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Bear Claws Den Meeting Plan

Pocketknife Safety and Soap Carving

This Bear Claws den meeting plan is designed to fulfill most of the requirements for the Bear Claws adventure. The focus of this plan is on pocketknives and whittling. However, it’s important to note that after completing this plan, the Cub Scouts will still need to carve an additional item. There are a few options for covering this requirement: you could schedule a second meeting specifically for carving, have the Scouts carve something at home and bring it in, or incorporate this activity into another meeting that has some extra time.

The Bear Claws emblem, a beltloop with a pocketknife on it.

During this Bear Claws den meeting, the Bears will learn about basic pocketknife safety and have the opportunity to carve an item from soap. It’s recommended to encourage them to try carving with wood for their second item. Suitable wood blocks can be found at local craft shops, and the Bears can take these home to carve their second item, which they can then bring to the next meeting.

To ensure safety during the meeting, you can use fake pocketknives for the demonstration and practice. Making these fake knives can also serve as a fun gathering activity for the Scouts. By providing a safe and engaging environment, this Bear Claws den meeting plan sets the stage for the Bears to develop their skills in pocketknife safety and carving.

Bear Claws Den Meeting Plan Preparation

To prepare for the Bear Claws den meeting plan, make sure each Scout has a pocketknife and either a block of wood or a bar of soap for carving. It’s important for the leader to hold onto the pocketknives until they are ready to be used. Additionally, gather the following materials:

  • A knife sharpening stone to ensure the pocketknives are sharp and safe to use.
  • Blank Whittlin’ Chip cards, which can be obtained from your Scout shop, to certify the Scouts’ completion of the knife safety requirements.
  • Printouts of the Pocketknife safety quiz and a copy of the answers for the Scouts to test their knowledge.
  • Materials for creating fake pocketknives, which can serve as a fun gathering activity for the Scouts.
  • If carving indoors, consider using drop cloths to protect the floor.

Bear Claws Den Meeting Plan Gathering Activity

Fake Pocket Knife

Fake Pocket Knives

For the Bear Claws Den Meeting Plan gathering activity, engage the Scouts by having them make fake cardboard pocketknives. This hands-on activity allows them to practice handling a pocketknife in a safe and controlled manner. It also serves as a fun and interactive way to introduce them to the world of pocketknives.

Provide the Scouts with cardboard templates of pocketknives and encourage them to cut them out and assemble their own replicas. This activity not only sparks their creativity but also familiarizes them with the different parts and features of a pocketknife.

To further test their knowledge and understanding of pocketknife safety, you can incorporate a short quiz from the Bear Den Leader’s Guide. This quiz will assess their comprehension of the safety rules and guidelines discussed during the preparation phase. It’s a great opportunity to reinforce the importance of responsible knife handling.

By combining the hands-on activity of making cardboard pocketknives with a knowledge-based quiz, the gathering activity sets the stage for the Scouts to dive into the Bear Claws Den Meeting Plan activities with enthusiasm and confidence. It ensures that they have a solid foundation in pocketknife safety before moving on to the next adventure requirements.

Bear Claws Den Meeting Plan Activities

Now that the Scouts have a solid understanding of pocketknife safety, it’s time to dive into the Bear Claws Den Meeting Plan activities.

Adventure requirement 1: Learn about three common designs of pocketknives.

The first adventure requirement is to learn about three common designs of pocketknives. To fulfill this requirement, start by showing the Bears the different types of pocketknives. This hands-on approach allows them to see and feel the differences between each design.

The three common designs of pocketknives are:

  • Jackknife – This type of knife only has a hinge on one end. It usually has one blade on the hinge, although sometimes it may have two. The jackknife is a classic design that many people are familiar with.
  • Penknife – A penknife has hinges at both ends and typically has one or two blades on each hinge. This design offers versatility and convenience, making it a popular choice among outdoor enthusiasts.
  • Multipurpose Knife – These knives usually have hinges at both ends and come with a variety of gadgets. They can have several blades, scissors, a can opener, a punch, a screwdriver, and more. The multipurpose knife is perfect for those who want a tool that can handle various tasks.

