magic Tricks and feats of illusion


Trick Courtesy of: Matt-Original Author: Unknown
Central New Jersey Council

Effect: A spectator picks a card out of a shuffled deck. You put it with three random cards, place the cards at the bottom of the deck, and shuffle. You take three cards from the bottom of the deck and ask the spectator if any of those are his. None are. These are laid on the table, one of the cards is flipped over, and the selection appears on the table.

How It’s Done:

Ask a person to shuffle the cards and then choose one card. Have them give you the deck. Take three cards from the bottom. Tell the spectator to put their card on top of those three, then to place the four cards at the bottom of the deck. Shuffle the deck, but be sure to keep the four bottom cards in the same spot. Shuffle the cards a couple of times. Now take the first bottom card and place it face down on the table.  Take the new bottom card and put it at the top of the deck.  Place the other two bottom cards face down on the table.  The last card you put down is the spectator’s card.  Be sure you have that card at the top of the tabled pile.  Set the rest of the deck aside.  Pick up the tabled cards.  Square them up, and hold them so the spectator can see the face of just the bottom card.  Ask if this is their card. They will say no.  Lower the cards so they are in dealing position and quickly deal the top card (actually their card) onto the table.  If you do this naturally, without comment, they will think you dealt the card you just showed them.

Show them the top card from those in your hand, and ask if it is theirs.  Again they will say no.  Lay this card on the table. Finally, show them the last card in your hand and ask if it’s the selection.  When they say no, put this card onto the other two.  Ask them what their card was. When they tell you, use the other two cards (like a spatula) to flip their card face up on the table.  You have made their card appear!


Rope Trick
Central New Jersey Council


Effect: Holding a piece of rope, the magician places the ends of the rope into his hands and closes his fingers around the ends.  The magician shakes the rope slightly, says a magic word, blows on his hands and drops one end of the rope.  Magic! The end has a knot in it!

Supplies: One long piece rope

Secret: The rope already has a knot in one end... Tie a knot in one end of the rope.  Hide this end with the knot in your hand and bring the other end of the rope up next to it. Shake your hand as if you’re trying to knot it.  Drop the end with the knot and it looks like you have tied a knot in the rope using one hand.




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