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Baloo's Bugle


February 2004 Cub Scout Roundtable Issue

Volume 10, Issue 7
March 2004 Theme

Theme: Walk in My Shoes
Webelos: Engineer & Athlete
  Tiger Cub: Achievement #7




Circle Ten Council

Anyone can hold a Den meeting, go through the crafts and activities and send the kids home.  Anyone can hold a Pack meeting, give out the awards and advancement, and send the kid's home.  BORING!

It’s the Pizzazz that keeps them coming back.  It’s the songs, skits, stories, run-ons, and cheers that bring on the laughter, the sparkle in the eyes, the excitement.  It’s the impressive ceremonies when the kids are recognized for achievement, that they will remember for years to come.  Here are a few helpful hints -

Become a Song Leader

Santa Clara Council

Why songs? Remember the great times singing those songs in school or that song that rumbled the rafters at church? The feeling after these songs really lifted the spirits. Singing is fun! Songs can create enthusiasm or set a mood.

To be a successful song leader, all that is required are a few tips about how to lead songs. Voice? Don't worry about it! A voice like that of a crooner or an operatic star is not necessary. Never apologize. It's easy and it's fun to lead songs. Just follow these hints to be a song leader! A song leader must break the ice, particularly with a new group. Do things that will break down the reserve and get everyone into the group spirit. At the beginning of the first song period, announce that the group will do things together. Ask a Cub Scout to stand in front of the group and throw his neckerchief into the air and then catch it. Have him do this several times. Tell the group that they can yell as long as the neckerchief is in the air, but must stop instantly when the neckerchief is caught. Suggest such words as "yip-pee, wahoo, Akela, Wolf, Bear, Webelos" etc. Everyone should yell something.

Song Leading Tips

Begin with a song that everyone knows. Announce the name and the tune (if it isn't an original song).

Sing the first few bars, or sing the entire song. This will give the pitch and the proper tempo. If there is a piano and a pianist or a recording of the song, use them to teach the song.

Then start the song. How? Tell the group to begin singing after the first few words, then signal, such as a simple down motion with the hands is given.

What about hand motions? Start with simple up and down motions. Then use these motions to keep time with the rhythm and the syllables of the words as they are sung. The movement of the hands should indicate those notes that are to be prolonged or quickened. In the same way, raise or lower the hands to regulate the volume. Get into the proper swing and rhythm. Put some personality and pep into it. Put the entire body into song leading.



It has been my experience that this is the most difficult part of song leading to get someone to do – to move their arms in rhythm to the music.  It is probably an inner fear from who knows where.  Anyway, an older Scout Exec told me a secret once – give them a pair of special song leader’s gloves (Day-Glo orange, preferably) and most people lose their fear and move their arms.  Commissioner Dave

Insist on quality, not volume. Expect everyone to sing.

Use songs that fit the occasion. Start with lively songs and end the program with something inspirational.

Songs should be taught in the weekly den meeting, using songbooks only until the words are learned. Everybody should be ready for some real singing at the monthly           pack meeting.

If the first song doesn't measure up to expectations, "kid" the group along. Don't reprimand! For instance, try some competition. Put dens one and two against dens three and four... or boys against parents. Or moms against dads. Use a short song to get everyone into the proper spirit.

In small groups, someone can often begin a song and everyone joins in naturally without formal leadership.

Cheers and Applause's

Applause stunts are a great way to recognize a person or den in a pack meeting for some accomplishment they have performed. Be sure before you start that everyone knows and understands the applause stunt and how to do it. Applause stunts serve more than one purpose -- they not only provide recognition but also help liven up a meeting. Applause stunts need to be fun. Strive for quality of performance in your stunts.

Another important side effect of Applause stunts is they provide” wiggle time” for all the Scouts and siblings during the ceremonies so they sit still during the serious moments.  It is a lot easier and a lot less stressful to lead a cheer and have fun than to be constantly reminding the Scouts to sit quietly.  CD

Here’s a fun idea for you.  Gather up all the cheers and applause's you can find, print them on card stock, cut each one out of the card stock page, and drop the whole bunch into a Cheer detergent box ~ empty of course.  This is your “Cheer Box” for your Pack meetings.  After skits or songs at the Pack Meetings, have a Scout come up, take a Cheer out of the Cheers Box, and lead it.

Den Yells

Why Den Yells??

  1. Gives every boy a chance to participate at the Pack Meetings
  2. Builds Den spirit and morale.
  3. Gives the boys a chance to let off steam in an organized fashion.
  4. If Den yells are worked out by the Dens, affords a chance for cooperative effort.


Sample Den Yells


Circle Ten Council

A good den yell can be a great morale booster.  It can start competition between dens and get the pack meeting off to a great start.  CD

North, South,

East or West


Is the Best!

Show us some action!

Show us some spark!

All for Den   

Stand up and bark.

United we stand

Divided we fall

Den_____is the best of all

We've done fine!

We've done well

Now for an ear splitting yell

Den____Den        Den



Run Ons

Run-ons are a terrific way to add some pizzazz to a Pack meeting.  For best results, arrange them ahead of time, without the Cubmaster, or whoever is running the Pack meeting, knowing about it.  That way they look more spontaneous, and the Cubmaster can easily become part of the joke.


Here are a few classics:

A frantic figure runs on-stage.

a.  It’s all around me! It’s all around me!!

b.  What's all around you?

a.  My belt!

A desperate figure runs on-stage.

a.  They're after me!  They're after me!

b.  Who's after you?

a.  The squirrels - they think I'm nuts!

A man (or lady) enters singing

a.  Soap, Soap, Soap, …..

b.  What are you doing?

a.  Just singing a few bars!

Two people enter stage together (Or have one enter and ask the Cubmaster).

a.  Have you seen my new pet pig?

b.  No, what’s his name?

a.  Ball point

b. Is that his real name?

a. No, it’s his pen name

For more hints on song leading and lots more stunts and applauses – Get a copy of “Creative Campfires” by Douglas Bowen.  I own about five copies of this book because I am always loaning it out to other Scouters.  Also, good are BSA’s “Group Meeting Sparklers,” and the Cub Scout Songbook.  Recently I have seen quite a few books on cheers. Commissioner Dave


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