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Baloo's Bugle


August Cub Scout Roundtable Issue

Volume 10, Issue 1
September Theme

Soaring to New Heights
Webelos Citizen and Communicator
  Tiger Cub Achivement #1






Celebration Seltzer Rockets

Circle Ten Council

Need:  film canister with lid, toilet paper roll (double roll size preferred), construction paper, scissors, scotch tape, markers, crayons or paints, stickers (optional), Alka-Seltzer tablets (generic works fine), water in a container, eye protection.

Cut straight up the side of the toilet paper roll.

Insert the film canister at one end, making sure the end with the lid sticks out about 1/8.

Tape along one edge of the toilet paper roll onto the film canister.  Roll the toilet paper roll around the canister and tape tightly into place.

Cut a circle out of construction paper, cutting a pie shaped wedge out of the circle.  Experiment with different sizes of circles to see if it makes a difference in how the rocket reacts upon launch.

Roll the paper into a cone shape and tape onto the other end of the toilet paper tube. Decorate your rocket with markers, stickers, crayons, or paints.

Cut 4 squares out of construction paper to make fins if you wish.  Tape on to lower sides of rocket.

Take outside:  the rocket, water, Alka-Seltzer tablets, and eye protection. Put your eye protection on. Turn the rocket upside down, remove the lid from the canister, and fill full with water.  Drop in tablet and immediately replace lid and set on ground.  Back up!

Experiment with using one or two tablets.  See if it will shoot up higher.  Be sure to look for the tablets after the rocket fires.  Sometimes you are able to reuse them.  Be sure to rinse off your driveway or sidewalk after finishing with your rockets.

Be sure to try this first It is a great activity and was the favorite of our Tigers last year!! CD

Cub Scout Comet

Southern NJ Council

To make a Cub Scout Comet, take long, cotton "tube sock" without a heel and a solid sponge rubber softball or similar substitute.  Drop the ball into the toe of the sock and tie a knot just above the ball.  The comet is now ready for tossing and catching by the Cub Scouts. The official comet toss is made by holding the end of the sock and twirling around the head a few times, letting go when the speed is increased. With a little practice, the boys will be throwing the comet fairly accurately. The only official way to catch a Cub Scout Comet is to grab it out of the air, by the tail. This will also take some practice, but is certainly something the Cub Scouts can do and will enjoy.


Rocket Ship Bank

Circle Ten Council

Need:  Pringles can, colored paper, glue, 4 Popsicle sticks





Remove the corrugated paper from inside the can.  Cover the outside with colored paper.  Invert the can so the plastic lid is on the bottom to make for easy removal of the money.  For the nose cone, cut a 2 circle of colored paper; remove a pie shaped wedge.  Overlap and glue the ends to form a cone.  Glue the cone to the top.  Cut a coin slot just below the nose cone.  For fins, cut three vertical slits near the bottom of the rocket, as pictured.  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.

Theories Of The Universe

Heart of America Council

Help your Cub Scouts make their brains soar (and maybe sore, too).  Get them thinking and talking with a discussion like the following

Where does fire go when it goes out? Where does the sun go when it sets? And why is it hotter in summer than in winter?

These are big questions, and the boys probably have some insights that scientist have never considered. This activity will enable the boys to describe his own unique theories of the universe.

Sit with the boys and toss a pebble into the air. Ask why the pebble falls down and not up. Look up in the sky and ask why clouds don't fall to earth. Watch a bird soar through the air. Why can birds fly and people can't, even though people can flap their arms?

Wait for the moon to rise and ask where the moon has been ail day. Ask the same question about where the sun spends the night. What is light? What is heat? What cold?

In autumn, pick up a leaf and ask why it changed color. Why are some leaves yellow and others red? And why do some people lose the foliage on their head?

Big questions, big answers. 

Before starting this discussion, review the guidelines on Reflections found in the How To Book.  CD



Santa Clara County Council

A glider or plane derby can be a very enjoyable pack event when the rules are kept simple and uncomplicated.  In a glider or plane derby, the object is to keep the craft in the air as long as possible. The most important official is the timer, who must be equipped with a stopwatch. If the pack is large, you may wish to have two or three timers so that several planes can be in the air at the same time.

A simple derby involves only one type of glider or plane. Kits for balsa gliders and rubber-band-powered planes are available at any hobby or variety store. They are put together with the boy, with help from an adult, and flown without modification of parts, other than the shifting or bending of wings. The derby committee may wish to purchase all kits at the same time to save trouble and expense and distribute them to the boys before the derby.

Recommended Rules & Guidelines:

Here are some recommended rules and guidelines for running the glider or plane derby; adjust them to suit your event.  Agree on the rules beforehand.

         Each glider must be identified by number or a name.

         Timing begins the instant the model is released for flight. Time ends when the model touches the ground, hits an obstruction, or passes from the sight of the timer. The timer may move in any direction (not more than 200 feet) from the take-off point to keep the model in sight, so long as he remains on the ground.

         All boys must launch their own models. The model shall not be launched from a height greater than the flier's normal reach from the ground.

         Specify the number of rubber bands permitted for each plane.

         Specify if lubrication of rubber bands is permitted.

         It is suggested, if time permits, that the flier's score be the total elapsed time of three best flights out of five, or the best two out of three.

