Welcome to Baloo's Bugle!


Back to Index
Annual Index
This Month
Special Opportunity
Thoughtful Items
Training Tips
Tiger Scouts
Pack/Den Activities
Pack/Den Admin
Fun Foods
Web Links
One Last Thing...

The Pack Meeting
Pre-Opening Activities
Opening Ceremonies
Stunts & Cheers
Audience Participation
Closing Ceremony
Cubmaster's Minute


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

August 2005 Cub Scout Roundtable Issue

Volume 12, Issue 1
September 2005 Theme

Theme: Cub Scout Roundupl
Webelos: Communicator & Citizen
  Tiger Cub


This is interesting.  Communicator is still listed as the first year badge.  Citizen as the second year badge. But Citizen is now required for the Webelos Badge that the Webelos earn in their first year.  I think the recommended calendar schedule will be revised soon.

Get those Webelos outdoors –

Planning to graduate your Webelos to Boy Scouts at the Blue and Gold?  Or maybe March?  Be sure to check out your outdoor requirements now!!  Get in touch with your Den parents and a local Boy Scout troop and arrange the activities.

Outdoor requirements include –

  • With your Webelos den, visit at least
    • one Boy Scout troop meeting,
    • one Boy Scout-oriented outdoor activity.
      (If you have already done this when you earned your Outdoorsman activity badge, you may not use it to fulfill requirements for your Arrow of Light Award requirements.)
  • Participate in a Webelos overnight campout or day hike.
    (If you have already done this when you earned your Outdoorsman activity badge, you may not use it to fulfill requirements for your Arrow of Light Award requirements.)

Depending on where you live, these could be hard to accomplish in January!!



Baltimore Area Council

Learning to effectively communicate is fun and entertaining through the Communicator activity badge. Webelos will experience varying methods of transmitting information, which will serve them well later in life.

What Is a Code?

A code is a way of writing a whole word as a secret word. Many codes are really ciphers. A cipher is a code in which every letter of a word is written in a secret way. The Morse code is a cipher kind of code.

Codes are used all over the world. A telegram or cable is a kind of code that is written in a short way to keep costs down.

Codes are an important way of sending secrets during wartime. Brands marked on cattle and markings on planes and ships are also kinds of codes. Codes usually have two parts. The first part is for making the code. This is known as encoding the message. You need to know how to make your message a secret one.

The second part is called decoding the message. This will tell the person who gets the code how to read and understand the code. Then the person will know exactly what the message means. The more you know about codes, the more fun they are. Many people like secret codes, and so will your Webelos Scouts.  Some of the easiest codes use numbers for letters.

Number Codes

Draw lines on paper or use lined paper. Print the letter of the alphabet on the paper. Then start with the number one and write the numbers in order below the letters.


Communicator Game

This is a game that can be played in any Den setting, and is instructive for both the boys playing the game and for the rest of the Den watching.

Cut identical sets of geometric shapes (triangles, square, rectangles, octagons. etc.) out of different colors of construction paper. Give one set to each pair of boys, and sit them so they are facing away from each other at two tables, or on the floor.

The first boy is told to arrange his shapes in whatever fashion he chooses. When he has done so, he must tell the second boy how to arrange his set of shapes in the same arrangement. The second boy cannot ask questions, or otherwise communicate with the first boy. Observe the results with no communication.

The next time, the roles are reversed, with the second boy arranging his shapes any way he wishes. The difference now is that the first boy may ask questions, and the second boy may answer them.

A discussion can ensue about the value of questions and answers in effective communication.

The Shopping List

This appears to be a boring grocery list. But to your friend, it's an important message. The number before each word tells which letter to use. The first letter in mop is "M", so that is the only letter that needs to be saved. Continue down the list. The third letter in bread is "E", and so on. Now the grocery list has a new meaning.

