Scouter Mom » Aims of Scouting http://scoutermom.com A resource for adults and youth involved in Scouting Thu, 31 Jul 2014 15:00:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9 Making a Film Skit http://scoutermom.com/14386/making-film-skit/ http://scoutermom.com/14386/making-film-skit/#comments Tue, 10 Dec 2013 13:00:00 +0000 http://scoutermom.com/?p=14386 Posted in Aims of Scouting

The Making a Film skit is one of the most versatile skits in a Scout's arsenal. It can be adjusted to any theme or holiday. ]]>

The Making a Film skit is one of the most versatile skits in a Scout’s arsenal. It can be adjusted to any theme or holiday. I’m giving a description rather than a script for this one because it is different every time I see it.

Making a Film Skit

Players: Director, Camera Man and several actors

The director announces that he is making a film. It is usually a remake of a classic movie. So you can pick  a favorite movie or something related to your program theme. You can pick something silly. At Christmas time you could pick something like Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer or Frosty the Snowman. I’ve even seen this done where the story was the I’ve Come to Marry the Princess skit, which made this a skit within a skit.

The director tells the actors what the subject is and then yells “Action”. The first time through, the actors act it out normally. They run through a brief version of the story being told. All the while the cameraman is “filming” it.

At the end, the director comes out and yells something like “No, no, no! That wasn’t how I imagined it at all. We need to do it differently. Do it like …” and he tells them to do it some style. Some examples of styles:

  • musical
  • Jackie Chan
  • ballerinas
  • mimes
  • western
  • zombies
  • Star Wars
  • with some silly props

You get the idea. So they act it out another time in a different style. It should be really over the top. At the end, the director comes out and says it still wasn’t right.  He tells them to do it again in another style. He can continue doing this as time allows.

The last time through he says “Finally! That was perfect!” Everyone except the cameraman celebrates. The camera man keeps looking at his camera. The director asks the cameraman to replay the film for everyone. The camera man looks guilty and says “Sorry, I ran out of film.”

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Gifts for Scout Christmas Celebration http://scoutermom.com/15707/gifts-scout-christmas-celebration/ http://scoutermom.com/15707/gifts-scout-christmas-celebration/#comments Thu, 05 Dec 2013 13:00:00 +0000 http://scoutermom.com/?p=15707 Posted in Aims of Scouting

A Cub Scout leader asks "We plan to have a party before the winter break and wanted to get each boy a little gift. Do you have any suggestions?"]]>

Reader Amy sent in this question:

My husband and I are the leaders of a Cub Scout pack. We plan to have a party before the winter break and wanted to get each boy a little gift. The problem is the pack doesn’t have a lot of money (even spending $5 each is pushing it right now!) Do you have any suggestions? Thanks!!

Gift Ideas for Leaders to Give Scouts

Many packs give the Pinewood Derby kits as Christmas presents to their Cub Scouts. This depends on the timing of your Pinewood Derby, but if you wrap them up  then you have a great little gift for your Scouts.

If the Pinewood Derby kits are not an option, then I would recommend something homemade. You can make almost anything into a neckerchief slide by attaching a small loop with hot glue to the back of it. I’ve used sections of PVC,  chenille stems (pipecleaners), loops of fun foam or leather.  You could make some Christmas themed neckerchief slides without a lot of time or expense. Buy some Christmas shaped fun foam ornament kits and use those for a really quick solution. Or some small non-breakable ornaments or any inexpensive Christmas trinket would work. It wouldn’t even have to be Christmas themed. Something like these leather neckerchief slides would make a cute gift.

Scouters, what are your ideas for an inexpensive gift to pass out to a Cub Pack? Add them to the comments below.

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BSA Arrow of Light Den Meeting Plan 10 – AOL Creation http://scoutermom.com/10510/webelos-den-meeting-plans-aol/ http://scoutermom.com/10510/webelos-den-meeting-plans-aol/#comments Tue, 03 Dec 2013 13:00:00 +0000 http://www.scoutermom.com/?p=10510 Posted in Aims of Scouting

This idea from the Webelos den meeting plans covers making the commemorative arrows which represent everything the Webelos achieved as Cub Scouts.]]>

BSA provides Webelos den meeting ideas for Cub Scout den leaders on the Scouting.org website.  The tenth in the Arrow of Light series of Webelos den meeting plans covers making the arrows which represent everything the Webelos have achieved as Cub Scouts.

It is traditional for Webelos to make commemorative arrows with markings to represent things like earning Tiger badge, Wolf badge, Bear badge, Webelos badge, religious emblems, arrow points, activity badges. Typically these are marked as bands on an arrow using electrical tape.  You can gather all of the materials yourself or there are a lot of kits like these Arrow of Light Cub Scout Kits available. Some parents mount these arrows on plaques or in shadow boxes with other mementos so they can proudly be displayed.

We always made the arrow banding meeting into a party when we did these with my sons’ dens. Everyone brought a snack to share and we put on some music while parents helped their sons mark their arrows.

If you don’t already have the BSA Webelos den meeting plans, download BSA Arrow of Light Meeting Plan 11 to follow along with this article.

Webelos Den Meeting Plans: AOL Creation

Preparation and Before the Meeting

The most difficult part of making the arrows is not putting the bands on them but trying to figure out what everyone has earned since they were Tiger Cubs. If you have den records, give those to the parents ahead of time so they can check them If not, ask the parents to try to figure out which rank badges, activity badges, and religious emblems their sons have earned as well as arrow points.

Remember though, this is not a legal document. It is a Scout’s commemorative arrow. Sometimes you have to make your best guess. There are also not any “hard” rules about what you put bands on for and what you do not. Your pack may have traditions so you should ask some veteran leaders about that.

Gathering

See my gathering activities page for some ideas.

Opening

Say the Scout Law and the Scout Oath . This fits in with Arrow of Light requirement 2.

Business

Hand out recognitions.

Activities

This meeting is all about putting the bands on the arrows. It really is much easier with two sets of hands, so encourage parents to do this special activity with their sons.

Closing

Close with the Scout Law and  Scout Oath again.

After the Meeting

Have the Webelos help clean up the meeting place. Send home any reminders about what they need to be working on at home.

