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Baloo's Bugle


October 2004 Cub Scout Roundtable Issue

Volume 11, Issue 3
November 2004 Theme

Theme: Cub Scout Collectors
Webelos: Craftsman & Scientist
  Tiger Cub:
Achievement 5 & Activities





Southern NJ Council

So why not have the boys begin developing some collections of their own?  Hey, how about stamps?  Ever consider taking a field trip to your local Post Office and see what they have to offer?  How about everyday collectibles, like rocks, leaves, insects, etc?  You can get someone who collects things to come in and talk to the boys about what to collect and how. 

All kinds of collections can be found in boys pockets! Collecting is a very big part of every boy's life;

• Sport Cards

• Coins

• Rocks

• Arrowheads

• Star Wars items

• Autographs

• Patches

• TV or Movie posters

• Stamps


The list could go on and on. The Cub Scout program encourages collecting. You could take your den on field trips to special places too obtain information about collecting.

• Rock quarry: Rocks, gems, and minerals

• Butterfly Pavilion: Insects, butterflies

• Sports groups: Sports cards

• Scout Service Center: Patches

• Post Office: Stamps

• Federal Mint: Coins

Other ideas for collecting: Take a hike with a purpose. If you can't collect the actual items„ then bring along a camera to take pictures of the items. The pictures could be labeled and put inside an album.

·         Check your Boy's Life Magazine - There are lots of suggestions for collections.

·         Internet - surf he net for suggestions on collections.

·         Collector's exhibits - family members - check out your attic or basement.

·         Have fun with collections - you never know when it might turn into a lifelong hobby or occupation.


Southern NJ Council

Yeah, I know.  It sounds like something for a group of kindergartners.  But really, this works too.  We've talked before about how difficult it is for people to speak in front of others so you know this helps them warm to the idea.  And, believe it or not, this is also a fun thing to do.  (I know, because I sat through just the same thing when my son was in Cub Scouts.  The boys really enjoyed doing it and the parents and families that "came out to the program" thought it was really neat too.  And as I recall, the parents had to bring in and talk about their collections, too.


Southern NJ Council

Have a family hobby corner at the pack meeting.  Ask each family to bring a sample of what they collect as a family or things that represent their hobby.  Families who like baseball can bring baseball equipment, uniform, baseball cards, photos and maybe some trophies. Families who like movies can bring movie posters and movie paraphernalia including popcorn! Families who collect seashells can bring some in a box. It doesn't have to be a "formal" hobby - it's something a family does together. How about a family who buys T-shirts where they go? Set a time during the meeting for families too go around and admire each other's hobby. Family members can take turns staying at the "booth" to explain about the hobby

Rock Paperweights

Southern NJ Council

Rocks are fun to collect, and these delightful creations are fun to give.  Look for the best rocks that you can find, smooth, interestingly textured, shaped or colored, and get some glue paint, twine, eyes and other decorative materials.

Clean the rocks well.  Choose a large rock for the basic body.  Then either paint a face, picture or design on this rock and varnish, or choose smaller rocks to glue on as legs, head, eyes and ears.  Paint and varnish.  Pieces of yarn or string can be glued on for hair or tails.

Tuna Can Bug Collecting Box

Baltimore Area Council



Materials: Two clean tuna cans with labels removed and preferably opened with a top opening as opposed to a side opening can opener (top opening can openers leave no sharp edges), 6 x 11" piece of wire screen, red marker. Optional: spray paint and markers.


Option: you can spray paint & then decorate the tuna cans with the markers if you so desire.

1.       Pull two wire strands from one of the 6" sides of the screen.

2.       Roll the screen to make a 6" tube with a diameter smaller than the inside of the tuna cans and the end that you pulled the strands from on the outside.

3.       Slip a tuna can over each end of the tube. Release the screen so that the tube expands to fit snuggly inside the tuna cans.

4.       Being careful to hold the screen together, remove one of the tuna cans. Thread the wires that you exposed when you pulled the strands into the holes on the section of screen rolled to the inside. Now fold them back on themselves to hold the tube together. Continue down the tube until you reach the other tuna can. Remove the second tuna can and finish threading and folding until the tube is complete.

5.       Slip both cans back on and you have a bug box to collect all the little creepy crawlies you want.


Southern NJ Council

This will get the boys started with the Wolf achievement or Bear arrow on collections. Ask each boy too bring a self-addressed, stamped Christmas card to the meeting. Put all their cards into a large envelope, and write "Postmark Request" in the lower corner.

Mail the envelope to Postmaster, C/O the town listed below. Your letters will then be mailed from that town and the boys will have "Christmas" postmarks for their collection.

Bethlehem, GA 30620                           Mistletoe, KY 41351

Noel, M0 64854                                       Rudolph, WI 54475

Silver Bell, AZ 85270                            Christmas, FL 32709

Nazareth„ PA 18064                           North Pole, AK 99706

Santa Claus, IN 47579                          Wiseman, AR 72587

Display stamps in a book or case so that you and others can enjoy the stamps with damaging them.


