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Baloo's Bugle

May 2002 Cub Scout Roundtable Issue

Volume 8, Issue 10
June Theme

Critters, Cubs and Campfires
Webelos Traveler and Artist



Bear: Grrrr-Grrr-Grrr
Fire: Crackle-Crackle-Burn
Ranger/Warden: Howdy folks!
Cub: Do Your Best
Smokey: Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires!

One spring day, high in the Capitan Mountains of New Mexico, a brown bear cub and his mother went for a stroll in the woods.

The forest was warm and dry, but alive with the smells and sounds of the season. Blue jays and swallows sang high in the lush green tress. Rabbits and mice scampered through flowery meadows. Squirrels and chipmunks scurried straight up the trunks of fragrant pines.

The Cub was just three months old and weighted only four pounds. But he was very clever. He had already learned where to find berries and honey to eat and fresh water to drink. He also knew what to do in case of danger: climb a tree. And that is what saved his life.

The Cub and his mother had not walked far when panic broke out around them. Birds began screeching and flying in all directions. Rabbits rushed out into the open. Deer leapt left and right around the trees. The forest had caught Fire. And the Fire was coming their way.

The Bear nudge her Cub, and both began to run. The smoke grew thicker and thicker. Fiery cinders filled the sky. The little Cub ran until he could run no more. Finally, he stopped to look for his mother. She was gone! In the confusion, she had lost sight of him. For the first time in his life, the little Cub was alone and scared. What should he do?

Then he remembered what his mother had taught him: When in danger, climb a tree. So up he climbed into a tall tree. He wrapped his legs around the trunk. The frightened Cub closed his eyes and clung tightly. Below him, the Fire roared on.

Meanwhile, forest Rangers fought the dreadful flames. The Fire was so big that foresters called in a special troop of Fire firefighting soldiers to help them. One of the Fire fighters noticed a small Bear Cub in a tree.

Before the firefighters could reach the Cub, a blast of fire cut off their path. They hit the ground and covered their faces until the flames blew over. The Fire roared around the tree where the little Bear clung. It singed his fur and burned his paws, but he held on. Finally the Fire passed, and the Cub opened his eyes. he saw that the trees in his forest home were now black and leafless. The air felt dark and greasy. The birds and animals all had gone.

Then the Cub heard a strange sound and saw a strange creature. Gently, the creature - a man - pulled him from the charred tree trunk. The Bear Cub had never seen a human before. "What's you name, little fella?" the man asked, as the smoke rose all around them. "I think Smokey is a very good name for you."

The firefighter brought Smokey to a game Warden named Ray Bell. Mr. Bell took care of wounded animals. He knew just what to do. First, he took Smokey to see Dr. Smith, who bandaged the cub's burned leg and paws. Then Mr. Bell brought Smokey home to his family.

Mrs. Bell, four-year old Judy, and even their cocker spaniel, Jet, welcomed the little Cub. Smokey had a new family - and a new home. Everyone in the family helped Smokey recover. Mrs. Bell fed him oatmeal and honey and nursed him back to health. Judy cheered him up with games and cuddles. And Jet let Smokey curl up beside him and eat from his dish.

In a few short weeks, Smokey was strong and healthy. The little Bear who had lost his home and family was going to be all right.

The Bell family and the other game Wardens knew that Smokey's experience could serve as an important lesson to others. They story of what had happened to Smokey's home in the Capitan Mountains could help teach children how to prevent forest Fires.

But the job meant moving Smokey to the National Zoo in Washington D.C. So the Bells said good-bye to their special friend, and Smokey boarded an airplane with his name on it.

By the time Smokey got to Washington, people all over the country had heard the story of the forest Fire and the rescue of the little Bear. His picture appeared in newspapers nationwide. Smokey Bear was a national hero.


The Misspelled Smoke Signals
York Adams Area Council

Divide the group into five smaller groups and assign each group one of the words listed below. Read the story. After each of the words is read pause for the group to make the appropriate response.

Little Bear  "I'll get this right!"
Drums hit thighs rhythmically
Smoke Signals  "Pooff, Pooff!
Indian War whoop
Mother: "You can do it!"

