Volume 5 Issue 9
April 1999

LEADER IDEAS

Late in February I stopped in my local Post Office. If your Cubs collect stamps, you can order a catalog or get other information from the U.S. Post Office. Call 1-800-STAMPS24 .

This idea has been in the Bugle before. I wanted to feature it again. Although Scott Sinclair offers this as a program idea for those long, cold winter evenings in Canada, this would work for a summertime activity.



Try Having A Spud Theme Night!
Scott Sinclair, The Leader, December 1993

Potatoes (spuds) offer amazing program possibilities. For those long, cold winter evenings that beg excitement, why not try a spud theme night?!

Decorate your meeting area with farm pictures; leaders could dress in country clothes and work boots. Set the mood for your Beavers, Cubs or Scouts by playing stompin' Tom Connors' song "Bud The Spud" in the background. Ask every Beaver, Cub or Scout to bring a 4 kilogram (kg) bag of potatoes. (Leaders should have an additional 10 kg of potatoes available for those who forget to bring their spuds.)

Adapt the theme to fit your own program needs. Some groups may want to try the idea using different stations with Scouts spending five to ten minutes at each event spud pyramid, bowling, sack races. It's bound to be a hit!

Bowling for spuds

Set up bowling pins, using colourful balloons taped to paper cups. Mark off bowling lanes with tape or chalk, then use the potatoes as bowling balls. Any "balls" rolling outside the lane are disqualified.

Driving the spuds to market

Each person must sweep five potatoes from one end of the room to the other using only a household broom. Mark racing lanes on the floor to make this more challenging

Potato wheel-barrow race

Organize a wheel-barrow race with a team of two children one on the floor walking on hands and the other holding up his/her feet Put a potato on the back of each 'wheel barrow'. Listen to the shrieks of glee! If the spud falls off, the team must return to the starting line.

Spud of the Nile (potato pyramids)

Put a large collection of potatoes on a table. Try to build the tallest pyramid possible. (A great team event.)

Chip taste test

Number five bowls of potato chips and record which flavour is in each bowl. Keep this information secret. Tape the five potato chip bags to the wall behind the table. The fun begins when people start to match the taste with the bag. Yum!

Speed spud

Set up a ramp to roll potatoes down. Use a long stacking table with the legs of one end collapsed, or a household, hollow-core door. Let everyone choose a potato. Set these up at the start line at the top of the ramp. At a signal from the referee, the racers let their spuds go. The first one over the finish line wins. Improvise different rules: the straightest rolling spud wins; the fastest wins; the one that rolls the farthest wins; the funniest roll wins.

Potato stuffing

Weigh all group members. Let them stuff as many potatoes as possible into their pockets and clothing, then weigh everyone again fully stuffed. Record the difference.

Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head

Collect a variety of items to decorate the spuds. Include vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, radishes, carrots) and non-food items like construction paper, beads, ribbon, string. Let the Cubs and Scouts use toothpicks to stick things to the potatoes. Allow group members about 15 minutes to make their own personalized creation.

Marble spud

All children love playing marbles. Why not try it with potatoes?! Their irregular shape makes them roll an unpredictable, outrageous path. With chalk, draw a circle on the floor. Players have to roll their potato 'marble' into the circle and bump another players marble to win it. Use your creativity to dream up other games; the possibilities are endless.

Use the event to tell your Scouts about the food value in potatoes. Did you know the lowly spud holds almost all the minerals and vitamins a person needs to survive, including vitamin A, B, C, and D?

Make a list of all the ways we eat potatoes: baked, scalloped, mashed, fried, stuffed, boiled, potato chips. Talk briefly about the need for good eating habits and nutrition. When your night finishes, donate undamaged potatoes to the local food bank, then start making plans for a gourd night. What a great event for a winter camp, Cuboree, or just to recharge your program during mid-winter blahs. Your kids will love the unexpected, comical twist.

Scott Sinclair serves as manager: programs and commuications at Crieff Hills Community, Puslinch, Ont. Program Links Themes: Potatoes, Farming.

Materials found in Baloo's Bugle may be used by Scouters for Scouting activities provided that USSSP, Baloo's Bugle and the original contributors are cited as the source of the material.




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