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Baloo's Bugle


February Cub Scout Roundtable Issue

Volume 9, Issue 7
March Theme

Why Does It Do That?
Webelos Athlete & Engineer
  Tiger Cub Program




Why do they do this?  Ever wonder, whenever you see a flock of geese overhead, why they fly in a formation, and why they are always honking so loud?


Lessons from the Geese


        by Robert McNeish, Associate Superintendent of Baltimore Public Schools


        We live in an area where geese are very common. We see them coming in the Fall and leaving early Spring. Their migration is an awesome sight.  There is an interdependence in the way geese function.


          FACT: As each bird flaps its wings, it creates an "uplift" for the bird following. By flying in a "V" formation, the whole flock adds 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew alone.


          LESSON: People who share a common direction and sense of community can  get where they are going quicker and easier because they are traveling on the thrust of one another.


          FACT: Whenever a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to fly alone. It quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the "lifting power" of the bird           immediately in front.


          LESSON: If we have as much sense as a goose, we will stay in formation with those who are headed where we want to go.


          FACT: When the lead goose gets tired, it rotates back into the formation and another goose flies at the point position.


          LESSON: It pays to take turns doing the hard tasks and sharing leadership -- people, as with geese, are interdependent with each  other.


          FACT: The geese in formation honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.


          LESSON: We need to make sure our "honking" from behind is encouraging, not something less helpful.


          FACT: When a goose gets sick or wounded or shot down, two geese drop out of formation to follow it down to help and protect it. They stay with it until it is either able to fly again or dies. Then they launch out on their own with another formation or catch up with their flock.


          LESSON: If we have as much sense as the geese, we will stand by each  other.


When we think of our responsibilities toward boys, let us remember that our task is larger than ourselves, our influence more lasting than our lives. (Thomas S. Monson., Ensign, April 1955, page 77


Men have explored the wisdom of ages to give you the program of Scouting. (Boy Scouts of America, Revised Handbook for Boys, 1943, page 5


When you get to the top, throw ropes— not rocks.


If someone accuses you of being a Scouter, will he/she be able to find enough evidence to convict you?


How did we get daylight?

From the Net Woods virtual campsite


Crow brings Daylight

An Inuit Story retold by Oban

A long time ago when the world was first born, it was always dark in the north where the Inuit people lived. They thought it was dark all over the world until an old crow told the them about daylight and how he had seen it on his long journeys. The more they heard about daylight, the more the people wanted it.

"We could hunt further and for longer," they said. "We could see the polar bears coming and run before they attack us."  The people begged the crow to go and bring them daylight, but he didn’t want to. "It's a long way and I'm too old to fly that far," he said. But the people begged until he finally agreed to go.

He flapped his wings and launched into the dark sky, towards the east. He flew for a long time until his wings were tired. He was about to turn back when he saw the dim glow of daylight in the distance. "At last, there is daylight," said the tired crow.

As he flew towards the dim light it became brighter and brighter until the whole sky was bright and he could see for miles. The exhausted bird landed in a tree near a village, wanting to rest. It was very cold.  <Picture>

A daughter of the chief came to the nearby river. As she dipped her bucket in the icy water, Crow turned himself into a speck of dust and drifted down onto her fur cloak. When she walked back to her father's snowlodge, she carried him with her.

Inside the snowlodge it was warm and bright. The girl took off her cloak and the speck of dust drifted towards the chief's grandson, who was playing on the lodge floor. It floated into the child's ear and he started to cry.

  "What's wrong? Why are you crying?" asked the chief, who was sitting at the fire. "Tell him you want to play with a ball of daylight," whispered the dust. The chief wanted his favourite grandson to be happy, and told his daughter to fetch the box of daylight balls.

When she opened it for him, he took out a small ball, wrapped a string around it and gave it to his grandson. The speck of dust scratched the child’s ear again, making him cry. "What's wrong, child?" asked the chief. "Tell him you want to play outside" whispered Crow. The child did so, and the chief and his daughter took him out into the snow.   As soon as they left the snowlodge, the speck of dust turned back into Crow again. He put out his claws, grasped the string on the ball of daylight and flew into the sky, heading west.

Finally he reached the land of the Inuit again and when he let go of the string, the ball dropped to the ground and shattered into tiny pieces. Light went into every home and the darkness left the sky.

All the people came from their houses. "We can see for miles! Look how blue the sky is, and the mountains in the distance! We couldn't see them before."    They thanked Crow for bringing daylight to their land. He shook his beak. "I could only carry one small ball of daylight, and it'll need to gain its strength from time to time. So you'll only have daylight for half the year."

The people said "But we're happy to have daylight for half the year! Before you brought the ball to us it was dark all the time!"

And so that is why, in the land of the Inuit in the far north, it is dark for one half of the year and light the other. The people never forgot it was Crow who brought them the gift of daylight and they take care never to hurt him - in case he decides to take it back.



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