Bear Achievement 19 was a favorite with both of my dens. Why? Because it’s all about pocketknives.
Boys can be a little goofy and silly at den meetings, but with this one I laid down the law. If they didn’t pay attention and take it seriously, they would not get their Whittlin’ Chip card. And they were good as gold.
This meeting plan covers all of the requirements for Bear Achievement 19: Shavings and Chips. If you normally meet at a school, you might need to find a different meeting space for this one. Many schools will not allow anything which resembles a knife.
It is possible to meet the requirements by having them carve soap instead of wood. The soap is softer, but I don’t like getting soap all over the pocketknives, which the requirement specifies must be used to make the carving. So we used wood and made arrowhead neckerchief slides.
No matter which material you decide to use, allow plenty of room between the scouts. Have a couple of extra adults on hand to keep an eye on things. And don’t let them handle their knives until they have demonstrated that they know the safety rules.
Printable copy of Den Meeting Plan for Bear Achievement 19 (Shavings and Chips) – includes timeline
Den Meeting Plan
Each Scout will need a pocketknife and either a block of wood or a bar of soap to carve. The pocketknives should be held by the leader until they are ready to use them. You will also need
- a knife sharpening stone
- blank Whittlin’ Chip cards (available at your Scout shop)
- Printouts for the Pocketknife safety quiz (see below)
- Materials for fake pocketknives (see below)
- Wood or soap for carving
- if you are carving indoors, you might want to have some drop cloths to put under the Scouts while they carve.
- Have each Bear make a Make a Fake Pocketknife for Safety Demonstrations.
- Talk about knife safety. The list of safety rules in the book is a good place to start. (Requirement 19a)
- Use the fake pocketknives to demonstrate how to open and close a pocketknife. Let the Scouts practice. (Requirement 19b)
- Demonstrate correct sharpening techniques. Let them practice with his fake pocketknife. (Requirement 19b)
- Using the fake pocketknife, have them demonstrate how to make small shavings and how to make a stop cut. (Requirement 19b). Obviously, they won’t actually cut anything with the fake pocketknife, but they should be able to demonstrate the correct techniques. See the Bear handbook for details.
- Have them take a Pocketknife Safety Quiz . Review any incorrect answers. ( Pocketknife Safety Quiz Answers )
- Have them read the Knives Are Not Toys guidelines aloud (in the Bear handbook) (Requirement 19d)
- Have each of them recite the Pocketknife Pledge (in the Bear handbook) (Requirement 19d)
- Hand out Whittlin’ Chip cards (Requirement 19d)
- Separate them and let them practice carving. (Requirement 19c)