Scouting programs spark an interest in culture, history, and art. Scouts learn about music, design, family history, other cultures, and American history. Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA (Boy Scouts), and Venturers learn to appreciate beauty, learn from the past, and discover new paths to creativity. See some examples below.
Make a Mbira from Bobby Pins
A mbira is a "thumb piano" of African origin. Music is made by plucking metal tines. Almost Unschoolers shows how to make a mbira from bobby pins, craft sticks, and thumbtacks.
The Parts of a Coin and Mint Marks
This article from Metals Wired includes simple explanations for obverse (heads), reverse (tails), field, relief, rim, edge, legend, motto, date, and mint marks.
Tips for Coin Collectors from Boy’s Life Magazine
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.
Circle Art for Tigers
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.
Audience Participation – The Story of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox
This a story about the cold winter when Paul Bunyan found Babe the Blue Ox. A few words and names are repeated throughout the story. Your audience will be divided into groups and assigned a word or name. Whenever they hear it, they must say something - loudly and with enthusiasm - and do an action. Cub Scouts usually enjoy these "action stories".
Family Tree Template
Helping Scouts look back at their family heritage fits in with February's Turn Back the Time program theme. Scouts can download this family tree template to write in their family back to their great grandparents.
My Story Mystery Game
The My Story Mystery Game is a great way to get to know some "history" about a group of individuals. It makes a great icebreaker. It can also serve as an introduction to a discussion about oral history and storytelling.
Making a Film Skit
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.
Here is a silly song for the Cub Scouts to sing on Thanksgiving. Use this for any of the Cub Scout music requirements
Genealogy Requirements and Non Traditional Families
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?
Faith and Our Ancestors Game
The Faith and Our Ancestors Game is an icebreaker activity with a genealogy twist. Players ask each other questions about how they think their ancestors lived.
The Legend of Paul Bunyan
The story of the Paul Bunyan at a Cub Scout reading level . It includes a variety of tall tales from Paul Bunyan lore.
The Legend of Pecos Bill
Here is some information about Pecos Bill written at a Cub Scout reading level. After they read the story, talk about how tall tales incorporated real ideas.
How to Make a Simple Rainstick
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.
Puppet Play – Holmes and Watson Go To Webelos Camp
My Webelos den has been working on their Showman activity badge. For requirement 2, they wrote their own puppet play.
Tips for Starting a Collection
There are several Scouting achievements related to collecting. So how do you start a collection? Here are some tips to get started.
The Legend of Bigfoot
Tall Tales was one of the activities my den enjoyed doing this past year. The only problem I had was finding versions of the tales which were appropriate for their age and reading levels.
The Legend of Rip Van Winkle
This shortened version of the tall tale of Rip Van Winkle is appropriate for Cub Scouts
The Legend of The Pony Express
The story of the Pony Express at a Cub Scout level. Can be used to introduce the concept of storytelling.
Days of Knights and Damsels: An Activity Guide
Looking for some medieval ideas for your Cub Scouts? This book of knightly fun will add some pizzazz to your pack and den activities.
Passport to Other Lands Cub Scout Theme (Respect)
The Passport to Other Lands meeting plan features ideas for the core value of respect- games, group activities, songs, and more. These focus on the value of respect.
Reading Merit Badge Helps and Documents
Scouts BSA learn about books, libraries, and card catalogs while working on the Reading merit badge. They read some books. They also perform service related to reading, such as reading to children or people with disabilities.
Bear A World of Sound Adventure: Cub Scout Helps and Ideas
Bear Cub Scouts learn about musical instruments from around the world while working on the A World of Sound adventure. They make a mbira, a sistrum, and a rain stick .
Tiger Theater Adventure: Cub Scout Helps and Ideas
Tigers learn about some creative ways to communicate for the Tiger Theater Adventure. The Cub Scouts learn about puppet shows, reader’s theater, and pantomime. They also put on a little show of their own and watch a play or attend a story time at a library.
International Strange Music Day
International Strange Music Day is a day to listen to new types of music. We all have our favorite music, but this day encourages us to listen to a new genre and appreciate different types of music. Here are some ways to celebrate this day with your Scouting program.
National Trivia Day
January 4 is National Trivia Day. It celebrates all of those little bits of knowledge. This can be a fun one to celebrate with Scouts of all ages. Here are some ideas.
