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Baloo's Bugle


August 2002 Cub Scout Roundtable Issue

Volume 9, Issue 1
September Theme

Blast Off
Webelos Communicator and Citizen
  Tiger Cub Achievement 1



Mini Rocket Racers
Heart of America Council

This is an alternative to the rocket racers supplied by the B.S.A. The race track is thin string or fishing line strung between two points.  The race vehicles are paper cones, threaded onto that line.  The power is supplied by the Scouts blowing into the open end of the cone to the finish line.  You may choose to make your own, or use the disposable drinking cup cones that can be purchased from retail stores.  This activity can have the Scouts make and decorate (with magic markers) their cones right at the pack meeting or ahead of time.  This activity is simple but filled with fun and adventure.


The Rocket
National Capital Area Council

Threading a straw with a launch line makes the rocket. Leader blows up a long balloon. He attaches it to the straw with tape. The Cub then goes to the other end of the launch area and waits by his parent. Cubmaster then attaches the award to the balloon and releases the balloon. It rockets to the parent for the award to be given to the Cub.


To Make An Alien Head
National Capital Area Council

Materials:  1-2 yards green fabric, 1-1 1/2 feet elastic, green thread, needle, plastic bags

Directions: Cut out a large circle of green fabric. The larger you want the head, the bigger the circle. Then, hem the ends of the fabric, but leave enough space to get the elastic through. Then, when you are done hemming, pull the elastic through the space in the hem. When the elastic is through, connect both ends together with the thread. Stuff your head with plastic bags to make it stand up, put it on your head (tuck your hair under), and you're ready to go

Rocket Ship Bank
York Adams Area Council


          Potato chip can

          Colored or contact paper


          4 Craft Sticks or Tongue Depressors

Directions:  Remove the corrugated paper on the inside of the can. Cover the outside with colored paper.  Invert the can so the plastic lid is on the bottom of the rocket for easy removal of the money. For the nose cone, cut a 2½” diameter circle of colored paper; remove a pie-shaped wedge.  Overlap and glue the ends to form a cone.  Glue the cone to the top of the rocket. Cut a coin slot just below the nose cone. For fins, cut three vertical slits near the bottom of the rocket, insert and glue a popsicle stick into each. Cover each fin with colored paper that is cut a little wider than the popsicle stick and glue in place.

Soda Bottle Rockets
by Mike Passerotti
York Adams Area Council

[Editor’s Note: This is a fun craft that our Pack has used off and on for years.]


          2 soda bottles

          Card stock printed pattern

          Markers, crayons, or colored pencils





          Wood block approximately 4" long piece of "2 by 4" lumber

          One wood screw

          One rubber automotive valve stem

          Bicycle tire pump

Preparation:  Review and prepare materials. Build the launch pad by cutting 2 1/2" off the cap end of the bottle, cut a 3/8" slot down one side of the bottle for the tire pump hose, drill or punch a hole in the bottom of the bottle, screw the bottle to the block of wood.


Print the patterns. Cut the fins out. Cut the nose cone out.

Roll and tape the nose cone. Tape the nose cone to the bottom of the whole soda bottle.

Fold the fins at all the dotted lines. Glue or tape two of the fins together. Wrap the fins around the middle of the whole soda bottle and glue or tape the last fin together.

Launch Time:  This is an outdoor activity. If gusty winds are a problem, then abort the launch. Everyone should stand away from rockets when they are on the launch pad. These rockets can shoot 100 feet or more into the air. No sharp objects should be placed on top of the nose cone or elsewhere on the rocket.

Fill the soda bottle a little less than half way with water. Shove the large end of the tire valve stem into the neck of the bottle. Attach the bicycle pump hose to the valve stem. Lower the bottle into the launch pad so that the hose slides down into the slot, the valve stem points down and the bottle rests on top of the cut bottle.

Inexpensive Launch Pad

Pump up the bottle until it pops off the valve stem and flies to new heights.

Wrap-Up:  One way to record the results of different "fuel" mixtures is to make a simple graph of height vs. amount of water. Such a graph gives a clear, visual record of the observations and can be used as evidence to support interpretations.

Design And Launch Other Rockets. Design a two-stage rocket. Design recovery mechanisms such as parachute, ribbon or propeller.


Rocket In Space Slide
Debbie Kalpowsky
York Adams Area Council



          1 to 1½-inch disks

          Black or dark blue paint

          Glitter or glow-in-the-dark paint

          1-inch miniature rocket models (white preferred)

          ¾-inch PVC slide rings


          Hot glue

          Small paint brushes

          Old toothbrushes

          Craft sticks


1.        Paint front of disk with black or dark blue paint.

2.        If using glitter for stars in background, when paint is slightly tacky sparingly sprinkle glitter on disk.

3.        If using glow-in-the-dark paint, wait until black paint is dry.  Pour a little bit of glow-in-the-dark paint into a small lid or on a small paper plate. 

4.        Dab toothbrush into paint to get just a little on the bristles.  Pointing the business end of the toothbrush away from you and at the painted disk and with bristles pointing up, scrape the craft stick across the bristles so that the bristles “splatter” the paint onto the disk.

5.        When all paint is completely dry, use hot glue to mount the spaceship/rocket on the disk, as if in flight.

Model Rocketry
York Adams Area Council

Our Pack has done Model Rocketry as an activity at some of our Family Days.  The boys (and all those Born-Again Rocketeers [BARs]) just love it.  Why not find some BAR who can take the Den for an outing with model rocketry?