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Information from New Scout Moms (or Dads) http://scoutermom.com/14704/information-new-scout-moms-dads/ http://scoutermom.com/14704/information-new-scout-moms-dads/#comments Mon, 02 Dec 2013 13:00:00 +0000 http://scoutermom.com/?p=14704 Posted in Aims of Scouting

What do you which you knew when you started out in Scouting? What one piece of advice would you give to a new Scout parent?]]>

Reader Robin sent in this request:

I am working on a project to help get our new moms more involved. I would like to hear from new moms or even those who have been in scouting for a while (and wish they had this information) to see what information these moms (and dads) would like to know that no one has told them and not sure how to find out.

One of our parents once said that sometimes Scouting has a pretty large learning curve. There is lingo new parents might not understand, an unfamiliar program structure, and different rules about advancement. And this seems to apply to Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, and Venturing.

One great resource is the book Beginning Boy Scouts - “An unofficial practical guide to Boy Scouting for parents and new leaders.” It has loads of great information for new Boy Scout parents.

So what do you which you knew when you started out in Scouting? What one piece of advice would you give to a new Scout parent?

Help Robin out with her project by leaving your suggestions in the comments below.

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December Pack Meeting Plan – Passport to Other Lands (Respect) http://scoutermom.com/15236/december-pack-meeting-plan-passport-lands-respect/ http://scoutermom.com/15236/december-pack-meeting-plan-passport-lands-respect/#comments Wed, 27 Nov 2013 16:00:00 +0000 http://scoutermom.com/?p=15236 Posted in Aims of Scouting

The Passport to Other Lands Cub Scout pack meeting plan features ideas for the core value of respect- games, group activities, songs, and more.]]>

The Cub Scout core value for the month of December is Respect. BSA has a Cub Scout pack meeting plan called Passport to Other Lands related to this core value. The Passport to Other Lands meeting plan features ideas for the core value of respect- games, group activities, songs, and more.

For more ideas for use with this program theme, see the Passport to Other Lands page.

The core value of Respect should still be the focus for the month.  Here is how the BSA plan suggests tying together this theme with December’s core value of  Respect:

Today we recognize that people of many different nationalities live in our communities. Learning about the ways of others helps lead to understanding, which in turn leads to respect. Respect means showing regard for the worth of something or someone. This month we focus on having respect for others by learning about the customs, religions, foods, and traditions of our friends from other countries.

Cub Scout Pack Meeting Plan for December- Passport to Other Lands (Respect)

This Cub Scout pack meeting plan includes the following – all within a respect theme. See the meeting plan for details.

  • Gathering activity – Other lands word search
  • Opening ceremony – “Respect” Opening Ceremony
  • Scouters’ Prayer/Song – sung to the tune of “O Tannenbaum”
  • Snowflake cheer, World Brotherhood cheer, Leaning Tower of Pisa cheer, Fortune Cookie cheer
  • Global round of applause, Italian applause
  • Scouting Goes Round the World song – sung to the tune of “Three Blind Mice”
  • Activity – Den Demonstrations about the customs, traditions, foods, and religions of different countries, World Friendship Fund option, cookie swap
  • Games: Nsikwi (Africa), Clap Ball (Cameroon), Memory Relay (Great Britain), Circle of World Brotherhood
  • Around the World Recognition Ceremony
  • Actions vs Intentions Cubmaster Minute
  • Goodbye in Many Languages Closing Ceremony
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Eagle Palms and Merit Badges Question http://scoutermom.com/14863/eagle-palms-merit-badge-question/ http://scoutermom.com/14863/eagle-palms-merit-badge-question/#comments Mon, 25 Nov 2013 13:00:00 +0000 http://scoutermom.com/?p=14863 Posted in Aims of Scouting

Cindy asked if merit badges her son earned before attaining the rank of Eagle can be used toward Eagle palms.]]>

Reader Cindy asked this question

I want to know… if my son has earned all of his Eagle Required Merit badges, but has not “Eagled up” ie has not completed his project or had his Eagle Board of review, do the additional merit badges that he has earned after the Eagle required mb’s count toward the Eagle Palm. I have been told various things.

Thank you

Eagle Palms and Merit Badges

Cindy, the “extra” merit badges – those not used as one of  the 21 merit badges (total of Eagle required and elective badges) to meet the requirements for Eagle – can be used for Eagle palms, regardless of when he earned them. There is no requirement that those be earned after attaining the rank of Eagle.

See requirement 4 in the Eagle palm requirements below (directly from Scouting.org). They specifically state that merit badges may be earned any time since becoming a Boy Scout.

After becoming an Eagle Scout, you may earn Palms by completing the following requirements:

  1. Be active in your troop and patrol for at least three months after becoming an Eagle Scout or after award of last Palm. (Eagle Palms must be earned in sequence, and the three-month tenure requirement must be observed for each Palm.)
  2. Demonstrate Scout spirit by living the Scout Oath (Promise) and Scout Law in your everyday life.
  3. Make a satisfactory effort to develop and demonstrate leadership ability.
  4. Earn five additional merit badges beyond those required for Eagle or last Palm. (Merit badges earned any time since becoming a Boy Scout may be used to meet this requirement.)
  5. Take part in a Scoutmaster conference.
  6. Complete a board of review.

 

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BSA Wolf Supplemental Den Meeting Plan J – Machine Power http://scoutermom.com/10505/wolf-den-meeting-plans-machine-power/ http://scoutermom.com/10505/wolf-den-meeting-plans-machine-power/#comments Fri, 15 Nov 2013 16:00:00 +0000 http://www.scoutermom.com/?p=10505 Posted in Aims of Scouting

In this idea from the series of BSA Wolf den meeting plans, Wolf Cub Scouts learn about working smarter with machines. This plan covers part of Wolf Elective 8 - Machine Power.]]>

BSA provides Wolf den meeting plans for Cub Scout den leaders. Today’s plan is a supplemental den meeting plan in which Wolf Cub Scouts learn about working smarter with machines.  This plan covers part of Wolf Elective 8 – Machine Power.