  • Mop
  • Peaches
  • Bread
  • Butter
  • Cream cheese
  • Dozen eggs
  • Fruit bars
  • Bag of potato chips
  • Watermelon
  • Package of noodles
  • One can of green beans

Your message: Meet me at one.

Back Drawing

Before the meeting, the Den leader draws symbols on poster board. Spilt the Den into two teams. Have them sit in a straight line facing forward. Give the Scout at the front of the line a piece of paper and pencil.

Rules: Everyone closes his eyes, except the Scout at the back end of the line. Only this Scout may see the image that the Den leader has drawn. Then this Scout draws the image he is shown on the back of the Scout in front of him. He may erase once, and then redraw the image. After the image is drawn on the Scout's back, he opens his eyes, then draws his image on the Scout's back in front of him. The image will finally reach the first Scout, and he will draw the image that he feels being drawn on his back on the paper. After both teams are finished, show everyone the original image and see whose drawing is most accurate.

Purpose: This game is used to show Scouts that you need all your senses to be an effective communicator and that a breakdown in communication can change the story.

Den Activities

  • Demonstrate and teach the Webelos Scouts the Boy Scout Motto using sign language.
  • Have a deaf. blind or mute person visit the Den and describe special problems they have communicating.
  • Instruct Scouts how to address a group.
  • H lave four Scouts take part, each reading in full, one point of the Scout Law.
  • Visit an amateur radio operator. and have him explain the use and rules of amateur band radio. Let the Scouts examine equipment and talk with someone over the amateur radio.
  • Instruct Scouts in the use of secret codes. Then let several Scouts invent and use their own code.
  • Get a copy of CB ten codes and have the Scouts use them.
  • If you cannot visit a radio or television newsroom, invite a newsperson to your meeting to talk to the Scouts about their jobs.
  • Invite a high school or middle school speech teacher to your meeting, and have them talk about communications.

Circle Ten Council

Communication is one of the most important skills that the Webelos Scout will use during his life. He will communicate every day with other human beings, and possibly with animals. We often consider communication as the expression of our thoughts or feelings through speech, gesture, print, and electronic devices. Communication, however, really is comprised of both the transmission of the message, and decoding by the receiver. In other words, communication does not exist unless the message is both sent and received. When the intended recipient of the communication understands the message, then the communication is effective. Learning to communicate effectively will help us all now and in the future.

Names and Communication

One way we communicate is to mark something in a certain way to show ownership or a relationship. Your last name indicates that you are part of a family and related to others with the same name.  Even names are “codes” of a sort. The blacksmith sometimes became known as SMITH and his son would be SMITHSON. Take a phone book and see if you can guess how a name may have come about.


Have the boys write what each sign means


Where does the information go when you delete things on your computer?

Computer hard disk drives have an arm that moves back and forth over a spinning disk. At the end is an electromagnet that is turned on and off. That can flip the molecules of the disk – a magnetic material. It arranges the molecules. The arrangement can be read later by scanning the disk with the same arm. Each bunch of molecules is called a BIT. Groups of them are called BYTES. This drawing is an 8-bit byte. As the molecules flip over, they represent a 1 or a 0. The north magnetic pole is 1, the south is 0. Digital storage always involves just 2 values; 1’s and 0’s, or on and off. Our drawing is the number 10010110. If we use a special number system called binary numbers, these 8 bits store the number as 140.

Stuff stored in digital code makes up files or documents. They are stored in little zones or sectors on a hard disk. Most of the time files are too big to fit in just one continuous line of sectors, so the files get spilt up. The first part of a file is called the header. In the header are things like the name and date of the file and also the size of the file, and a really important piece of information – which sectors the file is stored in. That information tells the arm where to scan for the data. Without the header the data is left in chunks all over the disk. When you delete a file what you’re really doing is just erasing the header. The file’s data is still there. It just doesn’t have an address anymore. Eventually it will be written over by new data

Information on a computer is not stored as matter or energy; it’s stored by arranging matter. The computer uses energy to make the arrangement, to read the arrangement or to delete the arrangement. That energy is converted into heat, which is why there are fans in computers.


