Rube Goldberg was a cartoonist and engineer who drew elaborate contraptions to accomplish simple tasks. This article from TinkerLab gives step-by-step details for creating a Rube Goldberg machine.
Leadership and Life Skills
Almost Unschoolers shows how to make a mbira from bobby pins, craft sticks, and thumbtacks. A mbira is a “thumb piano” of African origin. Music is made by plucking metal tines.
Kix cereal has an article which gives step-by-step instructions to make a rainstick from common household materials. A rainstick is an instrument which sounds like rain when you turn it.
Hand Speak provides an American Sign Language Translator. Just type in a word and you will see a video of the sign for the word.
This article shows how to make a rekenrek using foam board, pony beads, and pipe cleaners. A rekenrek is a visual tool to help children learn how to add and subtract via fives and tens.
This article from Metals Wired includes simple explanations for obverse (heads), reverse (tails), field, relief, rim, edge, legend, motto, date, and mint marks.
Boy’s Life magazine has some tips includings finding a dealer, learning about coin grading, storing your collection, getting the supplies you need, and starting your collection.
Every campfire program should have plenty of skits. They also make a great intermission in a meeting. Sometimes they teach a lesson, sometimes they don’t, but they are always fun.
Qwirkle is one of our family’s favorite games. It really is one of those games anyone can enjoy. Even though our sons are older now, we still play this on family game nights.
This project uses circles to create window hangings. All you need is card stock, cardboard, scissors, and contact paper. And maybe some circular items for tracing.
When Scouts build a catapult, they can learn about physics and energy. An easy way to do this is with a small scale catapult.
Catapult Cruzers recently sent me a couple of samples to review. Catapult Cruzers are toy airplanes which you put together and launch. These planes would be great for Scouts of any age. See the article for information about a free giveaway.
Cub Scouts love to help out at den meetings! A den job chart will help you spread the jobs around. Ideally each member of your den would have at least one job at every meeting.
Having a secret code can be fun. There are several simple methods of coding communication so that only those who know the “secret” know what is being said.
A reader reports My son has been in a very small Boy Scout Troop for 2 years now. Our scoutmaster had a meeting to discuss the fact that the boys scouting experience is very limited because of the troops size and suggested that the scouts transfer to another troop.
Flip the Bird tag is an active game which is a combination of tag and keep away. In it, a players work together to keep their friends from being tagged.
Avoiding hypothermia is key to a successful outdoor activity in cold weather, be it camping, hiking, skiing, ice skating, or snowman building.
Printable checkoff sheet for the Signs, Signals, and Codes to keep track of your patrol’s progress. The check off sheet can be printed directly or saved as a PDF file.
Our Crew president led this jack rabbit posing game at our last meeting. It is a fun game for teenagers, but would work for other age groups also. The idea of this game is to remember different poses and to strike the correct pose quickly.
If you look at the list of positions which can be used to meet the position of responsibility requirement for Star and Life, you will see that assistant patrol leader is not listed there.
The focus of the First Aid troop program feature is learning to assess an emergency and practical first aid skills.
Can a troop place requirements on how a Board of Review must be requested? For example, can a troop require that the Scout request the BOR by phone rather than in person?
Picture Telephone is a visual version of the classic telephone game. Our Crew recently played this during the Communication section of the Introduction to Leadership Skills for Crews course.
The engineering troop program feature helps a PLC plan a month’s worth of activities with an engineering theme.
Sleeping Guard is a fun game for a den. The object of the game is for the Scouts to be quiet enough to sneak up on a blindfolded guard and steal an object. Perfect for a bunch of noisy Cub Scouts!
Scott sent in this question: My son is home schooled and has to do the requirement for second class 9a. The drug awareness part. do you have any suggestions on what he can do to meet this requirement?
BSA has a set of troop programs which can help PLCs plan activities around a theme. This communication program feature offers the opportunity to plan a month’s worth of troop activities which focus on giving and receiving information.
A reader is involved in a large troop, but due to low participation from scouts it is difficult to have patrol leader elections and a youth led program.
This weekend our Venturing Crew did the Introduction to Youth Leadership Skills for Crews (ILSC). This course teaches Crew members basic leadership skills. There is a corresponding course for Boy Scout troops (ILST).
The Forces of Flight game would make a fun addition to a pack meeting for the Soaring the Skies Cub Scout theme. Use this game when the Cub Scouts have been sitting for too long and need to get up and move around.
BSA has a set of troop programs which can help PLCs plan activities around a theme. This business program feature offers the opportunity to plan a month’s worth of troop activities with business theme.
A Wolf den leader is seeking feedback about being asked to stay with the Wolf den next year instead of continuing with her son’s den when they move to Bears.
The best way to handle possible conflicts between unit fundraisers is to talk it out.
The Pizza Man song is a camp classic. This is one of those songs that has many different versions and they are all fun. All of the catch phrases rhyme (somewhat) with “man” and a lot of emphasis is usually put on the rhyme.
This wilderness survival program feature offers the opportunity to plan a month’s worth of troop activities with a focus on outdoor skills and survival techniques.
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.
If you make listening and observation your occupation you will gain much more than you can by talk. Robert Baden-Powell
Reader Michael sent in this question: How do I go about registering an Eagle Scout in my troop as a Junior Assistant Scoutmaster?
This science program feature offers the opportunity to plan a month’s worth of troop activities with a weather and energy theme.
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?