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Baloo's Bugle

September 2006 Cub Scout Roundtable Issue

Volume 13, Issue 2
October 2006 Theme

Theme: Cub Scout Shipbuilders
Webelos: Citizen & Showman
Tiger Cub


Ships in the Fog
Alapaha Area Council

Divide the den into two teams and line them up relay fashion at one end of the room.  For each team set up a series of obstacles – chairs, tables, stools, and so on – between them and the other end of the room.   Blindfold the first player on each team.  On signal, he starts for the other end of the room, trying to avoid the obstacles.  His teammates may call out directions (go right, left, etc.)  When he reaches the other end of the room, he takes off the blindfold and runs back to touch off the next player, who is already blindfolded.  Continue until all team members have raced.  First team finished wins.


Walk the Rope
Alapaha Area Council

Lay two 12’ pieces of rope straight on the floor about six feet apart.  Stand a player in his stocking feet at the beginning of each rope.  Blindfold the two players.  Turn them around twice.  At the starting signal, each player feels his way along the rope with his feet.  He must keep his feet on the rope all the way or he is out of the race.  The first one to reach the end of his rope wins. Variation:  Play this also as a relay race with even teams at the beginning of the ropes.  Each player must be blindfolded when it is his turn to walk the rope.  At the end he removes his blindfold and rushes back to tag the next player on his team.


Hurricane Ball
Alapaha Area Council

Seat the Cub Scouts at a table that is small enough to place them close together.  Put a ping-pong ball in the middle of the table.  On signal, the Cub Scouts, with their chins on the table and their hands behind them, attempt to blow the ball away from their side of the table.  If the ball falls to the floor, return it to the center of the table and continue the game.


Knot-Step Contest
Alapaha Area Council

Line up scouts; each has a piece of rope.  Call out the name of a knot.  Each scout ties the knot.  Judges quickly check the knots, and those scouts who have tied them correctly can take one step forward.  First scout to reach the finish line is the winner.


Blow the Man Down
Alapaha Area Council

Cut a strip of light cardboard about 2” x 6”.  This will be a standing pirate so bend the bottom inch and a half at right angles to stand it up.  In turn, players are blindfolded, spun around 3 times, and then try to blow the man down.  Give each player three tries.  Winner is the player who is most successful in these three tries.


Duck In Water
Long Beach Area, Verdugo Hills, San Gabriel Valley Councils

Equipment: Pool and Large rubber ball

  • Cubs form a circle in water at least waist-deep.
  • Three or four den members in the center.
  • The rest try to hit the Cubs in the center with the large rubber ball
  • They try to avoid being hit by ducking under the water.
  • When hit they change places with the thrower.


Boat Race
Long Beach Area, Verdugo Hills, San Gabriel Valley Councils

You will need: (for each Den/Patrol) A toy boat or car connected to a long length of string on a roller

This is an oldie but very good when you have a large group to keep amused and interested.  Boat races can be run across a pool (Make sure your boats float) or across the floor of a room.

  • Assign a toy boat to each Den.. 
  • Attach these to long lengths of twine wound around pieces of dowel or broom handle. 
  • Rotating the dowel winds on the twine and drags the toy boat across the pool or along the floor. 
  • Split your den into teams or at a Pack meeting make each den a team.  Sit each team near its boat.
  • Choose one person from each Den to start
  • After he winds in the boat, have someone run the boats back out to the start
  • And the next Den member winds it in
  • Encourage everyone to cheer their Den (team) on
  • You only have to direct the two children running the boats. 
  • The rest of the Cubs are sitting cheering their boat in.

(PS – Cars will work, too when using a floor)


Fishing Derby
Baltimore Area Council

Equipment Required: One magnet on a string for each team. Metal washers of different sizes and colors for different values.  At least one metal washer for each player.

How to Play –

  • Draw a large circle on the floor.
  • In this circle scatter metal washers.
  • Divide players into teams of two or more.
  • One player from each team wears a blindfold, is given a magnet on a string and is directed by his team.
  • On signal, the blindfolded players are directed into the circle by their team who try to get them to ‘catch one of the more valued washers.
  • Once the blindfolded Cub catches a washer he returns to his team with it.
  • Another player puts on his blindfold and takes his turn.
  • This continues till all have had a turn.
  • The winner is the team with the most points as determined by the washers they ‘caught’.


Port & Starboard:
Sam Houston Area Council

One player is chosen as the captain.  He calls out orders to the rest of the players who are the crew.  If a player does not follow an order correctly, he is out.  (This decision is made by the captain who is always right.)   Layout the room like a boat, with a US flag posted at the bow.