If possible, have each type on hand at the meeting for the Scouts to examine closely. This hands-on experience will allow them to fully grasp the differences and functionalities of each design.

By exploring the different types of pocketknives, the Scouts will gain a deeper appreciation for the versatility and utility of these tools. This knowledge will serve as a foundation for the upcoming activities in the Bear Claws Den Meeting Plan.

Adventure requirement 2: Learn knife safety and earn your Whittling Chip.

To fulfill Adventure requirement 2 and ensure the Scouts’ safety, it’s important to start by reviewing the key safety rules listed in the Bear handbook. These rules serve as a foundation for responsible knife handling.

Some key points to emphasize are:

  • A knife is not a toy: Scouts must understand that a pocketknife is a tool, not a toy. It should be treated with respect and used responsibly.
  • Keep your knife in good condition: Scouts should learn to keep their knives clean and sharp. A clean and sharp knife is safer to use and more effective for carving.
  • Use proper technique: Scouts should be taught the correct technique for opening, closing, and carving with a knife. This includes holding the knife securely and using controlled movements.
  • Be aware of those around you: Scouts should be aware of their surroundings and avoid using their knives if someone else is within their safety circle. This ensures that no one gets accidentally injured.
  • Safely hand a knife to another person: Scouts should learn how to safely hand a knife to another person, using the handle to pass it over with the blade closed.
  • Use your knife in appropriate places and on appropriate items: Scouts should understand that knives should only be used in designated areas and for appropriate tasks. They should never use their knives on living things or in a way that could cause harm.

To further reinforce the importance of safety, have the Scouts practice these rules with fake knives. This hands-on experience will help them understand and internalize the safety guidelines.

Next, have the Scouts recite the Pocketknife Pledge, which is found in the Bear handbook. This pledge serves as a personal commitment to using their knives responsibly and safely.

Pocketknife Pledge

In return for the privilege of carrying a pocketknife to designated Cub Scout functions, I agree to the following:

  • I will treat my pocketknife with the respect due a useful tool.
  • I will always close my pocketknife and put it away when not in use.
  • I will not use my pocketknife when it might injure someone near me.
  • I promise never to throw my pocketknife for any reason.
  • I will use my pocketknife in a safe manner at all times.

To assess their understanding, you can administer the Pocketknife Safety Quiz. This quiz will test their knowledge of the safety rules and provide an opportunity to review any incorrect answers. By reviewing the quiz together, the Scouts will have a chance to reinforce their understanding of knife safety.

Finally, reward each Scout with a Whittlin’ Chip card. This card signifies that they have completed the requirements for Adventure requirement 2 and have earned their Whittling Chip certification. The Whittlin’ Chip card serves as a reminder of their commitment to safety and responsibility when using their pocketknives.

Adventure requirement 3. Using a pocketknife, carve two items.

To fulfill Adventure requirement 3, Scouts will have the opportunity to showcase their carving skills using a pocketknife. The first item they will carve is a soap carving. Soap carving is a great way for Scouts to practice their carving techniques in a safe and controlled environment.

Here are some tips for soap carving:

  • Choose the right soap: Scouts should use a bar of soap that is soft and easy to carve. Ivory soap is a popular choice because it is soft and has a smooth texture.
  • Plan your design: Before starting to carve, Scouts should have a clear idea of what they want to create. They can sketch their design on the soap or use a template to guide their carving.
  • Start with simple shapes: For beginners, it’s best to start with simple shapes. As Scouts gain more experience, they can move on to more complex designs.
  • Use the right tools: Scouts should use a pocketknife with a sharp blade for carving. They should also have a small carving tool or a toothpick for adding details.
  • Take your time: Carving requires patience and precision. Scouts should take their time and carve slowly and carefully to avoid any accidents.

Once the Scouts have completed their soap carving, remind them to carve the second item at home. This allows them to continue practicing their carving skills and explore their creativity further. Scouts can choose any suitable material for their second carving, such as wood.

By completing Adventure requirement 3, Scouts will not only demonstrate their ability to safely handle a pocketknife but also showcase their creativity and craftsmanship.

