Welcome to Baloo's Bugle!


Back to Index
Annual Index
This Month

Special Opportunities
Thoughtful Items
Pow Wows
Training Tips
Tiger Scouts
Pack & Den Activities
Pack Admin Helps
Fun Foods & Cub Grub
Web Links
One Last Thing...

The Pack Meeting
Gathering Activities
Opening Ceremonies
Stunts & Cheers
Audience Participations
Advancement Ceremonies
Closing Ceremony
Cubmaster's Minute


Write to Baloo (Click Here) to offer contributions, suggest ideas, express appreciation, or let Commissioner Dave know how you are using the materials provided here. Your feedback is import. Thanks.

Baloo's Bugle

June 2006 Cub Scout Roundtable Issue

Volume 12, Issue 11
July 2006 Theme

Theme: Red, White and Baloo
Webelos: Aquanaut & Geologist
Tiger Cub


Welcome Bear Leaders – as of June 1 you may be a Webelos leader.  Take your Scouts to resident camp – take them outdoors.  They will think you are great!!

Don’t miss Webelos resident camp (or whatever your council calls it) this summer.  This is the best place to help your Webelos begin preparing for Boy scouts and to help them earn those outdoor badges!!!

When are you taking your Den for a Webelos overnighter??



Sam Houston Area Council

Swimming is one of the best sports that a boy can be involved in.  It is one of the few sports in which every muscle in our body is exercised.  As Webelos leaders, we have the responsibility to develop self-confidence in every boy in our den or patrol.  Through learning to swim, each boy will gain a sense of self-achievement, as well as gaining a skill that may save his life or other lives some day.  Learning to swim at this age, well enough to pass the BSA swim test, will make his eventual advancement to the Boy Scout’s First Class Rank much easier.


  • Check health condition of participants.
  • Secure safe facilities.
  • Use qualified supervision.
  • Have lifeguards and lookouts.
  • Identify swimming ability groups.
  • Teach the Buddy System.
  • Maintain good discipline.
  • Follow pool rules.
  • Teach rescue methods.


  • Make a simple buddy board and make buddy tags for all the boys.  One tag per boy with his name on it, and color the tag blue for swimmers, red for novice swimmers, and white for non-swimmers.  Insist they place their tag on the board, on the same hook as their buddy’s tag, when they are in a swimming or boating area.
  • Visit a SCUBA dive shop and teach boys how to use a mask, fins, and snorkel.
  • Teach basic rescue methods such as “reach, throw, row and tow.”
  • Visit a high school swim meet or water polo match.
  • Instruct the boys how to use their clothes for floatation purposes.
  • Work on the Swimming Belt Loop or Sports Pin.


Some boys may not be able to swim yet.  Floating and treading water exercises can help overcome fear or unfamiliarity with water.


In waist-deep water, take a deep breath.  Reach down and wrap arms around knees.  Hold the knees.  Your body will bob to the surface and float.  Grab quick breaths and float again.


In waist-deep water, take a deep breath, reach down and grab ankles.  Hold ankles.  Your body will bob to the surface and float.  Grab quick breaths and float again.


In shoulder-deep water with supervision, teach methods for treading water by efficiently kicking, and making calm sweeping hand motions.  Teach them to float whenever they get tired.



Play in shoulder-deep to waist-deep water.  Split into two equal teams; start with all boys on one side of the pool except for one from each team.  The two boys on the opposite side of the pool each get a towel.  On signal, these boys swim to the other side of the pool and then they must tow one other Scout back across the pool using the towel.  Then the boy just towed does the same until all are towed across.


Cut up an old hose into 2” lengths, and write a number on each (a few with much larger numbers).  Scatter them in waist deep water.  Players try to retrieve as many as they can within a specific time (or they’re all found).  Add the numbers on all of the hose pieces that each collects, and that is their score.  If it’s a pack event, do this in age groups, for safety purposes.  Scatter at least five hose pieces per boy in the game.  Try the same game with numbered corks or as teams.


Time the boys successfully going through an obstacle course in the pool.  Place in the pool a series of hoops that the boys must swim through one at a time.  Pool noodles and hula hoops are examples of hoops that can float, or cut 6’-8’ lengths of an old hose and duct tape the ends to make water-tight, hollow hoops.  Have a few hoops floating on top of the water, but have most floating up-right underwater.  To make the hoops stand upright underwater, duct-tape a weight onto one side.  The heavier the weight, the deeper the hoop will sink.  Place the hoops in their proper place for every boy’s attempt.


Divide the patrol into two teams.  Give each team an old-fashioned nightshirt (or large pajama top or sweatshirt).  On signal, the first player on each team puts on the nightshirt and swims to the other end of the pool.  When he takes off, the next player puts it on and swims his lap.  The team who finishes first wins.  Let them find the best way to switch shirts, by racing twice.


