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Baloo's Bugle


November 2002 Cub Scout Roundtable Issue

Volume 9, Issue 4
December Theme

Winter Wonderland
Webelos Craftsman & Scientist
  Tiger Cub Achievement



National Capitol Area Council

Webelos Scouts who have spent a year or two in a Cub Scout den before Coming into the Webelos den will have had some experience with craft work.  Chances are they will have already worked with simple woodworking tools.  But most of them probably have not done much in leather or tin craft.  This is an excellent opportunity for a boy to gain some knowledge in these skills.

To earn the badge, the boy must complete 10 craft projects.  There is no way these can all be completed at den meetings, so here is a chance to involve the parents.  Have the boys secure help from their fathers at home.  You can also enlist the help of the fathers in furnishing tools to be used during the den meeting.

Den Activities:

List tools needed to complete badge.

Visit furniture factory, lumber mill or lumberyard.

Visit a tannery or leather goods manufacturer. 

Invite an expert to give a demonstration on the proper care and use of tools.

Make a den knot board.

Tie in with scholar and discuss how education will help in doing crafts and working on the job.

Make a tool chest or bench hook for sawing.

Have a "straight" nail driving contest.

Pack Activities:

Exhibit:  Tool display; wood, leather and tin craft work by boys

Demonstrations for Pack Meeting:

How to use the coping saw, bench fork or V-board and C-clamp.

How to nail, toenail, clinch a nail, and use a block to pull a nail.

How to drill a hole for inside cutting with coping saw.

How to use a pocketknife - care, safety measures, sharpening, whittling.

How to nail a butt joint.

How to apply finish - crayons, tempera, wax paint, enamel, shellac.

How to make a bench hook and how it is used.

Proper use of wood tools, leather tooling, aluminum-tooling

Words Of Wisdom:

What follows is borrowed wisdom from years past.  When working with boys on their projects,  you must have PPP –

Patience - Some boys require a high degree of patience.  Stick with it and be rewarded.  Enlist the help of the assistant den leader, den chief, and fathers.  Do not do it all alone.

Preparation - Have all tools laid out before the den meeting starts.  Build a sample of the item and make note of the steps that are required.  Be prepared to help boys individually in these areas.  Show them the sample to give them an idea of what the finished product will be like.

Perseverance - Insist that the boys finish the items they begin.  This is very important.  If necessary, work individually with them outside den meetings or enlist the help of others.  Do not use a project which the boys cannot complete within a reasonable length of time.  Watch for signs of discouragement and help the boys who seem to be having trouble.

Learning how to care for and sharpen tools is an important in doing any kind of handicraft, but boys want to make things. The Craftsman Activity Badge requires that a Webelos Scout make at least eight different wood, leather or tin articles. These involve designing, cutting, tooling, lacing leather, using a jigsaw or coping saw with wood, or cutting and joining metal.

To supplement the information in the Webelos Scout book you will probably find "Crafts for Cub Scouts" the most helpful for ideas, techniques and designs.  There are many resource books at the library or hobby store which would also be helpful.  If you do not feel expert enough to lead them in a craft or skill, call on someone who can help.  You aren't expected to be skilled in everything,  and this is an opportunity to bring in fathers to help.

Nail Driving - Give each boy a hammer and five nails and a piece of log 4 inches in diameter and about 6 inches high.  On the word go, they are to nail all five nails completely into the piece of log.  First one finished is the winner.

Board Sawing Contest - This is the same as the nail driving contest.  Give each boy a small hand saw, pencil, ruler, and a 2" x 4" board (any length).  On the word go, each boy is to mark and saw his board in half.  The first one finished is the winner.

Note:  Judge the contests on skill and speed.  Drive the nails straight, and measure the boards correctly.  Also supply safety goggles for each boy whenever they are actually working with the tools.

Tool Tie Slides

(Each different slide uses 1/2" PVC pipe for the slide part)

Hammer -- Use a 1 1/2" piece of wood for the handle.  Shape the head from fast drying clay or salt dough.  Paint the head silver and the handle brown.  Glue to a piece of leather or PVC pipe.

Saw -- Cut the saw blade from a piece of aluminum can.  Use pinking shears to make serrated edge.  Cut two 1" squares of wood for the handle.  Glue them together with the saw blade inserted between.  Draw the outline of the handle on the wood.  Experienced whittlers may wish to cut away the excess wood.  But it looks nice if filled in with markers.  Add PVC pipe to back.

Screwdriver – Make a screwdriver from dowel.  Use a thicker piece of dowel for the handle.  Use sandpaper to shape the blade.  Paint handle red or yellow and shaft silver.  Attach to the PVC pipe

Heart of America Council

Helping Webelos Scouts make and do things that are consistent with their abilities and interests is a satisfaction in itself. You also have the opportunity to help the boys develop confidence in their abilities by encouraging them to use their talents and skills for the more advanced handicraft projects or perhaps develop a hobby in one of these fields.

Den Activities

1. Have a demonstration of the tools the boys will be using, and how to use them safely.

2. List Tools needed to complete the badge.

3. Select projects to work on and discuss badge requirements.

4. Demonstrate and practice painting, screwing screws and hammering nails.

Pack Meeting

The boys will enjoy showing off what they have made, and telling how they made it.  Be sure to book a 5 or 10 minute time slot at the meeting for this at the meeting that they will be receiving their award.  The boys may also be asked to demonstrate the safe use of tools by the Den Leader or Cubmaster.

Tie Slide

Leather Footprint

Materials: 1/8” Masonite, Scrap Leather, Exacto Knife (use only with adult supervision), Black Paint, Glue

1. Cut a piece of 1/8” masonite to the outside pattern.  Use that to cut an identical piece of leather.

2. Let the boys select their favorite animal track, draw it on the leather and cut out the track using an Exacto knife.

3. Paint the masonite black, glue the leather piece on, and the track will appear as a recessed print.

4. Glue a loop of leather on the back for the neckerchief to pass through.

Field Trips

1. Visit a furniture factory, cabinetmaker, lumberyard or saw mill.

2. Visit a tannery, leather goods manufacture or retailer. Tandy Leather Co. is very cooperative with Webelos and Cub Scout dens in helping them find inexpensive projects to do and helping them with lacing and learning to use stamping tools.


“Be Prepared” is a time honored motto. Practice it well yourself, by having materials prepared ahead of time.

Try to obtain used or scrap lumber rather than buying new.  Housing projects throw away many small pieces of wood which will work for you.  Building construction sites use a lot of thin plywood for constructing temporary walls doors and covering window openings.  When they are through they may throw it away.  Just be careful not to step on nails when you go “dumpster diving”, and always get permission before entering a housing or construction site.

Depending upon the projects’ complexity levels you select and size of your den, plan 2 to 3 months or 8 to 14 meetings.


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