Volume 6 Issue 9
April 2000


Family Member

This Activity Badge teaches the Webelos skills that they will need on almost a day to day basis as adults. Our son will be going away to college next fall; (GO UAB!!!) so he will actually put the knowledge he first learned so many years into use.
Take your Webelos to a laundry mat and introduce them to the joys of hot/cold, warm/cold and cold/cold settings on a washer : ). Remember to ask them in advance to pick up those dirty clothes from their bedroom floor and bring them along to the laundry mat. You might see if you can get your Webelos to bring in a week's worth of laundry--for them to do of course. Make up a supply list of items from them to bring along with the dirty clothes; detergent, bleach, hangers, laundry basket and change. Remember let the boys do this so they will have some practical experience. Although it doesn't seem important now, it will be.

They will need to shop for their own food eventually. Not every meal should be fast food. As young people we typically don't think about nutritious meals, ever. Then as adults it becomes a real concern, especially when we hear we have high cholesterol or some other health problem due to poor eating habits throughout our lives. I am not suggesting that fun food be taken out of the picture, but nutritious food become more of a focus. With moderation for the fun highly sugared or salty food being the key. Although it doesn't seem important now, it will be.

Fast foods or junk foods can be costly. Have the boys cost out a week's worth of dinners at a local restaurant. Then have them do the same for dinners at home. Dinners at home (depending on the menu) will almost always be cheaper, especially for a family. Which is the better value in terms of cost and nutrition. Although it doesn't seem important now, it will be.

Budget planning is a part of being a family member. How would they save or spend that money gained from eating at home? There are other money saving choices the Webelos can learn too--for instance, what is gained by turning off a light when they leave a room, using coupons, planning purchases when buying during a traditional sale, for instance (electronic sales, white sales end of the season sales).
Although it doesn't seem important now, it will be.

Helpful Hints

To get rid of itch from mosquito bite: try applying soap on the area, instant relief.

When you get a splinter, reach for the scotch tape before resorting to tweezers or a needle. Simply put the scotch tape over the splinter, and then pull it off. Scotch tape removes most splinters painlessly and easily.

An area to work with is a family budget. Let the boys know that on average, the American family spends about $1,300 a year on utility bills, of which about 45 percent goes to heating and air conditioning the home.

Most American homes waste at least 10 percent of their heating and cooling energy on very preventable problems; many squander up to 50 percent. Fortunately, homeowners can cut their utility costs-and better prepare for the months ahead-with a few basic materials and the right information.

Air filters for furnaces and air conditioners need to be replaced at the beginning of each season. Otherwise, warm or cool air will never make it past clogged filters. Ideally, your furnace should receive a complete tune-up annually. Have your furnace or heat pump inspected by a NATE certified technician to insure that it is running efficiently and is insulated correctly.


  • Contrary to popular belief, it is still much more efficient to turn the thermostat down and then back up again than to leave it on all the time. Your certified technician can install a programmable thermostat, which automatically shuts off or reheats your home to a predetermined temperature at a certain time.
  • Maintenance and high efficiency products also have an impact upon energy savings. For instance, double pane or storm windows should be installed in cold weather, and caulking and weather-stripping must be kept in good condition to insure maximum comfort. In addition, hot water heaters and pipes should be insulated.


Materials found in Baloo's Bugle may be used by Scouters for Scouting activities provided that USSSP, Baloo's Bugle and the original contributors are cited as the source of the material.

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