Baloo's Bugle

August 2007 Cub Scout Roundtable Issue

Volume 14, Issue 1
September 2007 Theme

Theme: Cub Scout Express
Webelos: Citizen & Communicator
Tiger Cub


All Aboard

Heart of America Council

The goal is to get a group of twelve to sixteen people on a two-foot square platform without anyone touching the ground.  This is a good activity to earn teamwork and cooperation!! CD


1.       Each person must have both feet off the ground.

2.       Everyone in the group must remain on the platform for at least 10 seconds.

3.       Participants cannot lay on top of each other, forming a dog pile, as a solution to this activity.

Variation: use hula-hoops instead of platforms.

The Train Name Game

Heart of America Council

ü  All the boys should be standing in a circle.

ü  Five Cubs make a train, and they move around the circle. Each train should approach a boy and say, 'Do you want to be part of my train?'

ü  After the Cub says 'yes', you then ask his name.

ü  Once you know the name, you repeat it five times jumping right to left, swinging arms and legs in a jumping jack fashion.

ü  After yelling his name five times, you yell reverse and you turn around so the boy can grab onto the end of your train.

ü  Once you've found someone, you move on to the next boy and repeat the procedure.

The Great Train Race

Alice, Golden Empire Council

(Variation of game on pg. 2-3 of Program Helps)

Each person or family brings or is furnished a box to decorate as a car or engine.  Randomly assign cars together to build a train.  Send the participants around the track (chalk, rope or cardboard laid out on floor) in teams as a train, each one attached to the others with string and masking tape.  Start two trains side by side.  Each train must stop at the water tower (pit stop) twice.  At the water tower stop, each person gets an Oreo and a small glass of water. There should also be a conductor along the track to make signals for the trains to stop, back up, etc.  Each team will have to work together or they will not stay upright – speed will not be the determining factor for the race – cooperation will be!

Loose Caboose

Heart of America Council

·         You will need an open area to play this game.

·         Select one player to be the Loose Caboose.

·         Divide the rest of the group into "trains" of three.

·         Each player is a train car and holds the waist of the person in front.

·         The first player in a train is the Engine.

·         The object is for the Loose Caboose to try to attach to a train.

·         When all are aboard, the trains chug around the train yard (whistle blowing, engine chugging, and other sound effects are encouraged) trying to dodge and turn to keep away from the Caboose.

·         When the Caboose attaches to a train, the Engine of that train becomes the new Loose Caboose.

Blind Train

Heart of America Council

Mark two curving train tracks on the ground or floor approximately 4 feet apart.

Divide group into two teams.

Each team lines up single file at the start of one track, with each player grasping the belt of the one in front of him.

All players except the last in each line are blindfolded.

Place various obstacles, such as tin cans on either side of the twisting lines.

The player at the end of the line must direct his team through the hazards.

Score 5 points for completing the course; subtract one point each time the train touches an obstacle or crosses the opposing team's line.

The team with the most points wins.


Building the Railroad Game

Alice, Golden Empire Council

Divide into two teams. 

ü  One team represents the Union Pacific, which started in Omaha and went across the plains. They had to cross many streams and rivers, and in the spring when there were a lot of floods, the track kept getting washed away. So they had to go back and reconstruct. They also had to reconstruct the track that the Native Americans tore up.

ü  The second team represents the Central Pacific, starting in Sacramento. They had to build fifteen tunnels through solid granite in the Sierra Nevada.  It took two years to blast the tunnels and construct 39 miles of track!

The teams start on two different ends of the field and race toward each other.

ü  The Central Pacific team must make human bridges all the way to the finish in the center


The first kids grasp hands in the air. The next kids go under the bridge and do the same, making the tunnel longer. They follow this process until all the kids are a part of the tunnel. Then, the kids who are at the back go through the tunnel to the front, and then grasp hands and add to the tunnel. They continue this process until the tunnel reaches the finish line.