If you don’t already have the BSA den meeting plans, download BSA Supplemental Wolf Den Meeting Plan J  to follow along with this article.

Wolf Den Meeting Plans –  Machine Power

Preparation and Before the Meeting

The Wolf den meeting plan suggests that you visit a place where machines are in use so the Cub Scouts can see them up close. If you can visit a location which uses machinery, the Wolves will enjoy it. There is a local place which the Cub Scouts from our Pack often visit and they let them sit in the cabs of machinery and get their pictures taken.

If you can’t arrange a visit, you can still do this den meeting. You might want to have a game ready to fill in some extra time though. See my games page for some ideas.

Gathering, Opening, and Business

See my Gathering Activities page for ideas for the gathering time. Do an opening flag ceremony.

Activities

Do whichever parts of Wolf Elective 8 – Machine Power work for your meeting location and the supplies available to you.

Elective 8a

Name 10 kinds of trucks, construction machinery, or farm machinery and tell what each is used for.

If you don’t visit a place with machinery, you can look at some pictures in books.

Elective 8b involves a wheelbarrow or other tool that uses a wheel and axle:

Help an adult do a job using a wheel and axle.

Use a wheelbarrow to move something.

For Elective 8c

Show how to use a pulley.

Some types of blinds work on pulleys.

Elective 8d

Make and use a windlass.

There are directions in the Wolf handbook to make one with an empty milk carton, a pencil, paper clip, tread, and a cup.

Closing

Do a closing flag ceremony.

After the Meeting

If you did a visit, the Wolves should thank their hosts. And as always, they should make sure they clean up after themselves.

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Board of Review Questions http://scoutermom.com/15025/board-of-review-questions/ http://scoutermom.com/15025/board-of-review-questions/#comments Mon, 11 Nov 2013 13:00:00 +0000 http://scoutermom.com/?p=15025 Posted in Aims of Scouting

Reader Shelley asked "I'm a new Troop Committee Chair and was wondering if anyone has some great questions that they ask their Scouts during their Board of Reviews?" Sometimes committee members struggle to come up with good Board of Review questions. ]]>

Reader Shelley asked

I’m a new Troop Committee Chair and was wondering if anyone has some great questions that they ask their Scouts during their Board of Reviews?

Sometimes committee members struggle to come up with good Board of Review questions. First of all, it is important to be familiar with the procedures and purposes of a Board of Review. There is a good summary on the official BSA site. There is also a training module which you can use to educate your Committee members.

Ideas for Board of Review Questions

Remember this is a conversation not a grilling.  (See the article from Scouting Magazine, This Is Not a Test. ) So first put the Scout at ease. Start with some easy questions they can answer with confidence, especially if they are going for one of the early ranks. “What rank are you completing?” “Which patrol are you in?” “Who is your patrol leader?”

Ask open ended questions. “Tell me about what you did to fulfill the requirement for …” or “What did you cook at camp?”. Often the Scouts are a little nervous and you need to get the conversation started.

Find out about their Scouting experience. “Are you having any difficulties in the troop?” “How is your patrol working out?”

Find out where they are headed with their Scouting career. “What do you see yourself doing in the troop next year?” “Have you thought about what position of responsibility you would like to take on?”

A Board of Review can also help you get a feeling for how the Scouts feel about the troop program. “Do you have any ideas for a campout or activity you would like to do?” “Is there something you’d like to learn about in the troop setting?”  “What would you like to see the troop do differently? ” Then when the Scout answers, you can encourage him to take his idea to the PLC and get involved in carrying it out.

Often the questions depend on the individual Scout. If you know they are having difficulty with something or have done something they are proud of, then you can ask about that and the conversation can head off in a different direction.

If you are doing a BOR to prepare the Scout for his Eagle Board of Review, ask him more challenging questions of the type that will be asked of him at the Eagle BOR.  Bryan on Scouting published an article, 20 Questions to Ask at Your Next Eagle Board of Review which has a good list of examples. There is also an article Longtime Scouter left behind template for running Eagle Scout boards of review.

Readers, what are your favorite questions to ask at a Board of Review? Add them to the comments below.

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Venturing World Conservation Award http://scoutermom.com/10909/venturing-world-conservation-award/ http://scoutermom.com/10909/venturing-world-conservation-award/#comments Wed, 06 Nov 2013 13:00:00 +0000 http://www.scoutermom.com/?p=10909 Posted in Aims of ScoutingOutdoor Skills and Awareness

The Venturing World Conservation Award recognizes young men and women who increase their awareness of conservation and its impact on the world community.]]>

The Venturing World Conservation Award recognizes young men and women who increase their awareness of conservation and its impact on the world community. Many Scouting organizations affiliated with the World Organization of the Scout Movement offer this award to their members. Each Scouting organization sets its own requirements for the award.

The badge is worn as a temporary patch, centered on the right pocket.

The requirements below are for Venturers, but BSA also offers a version of this award for Cub Scouts and for Boy Scouts.

Venturing World Conservation Award

  1. Complete the Ecology elective for the Ranger Award.
  2. Show the relationship of global events and conditions both political and environmental, to the areas that you described in steps 1 and 2 in the Ecology Ranger Award elective above. Determine how conditions in your local area also appear in other areas around the world. Describe some of the interrelationships between people and our natural resources that effect our global environment. Teach others in your crew, another crew, a Cub Scout or Boy Scout group, or another group about the interconnectivity that we all have with each other and our environment.
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Den Doodles http://scoutermom.com/15020/den-doodles/ http://scoutermom.com/15020/den-doodles/#comments Mon, 04 Nov 2013 14:00:00 +0000 http://scoutermom.com/?p=15020 Posted in Aims of Scouting

Den doodles are used to recognize Cub Scouts for participation in activities and any other behavior which needs encouragement. ]]>

Brian sent this question:

I am looking for ideas for recognizing boys for attending any activity outside their den meetings and pack meeting. For instance, going camping with the pack, helping at a popcorn show-and-sell, a council activity, etc.
I’m hoping it will encourage other boys to attend more because they see everyone getting recognized but them. An incentive.
At 1st I thought a patch, but those are harder to find for every activity, plus those get expensive.
My thought now is to start belt totems with beads. Make a different color bead for each kind of event. But I’ve never heard of anyone else doing this, so I’m looking for advise. See if anyone else struggles with attendance at these activities and if they reward their boys for joining in and participating or helping. Or are we not supposed to reward for everything??

