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Baloo's Bugle

June 2005 Cub Scout Roundtable Issue

Volume 11, Issue 10
July 2005 Theme

Theme: Play Ball
Webelos: Aquanaut & Geologist
  Tiger Cub


Some discussion this month on the Cub Scout Roundtable On-line Discussion Group (Not really sure what to call these things and I belong to several) about what to present to a Webelos Scout who has earned all 20 Activity Awards. 

Some Councils (Packs, Districts) have a “Heavy Shoulder Award, some a “Summit Award,” some no name but they do recognize the Webelos Scouts who accomplish this feat.  Even a full Compass Award only accounts for 19 of the 20 Activity Awards.  Most said their presentation is a certificate.

In my pack, we award a “Trail to Eagle” to Webelos Scots who complete all 20 Activity Awards.  Check it out at www.scoutstuff.org, Item # WW17586

What do you do?? Let me know – commissionerdave@comcast.net



Southern NJ Council

This activity pin teaches safety precautions on, in or near the water. It will increase the boys’ swimming skills and endurance. It will introduce Webelos to snorkeling.

Places To Go, Things To Do:

San Gabriel Valley, Long Beach & Verdugo Hills Councils

  • Invite a member of a scuba team to come to your meeting and bring equipment to demonstrate.
  • Invite several Boy Scouts to come to your meeting and talk about earning water merit badges.
  • Invite a marine photographer to visit your den.
  • Visit a fish hatchery.
  • Visit the YMCA
  • Visit the Coast Guard.
  • Have an EMT explain his gear
  • Invite a lifeguard or water rescue team to come and explain what they do
  • Have a splash party.
  • Learn how to use fins, mask and snorkel.
  • Practice water rescues.
  • Discuss water pollution

Rescuing Methods

Southern NJ Council

The three basic rules: DON’T PANIC, THINK, SAVE YOUR STRENGTH. Tell what to do for cramps, currents, undertows, weeds, how to disrobe in the water, using clothing for flotation, and use survival floating techniques.

CAUTION: A person not trained in life guarding techniques should not attempt a swimming rescue because the victim may drown the rescuer.

Here are 3 good non-swim methods to rescue a drowning victim after the rescuer has established his own safety.

A Ring Buoy: Since most drowning occur within 15-20 feet of safety, the victims may be able to grab a ring buoy tossed to them. Toss the ring buoy beyond the victim and pull it so that their arms or hands hit it as they extend their arms.

Extension Pole: Place the extension pole where the victims’ arms will contact it - - not straight into their chests which will push the victims away.

Other Rescue Devices: If a buoy or a pole is not available, use a throw bag, stick, or rolled towel or something else that the victims can grab onto and be pulled to safety.

Drown proofing (learn to float)

Southern NJ Council

The following technique for staying afloat indefinitely may give confidence to boys who fear the water and don’t believe they can float.

1. Relax completely. Be lazy. With the lungs full of air, float facedown, with the back of neck on the surface. Rest for 3 seconds. This isn’t a test to see how long you can hold your breath underwater.

2. Get ready to raise your face above the water surface. Extend your arms forward slowly. Get ready to thrust downward with your arms and legs.

3. As you raise your head to the surface, exhale through your nose and mouth. Your shoulders should stay underwater.

Where Can Lifeguards Be Found?

Where Can You Swim?

