Early in Scouting in the United States, Native American culture was woven in to the program as a reaction to the rapid industrialization going on in American cities.
Those live longest who live nearest to the ground, that is, who live the simple life of primitive times, divested, however, of the evils that ignorance in those times begot.Ernest Thompson Seton
Introducing Native American themes to Cub Scouts can be a way to teach our younger Scouts how to appreciate different cultures. It should be done in a respectful way which honors the traditions of the First Americans.
Here are some ways to introduce your Cub Scouts to Native American culture using a simplified format which they can understand.
Here are some ideas which are loosely tied to this theme:
This is a Native American story which scouts of all ages can enjoy. It is also a cautionary tale for young men who like to build huge campfires.
Hubbub – A Native American Dice Game
This is a traditional Native American dice game. The scoring systems seem to vary from one reference to another, so the system below is a simplified system which scouts should be able to follow.
Scouts who are doing a Native American themed meeting or activity can create a simple tipi model to get the idea of how these versatile dwellings are constructed. We made these at a Cub Scout training session and they were very easy.
Native American Games for Scouts
Learning about and respecting other cultures is a part of Scouting. Scouts learn about the First Americans by playing some Native American games. They might be surprised by the similarities to some games they play all of the time.
Native American lore is an important part of the Scouts BSA and Cub Scout programs. This Native American prayer is attributed to Chief Sealth (for whom Seattle is named).
Pahsahëman – A Native American Field Game
Pahsahëman is similar to football. It has been played by the Lenape of the American Northeast for many generations. These instructions include tips for adapting this game for use with scouts.
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