Southern NJ Council

There are many places too find coins to start or add to your collection. Coin shops are obvious places too begin the search. Then there are coin shows, which offer plenty of choices, and often some very good bargains. No matter where you are in your collection, joining a coin collecting society can be a benefit. You'll met fellow collectors„ trade with them, learn the ins and outs of the marketplace, and be less likely to take any wooden nickels And you might make a friends, too. Coin folders are a great way to organize, catalog and display your coin collection.


Southern NJ Council

There are so many pretty things to be seen along the shore - so many things that can add to a boy's knowledge - pretty stones and shells, beautiful flowers and funny bugs, turtles and frogs„ snakes and cattails, seed pods and birds.

The study and collection of shells is called conchology. Tiny shells can be kept in small bottles with screw caps or corks. Medium shells may fit into matchboxes. Larger shells can be kept in cardboard boxes. Shells can be mounted on cardboard with household cement.  Each shell should be identified and labeled.

For a special display„ glue shells too golf tees with household cement. Then press the points of the tees into a piece of Styrofoam.


Southern NJ Council

Collecting the leaves and seeds from trees helps the Cub Scout too learn to recognize many different trees. Seeds can be stored in glass pill bottles, plastic coin tubes, square and rectangular plastic boxes. For larger seeds such as walnuts, acorns, pecans, Brazil nuts and peanuts, use plastic or cardboard egg cartons.

The best way to catalog seeds is to label each jar or box with the name. Self-sticking labels work well. Cardboard tags with strings can be used for labeling pine cones or similar large items.

To display the collection, the seed bottles or vials can be wired to heavy cardboard or a piece of plywood.


Southern NJ Council

Good places to find rock specimens is in roadbeds„ riverbeds, roads under construction, and building excavations. Choose rock and mineral specimens carefully. Don't pick up just anything. Wrap each in a piece of newspaper with a card to show where you found it.

Rocks can be chiseled to standard size (such as 2 by 3 inches) with a geologist's hammer or a regular hammer and a cold chisel. (Be sure to wear protective glasses when chiseling).

Label rocks by attaching a small label too the underside with transparent tape or by painting a small white spot, on which you can write the identification. Show the types of rock, where it was found, and the date. Small rocks can be kept in pill bottles. Larger rocks may be kept in sectioned boxes or egg cartons.


Connecticut Rivers Council

 Puppets made from shirt pockets may be made by cutting the pocket portion from an old shirt, leaving about 2" of the shirt attached all around the pocket. This extra material can be fringed for hair, beards, lions I manes, etc.

Slip the pockets onto your hands so you can determine where to cut "armholes" for your thumb and forefinger. Make faces with crayons.

Funny Putty

Connecticut Rivers Council

Materials needed for each boy:

1 tablespoon liquid starch,

food coloring,

2 tablespoons white glue,

a plastic egg or small zip-lock bag.

1.       Mix glue and food coloring together in small bowl.

2.       Pour liquid starch into a second bowl,

3.       then slowly pour the glue mixture on top of the starch.

4.       Allow the concoction to stand for 5 minutes or until the glue absorbs the starch.

5.       Remove putty from bowl and knead. (At first, the mixture looks as if it's a mistake, but it isn't. The more you knead the putty, the better the consistency will be.)

6.       Store Funny Putty in egg or zip-lock bag.

Press Funny Putty down on newspaper comics or pictures printed on inkjet paper.

Slowly pull the Funny Putty off of the paper.

The picture will transfer BACKWARDS onto the putty.

You can also roll your funny putty into a ball and bounce it.

Washable Finger Paint

Connecticut Rivers Council

 In large saucepan mix 1 cup all purpose flour with 1 cup cold water. Stir until smooth. Then add another 3 cups cold water. Cook over medium heat, stirring till mixture thickens and bubbles. Reduce heat and simmer 1 minute more while still stirring. Divide into three heat-resistant bowls. Tint with food coloring. Cover and cool. This makes a very good washable paint for finger painting or window painting!

Nature Rambles and Hikes –

Connecticut Rivers Council

 There are plenty of things in nature to collect and a short nature ramble in the backyard or a playground is suggested for the first den meeting and a longer hike for the third meeting. On both occasions, encourage the boys to look, really look, at what they see outdoors every day. Each boy should carry a container to collect such simple things as a blade of grass, an acorn or other nut, a seed, old leaves, dead insects, twigs, interesting small rocks. When you get back to the meeting place, use field guides to trees, insects, birds, and rocks to try to identify their prizes. Your den's activities will depend in part on where you live - the kinds of flora and fauna that grow there and how advanced springtime is in your area. Wherever you are, there should be plenty to see, hear, and smell in the outdoors.

For many other ideas, see Chapter 8, "Nature and Outdoor Activities," in the Cub Scout Leader How-To Book. You will also find nature related activities in the Wolf Cub Scout Book (Achievements 6 and 7 and Electives 13, 15, 18, and 19) and in the Bear Cub Scout Book (Achievements 5 and 6 and Electives 2, 12, and 15).


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