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Baloo's Bugle

November 2006 Cub Scout Roundtable Issue

Volume 13, Issue 4
December 2006 Theme

Theme: Cub Scout Stars
Webelos: Craftsman & Scientist
Tiger Cub


Scout Law Straw Relay
Cindy, Mt Diablo Silverado Council

This came to me as a fun way to have Webelos learn the Scout Law.  I agree, CD

Materials: straws, 2 sets of each word of the scout law on separate small pieces of paper

 Set up:

  • Two teams
  • One straw for each player
  • Put the pieces of paper (spread out) on a table for each team Object: For the team to put the Scout Law in order

How to play:

One by one each team member will pick up piece of the Scout Law using only their straw and take it over to a specific destination. 

The first scout must reach the destination and return before the next scout goes. 

The team should try and assemble the Scout Law in order as each piece is added.

Once the team has moved all twelve pieces to the destination, they race over to check and, if needed, put the Scout Law in correct order.  

The Scout with the last piece must return before all the scouts can proceed to the destination and check if the Scout Law is in order. 

The first team to put the law in order is the winner.


Webelos Activity Badge Ceremony Ideas
Baltimore Area Council

AQUANAUT - If the Pack meeting is held at a pool, have the boys swim across the pool to receive their badge. If inside, have them demonstrate a swimming stroke and pretend to swim to you to receive his badge.

ARTIST - Webelos leader is dressed as an artist and pretends to paint portrait of the Webelos as he is sitting on a stool posing. He puts down his palette and paintbrush and says "Each boy is a masterpiece. " He then hands the boy a pre-made silhouette of the boy and the activity badge he has earned.

ATHLETE - Do a standing long jump and catch badge that the Webelos Leader is holding at arms length.

CITIZEN - The Webelos Leader dressed as judge, pounds gavel on table and says, "Hear ye, Hear ye, Hear ye. 1 present to you on this day of in the year of Our Lord. 20______, (boy's name) as a new citizen of our Pack and community."

COMMUNICATOR - Webelos leader uses sign language to tell what the activity badge is. He gives the badge to the Webelos Scout who thanks him in sign language also.

CRAFTSMAN - Webelos leader and boys are busy building crafts and leader says, "Well boys, we've sure had a busy month making all these things, but I think we have made more than just toys. We have come a step closer in making you young men." He then gives them their badge.

ENGINEER - Several boxes with the name of Pack Officers (Cubmaster, Den Leader, Committee Chairman, etc.) are scattered around. The Webelos Den Leader comes on stage and picks up a box and reads out loud what it says, and then places it back on the floor facing the audience. Start with the committee members first. Build the boxes up in the shape of a pyramid. As the name of a boy is read that has earned the activity badge he comes forward and is given the badge. His leader congratulates him on the achievement and tells him how great it is that he can be part of the Cub Scout pyramid.

FAMILY MEMBER - The Webelos Leader calls the Webelos Scout and all the members of his family including brothers, sisters, and aunts, uncles, etc. He lines them all up according to size from the tallest one next to him to the smallest one next to the Webelos Scout. He then says "Since this activity badge was earned with the help of all the family, I will give it to the tallest member of the family. Each of you will pass it down the line until it reaches the Webelos Scout."

FITNESS - Do a sit up and reach out and take the badge that is being held at the end of his feet. (Just far enough to give him a good stretch before getting it.)

Do a push-up. The boy will pick up the badge with his mouth as he lowers himself to the floor, and as the Webelos Leader is holding the badge near the floor beneath the boy.

FORESTER -The Webelos Leader has all the activity badges attached to a branch of a tree. he says "I am presenting you this activity badge in the hopes it plants a seed of knowledge that will grow with time."

GEOLOGIST - Webelos Leader is examining several large rocks that are out on the table. He comes to the largest one and picks up a hammer and chisel, and proceeds to chisel on the rock. He removes an award from the rock and calls forward the boy who is to receive it. The chiseling continues until all awards are presented.

HANDYMAN - The Webelos Leader rolls on old tire out. Inside the tire are the activity badges. He says, *'This tire is old. It has served its purpose. We have in our midst, several future mechanics." He calls up the boys who have earned the badge and takes the badges out of the tire and presents them.

