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Baloo's Bugle

May 2007 Cub Scout Roundtable Issue

Volume 13, Issue 10
June 2007 Theme

Theme: Wheel Into Summer
Webelos: Traveler & Handyman
Tiger Cub


Cub Scout Monthly Themes for 2007-2008


All Aboard the Cub Scout Express. Invite a buddy to join you in your journey through Cub Scouts, riding the rails to adventure. Activities can include a trip to a train or rail museum, visit a local train station or invite a model railroader to your pack meeting. Look up the history of trains at the library or on the Internet. Read about the different train cars and engines that are used by railroads. Use a large cardboard facade of a train for an induction ceremony for new families or presentation of awards. Play train relay games with your den or pack.


It's harvest time in farming country. Cub Scouts learn about growing crops this month while they explore the life of a hard-working farmer.  Dens might visit a farm, local dairy, or petting zoo to learn first-hand about farm animals.  Boys can build a miniature greenhouse to start their own vegetables for planting in the family garden or patio pots.  Dens could take a field trip to a pumpkin patch and pick their own pumpkin for the pumpkin decorating contest at the pack meeting harvest fair.  Fair activities might include contest booths, a rubber-glove cow for milking, and a good old fashioned hayride.


Do you know who lived where you live 500 years ago? Dens will learn about the American Indian tribe currently living in their part of the country or the tribes that previously lived in their area. You are encouraged to invite a local tribe to help learn how Native Americans show their respect for Mother Earth and how "we are all related." The boys will learn about the harvesting and preparation of native foods and discover how good these foods taste. Develop an understanding of the importance of traditional oral history as a way of teaching lessons and recording history. Work on your Communicating belt loop and pin. Experience playing a Native game and learn the meaning and history behind the skills required to play the game. Share your new knowledge at a pack meeting or special event.


December is marked by days of celebration and observance for many cultures and faiths around the world. Christmas, Chanukah, Ramadan, Rohatsu, Yule and Kwanzaa all occur this month. Find out how the celebrations in another country are similar and different than those in the USA. Compare your own family's customs and traditions with others in your community. Invite an adult from another nation to come to your pack meeting to tell how their family celebrates. Why not start a new tradition of service in your pack as a way to honor the holidays this month? Work on the Heritages belt loop and pin.


Cars have fascinated every generation since their invention in 1769. They've been featured in many movies and on television. Discover the different kinds of cars and trucks such as limousines, taxis, van's, pickups, SUV's and racecars. Learn how these vehicles are built, repaired, modified and sold. Visit a car dealership, auto mechanic or auto parts dealer. Boys can build car or truck models or create a model of a showroom or a garage with miniature die cast cars. Participate in a slot car race or pinewood derby race with your den or pack.


Happy Chinese New Year! Or more appropriately, Gung Hay Fat Choy! (The traditional Chinese New Year greeting). This month we welcome the year 4705. Let's celebrate and welcome the New Year with dragon dances, paper lanterns, fortune cookies and oranges for abundant joy. Decorate your blue and gold banquet with banners inscribed with Chinese characters for luck and lots of red, the symbol of a bright and sunny future. Why not earn the Language and Culture belt loop and pin as we learn about and enjoy the culture of China.


This month Cub Scouts will turn recycled items into treasure and learn about conservation at the same time. Using items that would normally go in the trash or recycling bin, build artistic masterpieces of your own design.  It's amazing what some recycled bottles and paper can do when combined with glue and a little imagination. Have a gallery opening at your pack meeting with all your art displayed. Don't forget the Art belt loop and pin.


Cub Scouts love to amaze and be amazed! Boys discover secrets of the magician's art this month as they demonstrate magical illusions and learn new tricks with cards, coins and other everyday objects. The Cub Scout Magic Book is a great resource for age-appropriate tricks and puzzles. Visit a magic shop or have a magician come to your den or pack meeting to teach the boys a few tricks of the trade. Prepare to watch in wonder at the pack meeting as your Cub Scouts entertain their audience with skits, stunts and sparklers that they have practiced at den meetings. The Cubmaster uses the magic of ceremonies to pull awards from his hat at the mystifying pack meeting magic show. This would be a good month to hold your pack space derby.