American Heritage Merit Badge Helps and Documents
Scouts learn about American history while working on the American Heritage merit badge. Topics covered range from the Declaration of Interdependence, to the history of the US flag, to historic places, to their own family history. They also learn about careers related to the study of American heritage.
Recommended Science Fiction Books
Here are a few books your kids might enjoy. I've included titles for a wide range of ages. These are great choices to get your kids hooked on reading and to let their imaginations carry them away to new worlds.
Indian Lore Merit Badge Helps and Documents
Scouts working on the Indian Lore merit badge learn about the rich cultural history of Native Americans. They learn about the history of the interactions between native people and European settlers and later the US government. They also explore how Native Americans continue to express their cultural history today.
Webelos/AOL Moviemaking Adventure: Cub Scout Helps and Documents
Moviemaking is one of the Webelos/Arrow of Light elective adventures. For the Moviemaking adventure, Webelos learn write a story and make a movie.
Webelos/AOL Looking Back Looking Forward Adventure Helps and Documents
Looking Back, Looking Forward is one of the Webelos/Arrow of Light elective adventures. For the Looking Back, Looking Forward adventure, Webelos learn about the past and create a time capsule.
Genealogy Merit Badge Helps and Documents
Scouts working on the Genealogy merit badge learn about their family heritage. They explore the many ways to research information about their ancestors and where they came from. Scouts will appreciate their family history and learn how this can lead them to delve deeper into their cultural roots.
Let’s Laugh Day
Let's Laugh Day is held every year on March 19. Don't forget that your Scouting program should be fun! Laughing helps everyone relax and it can be contagious.
Project Family Adventure: Cub Scout Helps and Ideas
Project Family is one of the Webelos/Arrow of Light elective adventures. For the Project Family adventure, Webelos learn about family history and discover different ways they can participate as a family member.
Tiger Stories in Shapes Adventure: Cub Scout Helps and Ideas
Stories in Shapes is one of the Tiger elective adventures. For this adventure, Tiger Cubs and their adult partners learn about art and explore their own creativity.
Bear Paws for Action Adventure: Cub Scout Helps and Ideas
Paws for Action is one of the Bear required adventures. For this adventure, Bears learn about history, law enforcement, and conservation.
Uncovering the Past Cub Scout Nova Award (Archaeology) Helps and Documents
Uncovering the Past is the Cub Scout Nova Award for archaeology. To earn this award, Cub Scouts explore topics such as artifacts, ecofacts, dig sites, and petroglyphs . They must also complete one of their adventures related to culture and history.
Bear Beat of the Drum Adventure Helps and Documents
Beat of the Drum is one of the Bear elective adventures. For the Beat of the Drum adventure, Bears learn about native American culture.
New Year’s Day
On New Year's Day we remember the past year and look to the future. You probably aren't meeting on New Year's Day, but if you are meeting near this date you can add some time related activities for fun with these ideas.
Tiger Family Stories Adventure: Cub Scout Helps and Documents
Family Stories is one of the Tiger elective adventures. For this adventure, Tiger Cubs and their adult partners learn about their family heritage and make a family tree.
Science Fiction Day
January 2 is Science Fiction Day. This day encourages everyone to pick up a science fiction book and immerse themselves in a new reality. Science fiction encourages us to consider that the world can be different than it is now - better or worse - and our actions will make an impact on the future. So read a book, sing a song or play a game saluting Star Wars or Star Trek. Some books, songs, and games are suggested in this article.
American Cultures Merit Badge Helps and Documents
Scouts working on the American Cultures merit badge learn about the many cultures which make up and influence the United States of America. They explore the similarities and differences among different groups of people in our country. They also investigate how people of different cultures can get along better and appreciate each other's art, culture, and history.
Drafting Merit Badge Helps and Documents
By doing the requirements for the Drafting merit badge, Scouts will learn how to make drawings which convey the visions of engineers and architects. They will do manual drawings, computer aided design (CAD), and lettering. Scouts also explore career opportunities related to drafting. The requirements for this badge can be fulfilled by doing architectural, mechanical, or electrical drawings.