Yourself - take a life guard course

Aquatic facilities

Boy Scout Troops

Motel Pools

Girl Scout Troops


Swimming Clubs

Municipal Pools


College & University Pools

College and Universities

Homeowner Association Pools

High School Swim Teams

Homeowner Pools

Water Parks

Apartment Complex Pools

Homeowner Association Pools

Country Clubs

Pool Management Companies

Health Clubs

Municipal Pools

Waterfront Facilities


  • Always swim with a buddy.
  • Stay out of the water when you’re very tired, very cold or overheated.
  • If you can’t see the bottom of the pool in the deep end or if the water is cloudy, don’t swim there.
  • Avoid swimming at night in unlighted areas. Get out of the water if you see lightning or hear thunder.
  • Never swim near a dam or boat ramp.
  • Avoid swimming in river currents.
  • Swimming is allowed only when a lifeguard is on duty.
  • Horseplay, such as running, splashing, shoving or dunking, is not allowed.
  • Swimming is allowed only in designated areas.
  • Diving is allowed only in designated areas (pool depth at least 9 feet deep).
  • Glass containers are not allowed in the facility.
  • Throwing objects in not allowed.
  • Swimming is not allowed in the diving area.
  • One person at a time on a ladder.
  • Do not sit or hang on lifelines.
  • Emergency equipment is to be used by lifeguards only.
  • No eating or chewing gum allowed while swimming.
  • Look before diving or jumping to make sure no one is in the way.
  • Persons with rashes or open sores are not allowed.
  • Use the rest room and not the pool.
  • Obey the lifeguard.
  • Always walk.


Southern NJ Council

The following are some good beginner’s games:

  • Catching ball in shallow water.
  • Passing water ball while standing in water.
  • Tunnel ball - passing a ball back and forth between the legs.
  • Cat and Mouse - cat outside circle, mouse inside.
  • Spoon and ping-pong ball relay.
  • Kick board race for 10 to 25 yards.
  • Relay race in shallow water, running and gliding on stomach.

Have a swimming spell down for the swimmers. Leader calls out a stunt, swimmers who perform it remain in the game - others are eliminated as in a spelling match.

  • Swim with one arm out of water (side stroke).
  • Swim on back with both arms out.
  • Steamboat (arms forward and feet do crawl kick).
  • Duck dive (surface dive).
  • Log roll (arms and feet extended, roll the body).
  • Front somersault.
  • Pendulum float.

Carps and Cranes

1.     Lay out a rectangular playing area with a lane line dividing the center. End lines should be clearly marked because they serve as the bases.

2.     Two equally numbered teams are assembled. Each team lines up along the lane line facing each other with their end line behind them. One team is called carps, the other, cranes.

3.     The leader calls out “carps” or “cranes”, and each team attempts to capture opposing team members before they reach the safety of their end lines.

4.     Captured players join the other team.

5.     The team with the most players at the end of the game wins.

Cork Scramble

You need corks, ping-pong balls, tennis balls, small rubber balls, life jackets, etc.

1.     Players turn their backs to the playing area and do not watch as the leader throws numerous floating objects into the water.

2.     At the start command, players turn around, enter the water in a predetermined fashion and gather as many floating objects as possible.

3.     When all objects are collected, they are then counted. The player with the most objects wins.

Forty Ways to Get There

1.     Players line up at one end of the swimming course.

2.     The first player swims across the course in a manner of his own choice.

3.     The second player then swims across the course in a manner different from the first player.

4.     Each player takes a turn swimming across the course without copying any of the prior strokes or methods used to go across the area.

5.     Player positions change with each new round.


1.   Eight or more players form a circle. Each holds onto the next player’s foot with one hand. A ball is tossed into the center of the circle.

2.   Players must try to grab the ball with their free hand.

3.   Each time there is a winner, he gets out of the circle and the circle becomes smaller.

Your Boat is Sinking (on land)

To simulate the difficulty encountered in trying to find a PFD (Personal Flotation Device), and put it on while in a sinking boat.

Materials Needed: 3 PFD’s of different types, 3 chairs, a watch or clock with second hand.

1.     Line the three chairs up like seats in a boat. Place a PFD under each seat, since this is where many people store them.

2.     Ask a volunteer to sit in each seat.

3.     At your signal, the “boat” will start to sink and each person will have one minute to find the PFD and put it on correctly. (It usually takes only one minute for a non-swimmer struggling to stay afloat to drown.)

4.     After one minute, see which ones were able to save themselves and which “drowned”.

5.     Emphasize the importance of spending that one minute putting on a PFD before getting into a boat. It could save a life.

Shark Tag

ü     Play in water waist deep to chest deep.

ü     Boys line up on one side of the pool or swimming area.

ü     “It” is 20 feet in front of them.

ü     When he yells “Shark” all players swim or walk to the other end while “It” tries to tag them.

ü     Those who are tagged join “It” in trying to tag the others. Last player tagged is the winner.


ü     Play in waist deep water.

ü     Divide the den into 2 groups.

ü     Teams line up single file, with about 4 feet between members.

ü     On signal, the last player on each team leapfrogs over the boy ahead,

ü     Then he dives and swims between the legs of the next.