Den Doodles

Brian, I think what you are looking for is a den doodle. Many Cub Scouters use these to recognize Scouts for participation in activities and any other behavior which needs encouragement. Typically these involve each Cub Scout having a string of beads, with each bead representing something specific.

For ZM’s den, I had a den doodle made from a hoop with some leather stretched on the inside, sort of like a mandela. Then we hung beads from the lower side of the hoop. Unfortunately I can’t find any good pictures of it. We displayed it at den meetings, pack meetings, and campouts. By the time they crossed over to Boy Scouts it was pretty worn out, but they liked it because it was a record of sorts of everything they did.

We gave out beads for all sorts of things. Many of the ideas were suggested by the den members themselves. “Can we have a bead if we ….?” I also had a variety of colors and shapes of beads. For example I had some red, white, and blue star shaped beads. These were earned by participating in service projects. Here are some of the things they got beads for:

  • Den meeting attendance
  • Pack meeting attendance
  • Remembering their book  - we had some who needed encouragement in this area :-)
  • Have a parent come to a den meeting and do something special
  • Service projects (special bead)
  • Earning their rank badge (special bead)
  • Campouts (special bead – different for each campout)
  • Pack hikes and other events (special bead  - different for each event)

See the images from my Den Doodle Pinterest board below for some ideas. They don’t have to be fancy. I have even seen coat hangers decorated with feathers used as den doodles.

Follow Me on Pinterest
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Carve the Pumpkin Halloween Song http://scoutermom.com/15037/carve-pumpkin-halloween-song/ http://scoutermom.com/15037/carve-pumpkin-halloween-song/#comments Wed, 30 Oct 2013 13:00:00 +0000 http://scoutermom.com/?p=15037 Posted in Aims of Scouting

If you have a den meeting or pack meeting near Halloween, then this song is a fun way to get everyone singing. And it is not just for Cub Scouts! This would be fun at any class party or Halloween party. It is not gory, so it is fine for very young children.]]>

If you have a den meeting or pack meeting near Halloween, then this song is a fun way to get everyone singing.  And it is not just for Cub Scouts! This would be fun at any class party or Halloween party. It is not gory, so it is fine for very young children.

Carve the Pumpkin Halloween Song

Sing to the tune of Yankee Doodle (both verses the same)

I’ll carve a fearful pumpkin face
As well as I am able,
And when it’s done I’ll light it up
And put on my table.

I’ll set it out where all my friends
Will see and get the quivers
For Halloween’s the time to scare
And give the shakes and shivers!

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BSA Wolf Supplemental Den Meeting Plan I – More Make It Yourself http://scoutermom.com/10501/bsa-wolf-supplemental-den-meeting-plan-make/ http://scoutermom.com/10501/bsa-wolf-supplemental-den-meeting-plan-make/#comments Fri, 18 Oct 2013 13:00:00 +0000 http://www.scoutermom.com/?p=10501 Posted in Aims of Scouting

BSA provides Wolf den meeting plans for Cub Scout den leaders. Today's plan is a supplemental den meeting plan in which Cub Scouts make a bench fork and a door stop]]>

BSA provides Wolf den meeting plans for Cub Scout den leaders. Today’s plan is a supplemental den meeting plan in which Wolf Cub Scouts make a bench fork and a door stop.  This plan covers part of Wolf Elective 3 – Make It Yourself.

If you don’t already have the BSA den meeting plans, download BSA Supplemental Wolf Den Meeting Plan I to follow along with this article.

Wolf Den Meeting Plans –  More Make It Yourself

Preparation and Before the Meeting

Your preparation will involve arranging for an appropriate location where the Wolves can work with tools. You will also need to gather up the hand tools and supplies beforehand.  Note the warning in the meeting plan: “Note: Power tools are not appropriate for use by Cub Scouts.”

Gathering, Opening, and Business

See my Gathering Activities page for ideas for the gathering time. Do an opening flag ceremony.

Activities

The focus of this meeting is making the bench fork and door stop.  The plans are in your Wolf handbook. This fulfills elective 3c:

Make and use a bench fork

They will also do elective 3d:

Make a door stop

The meeting plan mentions that you might need additional activities for this meeting and suggests doing something from Wolf Achievement 1 – Feats of Skill. Or you could play any game. See my games page for ideas.

Closing

Do a closing flag ceremony.

After the Meeting

The Wolves should help clean up the area and put away the supplies. Line up some adults to help out at the next meeting.

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Science Troop Program Feature for Boy Scouts http://scoutermom.com/14384/science-program-boy-scouts/ http://scoutermom.com/14384/science-program-boy-scouts/#comments Wed, 16 Oct 2013 13:00:00 +0000 http://scoutermom.com/?p=14384 Posted in Aims of Scouting

This science program feature offers the opportunity to plan a month's worth of troop activities with a weather and energy theme.]]>

The Boy Scout Planning Guide suggests a  Science  Troop Program Feature for November 2013.  This science program feature offers the opportunity to plan a month’s worth of troop activities with a weather and energy theme.

The plans for the Science troop program feature can be found in  Volume 3 of Troop Program Features from BSA:

Science is a method of learning about the world by observation, study, and experimentation. We might say  that Scouting is a science because that’s the way Scouts learn.

Science Program

Younger scouts can work on their early rank requirements, including cooking, camping, hiking, and nature.  Older scouts can earn Camping, Cooking, and Weather merit badges. Other possible badge choices for this science program theme include the HikingBackpacking, and Wilderness Survival merit badges.

The featured activity for this month is an improvised campsite where Scouts can observe the weather and an obstacle  trail where Scouts encounter challenges which relate to hurricanes.

