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 Fitness
Webelos Readyman
Pre-Opening Activities
Opening Ceremonies
Stunts & Cheers
Audience Participation
Closing Ceremony
Web Links


Write to Baloo (Click Here) to offer contributions, suggest ideas, express appreciation, or let Commissioner Dave know how you are using the materials provided here. Your feedback is import. Thanks.


Baloo's Bugle


December 2004 Cub Scout Roundtable Issue

Volume 11, Issue 5
January 2005 Theme

Theme: Cub Scouts Spread the News
Webelos: Fitness & Readyman
  Tiger Cub:
Achievement 3 & Activities




Story Box

Southern NJ Council

Use already-made boxes or boxes that Cubs have made themselves.  Let their imaginations go!  A Storytelling Box can also be done individually or as a group. It is a special box into which the following kinds of items, or combinations are placed:

Small, smooth stones (or ceramic squares) onto which words, signs or symbols are painted or written.

Small, unusual objects (e.g. toys, things from nature, household items, small bits of clothing, coins, and so on).

Slips of paper or flat sticks with words or pictures on them.

Cubs work in groups of 3-5. The Den Leader can start off with a beginning, then allow one of the group members to "set the stage", or leave it completely up to the individual storyteller from the very start.

The first Cub begins by drawing out an object from the box without looking (the element of surprise makes it more interesting!). The drawn item must be used sequentially in the story and stays out of the Box until the story is finished; i.e. it can't be put back into the box and exchanged, or saved until later in the story, or used again.

The story continues until such time as the Cub becomes "stumped", and pulls out another object.  This process continues until the Cub determines that the story is finished.


Southern NJ Council

The den’s newsletter can be whatever the boys want to make it.  Ask each boy to write at least one story for the paper.  Here are a few possible topics:

*        A report on a recent den field trip.

*        Brief impression of a recent den or pack event.

*        Directions for playing the writer’s favorite game.

*        A report on an interview with the den leader.

*        A one- or two-paragraph description of each den member written by himself.

*        An interview with the den chief, who tells why he likes Boy Scouting.

*        A story on what the den plans to do for the Blue and Gold Banquet.

If you have an artist in the den, he may want to draw a cartoon or some other illustration.  A boy interested in photography might choose to take photos of den activities.

Recruit boys and parents who have access to a computer to help produce some or all of the newsletter electronically using graphics and word processing programs.


Southern NJ Council

You can make designs and use them over and over to make greeting cards, gift wrapping, banquet programs and menus and stationary.  Cover the table where you are working with newspapers because you must press down hard when printing to make a clear print.  Design will print the reverse of what is seen on the block so if there is lettering or a design that has a right or left, it should be glued to the block backwards. Here are some ideas -

Potato Printing

Potatoes make good block prints, if used right away. They are easily carved, but last only a day or two. One potato makes at least two designs.

*        Cut potato in half with one straight cut

*        Blot the surface to remove as much moisture as possible.

*        With an orange stick or pencil, trace design on potato.

*        Cut away all parts without any design on them. Cut outline at least 1/3" deep to provide a good printing surface.

*        Again remove additional moisture.

*        Place paper to be printed on a pad of newspaper or a water-soluble printer's ink on design.

*        Transfer potato design onto paper. Press had but do not move the potato or the design will smudge.     

 Potato Stamp Tip

Circle Ten Council

You can make the potato stamp in a couple of ways.  One way is to cut the potato in half and carve a design on one-half.  This should be a raised design, so you cut away what you do not want to see.  There is a safety issue here of using knives.  Plastic ones work if the potato is a softer variety.

Another way to potato stamp is to use cookie cutters.  You push the cookie cutter all the way into the potato and cut off the excess with a butter knife.  This can make better shapes and is a lot safer for the Cubs.

Leaf Printing

Trees shrubs, flowering plants and weeks offer an infinite source of leaf designs for printing. Use an inked stamp pad, place leaf, veins side down on pad. Lay a piece of newspaper over leaf and rub fingers over it. Remove leaf and place it on surface to be printed. Pace clean newspaper on tap and rub.

Crayon Rubbing

Place leaves veins side up on paper or textured surface, such as burlap, wood or leatherette. Cover with sheet of plain paper and rub crayon held sideways. Outlines and veining of leaves will stand out.

Printing With Sponges

On a dry plastic sponge draw or trace your design. Cut cleanly along the lines. Place poster paint in a dish, brush the paint onto the flat part of the sponge and stamp it on your paper.

Printing With Erasers

Draw your design on a gum eraser. Use a craft knife or scissors to cut away the part around the design so the pattern is raised.

