Welcome to Baloo's Bugle!


Back to Index
Special Opportunity
Prayers & Poems
Training Tips
Tiger Scouts
Pack/Den Activities
Pack/Den Admin
Fun Foods
Webelos Engineer
Webelos Athlete
Pre-Opening Activities
Opening Ceremonies
Stunts & Cheers
Audience Participation
Closing Ceremony
Web Links


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





Technology Group

Model Monkey Bridge

Circle Ten Council

Based on a foot bridge found in the high mountains of India, the monkey bridge uses one thick rope to walk on and two others as hand ropes.


The same design and knots used in the full-sized version are used in this model. The monkey bridge is often built in Scout camp as part of the Pioneering merit badge.
You'll need some hemp cord, some pieces of strong string, four 1/4" dowels 10" long, and two 1/4" dowels 4" long. A piece of scrap lumber at least 30" long and 4" wide makes a good base.


Make the shear lashings first, about 4" from the top of the shear legs. Tie loosely so the legs can open. Add the crosspieces, fastened with square lashings about 2" from the bottom. All lashings begin and end with a clove hitch.
Stretch the cord between the supports and tack the ends in place. Add the hand ropes and fasten them to the same anchor. Paint or stain the wood to give the bridge a rustic look.

Speakers in the following Fields of Engineering

Circle Ten Council

You may be lucky enough to have some Moms and Dads of your Scouts who are Engineers.  Invite them to speak about what they do.  Perhaps, they could even take the den to see where they work and what they do.  Or maybe there is a big local plant near you that has Engineers who would be willing to volunteer some time to show your den around.  I live near a large Dupont facility and have met some of their staff and toured their Waste Treatment facility. 

Here are some ideas about what engineers do -

Aeronautical Engineering - deals with the whole field of design, manufacturing, maintenance, testing, and the use of aircraft.

Industrial or Management Engineering - pertains to the efficient use of machinery, labor, and raw materials in industrial production.

Chemical Engineering - concern with the design, construction, and management of factories in which essential processes consist of chemical reactions.

Civil Engineering - is one of the broadest of the engineering fields dealing with the creation improvement and protection of the communal environment. Buildings, roads, bridges, airports and other constructions are just a few of the areas civil engineers impact.

Electrical Engineering - involves the use of electrical power, electrical machinery and communication, information, and control systems.

Geological and Mining Engineering - includes activities related to the discovery and processing of minerals.

Mechanical Engineering - speaks to the design and operation of all types of machinery.

Safety Engineering - is concerned with the prevention of accidents.


Make A Steam Engine

Circle Ten Council

A Webelos Scout may get a graphic demonstration of the power of steam by building the simple steam turbine shown in this illustration. Materials needed are a tin can, a lid from a second tin can, a pair of tin snips, a sheet metal screw, a cork, a power drill, an extra piece of tin to make the support for the turbine wheel, a finishing nail, and a source of heat.
Assemble to look like the illustration.

Blueprint Symbols.

Circle Ten Council

Can be used in floor plans drawn for requirement 8 of the Webelos Engineer activity badge. Make a game of learning them by putting each one on a 3" x 5" card and using them as flash cards.




Paper Bridge Competition


Karen, Webelos Leader (and an engineer),

Pack 23, Suffern, NY


2 rolls masking tape

2 stacks of newspaper  (a good size Sunday paper will do)

4 chairs with backs

2 identical sets of books or blocks (for weight)

Divide the Den into two groups.  Let an adult help each group if available.  Give each group a roll of masking tape and a stack of newspapers.  Set up the chairs in pairs about 4ft apart.  Each group must make a bridge using the materials provided that spans from one chair to the other. 

After a set amount of time (15 to 20 min), see how much weight each bridge can support without failing.  The bridges may be a truss, suspension, or cable stayed bridge, but must span from one chair to the other without touching the ground in between.

Gumdrop Truss Bridge

Karen, Webelos Leader (and an engineer),

Pack 23, Suffern, NY


Side View Of Truss Bridge



End View Of Truss Bridge



This is a fun project that illustrates the strength and rigidity of a truss bridge.  You will need a box of round toothpicks and a couple of bags of inexpensive gumdrops (or spice drops).  Scouts can work as pairs or individuals on this project.  Each scout should start by assembling a single triangular panel using 3 gumdrops and 3 toothpicks.  (It is important to notice the strength of the triangular shape.)  From there they can extend the side panel of the truss by adding more toothpicks and gumdrops. 