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Whoosh! – STEM Award for Boy Scouts (Engineering) http://scoutermom.com/14396/whoosh-boy-scouts-stem-award-engineering/ http://scoutermom.com/14396/whoosh-boy-scouts-stem-award-engineering/#comments Tue, 15 Oct 2013 13:00:00 +0000 http://scoutermom.com/?p=14396 Posted in Aims of Scouting

STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. . The engineering Nova STEM award for Boy Scouts is called Whoosh explores machines and motion.]]>

STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Today’s students will need to become proficient in these areas in order to excel in our changing world. The NOVA award program is part of the BSA’s STEM Initiative. It encourages youth to engage in STEM activities and provides a way for them to be recognized for their efforts.

There is an award for each discipline at each level of Scouting. The engineering Nova award for Boy Scouts is called Whoosh!:

This module is designed to help you explore how engineering and affects your life each day.

It provides an age appropriate program to get Boy Scouts interested in engineering. It explores machines in motion. Scouts experience hands on learning by visiting an amusement park or playground.

The requirements are listed below to give you an idea what is involved, but I encourage you to pick up the Nova award booklet at your local Scout shop. It will have additional ideas and comments. While you are there, ask about what other STEM resources are available in your council.

STEM Award for Boy Scouts (Whoosh!)

Whoosh Nova Award

  1. 1. Choose A or B or C and complete ALL the requirements.
    1. Watch about three hours total of engineering-related shows or documentaries that involve motion or motion-inspired technology. Then do the following:
      1. Make a list of at least two questions or ideas from each show.
      2. Discuss two of the questions or ideas with your counselor.
    2. B. Read (about three hours total) about motion or motion-inspired technology. Then do the following:
      1. Make a list of at least two questions or ideas from each article.
      2. Discuss two of the questions or ideas with your counselor.
    3. C. Do a combination of reading and watching (about three hours total). Then do the following:
      1. Make a list of at least two questions or ideas from each article or show.
      2. Discuss two of the questions or ideas with your counselor
  2. Choose ONE merit badge from the following list. (Choose one you have not already used for another Nova award.) After completion, discuss with your counselor how the merit badge you earned uses engineering
    1. Archery
    2. Aviation
    3. Composite Materials
    4. Drafting
    5. Electronics
    6. Engineering
    7. Inventing
    8. Model Design and Building
    9. Railroading
    10. Rifle Shooting
    11. Robotics
    12. Shotgun Shooting
  3. Do ALL of the following:
    1. Make a list or drawing of the six simple machines.
    2. Be able to tell your counselor the name of each machine and how each machine works.
    3. Discuss the following with your counselor:
      1. The simple machines that were involved with the motion in your chosen merit badge (Hint: Look at the moving parts of an engine to find simple machines.)
      2. The energy source causing the motion for the subject of your merit badge
      3. What you learned about motion from earning your merit badge
  4. Choose A or B and complete ALL the requirements.
    1. Visit an amusement park. Then discuss the following with your counselor:
      1. The simple machines present in at least two of the rides
      2. The forces involved in the motion of any two rides
    2. Visit a playground. Then discuss the following with your counselor:
      1. The simple machines present in the playground equipment
      2. The forces involved in the motion of any two playground fixtures
  5. Do the following:
    1. On your own, design one of the following and include a drawing or sketch: an amusement park ride OR a playground fixture OR a method of transportation.
    2. Discuss with your counselor:
      1. The simple machines present in your design
      2. The energy source powering the motion of your creation
  6. Discuss with your counselor how engineering affects your everyday life.
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Genealogy Requirements and Non Traditional Families http://scoutermom.com/14701/genealogy-requirements-traditional-families/ http://scoutermom.com/14701/genealogy-requirements-traditional-families/#comments Mon, 14 Oct 2013 13:00:00 +0000 http://scoutermom.com/?p=14701 Posted in Aims of Scouting

How do you do Cub Scout genealogy requirements when you have children from non-traditional families who may not know who their grandparents or even parents are?]]>

Jerri wrote in with this question:

How do you do this genealogy achievement when you have children from non-traditional families? We have a foster child who does not know about his parents, one being raised by grandparents that aren’t biological (but at 8 isn’t aware of that fact), one that is being raised by his father and has no knowledge of his mother who gave him up at birth, etc, etc, etc.

Is there a way to do this genealogy thing without bringing up things that might hurt these children, or that they are too young to know? It seems that there are so many children being brought up by other people nowdays that there should be a way around this achievement. They are only 8 and I am not sure they need to know at the age about the sins of their parents (so to speak).

I would appreciate any ideas on this subject from anyone in the same situation. We have a great group of scouts looking and working hard towards their Bear badge. But we run into roadblocks like this one and don’t know what to do.

I should also add that I found your site when we were brand new Tigers (with No clue whatsoever, but a huge amount of “want-to” and “will-do”), and I bow to your knowledge and commitment. We copy your ideas and use them extensively, as does our entire pack now. Thank you for sharing with all of us, your ideas help us help these little boys become the men that we know they will become; and help us help them become the Scouts that make all of us proud.

Ideas for Genealogy Requirements and Non Traditional Families

Jerri, thanks for your dedication and for considering the needs of your Scouts.  I think you are referring to the family tree requirement in Bear Achievement 8 – The Past Is Exciting and Important . Note that this is an optional requirement.  They only need to do two of the first six requirements. So if you feel the Cub Scouts would be best served by not discussing their genealogy,  you can choose to do two which do not require them to know their parents’ history.

They could do requirement c: “Start or add to an existing den or pack scrapbook.” I have done this one with my dens and they enjoyed it. Just have some photos for them, stickers, and scrapbook pages. They don’t need to do a thirty page scrapbook. Any amount will work as long as they get the idea of recording their own history.

Another one which is a good alternative is requirement b: “Find someone who was a Cub Scout a long time ago. Talk with him about what Cub Scouting was like then.” If you ask, it is usually not that difficult to find somebody who was a Cub Scout 30 years ago or so. Den leaders sometimes think this one sounds boring, but really the Cub Scouts enjoy it. If you can find somebody who has some old patches or memorabilia, that is great. But even just someone who can tell some stories about what they remember from their Cub Scout days will work. Your Cub Scouts will learn that some things were different, but many of the things which Cub Scouts did back in the day are the same things they enjoy doing now.

So you could do b and c, along with the required g, and never even have to touch on personal family history.

