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Baloo's Bugle


July Cub Scout Roundtable Issue

Volume 9, Issue 12
August Theme

Circle the Wagons
Webelos Naturalist and Forester
  Tiger Cub Activites



Quill Pens  (Bear Den Meeting Activity)

Cub Scout Program Helps Addendum


Use a turkey feather and whittle the tip to a sharp point.  Sandpaper will help make the tip smooth.  The point will need to be sharpened again after it is used. Make sure the boys write with washable ink.

Lasso Practice

Santa Clara County Council

Using a hula-hoop and a child’s wooden rocking horse, have cowboys try to “rope” the horse’s neck.   You can also setup folding chairs around the room, and have the boys try to rope the backs of the chairs.

Spin a Flat Loop

Santa Clara County Council

Before you try your first rope spin, there are a few “don’ts” to remember:  Don’t spin ropes inside the house, unless you have a large play area where things aren’t likely to get bumped or broken.  Don’t wear loose clothes that might interfere with the spinning rope.  Don’t—actually, NEVER—put the lariat around anyone’s head or body, including your own.  And, finally, don’t be discouraged if the rope doesn’t spin a perfect circle right away.  Most kids can do a pretty good spin with less than an hour’s practice.

Get a piece of rope about 12 feet long and between ¼ and 3/8” in diameter.  Use only a braided rope, often called sash cord.  Don’t use a common “laid rope,” with spiral strands because it kinks and tangles too easily.  A brand new rope will probably be too stiff and should be worked until the stiffness is gone.  Just using the rope for awhile will usually soften it up.

At one end of the rope, tie a slip knot known as a “honda.”  Be sure to snip off the tail or end of the honda knot to make it light enough for good spinning.  Feed the other end of the rope through the honda, and pull the slip knot tight.  Place a large flat washer over the free end of the rope, then tie the end of the rope with a simple overhand knot.

To adjust the rope for spinning, hold the lariat at the honda; the loop should hang down.  The length of the rope from the honda to the washer and knot is called the “spoke.”  When the loop is the proper size, the spoke should hang down from the honda halfway to the bottom of the loop.  Adjust the rope so this is so.  When you have the rope adjusted properly, be sure the skip knot is pulled tight so that the loop size won’t change.

The easiest spin to learn is the “flat loop.”  Find a space where there is plenty of room, and stand with your feet slightly apart and your body leaning slightly forward at the waist.  Hold the rope at the honda in your left hand (assuming you are right-handed; a left-handed scout may need to switch hands/directions).  Place the knotted end of the spoke with the washer loosely between the second and third fingers of your right hand so that the knot faces the palm of your hand.  Your right hand is called the “spoke hand.”

Bring the loop over to your right hand and let it lie loosely across the fingers of that hand.  You’re now ready to throw out the rope and start spinning.

Throw out your right hand in a counterclockwise direction away from your body.  At the same time, release the loop from both hands, while still loosely holding the spoke.  Your right hand should continue to make counterclockwise movements while the loop spins parallel to the ground and the spoke slips and turns between your fingers.  This slipping is important if you wish to avoid “wind up” and rope kinking.  (Cowboys don’t use washers on their ropes, but this is a good way to learn.)

Keep trying to throw out the rope and get it spinning before the loop touches the ground.  If the rope seems too big or clumsy, you can shorten it or try standing on something sturdy.  Don’t try to make the rope spin too fast—the secret of good rope spinning is to “get the rhythm.”  Of course, there are many other rope tricks you can learn, but the first step is to learn this flat spin—and to be able to get it going in both directions.

Wanted Posters

Circle Ten Council

Make wanted posters . Their easy just use Beige Paper and lightly singe the edges with a candle. Finally paste a picture to the paper and write wanted at the top. At the bottom write a description of all of the fun things they do in Scouting. "Wanted For Fun."  Then use these in the schools for your “Round Up” or other recruiting drive!!