NATURALIST - Webelos leader is inspecting insect collection and notices something different and out of place, "What is this? I don't remember seeing this before. Oh, (boys name) this must belong to you for earning your Naturalist Activity Badge.”


Baltimore Area Council

The requirements for the Craftsman activity badge include projects in wood, leather and tin. This activity helps the boys develop confidence in their abilities by encouraging them to use their talents and skills for more advanced handicraft projects, or perhaps to develop a hobby in one of these mediums.

Where to Go and What to Do

  • Visit a furniture factory, sawmill, lumberyard, or cabinetmaker.
  • Visit a tannery or leather goods manufacturer.
  • Demonstrate the proper care and use of tools.
  • Demonstrate metal work, using a tin snips and vise.
  • Nave a nail-driving contest.
  • Make a tool chest.

Carpenter's Level
Southern NJ Council

You can make a carpenter's level out of a glass tube - like dentists use or the kind of plastic tube a toothbrush comes in.

With the vial from the dentist's office, remove one rubber cork from the end. Rinse tube out good and then fill almost full of water and replace cork.

With a glass or plastic tube, cork one end, fill nearly full with water, then cork the end. (pic 1.)

Lay tube on a flat surface. If this surface is perfectly level, the bubble inside the tube will be exactly in the middle. If the surface is not quite level, the bubble will be off center one way or the other. (pic 2.)

Book Trough
Southern NJ Council

Copy picture and enlarge. Then trace diagram of book ends onto 3/8" board or plywood. Cut shelves from measurements. Make ends identical by clamping together before cutting and finishing.


Mountain Cabin Bookends
Baltimore Area Council

Using 3/4" wood, cut one back 4" x 6", one base 3" x 4", one cabin and one tree for each bookend. See pattern pieces

After making pieces, assemble and paint as desired.


Two-Tone Code Whistle
Southern NJ Council

You can work out a series of code signals with this two-tone code whistle. The twin tones make it penetrate a long distance. Each hole may be used independently or both may be blended.

Walnut, maple or birch are good hardwoods to use. Make sure the holes are completely free of sawdust. Round off all edges and sand it smooth, then attach a neck strap lanyard long enough so that you can tuck the whistle into your shirt pocket.

Note that the plugs are flattened off at the top. Plugs should make a tight fit for the best resonance.

1. Drill holes as indicated in piece of hardwood. Cut air escape notch.

2. Insert 1/4-inch plugs flush to straight cut of notch. Cut off excess wood.

Personal Bike Rack
Southern NJ Council


  • One 14" x 18" piece of 1/2" plywood;
  • One 1" x 2" x 2'; one 2" x 8" x 18"
  • No. 6 flathead screws (1-1 / 4" long);
  • Six-penny nails;
  • Varnish or paint;
  • White glue or powdered resin glue.
  1. Cut plywood triangles. Drill holes as show with a 5(32" drill bit. Paint or varnish the inside of plywood at this time. It will be difficult to do after rack is assembled.
  2. Cut the 1" x 2" pieces. Nail the two longest pieces at right angles.
  3. Cut the 2" x 8" piece. Attach the nailed 1"x2" with screws. Paint or varnish the 1" x 2" now. (Note the right angle is fastened to the 2" x 8" with screws from inside.)
  4. Fasten the plywood triangles in place with screws through pre-drilled holes. Don't forget the small piece of 1" x 2" that joins the tips of the triangle.
  5. Sand and complete paint or varnishing the piece.

Picture Frame House
Southern NJ Council



Leather Eyeglass Case
Baltimore Area Council

Measure eyeglasses and cut leather (a piece approximately 6” x 6") so glasses fit easily when case is folded. Fold leather and punch holes for lacing using the running stitch.

Cut simple design into head of a large nail with a file; then file off nail point. Dampen leather and use small hammer to tap the design on.

Wooden Trivet
Baltimore Area Council


  • 1 dowel, 4' long, 1" diameter for each Webelos
  • Table saw, Sandpaper, Waxed paper, Carpenter's glue
  • Felt (approx. 6"X6")

Prior to the meeting - Cut the dowel into slices about 1 1/4" thick, using the table saw.  You will need 37 pieces for each Webelos.

Have the Webelos -

  1. Sand any rough edges.
  2. Lay a piece of waxed paper on the working surface. It can be easily removed from the trivet after the glue has dried.
  3. Begin gluing the slices together as shown in the picture.
  4. When glue has dried, pull away waxed paper and cut the felt piece to fit the back of the trivet.
  5. Glue felt in place.