Readers, if you have any other ideas about how to handle genealogy requirements and non traditional families, please add your comments below.

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BSA Bear Supplemental Den Meeting Plan H – Space http://scoutermom.com/10500/cub-scout-bear-den-meeting-plan-space/ http://scoutermom.com/10500/cub-scout-bear-den-meeting-plan-space/#comments Fri, 11 Oct 2013 13:00:00 +0000 http://www.scoutermom.com/?p=10500 Posted in Aims of Scouting

BSA provides Cub Scout Bear den meeting ideas for den leaders on the Scouting.org website. This plan covers part of Bear Elective 1 – Space.]]>

BSA provides Bear den meeting ideas for den leaders on the Scouting.org website. These Cub Scout Bear den meeting plans are step by step guides to carrying out a den meeting. In addition to the basic den meeting plans, there are supplemental plans which can be used if you have additional meetings left. Today’s plan covers part of  Bear Elective 1 – Space.

If you don’t already have the BSA den meeting plans, download BSA Bear Den Meeting Supplemental Plan H to follow along with this article.

Cub Scout Bear Den Meeting Plans: Space

Preparation and Before the Meeting

For this meeting, you will be visiting a planetarium, so you will need to make arrangements beforehand. If this is not possible, then consider making pinhole planetariums instead.

Gathering

Check out my gathering activities page for ideas.

Opening

Have a flag ceremony. Say the Scout Law.

Business

Keep business short and sweet.

Activities

The den will be working on Bear Elective 1c:

Visit a planetarium.

You will also be doing the Astronomy belt loop:

  1. Set up and demonstrate how to focus a simple telescope or binoculars. (A local astronomy club may be a resource for this activity.) See How to use binoculars .
  2. Draw a diagram of our solar system–identify the planets and other objects. See Draw the Solar System (Worksheet).
  3. Explain the following terms: planet, star, solar system, galaxy, the Milky Way, black hole, red giant, white dwarf, comet, meteor, moon, asteroid, star map, and universe. See Astronomy Terms Scramble.

Still have some time? Sing The Noble Captain Kirk Song or the Star Wars Song .

Closing

Close with the Scout Oath and a closing flag ceremony.

After the meeting

The Bears should help clean up the area and put away the supplies you brought.

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Home Repairs Merit Badge for Boy Scouts http://scoutermom.com/6259/home-repairs-merit-badge-boy-scouts/ http://scoutermom.com/6259/home-repairs-merit-badge-boy-scouts/#comments Thu, 03 Oct 2013 12:00:00 +0000 http://www.scoutermom.com/content/?p=6259 Posted in Aims of Scouting

If you know a Boy Scout who likes to help out around the house, have him look at the requirements for the Home Repairs merit badge.]]>

If you know a Boy Scout who likes to help out around the house, have him look at the requirements for the Home Repairs merit badge.

Successfully completing this badge’s requirements can lead to a lifetime of personal and financial rewards: Doing basic home repairs provides a sense of personal pride in one’s achievements and increased self-confidence. In addition, safe and successful do-it-yourselfers can easily save a family thousands of dollars in repair bills over the years.

Home Repairs Merit Badge Requirements

  1. Discuss general precautions related to home repairs. Name at least 10 safe practices that every home repairer should exercise.
  2. Under the supervision of your merit badge counselor, do FOUR of the following:
    1. Maintain or recondition a garden tool and show that you know how to clean up and properly store it and other tools.
    2. Install insulation in an attic, wall, or crawl space.
    3. Caulk cracks or joints open to the weather.
    4. Waterproof a basement.
    5. Repair a break in a concrete or asphalt surface.
    6. Repair the screen in a window or door.
    7. Replace a pane of glass.
    8. Solder a broken wire or metal object.
  3. Under the supervision of your merit badge counselor, do THREE of the following:
    1. Install or build equipment for storing tools.
    2. Build a workbench.
    3. Repair a piece of furniture.
    4. Paint or varnish a piece of furniture, a door, or trim on a house.
    5. Repair a sagging door or gate.
    6. Repair a loose step.
    7. Repair a fence.
  4. Under the supervision of your merit badge counselor, do TWO of the following:
    1. Locate a main electrical switch box and know how to replace a fuse or reset a circuit breaker.
    2. Replace an electrical cord or repair a plug or lamp socket.
    3. Install a single-pole light switch.
    4. Replace an electrical wall outlet.
  5. Under the supervision of your merit badge counselor, do TWO of the following:
    1. Clear a clogged drain or trap.
    2. Repair a leaky water faucet.
    3. Repair a flush toilet.
    4.  Repair a leaky hose or connector.
    5. Clean or replace a sprinkler head.
  6. Under the supervision of your merit badge counselor, do THREE of the following:
    1. Paint a wall or ceiling.
    2. Repair or replace damaged tile or linoleum.
    3. Install drapery or curtain rods and then hang drapes or curtains.
    4. Replace window blind cords.
    5. Repair or replace a window sash cord.
    6. Reinforce a picture frame.
    7. Mend an object made of china, glass, or pottery.
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Losing Interest in Boy Scouts http://scoutermom.com/14666/losing-interest-boy-scouts/ http://scoutermom.com/14666/losing-interest-boy-scouts/#comments Fri, 12 Jul 2013 15:20:46 +0000 http://scoutermom.com/?p=14666 Posted in Aims of ScoutingRecruiting

A reader asks "The fun is gone. I know Boy Scouts is different than Cubs, but is it supposed to be no fun? Is there a suggestion I can take to the Scoutmaster that might help him keep these boys interested?"]]>

Stephanie sent in this question

My son has just crossed over into Boy Scouts with 11 other boys. Since this group has crossed over in Feb. the boys are dropping out fast. Of the 11 there are 4 or 5 left. The same complaint is being heard by all the parents. The fun is gone. I know Boy Scouts is different than Cubs, but is it supposed to be no fun? Is there a suggestion I can take to the Scoutmaster that might help him keep these boys interested?