Arrange boys in a large circle. Give each one a communications transmitter of some kind, such as a flashlight for Morse code, the string and can telephone a boy's hands for sign language or a tom-tom for drumbeat.

Give the first boy a message to transmit, written on a piece of paper. Each boy in turn tries to relay this message to the next boy in line using his signaling device. (Remember your boys are just simulating this, not really doing it.)

The last boy writes down the message and comes up to stand beside you. You read your message, which is "Mr. Watson, come here I need you". The boy is then asked to read his message, which is "The number you have reached is out of service or you have not used the correct area code. Please hang up and try again. If you think you have reached this recording by mistake…." About halfway through this speech. Put you arm on the scouts back and begin guiding him off stage, shaking your head

Message Coding

Use the Morse code table found in the Webelos Scout Book, Communicator section to encode a short message. Each boy should keep his message short, one sentence of 5 - 8 words, and not let other boys see it. Then let them trade messages and try to decipher them.


  • Newspaper office
  • Radio Station
  • TV Station
  • Telephone Office
  • Commuter Center

Word of caution:

Most of these communication centers are very security conscious, so do not be surprised or disappointed if they tell you they do not allow groups to tour.


  • Trace the history of communication in a chronological order, starting with the early communication, method of sign language.

  • Demonstrate the spoken word by having boys hold their hands over their larynx to feel the vibration, and make an old fashion can and string telephone. Be sure to keep the string taut and not touching anything.

Use thick twine 10 - 20 feet. Make a hole through the middle of each can with a medium size nail. Wash can thoroughly. Pull the string through each nail hole. Tie a large knot in string on each end. To use simply hold can by its side, keeping string taut. Put to mouth to talk, to ear to listen.

  • A telegraph key will demonstrate Morse code. Use the key to open and close a circuit made up of a tone buzzer and a battery. You can make the key or "bug" out of a spring clothespin if you wish.
  • Invite a member of the Rotary Club or the Toastmasters International to visit your den and give examples of body language.
  • Visit a meeting of these organizations to observe how communications is given
  • Ask a member of the local amateur radio organization to visit your den or allow the den to visit his or her base station to see how communications is arrived using the International Morse Code.
  • Listen to a CB radio or find an active Citizen Band Radio Club in your area to tell your den how the radio can help.
  • Visit the local library or your school library to find out how the books are indexed to locate them easier.
  • Local radio stations or television stations can show your den how they receive communications from around the world through the use of micro transmitters or satellite stations.
  • Communications can be carried out in many forms. Try to locate the local organization that teaches the deaf to sign and see if they might be willing to teach the den a few basic words or phrases.
  • Find out if one of the parents would be willing to show each of the boys how it a computer works and allow them to access the computer base.
  • To find out the many job opportunities in the communication field, check with the local Chamber of Commerce to locate companies that use communication as a basis for employment in your area.


Out of sight of the immediate area, attach a line zigzagging between trees or stationary objects. Tie objects to the line along the way. Ten items is a good number. Blindfold each Webelos Scout and lead him to the rope. Boys then proceed down the rope, holding on and remembering the objects they come across. No talking is allowed. When each boy reaches the end of the rope, the leader takes him out of sight of the course and removes his blindfold. Boys may work individually or as group to see how many objects they can identify and remember.

Communication Codes

Some of these pictures may need to be copied down and enlarged to be usable.  CD

Music Codes


A Good pack meeting demonstration!

This game is identifying sounds. The den chief or den leader produces sounds from behind a screen or in another room, and the Webelos listen. Boys try to identify each sound.

Sample sounds met be -- ping pong ball bouncing on floor, sanding a piece of wood, shuffling a deck of cards, breaking a twig or stick in half; pushing buttons on telephone, sawing wood, etc.

Webelos Scouts could work in the Communicating and Computer Academic belt loops and Pins in conjunction with this activity badge.