Baltimore Area Council

A scientist studies things to team how they behave and why. Scientists try to find out the laws of nature about the things they study. People can use these rules or laws in making things. While working on this activity badge, you will learn a few of the main ideas in physics. Physics is a science with several branches. One of these branches will be weather. You can learn a little about weather in these activity badge requirements. Another branch of physics is called optics. You will have a chance to learn something about sight and find out how your eyes work. Scientists learn a lot by experimenting or trying things out. Try things for yourself. Scientists take nothing for granted. They may be sure an idea is true, but they always test it, if possible, to make certain they are right.


Lab Technician            Researcher                   Zoologist

Optometrist            Ophthalmologist    Nuclear Physicist

Weather Forecaster          Nurse           X-Ray Technician

                            Science Teacher

Pack Meeting

  • Honor your Pack leaders by making up some "Scientific Awards." Cut them out of poster board. For example:
    • Gravity is a heavy subject. (Shape of the Earth)
    • Stars are night lights that don't run up bills. (Stars)
    • Astronomers are far-sighted. (Glasses with big eyeballs)
    • Chemists really, stir things up! (Beaker with bubbling mix.)
  • Science Fair: Set up and hold a science fair during your Pack meeting. Show some of the simple experiments you have been doing in your Den meetings.
  • Display items that you have made.

Den Activities

  • Talk about the various branches of science and how they differ.
  • Do the atmospheric pressure tests or balance tests in the Webelos Book.
  • Make Fog.
  • Make Crystals.
  • Do the inertia experiments in the Webelos Book.
  • Visit an eye specialist and learn how the eyes converge and find out what the various eye tests measure
  • Invite a local weatherman to your Den meeting to talk about the climate during the year. How is weather different in the Southern Hemisphere?
  • Have a slow-motion bicycle riding contest to illustrate balancing skills.
  • Plan a scientific experiment to be demonstrated at the Pack meeting.

Field Trips

  • Visit an eye specialist and learn how the eyes work.
  • Visit the control tower of the Metropolitan Airport or visit a Municipal Airport.
  • Learn about the principles of fight for an airplane and look at all the control dials.

Southern NJ Council

Inertia is the tendency of a thing at rest to remain at rest and a thing in motion to continue in the same straight line.

Get a small stick about 10-inches in length and the diameter of a pencil. Fold a newspaper and place it near the edge of a table. Place the stick under the newspaper on the table and let about half the stick extend over the edge of the table. Strike the stick sharply with another stick. Inertia should cause the stick on the table to break into two parts.

Southern NJ Council


  • Rubber balloon
  • Several pins with large heads
  • Roll of plastic tape

Inflate the balloon and affix little squares of plastic tape to it. Stick each pin through the center of the tape and to their amazement, the balloon will not burst. When you remove the pins, the balloon still will not burst.

What happens: The adhesive substance on the tape acts like a self healing automobile tire, adhering to the pin as it is pressed inward. When the pin is removed, the adhesive is forced outward by the air pressure from within the balloon, atomically sealing the tiny pinholes.

Southern NJ Council

Put several matches in a bowl almost full of water, making a shape like a star.

Stick a pin into a small piece of soap.

Gently dip the soap into the water at the center of the star of matches, taking care not to disturb them. The matches will all move away from the soap.

What happens: When you dip the soap in the water a little of the soap dissolves. The surface tension of the clean water is stronger that that of soapy water, so the clean water around them pulls the matches outward.

Southern NJ Council


  • 1 or 2 quart bottle with stopper to fit
  • 3” of ½ “ glass, metal or plastic tubing (Tube from an old Windex bottle can be used)
  • Spoonful of baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Facial tissue

  1. Drill hole in stopper and insert tubing
  2. Wrap soda in tissue and attach tissue to tube with rubber band
  3. Fill bottle one half full of 1 part vinegar and 1 part water
  4. Insert stopper in bottle with soda inside bottle, but not touching vinegar solution
  5. To operate, tip bottle upside down, soaking the tissue paper with vinegar

Southern NJ Council

To see how fast or slow the wind blows, make an anemometer (a wind speed measurer)

You will need  - stiff cardboard 24” x 12”