Log Cabin Key Holder

Circle Ten Council

Materials:  26 Popsicle sticks, glue, 6 small nails

Lay 10 sticks side by side.  Glue 3 sticks on top of the 10 sticks; one at the top, one in the middle and one at the bottom.  Glue 3 sticks one on top of each other for each side of the roof.  Cut the remaining sticks to make the roof.  Glue the roof to the cabin.  Hammer the 6 small nails onto the cabin for hanging keys.

Tin Lantern

Santa Clara County Council



Empty tin can (coffee can is best, but any size will work)

Wire coat hanger, other wire or heavy twine

Candle (at least 1” shorter than the can)


Colored marker or crayon

Newspaper or towel



Wire-cutting tool or scissors

Remove any labels from can and wash thoroughly.  Using a colored marker or crayon, draw a punch-hole pattern on the can.  Make a traditional design or invent your own.

Fill the can with water and put in the freezer until the water is solid ice (one or two days, depending on the size).  The ice will keep the can from collapsing when you make the holes.  (In all my years of making Tin Can Lanterns, I never heard this trick – Wow how easy to eliminate a problem!!  Commissioner Dave)

Remove the can from the freezer and place on several layers of newspaper or a folded towel.  Using a hammer and nail, hammer holes in the tin can following the pattern you have drawn.  You can vary the size of the holes by using different-sized nails.  Make holes for the handle at opposite sides of the can rim.  When all the holes have been punched, invert the can to remove the ice.

Use wire cutters or scissors to cut a length of wire or twine and attach across the can for a handle.  (If using twine, be sure to lay it over to one side when the candle is lit.)

Drip wax from the candle into the bottom of the lantern and stand the candle in it, holding until set.



Use EXTREME CAUTION when candles are lit.

Have a water source nearby,




Cowboy Chaps Slide

Heart of America Council






Material – small piece of suede, vinyl, leather or leatherette that looks like what chaps were made of in the Old West


Trace both top and bottom of pattern on material, cut out. Fasten top section to bottom by folding end pieces (tabs) into the circle.  Then secure with brad to form Ring. (indicated by dot on pattern) Fasten top of chaps to bottom with Four brads where indicated by dots. Fringe edges of chaps.

Or to make it easier - I think I would cut out the top pattern with the tabs a little longer and glue it to a piece of PVC pipe for the slide. 

Burnt Match Necklace

Heart of America Council










Burnt kitchen matches


Waxed Paper


Cord or Leather thong

  1. Burn matches in advance. Light and blow out immediately, so just tips are burnt. Wipe off black residue on tips.
  2. Boys work on waxed paper when gluing matchers together.
  3. Arrange matches as shown and glue together with white glue. Let dry thoroughly.
  4. Glue ring on back, at top.
  5. When glue is dry, add cord or leather thong through ring and tie around neck.



Covered Wagon Model

Santa Clara County Council

 (Adapted from FamilyCrafts.com)

Here’s a model of a covered wagon that you can make from materials found around the house.


·         1 empty pint size milk carton

·         Construction paper

·         4 bottle caps, or lids from milk jugs (Pogs)

·         Glue or tape

·         Markers or paint


1.        Cut the milk carton in half as shown by the dotted lines below. Keep the bottom half with the top point, and paint it brown (adding a little glue to the paint will help your paint adhere to the milk carton better). Set it aside to dry.




2.        Paint the 4 bottle or milk caps black or brown to make the wheels for the wagon. You can also cut small circles from black or brown construction paper and glue them to the outside of the caps.  As a substitute for the bottle or milk caps, try to find some big buttons, or anything else that is small and round.

3.        Cut a piece of white construction paper about 8” x 5”. Glue or tape it over the opening you cut in the milk carton to make the cover for your wagon.



4.        Glue the wheels into place. (This is the tricky part, so be patient) If you are using the bottle or milk caps they will be heavy and you will have to work to find a good position to lay your wagon until the wheels dry. You will want most of each wheel attached to the wagon body with very little hanging over the bottom edge. If you want, glue on the wheels for one side at a time and let it dry lying on the side.

You can get a toy plastic horse for your covered wagon.  Attach the horse to your covered wagon with string.



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