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Baloo's Bugle

July 2005 Cub Scout Roundtable Issue

Volume 11, Issue 12
August 2005 Theme

Theme: Campfire Tales & Traditionsl
Webelos: Naturalist & Forester
  Tiger Cub


Outdoor Ceremonies

Santa Clara County Council

Ceremonies are important, even in the outdoors.  You need an opening and closing ceremony, and, if this outdoor event is your pack meeting, an advancement ceremony.  Consider these points:

  • WEATHER – Candles won’t stay lit in the wind or the rain; have a “Plan B.”
  • ACOUSTICS – Wind will carry a voice the wrong way; make sure the speaker can be heard.
  • NATURAL SURROUNDINGS – Lakefronts, open areas, grassy parks make great outdoor ceremony sites; make the most of what you have to set up your ceremony.
  • LENGTH – Make it short, especially if everyone has to stand.
  • FLAG – Insist on respect for the flag, indoors or out; make sure flags are secure; normal flagstands will not stand in the wind.
  • UNDERSTANDABILITY – Ceremonies should be meaningful and Cub Scouts should be able to relate to them.

Campfire Tales Opening

Baltimore Area Council

Personnel:         7 Cub Scouts.
Equipment:       Real or fake campfire.
Setting:             As fire is lighted.

Cub # 1:     The early cavemen used the fire to protect themselves from wild beasts and to warm their bodies.

Cub # 2:     In ancient times the Phoenicians used fire on mountaintops or high pillars as beacons for their ships.

Cub # 3:     The American Indians used fire to hollow logs for their canoes, to fire pottery, and for ceremonial purposes.

Cub # 4:     The pioneers used fire to forge rims for their wagon wheels. The silhouette of the village smithy against his fire was a common sight in early America.

Cub # 5:     The cowboys of the old west sat around the campfire with a pot of coffee and beans. Their entertainment was the singing of ballads of the trail, accompanied by guitar or harmonica.

Cub # 6:     Fire today makes the wheels of commerce and industry run. In essence, fire has put men on the moon.

Cub # 7:     Fire is the universal symbol of Scout camping. The fellowship around the campfire is one of the most lasting memories in the life of a Scout. In just a few months, our Webelos Scouts will have an opportunity to participate in a Scout campfire. All Cub Scouts have this to look forward to. If every Scout Troop in the world had a campfire such as this tonight, the glow would light the world with a new hope for mankind.

Campfire Opening

Santa Clara County Council

Props:   Real or artificial campfire, seven candles.

Personnel: Narrator and seven Cub Scouts.  As each boy reads his part, either he or a leader lights one candle

Narrator:    Welcome to the Cub Scout campfire. Let us draw from this campfire the secrets of Cub Scouting and the spirit of brotherhood.

Cub # 1:        In this light we see new chances to be helpful and to do our best.

Cub # 2:        From its warmth we strengthen the bonds of fellowship and learn how to get along with others.

Cub # 3:        From the stones that ring the fire and keep its power in check, we learn how we can curb our tempers and become good citizens.

Cub # 4:        From the smoke that rises out of the fire, we learn to lift our eyes upward and worship God.

Cub # 5:        The spark that started this fire reminds us that little Good Turns can lead to greater deeds.

Cub # 6:        Just as the fire needs fuel to burn brightly, so do we need the care and love of our parents to burn brightly.

Cub # 7:        In its leaping flames, we see the fun of Cub Scouting and the job of life.

Are You Here?

Baltimore Area Council

Ask everyone to bring a flashlight to the Pack campfire. Do this opening, and then light the campfire with a torch.

All lights are out to start. The Cubmaster walks to the center with his flashlight pointing towards his face. “The Cubmaster is here. Is anyone else here?

Den 1 boys and families turn on their flashlights and illuminate their faces. “Den One is here.”

Repeat with the Dens in numerical order, until all flashlights are on.

Well, it looks like we’re all here! Let’s light the fire and begin!”

Prisoner of War Flag

San Gabriel, Verdugo Hills & Long Beach Area Councils

Equipment: American Flag mounted to a blanket.

Personnel: 2 Scouts to hold the flag and 1 reader. (Scouts match actions to the story)

On a summer day in a prison camp during World War II, the prisoners were just completing a talent show when, without any announcement, two soldiers stood up in front of the group holding a rolled up blanket.

They looked around quickly but carefully, in all directions to make sure no guards were watching. Then, holding the blanket high, they let it unroll. Fastened to the inside of the blanket were the beautiful Stars and Stripes of the Flag of the United States of America.

At the time of their surrender, one of the soldiers had taken down the flag and somehow managed to wrap it around his body. Covered by his uniform, it had not been discovered during the inspection of his personal belongings. He had been able to keep it hidden until he had arrived at the prison camp.