  1. Measure four 6” widths with a ruler, and draw pencil lines with scissors.
  2. Set a compass to 4” and draw an arc on the cardboard as shown.
  3. Cut out a narrow slot along the arc.
  4. Mark numbers at equal intervals along the slot.
  5. Fold the cardboard inward along the scored lines.
  6. Put cellophane tape along the two edges and along all the folded edges.
  7. Cut a piece of paper 4 ¾” square and tape it to the end of the box as shown. Take the anemometer outside and point the flap toward the wind. Each night and morning, record the level that the flap reaches

Southern NJ Council

In a heatproof jar with lid, boil a half-inch of water with the lid on loosely so some of the steam can escape. Then tighten the lid and turn jar over. Put an ice cube or two on the jar bottom. In a moment the water will boil again.

What happens? The air pressure has been reduced in the jar by the ice condensing the water vapor inside. The boiling point of a liquid depends on atmospheric pressure.

Baltimore Area Council

Shooting Back

Place an empty soda bottle on its side. Put a wad of paper in the neck and try to blow it in. It comes back out.

Why? When you blow into an enclosed space like a bottle, you increase the air pressure inside. Since pressure will equalize when it can, the air rushes out of the bottle, taking the wad of paper with it.

Balloon in Bottle –

Place a deflated balloon inside a two-liter bottle, with the lip of the balloon over the top of the bottle. "Cry to blow up the balloon.

What happens? Air pressure inside the bottle increases as the balloon takes up space, so air pressure is fighting against you. To inflate the balloon, you would need to compress the air trapped between the balloon and the bottle. To compress air requires force. The human lungs are not strong enough to inflate the balloon and to compress the trapped air.

Making Air Work for Us

Use a balloon to pick up a glass -- Place a deflated balloon in a glass. Blow up the balloon until it is tight around the edge of the glass. Hold the end of the balloon shut and pick up the glass.

Use a balloon to lift books -- Place a deflated balloon under a stack of books. As you blow the balloon up, the books will rise. A hydraulic lift is based on this principle.

Baltimore Area Council

We live under a blanket of air called the earth's atmosphere. The air in the atmosphere exerts pressure of almost fifteen pounds per inch on every surface on earth.

Diving Bell

Place a piece of crumpled paper in the bottom of a glass or tin can. Turn the glass upside down and submerge it in a bucket of water. The paper will remain dry. Why? The air, which filled the "empty" space in the glass, stopped the water from entering.

Hanging Water

Fill a glass to overflowing and lay a piece of cardboard atop it. Support the card with one hand, turn the glass upside down, and remove your hand from the card. The card does not fall. It remains on the glass and allows no water to escape. Why? The air pressure from below the cardboard is greater than the pressure of the water above and presses the card tightly against the glass.

Wedged Glasses

Place two glasses together with a piece of wet construction paper between them. Burn a candle in the bottom glass. The glasses become "welded" together. Why? The flame uses up the oxygen in the bottom glass, so the pressure is now lower in this glass.

Auto Gyro
Baltimore Area Council

Materials: Paper 3 1/2" wide by 8 1/4" long

The principle of the Auto Gyro can be easily demonstrated by making one as shown in the sketch.

  1. Using a piece of paper 3 ½" wide by 8 ¼” long, cut down the center of the paper 4" and then fold the cut sections to opposite sides as shown, to form the two wings.
  2. Fold the balance in halt: and then make two triangular folds to the midline and your Auto Gyro is ready.
  3. Make two other Auto Gyros basically the same as the first one, but shorten the wing length from four inches to three inches on the second one and to two inches on the third one.

Try flying from the same height and observe how each model reacts. Does any thing seem to slow their descent'? What actually makes it spin'? Note the order in which the three models reached the ground. Are wing size, air resistance, and rate of descent related?

Spinner Scope
Baltimore Area Council

Materials: Paper plates, scissors, watercolor markers,   pushpin, unsharpened pencil with eraser top

  1. Cut out notches around edge of plates as shown.
  2. Draw a design on each plate with markers. Draw a spiral, small circles close to each other, or a simple object, such as a fish.
  3. Poke a pushpin through center of plate, then into eraser end of pencil.
  4. Stand in front of mirror. Spin pencil between hands as you peer through the notches. Each design will produce a different optical illusion as the spinning elements appear to merge.


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