ü  The team of the Union Pacific forms a train by standing in a single column line with each person putting their hands on the shoulders of the person in front of them. The leader guides the train in first taking five steps forward and then two steps back. They continue this until the leader reaches the finish line.
Hopefully, Union Pacific team will win. This will demonstrate why the Union Pacific was able to build more miles of track than the Central Pacific, because CP had the mountains and tunnels to build, while UP was on flat terrain.

Runaway Train:

Heart of America Council

ü  This can be a den or pack tag game.

ü  It may be played by individual dens or the pack.

ü  Designate one Cub Scout as the locomotive.

ü  He will be "it."

ü  The rest of the boys will be runaway cars.

ü  The object of the game is for the locomotive to catch runaway cars.

ü  When caught, they hook on behind the locomotive.

ü  The game continues until the train is completed.


Runaway Train #2

Baltimore Area Council

ü  Groups of at least three boys form a train and chug around the playing area.

ü  Boys maintain contact by wrapping their arms around the waist of the person immediately in front of them.

ü  The front of each train attempts to link up with the caboose of any other train while trying itself to avoid being linked onto from behind by another train.

ü  If one train does hitch up with another, the two parts continue as one unit, trying to join up with other smaller pieces.

ü  Before long, all the small trains will be linked into one large one.

ü  The front engine can then try to catch and link up to the last car.

ü  Runaway train is a good way to end up in a circle formation for a quieter game (or a Living Circle Closing!).

Casey Jones Relay

Alice, Golden Empire Council

ü  Divide the players into teams. 

ü  Teams line up and each team member locks arms around the player in front of him. 

ü  On signal, the teams race ahead in a joined “train” to a designated point and back.

ü  If a “train” breaks, it must re-form before proceeding. 

ü  When a team returns to the starting point, the first player (engine) goes to the end of the line and the second person becomes the “engine.” 

ü  The “train” makes another run – this continues until the original “engine” is at the front of the train again. 

Crooked Tracks

Alice, Golden Empire Council

ü  Draw a crooked line on the floor with chalk. It's "train tracks ".

ü  The object of the players is to walk along the "train tracks " looking at it through binoculars turned upside down.

ü  The player who walks the "train track" the fastest is the winner. 

How Far will it Go?

Alice, Golden Empire Council

Place a train (could be just a block of wood) at the top of a ramp and have everyone guess how far it will travel.. Record their answers on tape on the floor. If you do this on carpet first switch to a smooth surface and try it and vice versa. Try a different “train.”  This would be a good time to point out how far a train must travel before stopping, even when the emergency brake is put on.

Pile driving relay

Alice, Golden Empire Council


Spare railroad ties and spikes (most rail yards have them that can be donated.  You can store them for other events)  


Separate the boys into teams equal to the number of ties. 

This is a semi-times race. 

Have the leaders start the spike into an existing hole. 

Then at the start the boys have to run to the tie. and pound the tie for 1 minute. 

At the end of his time he runs back to his line tags his teammate who then pounds the spike for 1 min. 

The team who drives the spike first wins. 

Do this on grass as the spike may go through the tie. 

Alternate idea: 

Use a 4x4 or larger piece of lumber as a “tie” and regular nails with a good-sized head. 

Using regular hammers, boys could get in some practice using a hammer. 

Each boy could have three nails per turn. 

Also teach them how to remove a bent nail – instructions and picture Wolf Achievement #5d.

Baggage Car Relay:

Heart of America Council

·         Before the game, lay out a winding course, similar to a train track, with a Train Station at one end, and a Depot Stop at the other end.

·         Divide the group into teams.

·         Line the teams up at the Train Station, each with a suitcase filled with the following clothing: an old hat, trousers, shirt, and jacket or overcoat.

·         On a signal, the first boy in each den races with the suitcase to the center of the room, dons the clothing, then scrambles back with the suitcase to the starting point.

·         He then takes off the clothing and repacks it in the suitcase.

·         The next boy repeats the performance and so on until all have finished.

·         First den through is the winner.

Tie rolling

Alice, Golden Empire Council

ü  Rail road ties were rolled into place as well as the rails themselves by men with long crowbars. 

ü  Separate the group into two teams

ü  Map out a length or stretch that they have to roll a tie using long crowbars or walking sticks. 