Actually, Circle Ten’s Book said “What’s my Line” but the game show described here is the one I named.  CD

Let 2 or 3 boys tell a story about a similar situation, with facts a bit different in each version. One is telling a true story, the others are not. The rest of the den takes turns asking the panel questions to determine who is telling the real story. After telling their initial tales, all boys on the panel must answer all questions truthfully, even if the answers contradict their original story, so that the rest of the den can determine the truth teller.


Give boys a general topic and have each one of them draw a picture about anything to do with that topic (such as "Space Aliens") String a clothesline up between two trees. Have first boy come up, hang picture and begin to tell a story about his picture. After one minute, stop him, have the next boy come and continue story with his illustration. Continue until all boys have shared and a brand new story has been communicated to the den!



Baltimore Area Council

This is a good badge to start the boy on when he joins the Den. The written requirements and readings may be done at home with parents. This continues the importance of parents involvement in the Webelos Den.

This badge is also of interest to the leader, because he can learn much about his boys from their writings on what is meant by "all men are created equal" and on the Star Spangled Banner. The leader should keep in mind that all boys are different, so they will have different ideas and opinions on this badge. Each boy's "BEST" should be judged individually.

A lot will depend on how well informed and enthusiastic the Webelos leader is, and how he presents the badge to the boys. This badge can be fun, or it can be just '`another piece of paper to write." It's up to you.

Den Activities

  • Discuss requirements of badge with boys. Decide on a good turn for school, church or community and plan how to carry it out.  Boys make logbooks to record their work on the badge.
  • Plan a special good turn for the next Pack meeting; such as setting up chairs, ushering, clean-up, etc.
  • Visit a local government agency. Find out how it works, what service it provides, how it affects boys and their families.
  • A campaign against litter is a "must" for good citizenship. Discuss how your Den can carry on such a campaign.. and do it. This could include making posters for display. litter clean-up, making litter bags, etc.
  • Discuss the various organizations in your community, which help people. How are they financed and run? Do they use volunteer help? Visit one of these organizations. 
  • Discuss ways boys can be good citizens. Let them make lists of things they will try to do regularly.

Your Duties as a Citizen

If you are going to have rights as a citizen and you want to keep them, then you also have certain duties to uphold. Your duties as a citizen are:

  • Obey the laws
  • Respect the rights of others
  • Keep informed on issues of National and local government
  • To vote in elections
  • To assist the agencies of law enforcement
  • To practice and teach good citizenship in your home Some qualities of a good citizen: •  Obeys the laws wherever he is
  • Respects the rights of others
  • Is fair and honest
  • Tries to make community a better place to live
  • Learns about leaders of nation, state, community
  • Practices rules of health and safety
  • Is honest and dependable
  • Is patriotic and loyal
  • Practices thrift
  • Respects authority

Great Documents Quiz

How much do you know about two of the greatest documents ever written: the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States?

  • The first words of the Declaration of Independence are:
    • "We hold these truths to be self evident..."'
    • "We, the People of the United States..."
    • "When in the course of human events..."
    • "Four score and seven years ago...""
  • The first draft of the Declaration of Independence was written by:
    • John Hancock
    • Button Gwinnett
    • George Washington
    • Thomas Jefferson
  • The Constitution of the United States was signed in What year?
    • 1776
    • 1492
    • 1787
    • 1620
  • What is the minimum age for a President of the United States, and in what document is this stated'?
  • Which amendment to the Constitution provided for the abolition of slavery'?
    • Tenth Amendment
    • Thirteenth Amendment
    • Third Amendment
    • Sixteenth Amendment
  • A Senator serves a term of:
    • Six years
    • Four years
    • Two years
    • Light years
  • What is the maximum number of years a President may serve?
  • Which amendment to the Constitution guarantees freedom of speech:
    • Fourteenth Amendment
    • First Amendment
    • Twenty-ninth Amendment
    • Fifth Amendment
  • What legislative body has the sole power to impeach a President?