Little Bear was a very hard working Indian boy. He studied hard to learn to play the Drums so he could send messages to his friends in other villages.  But Little Bear had trouble with his lessons in Smoke Signals. After one particularly frustrating experience, Little Bear ran into his teepee and threw himself down on his buffalo skin bed. "What is the trouble, Little Bear," asked his Mother who was busy sewing new buckskins for his father. "Mother," why must Indians learn to do Smoke Signals?" Little Bear asked. "To communicate," she replied, "this was the Indians from our tribe can talk to other villages." "But we have the Drums," said Little Bear. "This may not always be enough," his Mother replied, "we also need the Smoke Signals. Now go on back and practice your Smoke Signals some more."

Little Bear left the teepee. He stopped by his Drums and sent a little message, but no one answered. So he made a little fire, just the right size to send Smoke Signals . He took out his blanket and when the fire was just right, he trapped the smoke and let out a nice little puff. But it just didn't look right. Then an old Indian who had been watching from a little ways off came up to him. "Little Bear," he said, "I see what you are doing wrong. You are not spelling it right." Little Bear looked surprised; he did not know you could misspell Smoke Signals. "Let me show you," said the old Indian. He took the blanket and held it a bit differently. As he released the Smoke Signal it floated softly into the sky. And it looked just right.

"I see," said Little Bear, "I was holding it wrong." He took the blanket and tried it himself. Once again a perfect Smoke Signal drifted into the afternoon sky. "Oh, thank you, thank you," he said turning to where the old Indian had stood. But the old Indian had disappeared. Little Bear ran to the teepee. "Mother," he called, "I can do it! Now I can communicate with Drums and Smoke Signals. Mother, who was the old Indian who helped me?" But Little Bear's Mother did not answer, she only smiled.


The Lost Lizard
National Area Capital Council


Cub Scout: “I’ll do my best.”

Lizard: “Scurry, scurry.”

Cap: Pantomime putting on cap

Coat: Pantomime putting on coat

(The audience is told to follow the narrator in pantomime besides doing their assigned parts.)

Once there was a Cub Scout who had a pet Lizard that he kept in a box.  One day the Cub Scout looked in the box and the Lizard was gone.  “I guess I’ll have to put on my Cap and Coat and look for my Lizard,” he said. So the Cub Scout put on his Cap and his Coat and he put the box in his Coat pocket and went outside to look for the missing


First the Cub Scout looked under the porch (pantomime looking under porch).  No Lizard.

Next the Cub Scout looked behind a tree (pantomime). No Lizard. Then the Cub Scout looked in the bushes (pantomime).  No Lizard.

Just as the Cub Scout was losing hope of finding his lost Lizard, the March wind came around the corner of the house and blew the Cub Scout’s Cap off.  Holding his Coat tightly around him, with the box in his Coat pocket, the Cub Scout ran down the street after his Cap (pantomime).

The Cub Scout chased his Cap past the fire hydrant to the street corner. After looking carefully both ways (pantomime), the Cub Scout ran across the street after his Cap.  The wind was blowing strong, so the Cub Scout held his Coat tightly around him as he chased the Cap into the park.

Finally the March wind put the Cap down on a rock, and the Cub Scout caught up with it.

And when the Cub Scout picked up his Cap, what do you think he saw?  There, on the rock, under the Cap, was his lost Lizard! He picked up the Lizard, put it in the box, put the box in his Coat pocket, put his Cap on his head and went straight home.

When he got inside the house, the Cub Scout took off his Coat and his Cap.  And took the Lizard out of the box. To his surprise, he discovered that this wasn’t his missing Lizard after all. Sitting quietly on his desk, the Cub Scout found his own Lizard.

“Oh well,” said the Cub Scout. “I’ll take the new Lizard to the den meeting this afternoon.

Mrs. Smith will put him in our den zoo. Won’t she be proud of me?” And with that, the Cub Scout put both Lizards in the box and went outside to play, after putting on his Cap and Coat, of course.

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