The key to fun is letting the youth lead the troop. The PLC  (Senior Patrol Leader, Assistant Senior Patrol Leader, and Patrol Leaders)  should be planning activities which help Scouts advance but are also fun.  A common problem is that meetings become totally focused on advancement with kids sitting around “working” and getting things checked off.

A better approach is to let the youth leaders first plan what they want to do – a theme for the month for example – and then they can decide how that fits in with advancement and the other methods of Scouting.  They should ask their troopmates what they are interested in doing. Your son and his friends should suggest to the PLC what they would like to do. The Boy Scout troop program features are a good start if your PLC is not sure how to do this. These contain a month’s worth of troop meeting plans with a good balance of instruction and fun.

Your youth leaders might need more training also. If your troop is not sending Scouts to National Youth Leadership Training every year, start raising some funds to send a few next year. Our troop tries to send about three every year. They will learn leadership skills and will also come home with a whole set of team building, instructional, and initiative games.

Finally, Scoutmasters are typically overworked and underpaid. :-) Very few troops have too many adult leaders. Your youth leaders need a lot of mentoring and help.  I always recommend that adults who really want to improve the troop go to Adult Leader Training (sometimes known as Scoutmaster Training). This is not just for Scoutmasters and Assistant Scoutmasters. Training will help the parents understand the program better and know how to help. Both moms and dads can get trained.

Training is important because parents often want to do something to help the program, but without a good understanding of the methods of Boy Scouting they will often introduce ideas which are not consistent with the appropriate methods. This can lead to tension between the Scoutmaster and the  parents. Parents will think that the Scoutmaster is ignoring their input, when in fact he or she might just be trying to run the program the way it is intended to be run. Sometimes the methods of Boy Scouting seem inefficient or just don’t make sense to somebody who is not trained.

I hope that helps. Perhaps some readers can add their input in the comments below.

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Summer Camp at Camp Gamble http://scoutermom.com/14630/summer-camp-at-camp-gamble/ http://scoutermom.com/14630/summer-camp-at-camp-gamble/#comments Wed, 26 Jun 2013 12:00:00 +0000 http://scoutermom.com/?p=14630 Posted in Aims of Scouting

If you are looking for a summer camp for next year with plenty of activities for all of your Scouts, I highly recommend Camp Gamble.]]>

108We just returned home from a fabulous week of Boy Scout summer camp at Camp Gamble. If you are looking for a summer camp for next year with plenty of activities for all of your Scouts, I highly recommend Camp Gamble.

Camp Gamble is located at S bar F Scout Ranch near Farmington, Missouri. S bar F Scout Ranch is a 5,200-acre  property operated by the Greater St. Louis Area Council. In the center of The Ranch is Nims Lake, a 270-acre lake which is the largest privately owned man-made lake in the state of Missouri. The campsites are spacious and wooded. They are not located too close together, but everything remains within easy walking distance of the lakefront, where much of the program takes place.

Camp Gamble Review

There are many different aspects to consider when choosing a summer camp – merit badges,   facilities and meals, camp staff and support, additional program opportunities, and more.  I’ll cover all of these. Since Camp Gamble is locate on Nims Lake, I’ll mention many of the aquatics opportunities available.

Merit Badges

Scouts like to earn merit badges at camp. At Camp Gamble, our Scouts had the opportunity to earn Archery, Astronomy, Basketry, Camping, Canoeing, Climbing, Cooking, Environmental Science, First Aid, Fishing, Forestry, Horsemanship, Indian Lore, Kayaking, Leatherwork, Lifesaving, Mammal Study, Motorboating, Orienteering, Pioneering, Rifle Shooting, Shotgun Shooting, Small Boat Sailing, Space Exploration, Swimming, Water Sports, Wilderness Survival, and Woodcarving.  Multiple sessions are offered for most badges and all of our Scouts were able to get into sessions for the badges they wanted to work on.

Aquatics

127Aquatics is often the focal point of summer camp. What Scout doesn’t want to get wet on a hot summer day? Nims Lake is an incredible asset for the Greater St. Louis Area Council and they have been working to make the most of it. They have had the standard swimming, canoeing, and kayaking options of course. Last summer the council added stand up paddle boards and a floating “iceberg” which Scouts can climb up and slide down. This year, Camp Gamble had two new speedboats for water skiing and a number of small two-man sailboats.

These improvements in the aquatics program make Camp Gamble a top Midwest destination for troops who are looking for lots of ways to get wet at summer camp. And the variety of offerings mean that Scouts can come back and experience something new each year.

First Year Camper Program

The first year camper program at Camp Gamble is called Voyager. We had five Scouts participate in the program. They completed many of their Tenderfoot, Second Class, and First Class requirements and earned the Swimming and Woodcarving merit badges.  In addition, there were several special activities just for the Voyagers, including a pontoon boat ride across the lake so they could hike to Castle Rock. Our first year Scouts really enjoyed the program. It had the right balance of instruction with time for things like free swim and free boating. And it helped them learn about camp life during their first summer camp experience.

Older Scout Program

052

Camp Gamble offers a special program for the 14 and older Scouts. Options included kayak polo, mountain biking, rock climbing and rappelling at the S bar F climbing cliffs, water skiing,  horseback riding, and more. One evening there was a special hamburger cookout and tailgate party for the older Scouts. They can choose which activities they want to participate in. Our Scouts chose to do some of the older Scout program and to work on a couple of merit badges. This program offered some different options for Scouts who have been to camp for several years and have many of the badges to experience some things the younger Scouts are not ready for.

Ranger Program

The Ranger program is another special program offered for older Scouts at S bar F. Scouts leave their troops on Sunday evening and spend the week backpacking on the far side of the property. They return to their troops on Friday evening.  Participants experience something different each day. They might do some black powder rifle shooting, climb on a ropes course, sleep on Castle Rock, or swim in the Little St. Francis River. We didn’t have any from our troop participate in the program this year, but JD (my oldest) did it a few years ago and loved it. He really enjoyed the challenges and teamwork aspects of the program also. This backpacking trek might be a good preparation for Scouts who are planning a trip to Philmont. “Rangers Rule the Ranch!”