Bear Claws Den Meeting Plan Wrap Up

Remember to tie in your activities in this Bear Claws den meeting plan with the Scout Law. A Scout is Obedient, so it’s important to remind the Scouts to follow the rules to prevent injury to themselves or others. Safety should always be a top priority.

Additionally, a Scout is Trustworthy. Owning a pocket knife is a big responsibility, and by using the knife in an appropriate manner, the Scouts demonstrate that they can be trusted. Emphasize the importance of using the knife safely and responsibly, and remind them that trust is earned through responsible behavior. By incorporating these values into the den meeting plan, the Scouts will not only learn valuable skills but also develop important character traits.

More Resources

Safety Gloves

When engaging in whittling activities, it is crucial to prioritize safety. To ensure the protection of small hands, it is recommended to provide the Scouts with a pair of cut-resistant safety gloves. These gloves are specifically designed to safeguard against accidental cuts and injuries while handling a pocket knife. By equipping the Scouts with these gloves, we can instill a sense of responsibility and reinforce the importance of safety during the whittling process. Investing in proper safety gear like cut-resistant gloves demonstrates our commitment to creating a secure and controlled environment for the Scouts to learn and develop their whittling skills.

Whittling Chip Certification

In order to ensure the safe handling of knives, the Bear Claws den meeting plan includes the Whittling Chip certification. This certification signifies that Cub Scouts have demonstrated their readiness to handle a knife responsibly. To earn the Whittling Chip, Bears must fulfill certain requirements. They need to be familiar with the safety rules for knife handling and demonstrate their knowledge by caring for and using their pocketknife safely. Additionally, they must carve an item with their pocketknife, with the option to use one of the items carved for Bear Claws requirement 3A. Finally, they are required to read, understand, and commit to following the “Pocketknife Pledge.”

Whittling Chip Card Corners

Whittling Chip Card Corners

When it comes to cutting the corners from a Whittling Chip card as a consequence of a safety infraction, it’s important to note that this is not an official BSA policy. While there is a tradition in Scouting of removing corners from the card when a Cub Scout uses their pocketknife unsafely, it is up to individual units to decide if and how they want to implement this policy. Many troops also have a similar rule for Totin’ Chip cards for Scouts BSA. Ultimately, the decision on whether to cut the corners from the Whittling Chip card rests with the unit leadership.

Make a Fuzz Stick

To make a fuzz stick, start by selecting a sturdy stick that is about the length of your forearm. Use your pocketknife to carefully shave off thin strips of wood from one side of the stick. Make sure to keep the strips attached to the stick, creating a feather-like effect. These thin scraps of wood will catch fire easily, making it easier to start your fire. Practice your knife skills while creating the fuzz stick, ensuring that you maintain control and precision with each stroke. This activity not only helps with fire starting but also improves your knife handling abilities.

  • Select the Right Wood: Choose a foot-long, knot-free piece of wood, approximately two inches in diameter. Soft woods like pine, birch, or cedar work best as they have a dry interior even when wet outside.
  • Prepare the Wood: Begin by peeling off the bark from the wood. Securely position the wood against a stable object for support (avoid using your leg for safety reasons).
  • Shaving the Wood: Hold your knife at an angle to the wood. Gently slide the blade along the wood’s surface, creating thin, shavings. Try to keep the shavings attached to the stick. Remember, the goal is to produce thin shavings, not deep cuts or notches.
  • Final Steps: Once you have a substantial amount of shavings on your stick, set up your fuzz stick near your kindling. Ignite the shavings, and watch as the fire quickly catches onto them, eventually spreading to the kindling and aiding in building a robust fire.

Personalized Pocket Knives

Get a set of personalized pocket knives that can be customized with the Scout’s name. These knives not only serve as a practical tool but also make a thoughtful gift when paired with the Whittling Chip cards. Choose from a variety of fonts to create a unique and personalized keepsake that will be cherished for years to come. These personalized pocket knives offer lasting utility and are a great way to commemorate a Scout’s achievement in learning knife safety and earning their Whittling Chip certification. Invest in a set of personalized pocket knives to celebrate this important milestone.