Cub Scouts will learn about the wonders of nature's gift to us, a tree! Learn to identify poison oak, poison ivy and various trees by their shape and leaf design. Try leaf rubbing, leaf prints, making a leaf collage, preserving leaves with wax paper or making a leaf collection from fallen leaves. Make a leaf boat and race it at a den or pack meeting. Participate in a tree planting or your local Arbor Day activities. Either adopt a tree or plant one and watch it grow. Research how trees are used to help us in our daily lives. Field trips can be to a lumberyard, nature center, forest preserve or local park. Earn the Collecting belt loop and pin.


As the athletes of the world strive to do their personal best in international competition, Cub Scouts have the opportunity to "Go for the Gold" by doing their best in feats of skill and prowess. This month Cub Scouts learn about exercise and sports and put that knowledge to use playing Ultimate or another sport not played before. Remember that not only is it important to do your best when you play a sport but it is important to understand the rules of being a good sport no matter the outcome of the game. This month would be a great time to work on one of the Cub Scout Sports belt loops and pins in baseball, golf or flag football.

JULY 2008 - H2Ohhh!

Dive right in as Cub Scouts spend a month learning about water, our most precious resource. Learn about marine life. Dens can visit a water treatment facility, local aquarium or fish farm. Cub Scouts may even want to prepare their own aquarium or fish bowl and "adopt a gold fish". This is also an excellent opportunity to teach our Cub Scouts about water conservation. Don't forget learning about water safety. Enjoy water games; hunt for shells and experience all the beach has to offer. Cub Scouts love to get wet. What could be better than a water carnival complete with games, competition, and safe swim demonstrations? This would be a great time to work on the Wildlife Conservation, Fishing, or Swimming belt loop and pin. Have an outdoor Cub Scout raingutter regatta race.


Summer memories can last a lifetime and memories made with your Cub Scout den or pack can be some of the best. So let's make "S'More" Cub Scout memories this month. Since "outing" is part of Cub Scouting, let's get outside and have some fun. Be it having a picnic, water party, softball game or campout; there is no limit to the amount of fun to be had by all this month. Why not have a pack family campout following the guidelines your leaders learned in BALOO training? What could be better than an outdoor pack meeting complete with a campfire? Whether you make a real or synthetic fire, the fun is 100% genuine. This would be a good opportunity to work on the Softball belt loop and pin or the Weather belt loop and pin.


Trapper Trails

Make sure you are giving out the regular awards the boys have earned that month. Some Cubmasters think that their isn’t enough time on pinewood derby night but the purpose of Pack Meeting still is to recognize the boys. Awards can be done, quickly but still fun. I make a Cubmaster car, which I make slow on purpose. I build it up 2 or 3 months in advance. No one will beat my car, etc.. On race day the boys have to race my car to get their award. They love it!!

Make sure everyone knows the rules before you begin. Give out a list of rules that you want them to follow. There are length and weight rules written inside the kits but they are never looked out. Make up your own rule sheet, pass it out to all the parents and then stick to the rules.

The weekend before the pinewood derby, have the boys come and impound their car at your house. Make sure each boys car is weighed properly with the same scale. After the car is inspected and weighed in then you will keep the car and bring it to pack night. I had a big box with rags in the bottom so the boy could wrap it and place it in the box. This will eliminate the before race day craziness of weighing the cars, fixing cars, taking weight in or out. It makes it A LOT better on race day to have all that over. At the church, I lay out a big blanket on a banquet table and lay all the cars out.

I truly believe there is nothing wrong with giving out a 1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners. It is a time for the boys to learn to be a good winner or a good loser. I do believe that each boy should receive the same trophy or certificate. None of this, tiny trophy for the losers and a giant one for the 1st place winner. Make sure each and every boy gets an award. Also, I think it is important to stress good sportsmanship. I give out the best sportsmanship award last of all, as the most important and best award to receive.

Here are some suggestions: Most Attractive, Most creative, Most realistic, Best Paint Job, Most Colorful, Best Workmanship, Most Imaginative, Most Artistic, Most Unusual, Best Quality, Judge’s Choice, Simply Marvelous, Best Craftmanship, Most Detailed. Sportiest, Most Original, (Avoid anything that is negative: like Junkyard Special)

After the official race, I always have an open class race. I encourage the dads to make a pinewood derby car of there own along side their boy. That way hopefully the boy can actually get his hands on his car, if they are building them together step by step. It is also a lot of fun to have the boys race their dads and their moms (I always make a car of my own). You can also have older brothers bring cars from other years and race. It gets the whole family involved.

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