ü     He continues leaping and diving until he reaches the head of the line. This is the signal for the boy now last in line to begin racing.

ü     Continue until the team is back into its original lineup.

Find the Number Game

San Gabriel Valley, Long Beach & Verdugo Hills Councils


• 20 large flat rocks

• Permanent marker


1.     Mark numbers ranging from one to five on both sides of each rock with marker.

2.     Throw these rocks into the water ranging from two to six feet deep, depending on the swimming ability of your group.

3.     On a signal, everybody dunks to try to bring back as many numbered rocks as possible to his station on shore.

4.     Only one rock may be carried at a time.

5.     The player who collects the highest total when the numbers on his rocks are added up is the winner.

Do’s and Don’t In and Around Water

San Gabriel Valley, Long Beach & Verdugo Hills Councils

Fill in the blank with Do or Don’t for each statement.

1.     ___________ learn how to swim from qualified instructor.

2.     ___________ check with your buddy to see if he knows how to swim.

3.     ___________ be a “show off” or bother others.

4.     ___________ swim with a buddy.

5.     ___________ dive into water without knowing its depth.

6.     ___________ get out of the water when you are tired or cold.

7.     ___________ swim alone.

8.     ___________ beware of sunburn. Cover up and use sun screen.

9.     ___________ dive into water without knowing what is under the water’s surface.

Answers: 1-do, 2-do, 3-don’t, 4-do, 5-don’t, 6-do, 7-don’t, 8-do, 9-don’t



Southern NJ Council

Our knowledge of past geological ages is gained from records written in rock. The formidable mountain ranges of antiquity did not vanish into nothingness. After they had been ground down and washed down, their pulverized fragments helped build layer upon layer of sediment in the sea. The quantities of eroded debris are so vast that their total thickness, adding up all separate layers from different periods, exceeds sixty miles. Although the deep sea has been probed with modern coring instruments, no instrument in use today can haul up a sediment column hundreds or thousands of feet long. Perhaps future delving will provide the long-awaited information. But the record beyond the shelves has so far been quite inaccessible.

Geologists do not always have to drill holes into a mountain to study the sequence of events. Like the folds of a bed sheet with which they are often compared, the folds of mountains have a tendency to flop over on their sides. Layers that once were stacked on top of one another are rearranged so that they slant upward or are even lined up on edge - a series of stony ribbons, each of which was molded during another age. Dozens of those ribbons next to each other form a graphic picture of the geological events during periods lasting 10, 20, or 50 million years.

Interestingly enough, all records, regardless of their age, revel-almost identical developments. Immediately after a geological revolution, when the mountains are young and high, rainwater tears large pieces from their flanks. After the mountains are leveled, rivers carry chiefly mud and silt. There is, in the record of sedimentary rocks, an almost monotonous repetition of coarse material followed by finely ground materials.

To most ten year old boys, the study of geology will not sound too exciting. Rocks, for most boys of this age, are for throwing. But the fact is, geology can be fun. Here’s another opportunity for the Webelos leader to present the subject in such a way that the boys will find it not only fun, but they’ll learn a good deal, also. This is one of the badges that is oriented toward increasing the boys’ awareness of the outdoors. While working on this badge, the boys will learn how the earth is formed, how rocks and minerals are used, and how a geologist works.

Places To Go, Things To Do:

San Gabriel Valley, Long Beach & Verdugo Hills Councils

  • Talk about how mountains are formed.
  • Make and label a volcano diagram.
  • Start or add to your rock collection.
  • Go on a minerals scavenger hunt.
  • Teach boys to recognize common rock specimens.
  • Invite a geologist to come and talk with your den.
  • Collect rock specimens.
  • Visit a science museum.
  • Visit an earthquake demonstration.
  • Build a working volcano.
  • Polish rocks.

Types of Geology

Southern NJ Council

There are two major areas in the study of geology - physical geology and historical geology.

PHYSICAL GEOLOGY deals with the earth’s composition, its structure, and the geologic processes by which the earth’s surface is, or has been changed. This includes: -

  • Mineralogy - the study of minerals
  • Petrology - the study of rocks
  • Structural geology - the study of the arrangement of rocks on the earth
  • Geomorphology - the study of the origin of surface features
  • Economic geology - the study of the earth’s economic products and their commercial and industrial uses.

