PACK ADMIN HELPS
Character Connections Part 2
Carol E. Little
CS RT Commissioner,
American Elm District, Black Swamp Council
In the earlier column, we learned about the history behind Character Connections (CC). We discussed the three different components – Know –become familiar with all 12 core character connections (head), be able to Commit (heart) to doing the CC values and put them into practice in their daily life (hand) on their own initiative.
For part of this column, I’d like to use a piece that I ran into from the special needs section from Heart of America Council Pow Wow book for 2005. I think that by using some of these activities we can use the Character Connections values and give our scouts a way to connect to others who have special needs.
Wear glasses that have been smeared with Vaseline to simulate impaired vision. What did you experience while wearing the glasses? What did you learn from about yourself? What was the purpose of trying the glasses?
Use a balance board with a circular board with an “x” below also circular, to simulate inner ear problems. (see teeterboard jousting in the How-To Book) What did you like about this exercise? How did you feel while standing on the board? What did you learn?
Set up a blind man’s maze, using wooden timbers to layout the maze. Each Cub was blindfolded, given a stick to tap out his way, and turned loose in the maze. Wow! Was that a site to see! What would you do differently in this exercise? How did you feel when you started to get around? What did you learn?
Type out the Cub Scout Promise and the Law of the Pack on computer then use a font to change the words to symbols such as MT Extra, Mobile, Cairo, Webdings, Symbols, Zapf Dingbats. Have the boys figure out what they say. What was the best part of this activity? Why do you think this activity was a good idea to do?
This exercise simulates vision challenges. Fill a bowl with pony beads and add 1 or 2 slightly larger different colored beads. The object is to pick out the larger bead of a specific color. The boys will always pick up one of the larger beads, but not necessarily the right color. What was the purpose of this game? What did you learn about yourself?
These are activities that are designed to give the boys the chance to experience the frustrations faced daily by people with disabilities. Unless a person has experienced a disability we really have no idea what others face day to day. Treat the disabled Scout with all the respect and consideration that you do with other Scouts. If the game being played requires a blindfold, the blind or visually impaired Scout should be given one as well. If the Scout is in a wheelchair, don’t stand over him to talk to him bend down to communicate face to face. If a hearing impaired scout has a signer, respond to the Scout not the signer. Our scouts look to us to set the example.
Games from Woods Wisdom 1996
Foggy Harbor Object: The group must maneuver an “oil tanker” (one member of the group) without bumping into the other “ships” (the remaining members). The oil tanker must be blindfolded. He is not to touch any of the other ships. These ships are distributed throughout the area. They remain stationary. As the oil tanker approaches on hands and knees, the nearest ship starts giving a warning signal, like a foghorn. The oil tanker then approaches slowly and attempts to maneuver across the harbor without colliding. What was the purpose of this game? What would you do differently? What was the best part of this game?
Everybody Up This exercise is a useful way to introduce the idea of group cooperation. Ask 2 scouts of about the same size to sit on the ground or floor facing each other with soles of their feet touching, knees bent, and hands tightly grasped. From this position they try to pull themselves into a standing position. If they succeed, ask another scout to join them and try standing with 3 scouts, then 4, etc. As the group grows, each player must grasp the hand of another person and must maintain foot contact with the group. An expanding group will find that thinking is required to come up with a solution that allows large numbers to get Everyone Up. What got you all going in the right direction? What would you try differently to get everyone up?
Bell Tag Equipment: Neckerchiefs or blindfolds and a hand bell. Method: Blindfold all scouts except the one who has the bell. Have blindfolded scouts mill around the room. The scout with the bell moves among the others, ringing his bell constantly. The blindfolded scouts try to tag the bell ringer. The scout who succeeds changes places with the bell ringer. What did you feel while playing this game? What did you learn from this game? What was the best part of the game?
I hope that you all had fun learning how to use Character Connections in your den and pack activities.
Examples found in the 2005 Character Connections Packet are collected from 2002 to present so that future Leaders will have the resources we had from the beginning.
To learn more check out Character Connections
The Purposes of Cub Scouting and Character Connections
How Character Connections are used as part of the requirements.
Character Connections Chart #13-323A Chart explaining Character Connections
2005 Character Connections Packet Examples of the different areas covered by Character Connections from past Program Helps (from 2002 to this year's 2005 - 2006), Roundtable Resource sheets, and the 2003 Cub Scout Books.
Character Connections Data Some history behind the program.
Character Connections Overview of all ranks on a chart.
Character Connections Outdoor Grid This is used for outdoor activities that connect with the 12 CC core values.