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Baloo's Bugle

April 2002 Cub Scout Roundtable Issue

Volume 8, Issue 9
May Theme

Webelos Outdoorsman and Handyman




Heart of America Council


Webelos Scouts look forward to the day when they can participate in Boy Scout camping.  Because it provides a taste of the outdoor adventure that awaits them in the troop, the Outdoorsman Activity Badge will be one of the most popular with the boys.  It is also one of the most important because it helps prepare them for outdoor life.

In most Webelos dens, the boys work on the Outdoorsman badge during the month before their first adult partner and Webelos Scout overnight campout.  The reason is, of course, that they should be prepared for the experience of setting up camp, fixing their own meals and enjoying camp life.  The activities will give each boy enough of the rudiments of outdoor living to make him comfortable on the campout, with a small amount of equipment, and have an enjoyable experience without trespassing on the Boy Scout camping program.  It provides a good foundation for boys when they move into the troop.

Today’s push-button life is too easy from a physical standpoint.  The boys must be given a chance, through their own efforts, to live in the outdoors.  It can give them a sense of pride in knowing that they can take care of themselves. Through camping, the boys have a good opportunity to develop citizenship,  character, and fitness. It is up the Webelos leader, with the help of other adults, to make this experience an enjoyable one.

Suggested Den Activities

1. Show boys how to make an improvised sleeping bag or bed.

2. Study and learn fire safety rules including no flame lights in tents and no liquid starter for charcoal fires.

3. Learn aluminum foil cooking techniques

4. Have a den cook-out.

5. Build charcoal stoves. Vent them at top and bottom with can opener. Teach boys how to build a fire in them.

6. Make a first aid kit.

7. Practice camping in the backyard.

8. Practice laying fires for regular wood fires or charcoal, so boys will know how to lay fires for cooking or campfires.

9. Have a tent-making project of a simple tarp tent which will provide shelter for two boys.

10. Make lists of items needed for backyard camping and adult partner and Webelos Scout camping.

11. Learn the Outdoor Code.

12. Plan and hold an adult partner and Webelos

Scout overnight campout.

Suggetions For Pack Meeting

1. Exhibit homemade tents, first aid kit, improvised sleeping bag, posters on safety.

2. Demonstrate how to make a tent or sleeping bag; explain contents of first aid kit; explain fire safety rules; oral report by adult partner and Webelos Scout on overnight campout.

The Webelos Outdoor Program

Webelos Scouts are encouraged to have adult partner and son overnight experiences away from home.  This is an important step in the transitional period from the Cub Scout to Scout program.  The Webelos den adult partner and son overnight experience may be conducted with troops assisting and participating.

There are three things to understand about a Webelos overnight experience:

First - It is an Adult Partner - Webelos Scout event.  The Webelos den leader should let the adult partner and Webelos Scout put up their own tents, prepare their own food and do their own clean-up.  The Webelos leader should not take the whole responsibility for the den.  He should, however, have a program of activities prepared and everything coordinated.

Second - It is not a tough, pioneering adventure.  The campsite should be located in a spot isolated from the rest of the Scout camp or on private property easily accessible by car.  More than likely family type camping equipment will be used which is heavy and difficult to carry any distance.

Third - It requires protection from the weather, materials necessary for the preparation of food and program items to suit the area where the overnight is being held.  Tentage will be required for protection.  It does not make sense for a Webelos den to purchase tentage for just a few overnights a year.

Put responsibility for tentage on each adult partner.  Have each adult partner - Webelos Scout team provide and cook their own meals.  Participation in any planned activities should also be as a team.

There are other aspects toWebelos overnight camping.  The overnight experience for adult partner and Webelos Scout is a den related activity.

As stressed earlier, these are adult partner and Webelos Scout events, under the direction of the Webelos leader. Obviously, it is desirable to have each boy under the supervision of his own adult partner.  The main point is that every boy should be under the supervision of a responsible adult.  Let all adult partners get involved in the planning of the trip or ovemighter and give them  definite real responsibility.  During the planning meeting have a positive attitude.  These adult partners are expected to be part of the activity.



The dictionary defines Scouting as “exploring an area so to obtain knowledge.”  The key letters to remember in the word Scout are OUT, as in outdoors.  In order to go scouting you must go outdoors.  In this section we will examine the proper way to eat, sleep, dress and make ourselves at home in the great outdoors.

Den Meetings

Two things can be accomplished at Den meetings

— Planning and Preparation. There are many planning guides available to Webelos Den Leaders.

Equipment And Tents

1. Explain the plans for the overnight campout and distribute a personal equipment checklist to each boy-adult team. Review the checklist and discuss plans for obtaining tentage.

