BSA provides Webelos den meeting plans for Cub Scout den leaders on the Scouting.org website. These meeting plans are full of Webelos den meeting ideas. The fifteenth Webelos den meeting plan covers the all of the requirements for Showman Activity Badge with a focus on puppetry.
Note that Showman is a lengthy badge. You might not be able to accomplish all of this in a single meeting. Better to break it into two meetings than to rush the Scouts through their fun.
If you don’t already have the BSA Webelos den meeting plans, download BSA Webelos Den Meeting Plan 16 to follow along with this article.
Webelos Den Meeting Ideas: BSA Plan #16 – Showman Puppetry
Preparation and Before the Meeting
Most of the preparation for this meeting involves gathering the materials to make the puppets along with a stage and props.
See my gathering activities page for some ideas.
Do a simple indoor flag ceremony. Say the Boy Scout Oath.
Keep business to a minimum. Your Webelos will be looking forward to making the puppets.
You will be doing Showman requirements 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 11, 17, and 20. Here are some tips:
Showman 2: Write a puppet play about one of your Webelos den activities or a subject of your choice.
See my post about the puppet play one of my dens wrote for an idea of how to start.
Showman 3: Make a set of puppets or marionettes for the play you have written or for another play.
Showman 7: There are sock, stick, and finger puppets. There are paper bag puppets and marionettes. Explain their differences and show any puppets you have made for this badge.
Showman 4: Build a simple stage for marionettes or puppets.
Showman 5: Alone or with the help of others, put on a puppet show for your den or pack.
The downloadable plan has lots of ideas for puppets, including finger puppets, egg carton finger puppets, dancing stick puppets, cylinder hand puppets, kneesie puppets, footsie puppets, glove puppets, and paper bag puppets. You don’t have to make all of them. Choose one type and let the den make a set. But do talk about the different types of puppets.
A stage can be made from a large shoebox if you are using finger puppets. Otherwise you can get creative with some tables turned sideways and some curtains or tarps.
Once the play is written and the puppets and stage are complete, you are ready to put on a show. Tiger Cubs would find this really entertaining. If you do den demonstrations at your pack meetings, volunteer to do a puppet show. Or put it on during the gathering time for your next pack meeting.
Showman 6: Make a set of four paper bag puppets for a singing group. With the help of three other den members, sing a song with the puppets as the performers.
Showman 11: Tell what folk music is. Hum, sing, or play a folk tune on a musical instrument
Showman 17: Attend a play. Describe the story. Tell what you liked about it.
Showman 20: Make a list of stage directions. Tell what they mean.
Our grade school brings in an acting troupe each year, so we were able to count that. Local high schools put on plays which boys this age enjoy also. The stage directions are straightforward. Look in the Webelos handbook if you are not familiar with them.
Close with the Boy Scout Law.
After the Meeting
Have the Webelos help clean up. There might be a mess from all of the puppet making. And this is a good time to line up some adults to help at the next meeting.