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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




Scouting Vocabulary

Commissioner Dave

There is a certain vocabulary used by National in writing requirements.  Some phrases are obvious; some I find are often misinterpreted. The best advice I can give you is to look at he wording of each requirement and to look at the intent of the badge or the requirement.  Then decide what your Webelos must do.  Remember, you cannot add or subtract any requirements but your interpretation of what is required is important.

A few years ago I had a Mom tell me that singing a song while sitting in the audience during a Pack Meeting met the requirement singing for the Showman Activity Badge because all the words said was, “Sing a song alone or with a group.”  And this certainly was group singing.  This Mom is a Lawyer.  I disagreed and wrote Scouting Magazine for resolution.  The answer involved looking at the intent of the badge and therefore, they did not feel sitting in the audience was appropriate.

Now, to finish my point, the requirements are written for the boys to do to earn the ranks, awards, badges, …  So when it says tell, show, explain – It is the boy who has to tell, show or explain the how to tie a knot, stop a cut from bleeding, what Bernoulli’s Theorem means.  Having the leader (or other adult) tell, show or explain it to the Cub Scout does not meet the requirement.  Sometime after the Cub is instructed on the skill, he should tell, show or explain it back to the Leader to receive credit.  I have seen too many Dens sign Cubs books (and Merit Badge counselors sign blue cards for Boy Scouts) immediately after a talk without the Cub (or Boy Scout) ever doing anything that shows he heard what was the speaker talked about.


National Capital Area Council

Skits are another form of communication.  They’re usually a dramatized joke or funny situation with a snappy line or sight gag at the end.  Skits help channel a boy's imagination.  He doesn't just play he's a pirate -- he IS a pirate, sailing the ocean blue under the Jolly Roger. Dramatics are important in the growth of a boy because it gives him an outlet for the "let's pretend" part of his character.  It gives him a chance for creative expression.  Skits help develop his power of observation and recognize the desirable characteristics in the people he sees.  Skits help develop his coordination and timing, thus increasing his self-confidence. Skits show the importance of teamwork and cooperation.

Skits also set the mood of the monthly theme.  Skits serve as icebreakers and comic relief during the pack meeting. Skits take the pack meeting out of the hands of adults and focuses on the boys.

Once in a while there is a shy boy who would prefer not to take part in skits.  A costume often will help overcome his shyness.  He can also handle other important roles like lighting, scenery or sound effects.

If a boy is having trouble remembering his lines, write them down on index cards or use cue cards (poster board size).

Keep It Simple

Simple lines, simple costumes, and simple props are more effective than elaborate ones done poorly.  A sign can do wonders , it turns a box into a wagon, boat, plane, etc. It can even turn a boy into a tree or a mountain.

Basic Elements Of A Good Skit

Good skits….

Are short (3 to 5 minutes)

Have simple dialogue ... no long memorized lines

Can use pantomimes

Let every boy participate

Have liberal usage of stage direction ... who goes where, when and does what


Boys must speak loudly, slowly and face the audience. If the audience applauds or laughs, Scouts should pause before continuing.

You can pre-record all the sound effects, dialogue, music, etc. and play it back on a tape recorder. The advantage is that they can be heard. A disadvantage is that you can't react to the audience and if anything goes wrong, you'll have to ad-lib. Lip syncing takes lots of practice.


Scenery can be made from corrugated cardboard, sheets or props you have in the house. Use latex or tempera paints to decorate as needed. Alternatively, you can just explain to the audience beforehand, "Here is the bedroom..." and so forth. Use the power of suggestion!


Make-up helps the audience identify the character and makes them more real.

Make-up base can be made with equal parts of liquid cleansing cream and powdered sugar. This is a simple white base for clown make-up. Add food coloring for monster make-up (green) or Indian paint (red, yellow and blue).

An eyebrow pencil can be used to darken or change the shape of eyebrows, to line the eyes, to make freckles, moustaches, sideburns, beards, and wrinkles.

Beards can be made with coffee grounds applied over a layer of Vaseline or cold cream.

Cornstarch powder or talcum powder in the hair makes characters look older. Hair usually begins to gray at the temples first.

A wig can be made by pulling an old stocking down over your hair and ears. Tie it off and cut off the excess. Use scotch tape to fasten colored cotton balls all over the stocking.

Six Indian braids can be made by cutting 3 strips of crepe paper into lengths about 3/4" wide. Twist each strip around the other. Now braid the 3 strips together.

Wounds can be made by drawing them with lipstick. Blend it in slightly with your finger. Edge the wound with white liner.

For shoulder padding, make small triangular cushions and insert them under the shirt with the points toward the neck. Cushions are made from scrap cloth stuffed with rags or foam.

Nose putty is often needed to make lumps, creepy hands, etc. Mix together 2 teaspoons white vegetable shortening, 5 teaspoons cornstarch, 1 teaspoon white flour, a few drops of glycerin, and food coloring. For a brown color add 2 teaspoons cocoa.

Role Playing

Help each boy bring his character to life. Add makeup to age him; use a wig to disguise him; to walk with a limp, place a small rounded rock in his shoe; to look old, have him walk with his feet about 8 inches apart.

Sound Effects

If you plan to use sound effects in your skit, it is important to have access to a microphone. Check with the facility where you are holding your pack meetings. Most rental stores carry karaoke sound machines. Also, you can pre-record your sounds on an audio cassette and play them back when needed.

Try some of the following to add sound to your skit:

·         Airplane: Heavy paper striking blades of electric fan

·         Auto brakes: Slide a drinking glass across a pane of glass

·         Crashes: Drop two pie pans taped together with metal jar lids inside.

·         Crickets chirping: Run a fingernail over a fine-tooth comb

·         Door slam: Slam two hardback books together

·         Fire: Crumple and twist cellophane into a ball and then release it.

·         Gong: Hit a pan with a metal spoon.

·         Gurgling stream or boiling liquid: Put a straw in a cup of water and blow hard.

·         Hail: Pour rice on an upside down flat cake pan.

·         Horse hooves: Alternately tap two inverted cups or bowls on a wood floor or board.

·         Knock at door: Hit a half-gallon plastic milk jug on the end with a rubber spatula.

·         Rain: Fill a soup can 1/3-full of dry peas or beans. Roll the can slowly on a table.

·         Rustling in underbrush: Crush broom straw.

·         Sword fight: Hold an aluminum cookie sheet in one hand, & hit with a metal spoon.

·         Telephone ring: Use a bicycle bell.

·         Thunder: Grasp a metal cookie sheet on one end, placing your thumb on the underside. Shake the cookie sheet so it vibrates. Bang it against the knee for an occasional loud thunderclap.

Writing Your Own Skit

Writing your own skits is simpler than it would first appear.

First, determine what the moral of the skit will be. Then follow this simple outline to write your skit.

Boy wants something ... friendship, a gold mine, a trophy, to find something

Boy goes to get it ... by canoe, plane, horseback, foot

Obstacles stop boy ... crocodile, native hunters, a locked chest

Boy achieves goal ... through an act of kindness, bravery, wisdom, magic, unexpected help of some kind.

Write your skit to be 7 to 10 minutes long. The boys will shorten the skit when they present it.



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