Baloo's Bugle

April 2008 Cub Scout Roundtable Issue

Volume 14, Issue 9
May 2008 Theme

Theme: Leaf It to Cubs
Webelos: Outdoorsman & Artist
Tiger Cub Activities


Thanks to Scouter Jim from Bountiful, Utah, who prepares this section of Baloo for us each month.  You can reach him at or through the link to write Baloo on   CD

Roundtable Prayer
CS Roundtable Planning Guide

Thank you for creating the trees and the forest that clean the air we breathe, provide the fruits we eat, and shelter us from the elements.  Let us never forget what you have given us, and help our Cub Scouts to remember how precious it is.  AMEN

Hug A Tree and Surviv
Scouter Jim, Bountiful Utah

This month’s theme, “Leaf it to Cubs,” has us thinking about conservation and trees.  There are many reason’s to hug a tree, or be a tree hugger. 

Trees produce oxygen:   A mature leafy tree produces as much oxygen in a season as 10 people inhale in a year.  It may not be able to give us mouth to mouth resuscitation , but trees give us oxygen from carbon dioxide.

Trees become "carbon sinks":  To produce their food, trees absorb and lock away tons of carbon dioxide.

Trees clean the air:  Trees help cleanse the air by intercepting airborne particles, reducing heat, and absorbing such pollutants as carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide.

Trees fight soil erosion:  Trees fight soil erosion, conserve rainwater, and reduce water runoff and sediment deposit after storms by holding soil in place with their complex root systems.

Trees give us food for our bodies through fruit and nuts, and food for our souls with their beauty and majesty.

There are many reasons to plant and take care of trees, but hugging a tree can also save a young life. 

With summer coming on; and more and more people going outside to enjoy recreational activities, it is time to remind our Cub Scouts to Hug-A-Tree and Survive if they are lost in the outdoors.  The following information is from the Greater Philadelphia Search and Rescue Website:

The HUG-A-TREE and SURVIVE Program was started in San Diego, California after a search for a nine-year old boy who died in the local mountains. A group of those searchers put together an assembly program for children on how not to get lost, how to stay comfortable if they do get lost, and how to be spotted and found. We hope your children never need this knowledge, but if you discuss this handout and the assembly with your children, it may help them to remember one or more facts that will make the search short and successful

  • Hug a Tree once you know you are lost.
    One of the greatest fears anyone can have is of being alone. Hugging a tree or other stationary object and even talking to it calms the child down, and prevents panic. By staying in one place, the child if found by searchers far more quickly, and can’t be injured in a fall or other accident.
  • Always carry a trash bag and whistle on a picnic, hike, or camping trip.
    By making a hole in the side of the bag for the face (always teach the child to make this hole as without it, there is a danger of suffocation), and putting it over the head so the face is showing out of the bag, it will keep the child warm and dry which will help prevent hypothermia. The whistle can be heard further away than the child's voice, and takes less energy to use.
  • My parents won’t be angry at me.
    Time and again, children have avoided searchers because they were ashamed of getting lost, and afraid of punishment. Anyone can get lost, adult or child. If they know a happy reunion, filled with love is waiting, they will be less frightened, less prone to panic, and work hard to be found by hugging a tree as they have learned.
  • Make Yourself Big.
    From helicopters, people are hard to see when they are standing up, when they are in a group of trees, or wearing dark and drab clothing. find your tree to hug near a small clearing if possible. Wear a red or orange jacket or vest when you go near the woods or desert. Lie down when the helicopter flies over. If it is cold and you are rested, make crosses or “SOS” using broken shrubbery, rocks or by dragging your foot in the dirt.
  • There are no animals out there that can hurt you in this country. 
    If you hear a noise at night, yell at it. If it is an animal it will run away to protect itself. If it is a searcher, you will be found. Fears of the dark and of “lions and tigers and bears” are a big factor in panicking children into running. They need strong reassurance to stay put and be safe.
  • You have hundreds of friends looking for you.
    We have had children in the local area of a search tell us, “My parents would never spend the money to search for me with all these people.” Search personnel are mainly volunteers who work with other professionals and charge nothing and do it because they care. Many children who are lost don’t realize that if they sit down and stay put, one of the many searchers will find them. Some are afraid of strangers and may not respond to yells and, have actually hidden from searchers they knew were looking for them.
  • Footprint your child
    Footprinting your child is a five minute exercise that cuts down the time of a search by several hours.  Have the child walk across a piece of aluminum foil on a soft surface, such as carpeting or a folded towel. Mark the foil with the child’s name. With this print, trackers can separate your child’s track from the hundreds of others in the area, and quickly determine the direction of travel.

The National Association for Search and Rescue is now the owner of his program and their web site contains all the official information.

This Program is Dedicated To The Memory of Jimmy Beveridge   Whose parents are still active in promoting the program and have written us here at Baloo’s Bugle with great information.  Thank you.

It is important that we teach our boys to be smart and stay safe in the outdoors and prepare them for the great adventure of Boy Scouting.  Remember, what our job is; “To love the boys.”  Let us love them enough, that we teach them how to be found if they are lost by hugging a tree and staying put.