Tiger Tales Adventure: Cub Scout Helps and Ideas
Tiger Tales is one of the Tiger elective adventures. For this adventure, Tigers and their adult partners learn about folk history through tall tales. They also visit a historical museum or site.
Doctor Seuss Day
Dr. Seuss Day is a day to celebrate the birthday of Theodor Seuss Geisel, the wonderful books he wrote, and reading in general.
Webelos/AOL Maestro Adventure Helps and Documents
Maestro! is one of the Webelos/Arrow of Light elective adventures. For the Maestro! adventure, Webelos learn about music from singing songs to musical instruments.
Wolf Digging in the Past Adventure: Cub Scout Helps and Documents
Digging in the Past is one of the Wolf Cub Scout elective adventures. For the Digging in the Past adventure, Wolves learn about dinosaurs and fossils.
Art Merit Badge Helps and Documents
Scouts working on the Art merit badge learn to express themselves using media such as pen and ink, watercolors, pencils, pastels, oil paints, and more. This merit badge focuses on two-dimensional art. There is also a merit badge for Sculpting.
Songs for Meetings and Campfire Programs
Songs are a fun way to add some fun to a meeting or to get everyone involved in a campfire program. What’s your favorite song? Do you have the lyrics or a video of it? Contact me and I’ll share it here.
Basketry Merit Badge Helps and Documents
By working on the requirements for the Basketry merit badge, Scouts learn how to safely weave items from natural materials. They make a square basket, a round basket, and a camp stool seat.
Graphic Arts Merit Badge Helps and Documents
Working on the requirements for the Graphic Arts merit badge helps Scouts learn about producing printed communications. They learn about different media and design a piece for printing. They visit a location which produces graphic arts and find out about career opportunities.
Coin Collecting Merit Badge Helps and Documents
While working on the Coin Collecting merit badge, Scouts learn about how coins are made and what the identifying marks on coins mean. They also learn how to collect and store coins. They learn about special coins and series of coins, such as the State Quarters program and the America the Beautiful Quarters.
Crafts for Scouts
Crafts can be used to complete rank advancement requirements or just for fun. Crafts are especially important as a way for boys and girls in the Cub Scout program to express themselves and develop creativity. Do you have a craft that you’d like to share? Contact me and I’ll share it here with a picture of your creation.
Webelos/AOL Build It Adventure: Cub Scout Helps and Ideas
Build It is one of the Webelos/Arrow of Light elective adventures. For the Build It adventure, Webelos learn about using tools safely and carpentry. Then they use what they have learned to build a project.
Wood Carving Merit Badge Helps and Documents
While working on the requirements for the Wood Carving merit badge, Scouts discover how to express themselves by making items out of wood. They learn how to safely use and care for wood carving tools. Then they demonstrate their knowledge by creating a couple of wooden projects.
Scouting Heritage Merit Badge Helps and Documents
By working on the requirements for the Scouting Heritage merit badge, Scouts explore the origins of Scouting and how it has evolved over the years. They explore a location which is important to the history of Scouting and learn about their local Scouting units.
Woodwork Merit Badge Helps and Documents
Scouts who are doing the requirements for the Woodwork merit badge learn how to safely handle, store, and maintain tools. They also get some hands on experience by doing woodworking projects. Scouts investigate careers in cabinet making and carpentry.
Turn Back the Clock Cub Scout Theme (Resourcefulness)
A supplemental meeting plan theme called Turn Back the Clock was provided by BSA a few years ago. "When you look back in time, it is easy to find many examples of resourcefulness, using human and other resources to their fullest. Whether it is the Ice Age, the Wild West, the Space Age, or the 1950s, each time period had people with goals who used the resources available to them to make their lives better."
Webelos/AOL Art Explosion Adventure: Cub Scout Helps and Ideas
Art Explosion is one of the Webelos/Arrow of Light elective adventures. For the Art Explosion adventure, Webelos learn about all types of art - drawing, painting, sculpture, origami, digital art, graphic design, photography, comics, and more.
Photography Merit Badge Helps and Documents
By doing the requirements for the Photography merit badge, Scouts learn to safely and effectively record their experiences in pictures. They explore the impact of lighting, exposure, depth of field, composition, angle, and other aspects of taking photos. Then Scouts put their knowledge to use by taking a number of photographs. They also find out about career opportunities related to photography.