Some Tips for Introducing Kids to Model Rocketry

1. Keep the first trips to the flying field short. Kids have a limited attention span and can become bored very quickly. When they begin to show signs of losing interest, it's time to go.

2. Prep a few rockets in advance to keep "down time" at a minimum for the first trips. Get everything set except the parachute. This should always be packed just prior to launch for reliable deployment.

3. Kids hate to lose things, including rockets. Kids will be much happier if you have a successful launch and recovery with an "A" or "B" motor from 500' than if you stuff the biggest motor a rocket can handle and punch it up over 1000' and never see it again. We enjoy watching the whole flight sequence take place.

4. Involve the kids in building the rockets. This can be as simple as handing you parts or helping to assemble the parachute. This gives the kids a feeling of ownership. They want to fly "their" rocket. Estes E2X kits require very basic modeling skills and a minimum amount of time to go from box to the launch and are a good choice for first rocket projects. I built our MK-109 E2X kit in 20 minutes.

5. Build a variety of rockets. Let the kids help to pick out some of the kits. Build some "different" rockets, not just 3 fins and a nosecone. Try a 2 stage rocket, a boost glider or exotic sci-fi kit. Try a streamer or helicopter recovery instead of just parachutes. Try an egglofter to see if you can launch and recover a raw egg without breaking it.

6. Teach the kids all about the flight. Explain the reasons for things that happen. Encourage questions and discussion. Brian has developed an incredible interest in rocketry, space and science. I believe a large part of this is due to our rocketry.

7. Teach and practice safety! Always stress the importance of safety. The adult should be in control of the safety key at all times. Never allow anyone to approach the pad while the controller is armed. The National Association of Rocketry Safety Code is packed with all model rocketry products. Learn it and follow it!

Southern Pennsylvania Area Association of Rocketry


C. Glenn Feveryear

701 Main Street

Delta PA 17314-8940

(717) 456-5570


Visit Smithsonian Institute’s National Air And Space Museum
York Adams Area Council

The Museum is open every day except Dec. 25.

General Admission is Free.


The National Air and Space Museum is located on the National Mall at 7th and Independence Ave., S.W., Washington, D.C., just west of the Capitol building. The closest metro stations are L'Enfant Plaza or Smithsonian. Information is available on Special Services for disabled visitors.

For information on visiting the Smithsonian and Washington, D.C. including maps, access and other tourist information, please see the online guide to Planning Your Smithsonian Visit. (The National Park Service also offers a digital version of their map of Washington, The Nation's Capital.)

For more information on all tour descriptions and special tours, programs, science demonstrations, or to make reservations, call the Tours and Reservations Office at (202) 357-1400.


Recycled Rockets (Take-off on Recycled Genius Kits)
York Adams Area Council

Ever have the boys make Genius Kit Creations?  These are fantastic inventions of the uncluttered imagination—best done by the young and young at heart.  You can use the same approach for holding a Recycled Rocket Contest—just change the Kit Contents.  Here are the Rules we use for the Genius Kit Contest we hold periodically:

Genius Kit Contest Rules And Regulations

          Each boy who participates must have a great time doing it!

          Each boy will receive a Genius Kit.  The kit contains the only materials the Genius Cub is allowed to use in creating his Genius Work, with one exception:  Glue can be used to construct the Genius Work.  [Screws, nails, tacks, tape, etc., unless provided as part of the Genius Kit, are not allowed.] 

          The Genius Cub does not have to use all items in his Genius Kit, but it will be a consideration in some of the judging.

          Materials in the Genius Kit can be modified, but no additional material can be added to what is in the kit.

          The Genius Work cannot have the Genius Cub’s name in view (but the name can be on the bottom of the base plate).

          The Genius Work must be completed by the January Pack Meeting and it must be registered at the Pack Meeting before the judging begins. 

          At registration, each Genius Cub will sign in on a numbered list.  The number is the Genius Cub’s registration number.  He will receive a sticker with the registration number on it.  He must place the number on the Genius Work and then put the Genius Work on the judging table.

          Judging will begin promptly at ? p.m. (unless judges are late getting there).  Judging categories will be areas like:

          Most Intricate, Most Ingenious, Most Life-Like, Most Inventive, Most Unbelievable, etc.

          Ribbons will be given out to the award winners.  All Genius Cubs will also receive a frame able Certificate of Genius Work for participating.


Water Rocket Trails
York Adams Area Council

It’s only September and it’s not too cold out yet.  Consider holding a Water Rockets event.  Water rockets are great fun for the boys.  To make them, you will need to collect a bunch of 2-liter soda bottles, make fins (see diagram) and then get together several launch pads, using tire pumps, sports ball needles, and rubber corks. 

Push the needle through the cork and attach the needle to the tire pump. 

Fill a rocket about 1/3 full of water and plug a cork into the opening. 

Stand the rocket upright (upside down) with the tire pump nearby to pressurize the bottle.  (The rockets will stand on their own on the tips of the fins.)

Have the Cub or an adult pump the pump until liftoff.


Paper Towel Rockets
York Adams Area Council

Save enough empty paper rolls for the den rockets.  Glue fins to base and a cone of construction paper to the top of it.  Paint with wild colors or cover with wild-colored wrapping paper.



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