Quotations contain the wisdom of the ages, and are a great source of inspiration for Cubmaster’s minutes, material for an advancement ceremony or an insightful addition to a Pack Meeting program cover

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is pressed
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are written by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

Joyce Kilmer, "Trees," 1914

Here is a great trivia question – Check out Joyce Kilmer on the web.  Find out who HE was and then ask your Cubs.  But don’t tell them first that it is a HE.  Of course, he is from NEW JERSEY.  He served in “The Fighting 69th” in World War I.  (The Fighting 69th (1940) starring James Cagney, Pat O'Brien, George Brent, and Jeffrey Lynn asSergeant Joyce Kilmer.)And there is a NJ Turnpike rest area named for him!! CD

You can live for years next door to a big pine tree, honored to have so venerable a neighbor, even when it sheds needles all over your flowers or wakes you, dropping big cones onto your deck at still of night.  Denise Levertov

I frequently tramped eight or ten miles through the deepest snow to keep an appointment with a beech-tree, or a yellow birch, or an old acquaintance among the pines.  Henry David Thoreau

If a man walks in the woods for love of them half of each day, he is in danger of being regarded as a loafer.  But if he spends his days as a speculator, shearing off those woods and making the earth bald before her time, he is deemed an industrious and enterprising citizen.  Henry David Thoreau

God has cared for these trees, saved them from drought, disease, avalanches, and a thousand tempests and floods.  But he cannot save them from fools.  John Muir

I never saw a discontented tree.  They grip the ground as though they liked it, and though fast rooted they travel about as far as we do.  They go wandering forth in all directions with every wind, going and coming like ourselves, traveling with us around the sun two million miles a day, and through space heaven knows how fast and far!  John Muir

For in the true nature of things, if we rightly consider, every green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold and silver.  Martin Luther

Trees are the earth's endless effort to speak to the listening heaven.  Rabindranath Tagore, Fireflies, 1928

The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.  Nelson Henderson

Between every two pines is a doorway to a new world.  John Muir

Trees outstrip most people in the extent and depth of their work for the public good.  Sara Ebenreck, American Forests

If I thought I was going to die tomorrow, I should nevertheless plant a tree today.   Stephan Girard

What a noble gift to man are the Forests! What a debt of gratitude and admiration we owe to their beauty and their utility! How pleasantly the shadows of the wood fall upon our heads when we turn from the glitter and turmoil of the world of man!
Susan Fenimore Cooper, Rural Hours, 1850

The great object to be attained through the observance of Arbor Day is the cultivation of a love for nature among children, with the confident expectation that thereby the needless de-struction of the forests will be stayed, and the improvement of grounds about school buildings and residences will be promoted.  Andrew Sloan Draper

The school children of New York State planted more than 200,000 trees within ten years from the time Arbor Day was recognized. Few similar efforts in years have been more thoroughly commendable than the effort to get our people practically to show their appreciation of the beauty and usefulness of trees.  Andrew Sloan Draper

There is something nobly simple and pure in a taste for the cultivation of forest trees. It argues, I think, a sweet and generous nature to have his strong relish for the beauties of vegetation, and this friendship for the hardy and glorious sons of the forest. He who plants a tree looks forward to future ages, and plants for posterity. Nothing could be less selfish than this.
Washington Irving

Forest areas exercise a positive climatic influence upon the surrounding country. They modify the extremes of heat and cold, and render the temperature more equable throughout the year.  Unknown

It has been wisely suggested that each State should choose its own tree, which in every case should be one that will thrive best in its soil.  Unknown

Sam Houston Area Council

“Remember the lesson we learn from the tree - To give to others more than we receive.” – Lord Robert Baden-Powell

“I like trees because they seem more resigned to the way they have to live than other things do.” – Willa Cather

“He who plants a tree, plants a hope.” – Lucy Larcom

 “No shade tree? Blame not the sun, but yourself.” – Chinese Proverb

“If you think in terms of a year, plant a seed; if in terms of ten years, plant trees; if in terms of 100 years, teach the people.” – Confucius

The Bent Tree
Utah National Parks Council

Two trees were planted
Just saplings, new
When the boy was young
Over the years they grew

One tree was tethered
Attached to a pole
It grew straight and strong
Had a mighty soul

The second tree was left
To face wind and rain
And it bent just slightly
Each time they came

But little by little
The tree angled so
Until lopsided and side heavy
It's branches hung low

Weak and mangled
It got in the way
'Till nothing was left
But to put it away

And the young man grown
But still full of spunk
Was grateful for leaders
Who'd tethered his trunk.

While others were left
To cope with the weather
Their branches bending
They had no tether

The boy had had Cub Scouts
To guide him along
And he grew like the tree
Straight and Strong.

We are grateful for the Cub Scout program.
Let us remember as our Scouts work
toward their goals that we all help these
Scouts grow and our pack go!

Dr. Paul MacCready Jr Quote on Smoking

I received a note from Amber who questioned why I ran the following quote in the Cub Scout Car Show issue,  "Your grandchildren will likely find it incredible - or even sinful - that you burned up a gallon of gasoline to fetch a pack of cigarettes!" when smoking is not permitted at Scouting activities.

Thinking about it, the quote did seem off to me too for this day and age so I did a little research on Dr Paul MacCready, Jr.   Check him out using Google or Wkipedia or another search engine, he was quite a fellow. 

He was an engineer.  He lived from 1925 to 2007.  I could not find the date he made the quote but the quote is all over the internet and I would guess he made the quote in the 50's or early 60's

So although the quote is out of touch with today's standards it did fit with his times.  An era when smoking was accepted by almost all and gas was 25.9 or 29.9 cents per gallon.  And as you can see, his quote has come true.  The grandchildren of the 1950's parents, today’s Cub Scouts, are amazed at how smoking was allowed and done all over (including on TV) and how we wasted gas by jumping in the car for everything.  And I think it shows how we have changed to more knowledgeable society