Printing With Odds And Ends

Interesting and easy prints can be made with odds and ends from around the house. You will be surprised with the patterns you can make by pressing the bottom of a spice can or a bottle on an ink pad and then stamping your paper. Other things such as:

 Matchbox                     Half an Onion                     Your hand

Buttons                                 Coins                 Kitchen Utensils

Fork                                 Toothbrush

"The Morning Times"

Southern NJ Council

Have a basket full of words that you have cut out of the newspaper.  Hand out a piece of 8 1/2" X 11" paper to each boy as well as a roll of scotch tape.  By picking words out of the basket, each little editor combines words to create his own newspaper headline.  Write a short story based on your "Headline."

A-Hunting You Will Go!

Greater St. Louis Area Council

Without careful observation, it is hard to notice the many different things in the newspaper.  Nick K., "Cub Reporter,” amazes his friends with his ability to find lots of hidden things written in the paper.  Let's see how well you do!

Use the newspaper to find words for each category and letter listed on the chart below.  When you find a word that starts with one of the letters and also fits in a category, cut it out; the glue it in the appropriate box.


Person's Name

Plural Word

Business Name

City or Country Name














































Stop The Presses Newspaper Slide

Southern NJ Council

Shrink-It kits can be found in craft stores.  This slide uses Shrink-It.

Materials:                                                       Newspaper story

Clear plastic                                                                Cardboard

Glue                   Pipe cleaner or PVC pipe ring or curtain ring

Shrink a story from the newspaper to size you want. 

Glue it on cardboard and cover both sides with clear plastic. 

Glue pipe cleaner on back.


Southern NJ Council

Craft Stick –


Materials:  One large craft stick (tongue depressor); 1 spring-type clothes pin; Markers; Glue; Strip magnet.


1.                   Glue a clothespin near the end of the craft stick. 

2.                   Decorate with markers. 

3.                   Attach magnet on back.


Paint Stick

Materials:  One paint stick (for quart or gallon can, about 14” long); Several spring-type clothes pins, Paint; Permanent markers; Glue; Strip magnet.


1.                   Paint the paint stick.  Use any wood or acrylic paint.

2.                   Attach clothespins.  If desired, paint or decorate the clothespins before you glue them on the paint stick.

3.                   Decorate with markers

4.                   Attach magnet strips on the back of the paint stick.


Southern NJ Council

Materials:  One craft stick (tongue depressor); Sandpaper; Yarn; Raffia; Twine; Plastic lacing; Small piece of cardboard; Permanent marker; Shellac (optional).


1.                   Sand one end to a point--not too sharp!

2.                   Sand both edges until they are angled and smooth enough for opening letters.  It’s easier if you move the craft stick over sandpaper than the other way. See Picture above.

3.                   Wrap the handle end with yarn, raffia, twine, plastic lacing, or other material.  Wrap about an inch and fasten the end.  Put a dab of glue on each end to prevent unraveling.

4.                   Fold the cardboard, draw a small, simple design.  Cut both layers.  Glue them over the top of the handle, one on each side of the stick.

5.                   Draw design on the stick with markers.

6.                   Finish with a coat of shellac (adult assistance necessary).


Circle Ten Council


Two good-sized log slices about 1” thick;

Felt piece; Saw; Glue.


1.                   Sand the surface of wood pieces well.

2.                   Use one for the base.  Glue a piece of felt to the bottom.

3.                   Saw the other piece in half and glue the straight edges of these halves across the base, leave space between for letters.

Paper cup Telephones

National Capital Area Council


Make a small hole in the base of each cup.  Insert one string from the outside to the inside of each set of cups and secure it with a piece of tape.  Let the Cub and his partner talk to each other.  Be sure to keep the string taut but don't pull so hard that the string comes untaped.  Suggest they have a code word to indicate they are done talking, so each knows when to change from listening mode to speaking mode.

Family Communications Center

Baltimore Area Council

Create a message center using a wooden coat hanger and metal cup hooks.

Screw the cup hooks into the bottom of the wooden coat hanger, spacing them equal distances and using one for each member of the family.

Decorate the hanger any way you want, using Feathers, ribbon, seeds, dried flowers, material, etc.

Old Fashion Telegraph Set

Baltimore Area Council

Supplies:                     2 wood blocks                             2 nails

3 screws                     1 dry cell battery                          2 wires

2 metal tin can strips (Note:  These cannot be from an  aluminum can.   Test it with a magnet first.)

*                                           Using supplies, assemble, as illustrated.

*                                           Bend the metal “Z” (sounder) so that it attaches itself to the nails when the key is pressed.