1-c, 2-d, 3-c, 4-Age 35. as stated in the Constitution, 5-b, 6-a, 7-Ten years (two terms plus the remainder of  a predecessor's term if 2 years or less), 8-b, 9-House of Representatives

On Your Mark

Mark the best ending for each sentence.

1.  If you meet the president, you call him:

a) your highness

b) your Excellency

c) Mr. President

  • The president and his family live in:

a) Blair House

b) the White House

c) the suburbs

  • The first president to live in the White House was:

a) John Adams

b) George Washington

c) "Thomas Jefferson

4.     We celebrate the birthdays of two presidents in February they are:

a) Washington and Lincoln

b) Jefferson and Adams

c) T. Roosevelt and F. D. Roosevelt

5.     During the War of 1812, when Madison was President, a famous song was written. It is called:

a) The Battle Hymn of the Republic

b) God Bless America

c) The Star Spangled Banner

  • The only man to be elected president four times was:

a) Abraham Lincoln

b) Franklin Delano Roosevelt

c) Ulysses S. Grant

  • The two big political parties today are called:

a) the Republicans and the Democrats

b) the Federalists and Whigs

c) the Conservatives and the Liberals

  • The law says Presidential elections must be held on:

a) the first Monday in  October

b) the first Tuesday in November

c) Halloween          .

  • The parties pick their presidential candidates in:

a) presidential primaries

b) national nominating convention

c) by secret vote

  • If a president dies in office the next president is:

a) the vice president

b) elected by the people

c) the oldest senator

  • Presidential elections are held every:

a) two years

b) four years

c) six years

  • If you want to run for president you should:

a) go jogging

b) take a nap

c) make speeches

  • The United States is made up of:

a) 50 states

b) 48 states

c) 46 states

  • Twenty-seven presidents have studied:

a) flying

b} the stars

c) the law

  • The presidents wife is called:

a) the queen

b) the first lady

c) Mrs. President


1-c, 2-b, 3-a, 4-a, 5-c, 6-b, 7-a, 8-b, 9-b, 10-a, 11-b, 12-c, 13-a, 14-c, 15-b

Newspaper Study

Equipment: One current newspaper per team. Put teams in corners, each with the same day's issue of a newspaper. On signal, teams begin a search for news items that definitely illustrate the Scout Law. Items are cut out and numbered according to the point of the Law.  Team with most clippings wins. (Team leaders distribute pages among his team members)

Patriotic Wall Plaque

Using a copy of the Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights or the Gettysburg Address; make a wall plaque by mounting one of these on 1/4" plywood shaped into the design of a scroll. Make your scroll slightly larger than your copy. Finish plywood by sanding, staining a natural color and varnishing or leave the wood grain and color show through by eliminating stain and just varnish.

Circle Ten Council

One of the purposes of Cub Scouting is "Developing habits and attitudes of good citizenship". A Scout promises to do his duty to his country. The Citizen Activity Badge helps the WEBELOS understand what a good citizen is and teaches him the history of our flag. Citizen Activity Badge is in the Community group.


To foster citizenship in WEBELOS Scouts. To teach boys to recognize the qualities of a good citizen. To introduce boys to the structure of the U.S. government. To familiarize boys with basics of American history. To convince boys that laws are beneficial. To encourage WEBELOS Scouts to become community volunteers.

Where to go and what to do

  • Invite a guest speaker from a local board to explain his duties and tell the WEBELOS Scouts why he volunteers his time.
  • Buy a packet of used U.S. commemorative stamps. Distribute several to the WEBELOS Scouts and challenge them to discover the "story behind the stamp". At the following meeting allow each boy ample time to describe his stamps and their significance.
  • Attend a local city council meeting.
  • Do a Good Turn by conducting a litter pickup campaign
  • Have each WEBELOS Scout write a letter to his Senator or Congressman to express an opinion on an issue. It would be especially interesting if two WEBELOS Scouts wrote an opinion about opposite sides of the same issue. See what responses you receive.
  • Encourage WEBELOS Scouts to fly a flag at home particularly on appropriate flag holidays.
  • Arrange for the WEBELOS den to do a community service project.