Once the single truss is about 4 panels long, the scouts can begin the second side truss.  The two sides are then connected together by adding toothpicks between matching gumdrop node points.  This short bridge span, which is about 8 inches long, will be very stiff and strong.  Spanning the bridge between two stacks of books, or the like can test the strength.  A cup full of pennies can be used to load the truss.  After testing the strength, the scouts can extend the bridge length by adding more pieces.  A second level of truss may be added for really long spans  (2 ft or more).  The scouts will enjoy testing out various different bridge configurations.   

The Right "Man" (or Woman) for the Job!


Annawon, Cape Cod and Islands, and 

Old Colony Council Pow Wow Book

Use a word from this list to fill in the correct answer.

Aeronautics                          Electrical

Chemical                                 Physical

Computer                              Industrial

City                                    Mechanical

Agricultural                                  Civill

1.       An engineer who designs plants to make water safe to drink - __________.

2.       An engineer who designs machines in a factory - _________________.

3.       An engineer who tests new processes and checks old ones in a chemical plant - ________________.

4.       An engineer who plans new circuits and directs workers in an electrical plant - ________________.

5.       An engineer who designs and tests new space techniques - ________________.

6.       An engineer who designs and tests new techniques for new equipment for industry - ___________________.

7.       An engineer who designs and tests equipment for farmers and ranchers - __________________.

Bridges & Machines

Annawon, Cape Cod and Islands, and 

Old Colony Council Pow Wow Book

Use a word from this list to fill in the correct answer.

Catapult                           Arch Bridge

Pulleys                 Suspension Bridge

Beam Bridge                              Levers

Plank Bridge               Block & Tackle

Truss Bridge                      Pier Bridge


1.       A flat surface over two supports - ________________

2.       A flat surface over three or more supports -__________

3.       A flat surface over an arched support - _____________

4.       A flat surface with turned up edges - ______________

5.       A bridge with sides made up of a series of triangles - __    

6.       A bridge that appears to hang from strong strung cables           

7.       A pulley(s) and a rope or cable - __________________

8.       A slingshot or other device used to project something -    

Rubber Bands & Engineering

Rubber Band Strength

Annawon, Cape Cod and Islands, and 

Old Colony Council Pow Wow Book

One of the requirements for engineer is to make a catapult. This requires the use of a rubber band or two, or a piece of tire inner tube. The rubber band is "elastic" and it stretches, but then returns to it's original shape. Before using materials in building, engineers must know the characteristics. Does it expand or contract? Is it weak or strong? Does it burn or not?

You can try an experiment to learn more of the characteristics of rubber bands and other elastic material. Get a collection of different sized rubber bands. Measure them for length, width and thickness (if you can). Make a chart that shows this information and mark each rubber band clearly so you know which is which. (Using colored rubber bands is best.)














































With each rubber band, attach one end to a cup hook that is screwed into a board. Attach the other end to a known weight. How far down does each rubber band stretch? Does its thickness change? Does its width change? Which rubberband is the strongest? Which rubberband is the weakest? How can you tell?

Basketball Catapult

Annawon, Cape Cod and Islands, and 


Old Colony Council Pow Wow Book


1.       Base, backboard and hoop are made from a 1"x4" board.

2.       Drill holes in base and backboard 3/8" diameter and 1/2" deep.

3.       Cut a slot at a 15 degree angle in a cube block large enough for the handle of a plastic spoon.

4.       Cut hole for the hoop first; then finish cutting the hoop piece. (We used a slice of 2" diameter PVC pipe and screwed it into backboard.)

5.       Glue the hoop to the backboard; then glue dowel rod into backboard and base.

6.       Glue cube block to base and insert spoon into slot.

7.       Cut string and attach one end to dowel rod at base and the other end to any 1" sized ball (ping pong balls work well). 




clear.gif - 813 Bytes

Materials found in Baloo's Bugle may be used by Scouters for Scouting activities provided that Baloo's Bugle and the original contributors are cited as the source of the material.

Materials found at the U. S. Scouting Service Project, Inc. Website 1997-2003 may be reproduced and used locally by Scouting volunteers for training purposes consistent with the programs of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) or other Scouting and Guiding Organizations. No material found here may be used or reproduced for electronic redistribution or for commercial or other non-Scouting purposes without the express permission of the U. S. Scouting Service Project, Inc. (USSSP) or other copyright holders. USSSP is not affiliated with BSA and does not speak on behalf of BSA. Opinions expressed on these web pages are those of the web authors.