*                                           After the boys have completed their old fashion telegraph set, they can have fun sending messages to each other using the Morse Code chart below.

Historical Note:  Samuel Morse became interested in telegraphy in 1832, and worked out the basics of a relay system in 1835. The equipment was gradually improved and was demonstrated in 1837. Morse developed “lightning wires” and “Morse code”, and applied for a patent in 1840. A line was constructed between Baltimore and Washington and the first message, sent on May 24, 1844, was “What hath God wrought!”

On May 24 2004, the 160th anniversary of the first telegraphic transmission, the International Telecommunications Union added the “@” (the “commercial at” or “commat”) character to the Morse character set and is the digraph “AC” ( probably to represent the letter a inside the swirl appearing to be a C). 

It is notable since this is the first addition to the Morse set of characters since World War I probably, due to its popularity in e-mail addresses.

Newspaper Puppets

Circle Ten Council

Materials:  Newspaper, scotch tape, and white paper


*        Pile at least five pages of newspaper together. 

*        Fold them in half (so they are about 11 x 14) and roll them up lengthwise.  Make sure that the roll is tight. 

*        Fold another page in half and wrap it around the roll. 

*        Tape them all together. 

*        From the top of the roll, make cuts about three inches long and 1/2 inch apart to make the hair. 

*        Draw eyes, nose and mouth on the white paper and cut them out.  Glue the facial features on the roll just below the hair.

Paper Beads

Circle Ten Council

Materials:  Old Magazines, glue, pencil or stick


*        Find colorful pages in the magazines and cut them out.

*        Cut triangle shapes the length of the page, having the widest part of the triangle 1/2 inch in width. 

*        Starting with the widest end of the triangle, roll the triangle around the pencil or stick. 

*        Put a drop of glue on the point and hold it in place for a few seconds to secure the end of the triangle around the roll.  Make several beads and then string them on a string to form a chain or necklace.


Circle Ten Council

Materials:  A box of Jell-O or unflavored gelatin, old magazines or wrapping paper


*        Cut pictures from magazines, wrapping paper, comics, or other thin paper. 

*        Mix the gelatin as follows: one part gelatin to two parts boiling water.  For example, use 1 teaspoon gelatin to 2 tablespoons boiling water.  Let the mixture cool one minute.

*        Use a paint brush to completely cover the back of the pictures with the gelatin mixture.  Dry on a piece of wax paper. 

*        When the mixture dries, you can lick the pictures and stick just like stickers.

Telephone Den Meeting

Sam Houston Area Council

Practice your phone skills by holding the meeting over the phone.  Set up a telephone schedule the previous week with the time that each boy is to call another.  Give each boy a message to give to the others a week ahead of time.  Put it in a sealed envelope and put them on their honor to open it only on the day of the calls.

On the day of the stay-home meeting, the boys should open their envelopes and keep their calling schedule.  They should write down the messages that you gave them to share with one another.  Have them bring the messages with them to the next den meeting.  Compare the messages that the boys wrote down with the messages you gave them.  Discuss how communication breaks down and how they can make it better.

:00           Boy 1 calls boy 5

                Boy 2 calls boy 6

                Boy 3 calls boy 7

                Boy 4 calls boy 8

:05           Boy 5 calls boy 2

                Boy 6 calls boy 3

                Boy 7 calls boy 4

                Boy 8 calls boy 1

:10           Boy 1 calls boy 6

                Boy 2 calls boy 7

                Boy 3 calls boy 8

                Boy 4 calls boy 5

:15           Boy 5 calls boy 3

                Boy 6 calls boy 4

                Boy 7 calls boy 1

                Boy 8 calls boy 2

:20           Boy 1 calls boy 2

                Boy 3 calls boy 4

                Boy 5 calls boy 6

                Boy 7 calls boy 8

:25           Boy 2 calls boy 3

                Boy 4 calls boy 1

                Boy 6 calls boy 7

                Boy 8 calls boy 5

:30           Boy 1 calls boy 3

                Boy 4 calls boy 2

                Boy 5 calls boy 7

                Boy 8 calls boy 6

:35           Boy 1 calls Den Leader

:38           Boy 2 calls Den Leader

:41           Boy 3 calls Den Leader

:44           Boy 4 calls Den Leader

:47           Boy 5 calls Den Leader

:50           Boy 6 calls Den Leader

:53           Boy 7 calls Den Leader

:56           Boy 8 calls Den Leader

Stay on time!

If a boy is missing or you do not have eight boys, work with another den or give byes to those who have no one to call.


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 ©1997-2004 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.