Architecture Merit Badge Helps and Documents
Scouts working on the Architecture merit badge learn about how the design of buildings impacts their use and the environment. They also explore careers related to architecture.
Historic Trails Program
This award recognizes young men and women in Scouts BSA and Venturing who have planned and executed a historic outdoor activity in cooperation with a local society.
Theater Merit Badge Helps and Documents
Scouts get a taste of life on the stage while doing the requirements for the Theater merit badge. They read several plays and write one of their own. Scouts explore skills such as acting, directing, set design, costume design, hair and makeup design, lighting, sound and more. They also perform a pantomime and familiarize themselves with theater terminology.
Animation Merit Badge Helps and Documents
By doing the requirements for the Animation merit badge, Scouts learn how to create the illusion of movement through a series of still images. They learn the techniques which which make a good story and visual effect. Then they demonstrate their skill by creating their own animations. They also explore career opportunities related to animation.
Music Merit Badge Helps and Documents
Scouts explore vocal and instrumental music while doing the requirements for the Music merit badge. They learn about different musical instruments and the history of American music. They teach songs to others or compose their own piece of music.
Moviemaking Merit Badge Helps and Documents
Scouts capture live action memories while doing the requirements for the Moviemaking merit badge. They learn how to create a visual story and use motion picture equipment such as a camcorder or a smartphone to record it. Scouts create their own short film and explore careers in moviemaking.
Model Design and Building Merit Badge Helps and Documents
Scouts have the opportunity to learn about different types of models such as architectural, structural, process, mechanical, and industrial models while working on the Model Design and Building merit badge. They make an original model and explore career opportunities related to model design.
Leatherwork Merit Badge Helps and Documents
While doing the requirements for the Leatherwork merit badge, Scouts learn to safely handle tools. They explore different leatherwork techniques by making their own project. They also compare different types of leather and synthetic materials.
Stamp Collecting Merit Badge Helps and Documents
The requirements for the Stamp Collecting merit badge help Scouts understand the history, purpose, and meaning of various stamp designs. Scouts learn about different types of stamps, stationary, and marks. They also learn how to handle and preserve stamps.
Railroading Merit Badge Helps and Documents
Scouts who are working on the Railroading merit badge find out how trains are used to move freight and passengers. They learn about the history of railroading and consider the safety aspects of trains. The requirements for this badge can be fulfilled by model railroading or railfanning. Scouts can either use model railroads to investigate the topic further or they can learn more about scenic and historic railways.
Sculpture Merit Badge Helps and Documents
While working on the Sculpting merit badge, Scouts create 3D objects using media such as clay or wood. They visit a museum or studio and explore career opportunities related to sculpting. The Sculpting merit badge focuses on three dimensional art. There is also an Art merit badge which concentrates on two dimensional art.
Living History Troop Program Feature for Scouts BSA
The Living History feature lets Scouts experience different cultures, times, and places in an interactive and hands on manner. They witness reenactments and learn about historical events and different ways of life.
Pottery Merit Badge Helps and Documents
Scouts learn to safely create items from clay while doing the requirements for the Pottery merit badge. They familiarize themselves with pottery terminology and methods, including using a wheel and a kiln. Then they create several items of their own. They also explore career opportunities related to pottery.
Bugling Merit Badge Helps and Documents
Scouts who are doing the requirements for the Bugling merit badge will learn 10 different bugle calls. They will also learn to care for a bugle and serve as troop bugler for at least 3 months.
Outdoor Living History Ranger Elective Helps and Documents
To complete the Outdoor Living History elective for the Venturing Ranger award, Venturers must research a culture and time period, learn to participate in that history, and teach others about what they have learned.
Archaeology Merit Badge Helps and Documents
By doing the requirements for the Archaeology merit badge, Scouts find out how sites and artifacts from the past help us develop a more accurate picture of how our ancestors lived. They learn about the laws and regulations which protect archaeological sites. They do some hands-on research and explore careers related to archaeology.
Fearful Symmetry Cub Scout Nova Award (Mathematics) Helps and Documents
Fearful Symmetry is the Cub Scout Nova Award for investigating the properties of symmetry. To earn this award, Scouts must complete one of their adventure related to patterns and symmetry. They explore how symmetry is found in art and nature.