BSA Video Resource

The Bear Claws Adventure focuses on learning about pocket knives, an essential tool in scouting. It covers three common types: the jackknife, useful for camping and fishing with one or two blades; the multipurpose knife, which includes tools like a can opener, scissors, and screwdrivers, ideal for various tasks; and the penknife, small, lightweight, and hinged at both ends with one or two blades. Safety is paramount, and scouts earn their Whittling Chip by mastering knife safety rules. By understanding and pledging to follow these safety rules, scouts demonstrate responsibility and earn the right to carry a pocket knife at designated Cub Scout activities.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Bear Claws Den Meeting Plan?

The Bear Claws Den Meeting Plan is a comprehensive guide designed to help Cub Scout dens explore the world of pocket knives and learn essential knife safety skills. It includes various activities and requirements that enable scouts to earn their Whittling Chip certification.

How do I prepare for the Bear Claws Den Meeting Plan?

To prepare for the Bear Claws Den Meeting Plan, gather the necessary materials, including pocket knives, safety gloves, and wood for carving. Familiarize yourself with the adventure requirements and ensure you have a safe and suitable meeting space.

Can I modify the activities in the Bear Claws Den Meeting Plan?

Absolutely! The Bear Claws Den Meeting Plan provides a framework for den leaders to follow, but you can adapt the activities to suit the needs and interests of your den. Feel free to add your own creative twists and variations.

What is the purpose of the gathering activity for the Bear Claws Den Meeting Plan?

The gathering activity for the Bear Claws Den Meeting Plan serves as an icebreaker and engages scouts as they arrive for the den meeting. It sets the tone for the meeting and helps build camaraderie among the scouts.

How long does it take to complete the Bear Claws Den Meeting Plan?

The duration of the Bear Claws Den Meeting Plan can vary depending on the den’s pace and the level of engagement during the activities. Generally, it can be completed within one or two den meetings.

What are the safety measures in place during the activities for the Bear Claws Den Meeting Plan?

Safety is of utmost importance during the Bear Claws adventure. Scouts are required to learn and follow the Whittling Chip certification guidelines. Den leaders should closely supervise the scouts and ensure they adhere to the safety rules at all times.

How do scouts earn their Whittling Chip certification for the Bear Claws Den Meeting Plan?

To earn their Whittling Chip certification, scouts must demonstrate their understanding of knife safety rules and show proficiency in handling pocket knives. They will learn about knife maintenance, proper handling techniques, and the importance of responsible knife use.

Can scouts use their own pocket knives for the Bear Claws Den Meeting Plan?

Scouts may use their own pocket knives. It is important to ensure that the pocket knives are age-appropriate and meet the safety guidelines set by the Boy Scouts of America (BSA).

Get Out Your Bear Claws

In this Bear Claws den meeting, scouts have accomplished a great deal in their exploration of pocket knives and knife safety. They have learned essential skills, earned their Whittling Chip certification, and had the opportunity to showcase their creativity through carving two items. The gathering activity helped to build camaraderie among the scouts, setting a positive tone for the meeting.

Looking ahead, this Bear Claws den meeting is just one step in their scouting journey. The Bear Claws Den Meeting Plan has provided a solid foundation for scouts to continue developing their knife skills and responsible knife use. It has also introduced them to the concept of personalizing their pocket knives, which can serve as a meaningful reminder of their scouting achievements.

As scouts move forward, they can look forward to further adventures and challenges that will expand their knowledge and skills. The Bear Claws Den Meeting Plan has equipped them with the necessary tools and knowledge to safely navigate the world of pocket knives. By adhering to the safety guidelines and continuing to practice responsible knife use, scouts can confidently explore new opportunities and experiences in their scouting journey.

In conclusion, this Bear Claws den meeting has been a valuable learning experience for scouts, providing them with the foundation to become skilled and responsible knife users. As they continue their scouting journey, they can carry forward the lessons learned and the achievements earned during the Bear Claws Den Meeting Plan.


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