ü  This can be a timed race or a head to head race.

Cub Scout Express:

Heart of America Council

This is a game for 8 for more players.

Divide the group into teams.

Teams line up for a relay.

Establish a destination (turning point).

The first Cub Scout in each line runs to the destination and comes back and touches the next player, who hitches on to the first player.

Then they both run to the destination and return.

The third boy hitches on and so forth.

The last player is the caboose. He must hitch on backward.


Change Cars:

Heart of America Council

ü  Before the game, fasten pictures of different types of railroad cars, such as caboose, stock gondola,

ü  Refrigerator car, flat car, tank car, tenders or locomotive, to the back of chairs.

ü  Cub Scouts check the name of the car on their chair and sit down.

ü  One boy is “It” and stands in the center of the circle of chairs.

ü  “It,” or the den chief, calls out the names of two cars.

ü  Cub Scouts in those chairs must exchange seats while “It” tries to gain possession of one chair for himself.

ü  The boy left without a chair is the next “It.”

Tunnel Relay:

Heart of America Council

Line up dens for a relay and have the players stand with their feet apart.

The last one in line crawls through the tunnel from one end to the other end stands up with his feet apart.

He yells, “All clear!” and the next player follows in succession.

The first team back to its original order wins.

Train Medley:

Heart of America Council

ü  Divide the boys into two teams.

ü  Line up teams in shuttle (relay) formation; half on one side of the playing area, half on the other side.

ü  The first boy on each team becomes the conductor and wears a whistle around his neck.

ü  On “Go,” each conductor blows his whistle and runs to the far end of the playing area, where one half of his team waits.

ü  Here he picks up the first “car” by bending down and placing his right hand between his legs, to join the left hand of the next player.

ü  Having attached the first car, the conductor blows his whistle and runs with his first car to the other end and picks up a third car.

ü  The relay continues until all boys on the team are part of the train.

ü  The conductor signifies a complete train by blowing his whistle three times.

Railroad Stations:

Heart of America Council

·         You will need a box of toothpicks and sheets of red, white and blue paper (unequal number of each color with the total sheets equal to the number of players), and music “I’ve Been Working on the Railroad” (optional).

·         Place the sheets of colored paper around a large circle, one for each player.

·         Have each player stand next to one sheet of paper with one foot on the paper.

·         Start the music or have the players sing the song.

·         The players begin marching around the outside of the circle in time to the music.

·         At the word “Stop” from the leader (or stop the music), each player must have one foot on a sheet of paper.

·         If a player misses a sheet, those who are standing on the same color as the player are considered missed too and do not receive a toothpick each.

·         Those whose colors are all occupied will receive toothpicks.

·         Continue playing.

·         At the end of a limited play, count the toothpicks each player has collected.

New York City Subway Ride

Baltimore Area Council

·         Line up chairs facing each other and have the boys sit in them.

·         Tell them they are now in a subway.

·         Add 4 or 5 standees to the car and they are ready for the ride.

·         The conductor shouts, ‘Grand Central Station, All Change”.

·         Whereupon everyone dashes out of the ‘car’ from one side and re-enters it from the opposite side, rushing to get a seat.

·         When all have re-boarded, the next stop to be announced is “South Ferry, Everyone Transfer”.

·         This means that the passengers simply exchange seats with the passengers sitting on the opposite side.

·         The boys who are standing try to get seats.

·         Br creative and make up more ways for boys to change seats and create openings for the standees!!!

Upset the Roundhouse

Utah National Parks Council

·         Place enough chairs in a circle for all but one person. 

·         Give each player the name of a train car – engine, caboose, boxcar, coal car. 

·         You should have a fairly equal number of each car. 

·         One person is “it” and stands in the middle of the circle, with other players sitting in chairs. 

·         “It” yells out train car names, either one or several, his choice. 

·         Anyone whose car has been named has to move to a different chair. 

·         It will also try to find a place to sit at the same time. 

·         One person will be left standing, and they become “it.” 

·         If you want to really shake things up, “It” can yell, “Upset the Roundhouse” and everyone must jump up and find a different seat.



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