HISTORICAL GEOLOGY is the study of the origin of the earth and its inhabitants.

  • Stratigraphy - the origin, composition, proper sequence and correlation of rock strata.
  • Paleontology - the study of ancient organism and fossils.

Importance Of Rocks

Southern NJ Council

Some of your boys may not think the study of rocks is either interesting or important. To introduce them to the subject, you can tell them of the importance of rocks and how they can determine the wealth of a nation.

The kinds and quantities can determine whether the people of a nation are poor or wealthy. The importance of rocks can easily be pointed out in four different ways.:

Food - Soil is made up of the fragments of rocks with their minerals and many other substances. Soil is a direct result of the weathering of rock of which it is composed. - Except for the products of the sea, all animals and people are directly dependent upon food grown in the soil. We, therefore see that rocks are important for life itself.

Fuel - Fuel comes from rocks. Coal is a rock composed of organic material. Hard coal is called anthracite, soft coal is called bituminous Oil is found in rocks such as sandstone and shall. Our economy couldn’t exist as it presently does without a good supply of fuel.

Mining - Many metallic and non-metallic ores such are iron, copper, zinc, aluminum, lead, sulfur, borax and others really are rocklike. Without these ores, manufacturing as we know it would be impossible. We all know the importance of uranium for making electricity and creating other kinds of power that will eventually propel vehicles on land and in space.

Construction - Think of the tons and tons of crushed rock, gravel and sand that are used in making roads and buildings. There are the various kinds of cut stone sued for building blocks and monuments, and the materials used in the building of your home and the many things that are in it.

Let’s Go Rock Collecting

Southern NJ Council

Wear the type of clothes you would wear hiking or hunting. Old clothes that are comfortable and serviceable are best. Ankle high hiking shoes will help prevent bruises from contact with sharp stones. A knapsack type of collecting bag is ideal. Use one with pockets to hold maps, notebooks, small tools, and labels.

Use lunch size brown paper bags or plastic sandwich bags to hold specimens. Take along newspaper to wrap the rocks in first. As you collect each specimens, give it a number. Put the number on the rock before you wrap it up. In a small notebook, list the number, location, and the date. Later at home you can enter the information in your permanent records.

Almost every boy, at one time or another, has a rock collection of some sort. This interest in rocks and the earth from which they come makes the Geologist activity pin a “natural” for most boys. You’ll find that the Webelos Scout handbook contains enough information on volcanoes, geysers, and mountains for the boys to acquire a fairly good understanding.

The charts below should be of some advantage in identifying rocks

Hardness Mineral Scratch Test Uses, Importance, Etc.

Southern NJ Council

1.     TALC - Easily with fingernail. The softest of minerals; has a slippery, soapy feel. Used in powdered form for manufacture of paint, paper roofing material. rubber, face powder and talcum powder. Small parts fired in furnace used in electrical appliances. Occurs must abundantly in metamorphic rocks.

2.     GYPSUM - Barely with fingernail. Of considerable commercial importance because of its use in production of plaster of Paris. Used for gypsum lath, wallboard and interior plaster. “Alabaster” is fine-grained, massive variety of gypsum that is cut and polished for ornamental purposes. Most commonly found as a sedimentary rock.

3.     CALCITE -Barely with copper penny. Calcite has more varieties than any other mineral except quartz. One type of clear, colorless calcite is used for optical prisms because of its power of dividing a ray of light passing through it into two separate rays. Limestone and marble are varieties to calcite. Limestone is used in the manufacture of cement and mortar, also used as a building stone.

4.     FLUORITE - Easily with knife blade. Fluorite is one of the most beautiful minerals occurring in many different colors. The chief use is in making steel. It also is used in making opalescent glass, in enameling cooking utensils, and in making hydrofluoric acid. Small amounts are used in making prisms and lenses. The phenomenon of fluorescence was first observed in fluorite and takes its name from this mineral. Commonly found with metallic ore minerals.

5.     APATITE -Barely with knife blade. Among the large group of phosphates, apatite is the only one considered a common mineral. Commercially, its greatest use is the source of phosphorus for most commercial fertilizers. After being mined, both apathy and rock phosphate are treated with sulfuric acid to make superphosphate, for in this form they are much more soluble in the diluted acid of the soil.