Special Programs

There are other special opportunities at Camp Gamble. Troops can request a troop shoot, an overnight canoe float, an evening out and about float, or an overnight hike. Troops also have an opportunity to visit Huck’s Cove, a small water park on Nims Lake. Huck’s Cove has two water slides, a rope swing, a zip line, and other fun features. This is something our Scouts always look forward to when we go to summer camp at The Ranch.

Wednesday night at Camp Gamble was water carnival with stand up paddleboard races, a sandcastle building contest, limbo, an iceburg climbing contest, a glowstick dive and more. The camp also offers a top shot competition for the marksmen in your troop. And of course there is the Mile Swim on Friday.

Order of the Arrow

I have seen a number of Order of the Arrow call out ceremonies over the years, but the ones on the shore of Nims Lake are still my favorite. I can’t do it justice, so I won’t try to describe it here, but take my word for it that it is a beautiful ceremony. My youngest, ZM, was very excited to be called out this year.

Meals and Facilities

128Meals are prepared on the campsite using the patrol method. If you are used to eating in a dining hall, this might sound difficult, but it really is not. Even our first year Scout patrol was able to manage cooking their own food. At each meal time two Scouts walk to the commissary with a basket to pick up food. The rest of the patrol prepares fire and water back at the campsite. By the time the Scouts return to the campsite with food, the charcoal fires are ready to go and the meal is usually ready in 15 to 20 minutes.

The menu is kept simple and our Scouts sometimes bring a few extra ingredients or seasonings to make their food the way they like it. Food was plentiful.  You can bring your own patrol cooking gear or you can use a camp patrol box. Don’t be intimidated by patrol cooking at summer camp. This is a really good opportunity to help develop the patrol method in your troop.

The camp provides standard canvas wall tents with floorboards and cots. Each patrol has it’s own dining fly, picnic table, and charcoal stove.  There is a latrine, wash stand, and water spigot for each campsite.

Modern showers and bathrooms are available for adult leaders. In addition, one of the youth shower-houses has been recently converted to modern showers and bathrooms for Scout use also.

Camp Staff and Support

All of the things I have mentioned to this point are important, but you can’t have a quality camp experience without a quality staff to run it.  We found the Camp Gamble staff was very enthusiastic and helpful. Merit badge instructors seemed very knowledgeable about their areas and the aquatics and boating areas were well run and safe.  Our Voyager participants really enjoyed their counselors as well. The camp was well administered, with leaders questions and concerns being addressed in a timely manner.

I wish I could mention each and every one of the staff by name, but my memory is not that good. :-) Suffice to say that our experience with staff was very positive  and that we kept hearing different staff members’ names mentioned and how cool they were. One of them did a very lively rendition of Happy Birthday for one of our Scouts which was quite a hit.  Opening and closing campfires were both high energy affairs with lots of great skits, songs, and cheers. Then as is appropriate, the campfire programs became more quiet at the end with singing of various camp songs.  Both campfire programs were very well done.

I would especially like to thank our troop counselor Bryan H. We had a lot of equipment needs and during our first day he managed to round up everything we needed. My husband mentioned that stuff just kept showing up at our campsite seemingly out of  nowhere. Bryan visited our campsite frequently to check in on us and answer questions. And our Scouts really enjoyed interacting with him. He even helped our older Scouts clean up the “landfill” a few of them made behind their tents, which was very nice of him.

I’d also like to thank the camp director Ryan and Bobby the speedboat driver from Scotland for helping us start our van when it was time to go. I’m sure they were very busy with a new group of campers coming in a few hours, but the arrived quickly with jumper cables and helped us get on the road.  This is just another example of how positive and helpful the entire staff was.

My Recommendation

As you can see there is plenty to do at Camp Gamble for Scouts of all ages and the staff puts on a really great program. I highly recommend it for your troop’s summer camp next year. In fact, in the past our troop has done a three year camp rotation, going to camp at S bar F, another council camp, and then out of council. But becaise we had such a great time at Camp Gamble and considering all of the improvements at camp, I am going to recommend to our committee that we consider returning there next year.

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Pack Meeting Ideas http://scoutermom.com/14624/pack-meeting-ideas/ http://scoutermom.com/14624/pack-meeting-ideas/#comments Tue, 25 Jun 2013 12:13:25 +0000 http://scoutermom.com/?p=14624 Posted in Aims of Scouting

It's important not to keep repeating the same meetings with Cub Scouts over and over again. By the time they reach the end of their Cub Scouting career they will have been in your pack for over four years. Young kids need variety to keep their interest level.]]>

I just received this from Doug:

Great web site. This will be very useful to me as a new Cubmaster. Do you have information on what activities can be done for pack meetings? Thanks.

Yes, there are lots of ideas for pack meetings available. It’s important not to keep repeating the same meetings with Cub Scouts over and over again. By the time they reach the end of their Cub Scouting career they will have been in your pack for over four years. Young kids need variety to keep their interest level.

First of all, BSA provides a full set of pack meeting plans. These are a great resource for busy Cub Scouters. You can print one out and your whole pack meeting is planned.  They tie into the monthly Cub Scout core value.

I have lots of Cub Scout pack themes on my site as well. These include some of the BSA themes which I am promoting and adding links to resources to. The list also includes a number of other “themes” we have done with our pack in the past. Some of the most popular ones for this time of year are the aquatics theme, the classic outdoor games theme, the hiking theme, and the cycling theme.  Be sure to look at the full list.

Also, consider including events and resources from your community into your pack program. A few years ago the suggested theme for the month was a Knights in Shining Armor theme. Our committee chair contacted the fencing club at a local university to see if they would come out and do a demonstration. As it turned out, the instructor for the club was involved in a medieval reenactment group and actually had armor, real swords, and foam padded practice weapons which he brought to our meeting. He was happy to share his craft with us and talk about battle tactics and the science behind making the items. It was a tremendous hit with the Cub Scouts.

Ask your parents if they have an idea for a meeting. We have had basketball coaches come in and do the Basketball belt loop with our Cubs. Our current Cubmaster is a veterinarian with a farm and has brought some of his animals to a meeting. Find out what businesses and hobbies your parents are involved in and then go from there.

I hope that is helpful. Reader, please share some of your best pack meeting ideas in the comments below.

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