A Genius Kit can be used in your den meeting or as a
A genuis kit is something you put together that the
boys take and make something from. Example, a paper sack filled with
2 paper plates, some q tips, paper cup, maybe a 1 liter empty
bottle, wire, paper clips, etc... Anything you want to put in
At one of our roundtables all adult leaders were given the
same thing and had to bring back a completed item the next
roundtable. I used the above items to make a lamp complete with a
pleated shade made from the paper sack! Of course I won a painted
lightbulb for the brightest idea. As long as you put the same in
everyone's kit it can contain anything.
I can’t imagine that anyone hasn’t at
least seen a description of the Genius Kit activity, but for those
that haven’t I am including my description here. And for those
that have never done a Genius Kit activity, you are really missing
out on one of the most incredible, eye-opening activities you could
possibly imagine. We run one of these activities at least every
couple years because they are always fun and the results are never
What is a Genius Kit?
it’s a group of 20 or more odds and ends thrown together into
a container and given to a boy to turn into something. (Variations
include letting the boys pick their own items from a large open
container, but again, the items are odds and ends.)
What is the purpose of the Genius Kit
The object is to let the kids use their
imaginations to come up with some of the most unbelievable creations
from the junk they have. You will be amazed at the
How do you run a Genius Kit
I have seen them run two different ways.
First, as said above, is to give the kids a chance to pick their own
items from a general junk bin and then let them work on making their
creations. The other way is to give each boy an identical Genius Kit
and have each on come up with his own creation.
We also apply
rules depending on how we are running the event. For example, when
we’ve given the boys all the same items, we’ve said no
painting and only the materials supplied and clear glue can be used.
This keeps them from adding to their creations beyond the
"level playing field."
Finally, this activity
doesn’t lend itself to a large group setting. The hot glue and
white glue can end up everywhere and might hurt someone. If you want
to incorporate it into the Pack Meeting, have the boys work on them
at home and bring them in for display and judging. (This is just my
How do you judge the Genius
For either "method," we try to have
enough categories that virtually all of the creations get ribbons.
It isn’t easy for the judges, let me tell you. Your best bet
is to make sure you have ribbons or certificates for all
participants and then you can come up with some Top
I was floundering a bit for ideas when I started
with the Cubstruction theme. Mike Bowman was kind enough to send me
This is a fun one where you can go wild on
handicraft, shopcraft, and games that involve building - you know
the ones where you stack up blocks and pull 'em out one at a time.
Cubstruction is wonderful because it is a prime opportunity for
hands on doing experiences instead of being lectured to death. And
you can get a little crazy and maybe off track with building by
adding odd things like building a monster submarine sandwich, making
a huge pizza, touring places that make things, going to a
construction lot or lumber yard and letting the boys pound nails,
making bird houses for the spring, helping to fix up a park (service
projects) or a building, etc. How about making Cub Stools for the
meeting place - real simple with a square piece of plywood about 18'
square and four pre-cut 2x2s for legs, have the board prepared with
pre-drilled guide holes and let the boys screw on the legs and then
paint them with splashes of various colors or decorate 'em with
decals and the like. Sing the John Henry song or others with steam
engines, action, banging and clanging. How about a skit using a
variation of the big bad wolf and three pigs with a few local
refinements to make it funny, but get across the point of the story.
How about a special pack uniform for the month with construction
helmets borrowed for the meeting and tool belts as props for a skit
or song. Can't remember the song but we had one where every so often
it called for a clap or bang and instead we had the cubs lined up
and let them bang a piece of sheet metal with a hammer. The noise
was terrible, but they liked the rowdiness.
Alameda, Marin, Piedmont & San Francisco Bay Area
Homemade Modeling Clay
Mix 2 cup table
salt and 2/3 cup water in saucepan. Simmer over medium heat,
stirring constantly until mixture is well-heated (approx. 3-4
minutes). Remove from heat. Add mixture of 1-cup cornstarch and 1/2
cup cold water.
Mix hard. This will make thick, stiff dough. Add
food coloring if desired. Store in plastic bag in refrigerator.
Salt-Flour Modeling Dough
Combine 1/2 cup and 1 cup flour. With your hands,
mix and knead enough water to make a stiff dough. Tint with food
coloring or tempera paint. Store in plastic bag in
Cornstarch Baking Soda Dough
Mix 1 cup cornstarch, 2 cups baking soda. Add 1 1/4
cups water and mix. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring
constantly. This will thicken to the consistency of slightly dry
mashed potatoes. Store in refrigerator up to two weeks. Recipes may
be cut in half.
Bread Modeling Dough
Remove crusts from several slices of white bread.
Break up bread into small pieces and mix with white glue. Add a few
drips of lemon juice. Mix until it is the consistency of clay. Color
with tempera paint. Store in plastic bag in refrigerator.
I have been feeding goldfinches and housefinches for
about 3 or 4 years. The goldfinches (especially the males) are
simply beautiful during the summer. But now that the weather has
turned decidedly cold here I have decided to also feed the other
wild birds who aren't vacationing in Florida. Below are some ideas
that you can share with your Cubs about feeding birds and some
Rules For Feeding
Alameda, Marin, Piedmont & San
Francisco Bay Area Council
- Once you start, continue. Birds will get
use to coming and finding food in your feeders. Don't disappoint
2. Birds need moisture too. If you don't have regular
birdbath for water, use an old hub cap or shallow pan on top of
an overturned garbage can. If temperature is freezing, boil
water every morning and pour over pan, taking out ice. Remaining
water will cool quickly for birds to use.
3. Feed everyday
and early 5:30 or 6 a.m., is not too early to get out and check
feeders. This is when the birds eat.
Wild bird seed
12 ounce juice can
Long piece of wire (such as
Piece of vegetable (onion or potato)
1. Cut vegetable sack to fit inside can top with
extra sticking up above can top.
2. Cut suet into small pieces
and heat in double boiler so it won't burn. Let cool and harden. If
any pieces of meat are seen, remove them.
3. Reheat suet. After
it has melted again, mix in one-cup birdseed. Pour this mixture into
can. Cool until it hardens.
4. To remove birdcake from can, set
can in warm water. Carefully run a knife around inside to loosen
sack. Pull top of sack to get cake out.
5. Tie ends of sack with
wire, leaving enough wire to tie to tree limb. Hang as far out from
trunk as possible to keep it from squirrels.
Food for Birds:
|Bread crumbs (but
||Suet in mesh
Occasional Special Treats
||Other fresh and
Save all crumbs, cookies, bread, cake, cereal,
potato chips. Add to pan of melted suet or bacon grease. Stir in
some peanut butter. Pour mixture into 2 paper cups. Insert stick
into each one. Refigerate 24 hours. Peel paper cups away and insert
a third stick between ends of two treats to join them together. Tie
length of twine to end of stics and hand.