Have the boys build similar wooden sailboats (like rain gutter regatta boats).  For a race, have them line up 5 yards from the bank and blow their sailboats back to shore by plowing through straws.  No touching them during the race!


One small can per team and two buckets per team 

Transport water from a full bucket to another bucket, while holding the water can above their heads.  Everyone on the team takes equal turns carrying water.  Each carrying can has many small nail holes in the bottom edge, resulting in a shower effect on the carrier.   After 5 minutes, the team that has the most water in the bucket they’re carrying it to wins.

Great Salt Lake Council

  • Invite a member of a scuba diving team to come to your meeting and bring equipment to demonstrate.
  • Go to see a swim meet or diving competition at the high school or college. Talk to the coach.
  • Invite several Boy Scouts to come to your meeting and talk about earning water merit badges. Ask them to tell about the summer camp waterfront activities they have enjoyed.
  • Visit your local police station and talk to the water search and rescue team. How often are they called out? What are some of the circumstances? What equipment do they take along?
  • Discuss the importance of the buddy swimming system.
  • Have a demonstration of mask, fins, and snorkel by an expert.
  • Take the den swimming. Let them try to pass the 100-foot requirements, and surface dive and snorkel optional requirements.
  • If a rowboat is available, have boat safety methods and rowing techniques demonstrated by an expert. Give boys a chance to practice the methods. Invite parents to come along.
  • Teach the four basic rescue methods. Let boys’ practice reaching and throwing a lifeline for rescue.
  • Practice rescue breathing on a dummy.
  • Go to a swim meet or diving exhibition.
  • Go to a canoe or sailboat race.
  • Invite an expert to explain how to handle emergencies in the water. (Contact a swim instructor, the YMCA or Coast Guard)
  • Visit a boat yard.
  • Have a quiz on boat safety rules.
  • Study the safe swim defense plan.
  • Learn about water pollutants in lakes and rivers in the area. How do they affect water consumption and recreation?
  • At the end of the month, have a family splash party where Webelos Scouts can demonstrate proficiency in swimming, snorkeling, boating, and water rescue. Include games that the whole family will enjoy playing.
  • Scuba demonstrations can be arranged at a local dive shops and outfitters.
  • Attend a show featuring a Rescue and Recovery Unit.
  • Have a splash party for your WEBELOS and allow them to bring their friends (a good recruiting idea). Alternately, have a parent and scout swim coupled with swim tests and instruction in using fins, mask and snorkel
  • Demonstrate boat safety and practice at a local body of water. Watch the sun set from offshore.
  • Invite a scuba diving expert to a den meeting to tell about his equipment and activities.
  • Ask Boy Scouts to demonstrate and teach water rescue techniques.



Great Salt Lake Council

Discover the world of volcanoes and learn why there are earthquakes.

Find out what minerals are used in our everyday lives.

At first thought, geology may seem too specialized a science for Webelos to study. But since Scouting is essentially an outdoor program, knowledge of basic geology is valuable to the Scout. Just about everything on earth, including living things, have a relationship to geology in one-way or another. The Geologist activity badge is designed to increase the boys' awareness in the outdoors.

Geologist is another easy badge if you work only on the minimum requirements. It provides an opportunity to bring in an expert. The expert can be a person or a video. For this badge use illustrations. Use paper to show mountains uplifting or baking soda and vinegar to make a volcano. This is one of the badges that seems to be oriented toward increasing the boys’ awareness of the outdoors. While working on this badge, the boys will learn how the earth is formed, how rocks and minerals are used and how a geologist works. The Webelos Scout book contains information on volcanoes, geysers and the formation of mountains so that the boys will acquire a fairly good knowledge with only a little assistance. To most ten-year-old boys, the study of geology will not sound too exciting. Rocks, for most boys of this age, are for throwing. But the fact is, geology can be fun. Most boys have a rock collection. This natural curiosity about rocks can make this a natural starting point for the Geologist activity badge. If you can locate a rock hound in your pack or community, he can help the boys with some of the technical aspects of geology and study of rocks and minerals.

Weather Rocks

Collect a quantity of "weather" rocks to pass out to every family at the pack meeting.

Photocopy the following directions and sandwich between layers of clear contact paper.

Give one with each rock.

Make a big deal out of this wonderful present your den is giving away.

The directions are:

  • For best results, place your weather rock outside:
  • If you rock is wet…it's raining.
  • If your rock is white…it's snowing.
  • If your rock is moving…it's really windy.
  • If your rock is stiff…it's freezing.
  • If your rock is gone…sorry, you've been ripped off!