Orders that the captain can give:

  • Hit the deck: lay down on your stomach
  • Attention on deck: salute and yell, "Aye, aye captain!" -- players may not move now until the captain gives the order of, "At ease!" (i.e. even if the captain gives a different order such as "to the ship" the crew must continue to remain at attention until told "at ease")
  • Four men in a boat: the crew must form groups of four, huddle up and sing "Row, row, row your boat."  Anybody who is not in a group of four is out.
  • Clear the deck: everyone must have their feet up off the floor
  • Scrub the deck: everyone on their knees scrubbing
  • Captain's Quarters: everyone run to touch the captain.
  • Man-over-board: Players must find a partner as quickly as possible.  One partner must lay on their stomach while the other places their foot on their partner's back.  Boys without a partner or pairs that are too slow are eliminated.
  • Up Periscope: Every player falls on their back and sticks one leg in the air, twisting their foot side to side.  The slowest ones to make a periscope can be eliminated.
  • SHARK!!!!: Everyone must run to a designated base (multiple bases can be used).  The last player to the base is eliminated.
  • Crow's nest: All players must find a partner.  The lighter player piggybacks on their partner's back.  Those without partners or who assemble the crow's nest too slowly are eliminated.
  • Three men in a tub: boys form groups of three and sit on the floor with their hands clasped in a circle.  The players who are the odd-man-out are eliminated.
  • Sick turtle: Everyone falls onto their backs and waves their hands and feet in the air.
  • To the Bow: Run to the front of the boat
  • To the Stern: Run to the back of the boat
  • To Port: Run to the left side of the boat
  • To Starboard: Run to the right side of the boat.
  • Row the Boat: Each player finds a partner.  Partners sit face to face, hold hands, and pretend to row a boat.  Players who can't find partners or who are too slow to start rowing are eliminated.

This can be a fun, cool activity played in the shallow end of a pool.


Sharks and Minnows:
Sam Houston Area Council

A swimming pool game,

Start with one shark in the pool. 

All “Minnows” are on one side of the pool, and

When the shark says “Swim Minnows!” 

All of the minnows have to try to swim to the other side of the pool without getting tagged by a shark. 

Tagged minnows become sharks.


Ships in a Fog
Baltimore Area Council

Equipment Required: Blindfolds for all but team leaders.

  • The team leaders are shown the finish line.
  • The team players are blindfolded and the team leader must guide his ship (team) to the finish line using certain noise commands.
  • The team will decide whether to walk arm in arm, Indian to player (holding on front) or some other grouping.
  • The team leader can give commands only by a whistle, compass directions or by drill commands The extent of these to be decided with an umpire in advance. The more difficult the site and the commands, the greater the challenge.
  • On signal, team leaders guide their ship to the finish line. The first team across the line wins.


Sleeping Pirate
Baltimore Area Council

Equipment Required: Blindfold, ‘treasure’ and water pistol (if variation used).

  • Players form a large circle.
  • One player, wearing a blindfold, is the sleeping pirate. He sits in the center of the circle guarding the treasure.
  • The leader points to one of the players who creeps in on the pirate and ties to steal the treasure.
  • If the pirate hears a sound, he points in that direction
  • If he points at the player, the player returns to the circle and another player is chosen.
  • If the player steals the treasure, he becomes the pirate.


  • Use two pirates sitting back to back and two treasures. Have two players creep in.
  • Play it outdoors and use a water pistol - no doubt when player is shot.


Baltimore Area Council

Equipment Required A white cloth

  • Players form up in single file - each one grasping the waist of the player ahead.
  • The last player has a white ‘tail’ tucked into the back of his belt.
  • The head tries to maneuver so that he can snatch the tail while the player with the tail tries to prevent it.
  • After a few minutes, another two players change places with the head and tail

Caution: Make sure that the area is clear of obstructions.


Nigel's Navy
Long Beach Area, Verdugo Hills, San Gabriel Valley Councils

Equipment: Four small balls of different colored wool, and some white cards

Divide the Cubs into three or four fleets. Each has an adult Leader as an Admiral and Quartermaster. Each also has a base in which the Admiral/Quartermaster sits. There are three types of ships; battleships, submarines and destroyers. There should be three destroyers to every two submarines and to every one battleship. Each Cub should be given a small piece of card with the letter D, S, or B, to show which ship they represent. Each fleet has its own color wool, and each Cub in that fleet has a piece of that color wool ties round his arm. During the battle a battleship takes a destroyer; a destroyer takes a submarine, and a submarine takes a battleship. The facts should be made very clear. At a given signal the fleets are released from their bases to the central fighting area, where every member challenges any other member of another fleet by tagging them. Each then says what ship he represents. Nothing happens if they are the same, but when different the loser must give up his piece of wool to the other, and return to base for a new piece of wool from the Quartermaster. He may not continue fighting without a piece of wool his own color. The side collecting the most wool of the other colors wins. It is advisable to have intervals in order for the Cubs in the fleet to change ships, by swapping cards.

One of the battleships is given an extra card, which signifies the flag it carries, for he is the flagship. This flag must be made the decisive factor, and so, depending on the number in each fleet, is worth at least 50 to 150 pieces of wool. If this battleship is attacked by a submarine, it must surrender its flag as well, which the submarine at once returns to his Admiral, who at once gives it to his own flagship, who thus becomes doubly valuable. This flagship, if attacked, loses both its flags at the same time. Clearly it is wise for this flagship to play a defensive role and to be helped out by defending submarines and destroyers of his own fleet. The flagship can only be changed once in the game. The game may be played for up to thirty minutes. Count wool as it is handed in to the Quartermasters.


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