2. Have instruction and practice in pitching the tents you will use. Also have practice in making a ground bed.

3. Ask the den chiefto lead practice in tying knots needed for the campout.

4. Review the outdoor code.

Tent Hints

• Each tent should have its own bag and should be labeled.

• Never pull a stake out by pulling on the grommet or canvas.

• Never leave a stake in the ground without a rope.

• If tents must be packed wet, be sure to set them up to dry out as soon as possible.

• Loosen ropes when canvas is wet so that the canvas won’t tear while drying.

• Waterproofing solutions are available through Sears, Army Surplus, and other distributors of tents and awnings.

• Use a ground cloth under your tent, but be sure to tuck all the edges, all the way under the tent’s floor.

Fire Building

1. Practice fire lays for cooking and council fires.  Stress safety in preparing fire sites, lighting, and putting out fires. Use the same type fuel (wood or Charcoal) that you will use for cooking fires on the campout.

2. Discuss the menu for the campout and show how to prepare the food.

3. When fires are ready, end with a marshmallow roast.

Campout Checklist

Departure and Arrival

• From what point do you leave?

• How long will it take to travel to the camp site?

• When will we return?


• Have you filled out a local tour permit? (At least two week before departure)

• Are reservations or other permits required?

• Does the campsite lend itself to conservation service project?

• Is firewood available or do we need to bring it from home?

• Is the water supply safe or do we need to bring our own?


• Do we have enough cars and qualified drivers to carry boys, adults and equipment?

• What about car pooling?

• What about public transportation?


• Is there an adult to accompany every boy?

• Are any substitutes adults needed?

• Is the den chief coming?  Was he involved in the planning?

• Will anyone from the troop be there?


• Do the boys and adults know what to bring?

• Who will bring bow saws for cutting wood?

• Who will bring the first aid kit?

Meal Preparation

• Have we planned a simple menu? Hearty ingredients?

• How many meals? Which ones? Snacks?

• Are there utensils to match the menus?

• What about eating utensils? Paper plates and cups for easy disposal?


• Games? What kind? Who will lead them?

• Campfire? Who is responsible for what?  Hikes? Swimming? Fishing? Boating? Who?


Suggested Equipment Check List

• Pack or bag for clothes

• Clothing changes: underwear, shirts, pants, (1 pair per day), socks (2 pair per day)

• Sweater or jacket

• Poncho or raincoat

• Knife, fork and spoon

• Mess kit (plastic or metal)

• Toilet kit (soap, toothbrush & paste, comb, towel)

• Sleeping bag or two blankets

• Ground cloth

• Flashlight

• Extra batteries

• Insect repellent

• Canteen

• Shoes suitable for the program


Pack Meeting

In Boy Scouts the boy who keeps records, narratives and pictures of scouting activities is the troop Historian. For your overnight campouts try to get one of the boys to bring a camera (with his parents permission) and serve as historian. Have him mount his pictures on a display board and tell all the details of your outing at the next pack meeting.


Knot Easy

Divide into two teams. Give each team captain a 12 in. length of clothesline rope.  At signal, the captain ties a double knot in the rope and passes it to the next in line.  The second person unties the knot and passes it to the third person, and so on down the line.  The first team to finish wins.

Tie Slide

The Frayed Knot Slide

The Frayed Knot Slide is made to immortalize a great story.

There was a hungry piece of rope. He wandered into a small cafe and sat down at a corner table.  The head waiter came to the table and said, “Hey ! Aren’t you a piece of rope? We don’t serve rope here!” He quickly escorted out friend out of the door and onto the curb.  Not to be put off, our hero unraveled an inch or so and strolled back into the same cafe. Again the head waiter came over. “Aren’t you that same piece of rope I just threw out of here?” he asked. “Oh no!.” said our friend. “I’m a Frayed Knot!”  (afraid not)



Several feet of Multi-Colored, single strand wire

1. Gather the wire. Check with the phone company or an electronics repair shop.

2. Put four or five colors together in a tight band.  Make a loop and twist the ends.  The loop should be about an inch wide.  Twist the ends tightly, as this will hold the loop tight.

3. With the remaining ends, make a jumble of colors.  Try wrapping the wires around pencils and then pulling out the pencils.  Try anything, just make a large mess about the size of a golf ball.

4. Remember to instruct the boys on the story of the Frayed Knot so that when someone asks about their slide they will be prepared to tell the story.


How to Make a Compass

Make a home made compass and compare its accuracy to a real one . Explain how a compass  works.


Bowl of water


Large Needle


1. To magnetize the needle, rub the magnet down the needle 50-60 times. Always rub in the same direction.

2. Put the needle in the cork and place it in the water.

3. Which way does it point?  Turn the cork the other direction. What happens?




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