Sam Houston Area Council

The Geologist Activity badge is a fun and exciting time for the boys as they explore the outdoors for that perfect rock sample, explore what happens when you crush rocks or create a miniature volcano.  The hands-on activities will encourage the boys to become budding rock hounds and explorers.


  • Make a rock collection
  • Take a field trip to the central Texas area and hike on the limestone formations.  Notice the folding a you drive through cuts in hills along side the road.
  • Construct a geyser to see how it works
  • Invite a housing contractor to come to your patrol meeting.  Ask them to bring building materials such as slate, brick, limestone, marble, cement, etc.  Where do they purchase these supplies?  Where do they come from originally?
  • Start a collection of geologic materials used in home construction.  Make a display for pack meeting.
  • Visit a geology exhibit, department, museum or collection.  The Houston Museum of Natural Science has several good collections.
  • Visit a rock collectors club meeting.  View the rocks on display.  How did the people get interested in this hobby?


Create a Texas Rock collection, of the types of rocks, minerals and gems that are possible to find in Texas.  Quartz, granite, gneiss, flint, schist, feldspar and limestone are common stones in the Llano area of central Texas.  Gold and silver ore are rare in Texas.  Agates, like the Balmorhea blue agate.  Blue Topaz is the Texas State Gem Stone.  Petrified wood is common near Houston.  Rock salt, from salt domes is a common underground formation, and salt domes can be a place that holds crude oil or natural gas.  In limestone, try to find small fossils, like ammonite shells.  The US Geodetic Survey lists the following as some of the minerals produced in Texas:  Clay, Granite, Limestone, Gypsum, Sand, Perlite, Sulfur, Salt and Talc.  Limestone is used in the manufacture of the cement, and it is combined with sand and other rocks to make the concrete for house foundations.  Gypsum is the rock in the sheetrock that covers the walls in most houses. 

Obviously, you want to modify this for your state.  CD



  • Clay     
  • Small waterproof containers
  • Leaves  
  • Small shells
  • Small dry bones

Fossils are found in sedimentary rocks that are formed by having layers of sand or mudslides covering objects and then solidifying.  To model this, mix clay and water so that it is gooey.  Cover the bottom of the containers and let dry for 3 days.  Lay a few objects on top of that layer and pour another layer to dry.  Continue layering and drying.  Have the boys discover how to find the clay “fossil” imprints.


Modeling clay can help Scouts understand many of the forces of nature that create hills and form valleys.  First roll out into flat pancakes of different colors of clay.  Lay these pancakes on top of the other and use a knife to cut out several 3”x 6” rectangles, so that you can see the layers clearly around all four sides.

Take one of the rectangles that you made and push from opposite sides.  Notice that the layers begin to look wavy.  This is an example of FOLDING.  You may also see some fissures forming.  See picture below -

Take two of your rectangles and slide them together.  Push harder and where the two rectangles meet, you should be able to observe the effects of FAULTING as they slip at the crack..  See picture below

Lay a clay rectangle over a small stone and notice an effect like DOME BUILDING, that would in nature be done by an upwelling of underground magma.

EROSION can be modeled by using a pitcher to slowly pour a stream of water over the hills that you formed.  Notice small valleys forming and how they don’t always form in straight lines.


Shield volcanoes are formed when molten rock is forced to the surface through cracks in the earth, and lava emerges.  As it flows and cools, the lava builds up slowly.  On a sunny day, make a small hole in the ground to form a crater.  Show how a shield volcano grows by pouring thick mud into the center of the crater, and as mud flows out, it simulates lava flows out of a shield volcano like Hawaii’s Kilauea.  Watch the mud dry in the sun, and this is much like lava cooling.


Geysers, real and model, can be very dangerous, since they involve boiling hot water and steam.  Steam can be invisible, and can cause serious burns.  One of the safest ways to demonstrate a geyser is when you are putting out a campfire.  Find a hole in a hot log and pour water into it.  The resulting steam plume shooting out of the hole is very much like the steam expelled by a real geyser after water comes into contact with superheated rocks below the surface of the earth.


Before your meeting, unscrew a stack of Oreo cookies, and make imprints with an assortment of (very clean) small plastic bugs or shells.  Put them back together so that they look normal.  During snack-time, have the boys twist off the Oreos carefully to discover and compare their “fossils”.

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

Materials found at the U. S. Scouting Service Project, Inc. Website 1997-2006 may be reproduced and used locally by Scouting volunteers for training purposes consistent with the programs of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) or other Scouting and Guiding Organizations. No material found here may be used or reproduced for electronic redistribution or for commercial or other non-Scouting purposes without the express permission of the U. S. Scouting Service Project, Inc. (USSSP) or other copyright holders. USSSP is not affiliated with BSA and does not speak on behalf of BSA. Opinions expressed on these web pages are those of the web authors.