Glider Flying Tips:

         A glider should be thrown it as if it were a baseball, except the hand should be well over the head on release. The glider's fuselage is held firmly with thumb and forefinger. The glider should be held so that the wings are banked 45 degrees or more. This will put it into a right turn (if launched by a right-hander). The nose should be pointed up at a 45 to 60-degree angle. Rudder should be set for a left turn.

         After launching, the glider should start a right-climbing turn. The turn decreases as it climbs, until finally at the top it levels off. Then left-turn adjustments take over, and the model should glide down in a smooth left circle.


         Increasing the arch in the wings can increase lifting power. Hold the wing close to the mouth and exhale heavily upon the wood, bending it gently at the same time. This adds moisture to the balsa wood and keeps the arch in the wings.

         If the glider dives, slide the wing toward the nose.

         If the glider dips, slide the wing toward the tail.

         The rudder can be bent in the same way as the wings by moistening the wood with your breath.

Soaring Through Space Word Search

Heart of America Council

Find 27 words about astronomy hiding across, down, backwards, and diagonally. For a harder puzzle, cover up the word list and see how many you can find on your own.


ASTEROID BELT            METEOR                          SATURN

ASTRONOMY                   MOON                           SHUTTLE

BLACK HOLE                  NEBULA             SOLAR SYSTEM

COMET                            NEPTUNE                              SPACE

EARTH                             PLANETS                             STARS

GALAXY                            PLUTO                                     SUN

JUPITER                            PULSAR                      TELESCOPE

MARS                               QUASAR                          URANUS

MERCURY                     SATELLITE                            VENUS

Note In order to make the word search easier to do, the puzzle grid is in Baloo as a picture.  Cut and paste it to another document and restore it to a more readable size.  CD




Santa Clara County Council

A pack kite derby can be one of your best spring or summer activities. It may include various kite contests, followed by a picnic or barbecue. Some kite derbies are held just for fun with no special contests or prizes. Others include contests with prizes for each.

The kite derby plan should be developed far enough in advance so the boys and their families will know the types of events and rules for each before they begin making kites. The Wolf Cub Scout Book contains some kite plans. The den meetings leading up to the derby would be a good time to discuss kite flying safety rules with the boys.

Sample Kite Derby Schedule:

         Registration / Exhibit period

o        Display of Kites

o        Judging of Kites

         Opening ceremony

         Kite contests

         Picnic / Barbecue

         Recognition / Awards

         Closing Ceremony

Classification of Kites

Kites can be divided into the following groups for competition:

         Bow or tailless kites

         Flat kites or those with tails

         Box kites or combination kites

         Homemade v.s. Store-bought

Recommended Rules & Guidelines:

Here are some recommended rules and guidelines for running the kite derby; adjust them to suit your event.  Agree on the rules beforehand.

         All kites must be parent-son made.

         Each kite should be uniquely identified by number or a name. (Specify which)

         Each boy may have an adult to help him get the kite into the air and help catch it when it comes down.

         No restrictions on materials used in construction of kites, except that no fighting kites are allowed. (Glass, razor blades, and metal are not permitted.)

         No wire flight lines are permitted.

         Kites may be adjusted and modified any time during the derby.

         One way to determine the height of the kites is to provide kite cords that are pre-marked at 100 feet intervals.


Establishing a point system for judging will make it easier to determine the winners of some of the awards. Awards can be ribbons or prizes (or both).  Preflight judging can be done for design and workmanship, and prizes could be awarded for: Smallest, largest, funniest, prettiest, most colorful, most unique, most original, best craftsmanship.  In-flight awards can be presented for: First kite in the air, highest after 5 minutes, highest after 15 minutes, most stable flying, most graceful, best sportsmanship, most persistent scout.


Kite Flying Safety:

Always follow safe practices while flying a kite.

         Always fly a kite far from electric or power lines, transmission towers, TV and radio antennas, and ponds.

         Fly a kite on days when there is no rain. Never fly a kite in a thunderstorm.

         Use wood, fabric, paper, or plastic in the kite. Never use metal in making a kite.

         Always use dry string. Never use wire for a kite line.

         When flying a kite, avoid public streets, highways, or railroad rights-of-way.

         If your kite gets snagged in a power line, treetop, roof, or on a high pole, never try to remove it.

Kite Games

100-Yard Dash

On a signal the boys may launch their kites in any manner. Kites must be flown to the end of a 100-yard cord and then wound back to the hand of the flier. An assistant may remain under the kite as it is wound in to catch it before it falls to the ground. The race ends when the flier has rewound all his cord. At the finish, the flier must be on the starting line with his wound kite in his hand.

Altitude Race

Fliers start on signal and run out from the flying line, working the kite up to its highest possible altitude. At the end of 5 minutes, all fliers return to the starting line. The kites at the lowest elevation are then ordered down. The judges determine which kite is flying the highest.

Paper Message Race

All players send their kites up to a specific length of line-about 50 yards. A paper message is attached to the flying lines and allowed to blow up the kite. The boy whose message first reaches his kite wins the race.

How many ways can you make a kite?

         If you cut the inside section out of a paper plate, glue tissue paper streamers to it, then tie on a string, it will fly.

         A kite string tied to a plastic grocery sack will fly as high as a real kite on a windy day.

         You can also make a kite by cutting a 2" circle out of the bottom of a lunch sack. Tie an 18" piece of string to the top of the bag, then attach a kite string.

         Challenge the children and their parents to "invent" their own homemade kites.



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