Good turn ideas

  • Give some of the toys the WEBELOS Scouts may have made as part of the Craftsman badge to needy children. Use Craftsman skills to repair and refurbish toys for the same purpose.
  • Give a holiday party for children or adults in a residential situation. Plan games, songs, small gifts, party favors, and treats
  • Participate in the Food Drive in the fall to stock good pantries for needy families
  • Collect toilet articles and used clothing for the homeless
  • Salvage used books to be sold at the public library or to be used to set up libraries for children or adults in a residential situation
  • Read to someone who cannot see.
  • Provide snow shoveling, yard care, errand service, or other aid to an elderly person or couple in your neighborhood.


for dens or small groups

Equipment: One current newspaper per den

Teams gather in groups, each with the same day's issue of a newspaper. On signal, teams start a search for news items that definitely illustrate the 12 points of the Scout Law. Items are cut out and numbered according to the point of the law. Team with the most clippings in a given time wins.

Strategy Tip: Team leaders should distribute pages among his team members instead of everyone grabbing for papers.


By Barb Stephens

Most government buildings offer a tour of some sort and you might be able to combine the tour with the following scavenger hunt. Divide the den into two or three teams and give the boys a reasonable time limit. Have them locate answers to questions like these:

  1. What is the mayor's middle initial and what does the initial stand for?
  2. Bring back a piece of stationery showing our town's logo or crest.
  3. Draw a picture of our state flag.
  4. On what floor of City Hall can you find _______________?
  5. Who runs the Water Works Department and what does that department do?
  6. Where does the City Council meet?
  7. What's on the top floor of the City Hall building?
  8. What is the full name of the governor of the state?
  9. Get a brochure about trash pick up service.
  10. Who takes care of snow removal/tree removal from city streets and what is their budget?


When the Stars and Stripes first became our national flag, no one was sure just what the design of the flag should be. Since the time of that first flag, official descriptions of the national colors have been very careful and clear. Not only is the design of the flag carefully described today, but there are many special rules for displaying it. The following questions are based on the universal flag code of the United States. See how many you and your WEBELOS den can answer correctly. Some of these questions are tricky.

  1. The flag is raised (a) slowly; (b) briskly; (c) at any speed that is comfortable.
  2. If you carry the flag in a parade and passed before the President of the United States, you would dip the flag slightly in salute to the President as you walked past him. True or False?
  3. The flag must never be lowered no matter how bad the weather conditions. True or False?
  4. The flag is never allowed to fly after daylight hours anywhere in the world. True or False?
  5. When the flag is carried in a procession or on other occasions, it is escorted by an honor guard. True or False?
  6. The flag's honor guard walks (a) on the flag's right; (b) just behind the flag; (c) on both sides of the flag.
  7. If you are a Cub Scout, WEBELOS Scout, Boy Scout, or Explorer, you always give the Cub Scout, or Explorer salute to the flag even when you are not in uniform. True or False?
  8. When you carry the flag in a parade with other flags, the U. S. flag must go on the left of and in line with the other flags. True or False?


  1. (b) briskly - it's a happy occasion!
  2. False. The flag is never dipped to anyone..
  3. False. The flag is not flown in bad weather.
  4. False. Although it is the custom to display the flag only from sunrise to sunset, there is no law prohibiting its being flown both day and night.
  5. True.
  6. (c) on both sides of the flag.
  7. False. When you are in civilian clothes, you remove your hat and place your hand over your heart when the flag passes
  8. False. It is carried at the right of the other flags or at the front and center of a line of other flags.


clear.gif - 813 Bytes

Return to Top of Page - Click Here

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 1997-2005 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.