As the blanket was unrolled the other prisoners saw the flag, a ripple of wonder and amazement ran through the group, followed by a deep silence that comes only when the heart is too full to permit words to be spoken. With their eyes still gazing upon this beautiful banner, the soldiers rose to their feet and began to sing, softly but with pride. They sang the National Anthem.

Will the audience please rise and join in the signing of the National Anthem.

Campfire Candle Lighting

San Gabriel, Verdugo Hills & Long Beach Area Councils

Set Up – Build your campfire so that it can be easily lit from candles at three places.

Equipment – Three candles can be all the same color or use red, white and blue and add meanings of the colors to the ceremony. (e.g. This candle is blue the color that represents Loyalty and it is a symbol of …)  Use your imagination

Akela:        We will light our campfire tonight with candles that represent the Cub Scouting program.

Cub # 1:        This candle that represents the Spirit of Scouting and the Cub Scout’s promise to do his best.

Cub # 2:        This light is a symbol of a Cub Scout’s promise to do his duty to God and his Country.

Cub # 3:        This light is the symbol of a Cub Scout’s promise to help other people. This light is a symbol of the Cub Scout’s promise to obey the Law of the Pack.

(Scouts now light the campfire with their candles.  It may be desired to have adult help for that part)

Akela         I now declare the campfire open. Let the ceremonies begin!

Asst Akela  Ask the pack to stand and repeat the Cub Scout Promise. (or Den Chief)

4 Winds

San Gabriel, Verdugo Hills & Long Beach Area Councils

Equipment: Campfire, Indian costume, gourd or rattle

Setting: Akela dressed as Chief, approaches unlit campfire. Standing behind it facing the audience, he raises his arms and faces skyward, rattle in one hand.

To Akela our father, who has granted us many blessings. (Shakes rattle once)

(Facing the ground and reaching his arms downward) To the earth, that gives us harvests. (Shakes rattle once)

(Facing North – arms slightly raised) To the north wind, with its cold breath of winter that teaches us endurance. (Shakes rattle once)

(Facing East) To the East wind, which comes from the land of the rising sun and carries morning light over plains and mountains for us. (Shakes rattle once)

(Facing South) To the South wind, which comes from the land of warm sunshine and gives us courage and hope. (Shakes rattle once)

(Facing West) To the West wind, which comes from the land of tall mountains and provides us with water and game to hunt. (Shakes rattle once).

(Facing Audience) Now that we have called the Great Spirits, we are ready to light our Council/Camp fire….(Ignite fire either with torch held by Akela or remotely by some trick (e.g. Battery and steel wool hidden in fire.)

I now declare this Council Fire open! Let the ceremonies begin! (Long rattle).

How to Build a Ceremonial (Artificial) Campfire

Santa Clara County Council

I included these directions, just in case it weathers on the night of your campfire.  Please keep your Cubs outside this month.  They need the time in the outdoors.  CD

Many of the ceremonies involve a campfire, which makes the ceremony more impressive and memorable. Since building a real campfire indoors is impractical, building an artificial one is the next best thing.  Here are some tips for an artificial campfire:

  • You can build a hollow log cabin frame on a square of plywood or a hollow teepee style on a disk of plywood.
  • Either a single small bulb, 15W max. at the center, or several medium size Xmas tree lights (cool burning) spread around the base are a good start.
  • To give your fire a flickering effect, several things can be done; medium size flashing red, yellow and clear Xmas lights with mirror reflectors behind them work well if they aren't all flashing together.
  • Hanging ½” wide strips of silver highly reflective Mylar foil inside the cellophane lined framework, and installing a small quiet fan to keep these strips constantly moving is another good approach, especially together with the flashing lights.
  • Silver or prismatic reflective Mylar, glued to the plywood base before the lights, fans, etc. are installed will also add diffused lighting.
  • Materials for the artificial council fire should be as lightweight, yet as sturdy as possible. The plywood base shouldn't be thicker than 3/8", and no more than 30" in diameter. The logs for either a log cabin or teepee style should be no more than 2", split, and could even be hollowed out. White birch is a favorite for this because it looks so good when the room lights are on, but actually doesn't look as good as darker wood when lit in a dark room. Dry Aspen, Poplar, or Basswood work better.
  • Don't forget to use duct tape to tape the power cord to the floor full length in the ceremonial area to avoid tripping and accidental movement of the fire.
  • An alternative to the artificial council fire is a candle ring with 12 candles in holders in a 3-foot diameter circle around a 3 ft. high decorated tripod with a candle mounted at the top of each pole. This method is cheaper, and is easier to build, maintain and store than the artificial fire, and can be just as impressive.
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