6.     FELDSPAR - Not by blade. Easily with window glass. The feldspars, all of them silicates of aluminum with potassium, sodium, and calcium and rarely barium, form one of the most important groups of all minerals. Found in most igneous rocks, as essential constituents of lost crystalline rocks, such as granite syenite, gabbro, basalt, gneiss and thus make up a large percentage of the earth’s crust. Used in manufacture of porcelain and as a source of aluminum in glass.

7.     QUARTZ - Easily marks steel and hard glass. Quartz is the most common mineral, and in some of its varieties, one of the most beautiful. Makes up most of the sand on the seashore; occurs as a rock in the form of sandstone and quartzite and is an important constituent of other rocks such as granite and gneiss. Some varieties used as gemstones, as prisms, and cut into plates for control of radio frequency. Varieties; crystal, amethyst, agate, onyx, bloodstone, jasper, flint.

8.     TOPAZ - Harder than other common minerals. Topaz is highly prized as a gem. Those from Brazil are the most valuable. The pink color of some gem Topaz is obtained by gently heating the dark yellow stones. It has a mineral hardness greater than any other common mineral except corundum.

9.     CORUNDUM - Scratches Topaz. Clear blue varieties make “sapphire” and clear red the “Ruby.” Hardest mineral next to diamond. Long been used as an abrasive. “Emery” was the first type used in this manner. The ruby is used in the laser beam.

10.   DIAMOND - Scratches Corundum; hardest mineral. Hardness of diamond is greater than any other known substance, natural or artificial. Many times harder than corundum. Diamond is pure carbon and has same composition as charcoal, but does not burn readily. Highly prized as gemstone. Only 20% of diamonds are gemstones ..the other flawed stones have industrial uses, drills, saws, cutting glass, etc.

Identifying Rocks By Luster

(appearance of the surface, independent of the color, due to the way light is reflected)

Southern NJ Council

Metallic: The luster of a metallic surface like steel, tin, lead, copper, gold, etc. Luster not called metallic unless the mineral is quite opaque, so that no light passes through even very thin edges.

SubmetalIic: .The luster of some minerals is said to be submetallic when it lacks the full luster of the metals.

Adamantine: The luster of the Diamond - the brilliant, almost oily luster shown by some very hard minerals, like Diamond and Corundum - refract light strongly (have a high “refractive index”).

Vitreous: Glassy luster. That of a piece of broken glass - this is the luster of most quartz and a large part of the non-metallic minerals.

Resinous: Waxy, the luster of a piece of resin, as shown by most kinds of sphalern.

Greasy: Nearly resinous, but often quite distinct, shown by some specimens of milky quartz and nepheline.

Pearly: Luster of Mother of Pearl - common when a mineral has very perfect cleavage and has practically separated into thin plates.

Silky: The luster of a skein of silk or a piece of satin - characteristic of some minerals in fibrous aggregates, such as Satin Spar gypsum and most asbestos.

Some common examples of three main types of rocks are:

Igneous - Granite pegmatite, granite, diorite, gabbro, felsite, basalt, obsidian, pumice

Metamorphic - Slate, phyllite, mica schist, gneiss, marble, quartzite

Sedimentary - Mudstone, and shale, sandstone, conglomerate, gypsum, rock salt, limestone, chalk, coal


Mineral Matching

1.     _____ Metallic element resembling magnesium, used in making galvanized iron, alloys, and as an element in voltaic cells.

2.     _____ A ductile, malleable, silver-white metallic element used for making machinery, tools.

3.     _____ Precious yellow metallic element, used in coins, decorations, etc.

4.     ______ Metallic element, light, reddish-brown color used as an electrical conductor or in alloys such as brass and bronze.

5.     ______ Steel gray, hard, light metallic element used in coppers - in springs.

6.     ______ White, ductile metallic element used in coins, ornaments, table utensils.

7.     ______ A heavy, malleable, bluish gray metal used in bullets .

Choose one of the following:

A.    Gold

B.    Silver

C.    Zinc

D.    Iron

E.    Lead

F.     Copper

G.    Beryllium

Answers: 1-c, 2-d, 3-a, 4-f, 5-g, 6-b, 7-e

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