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


Get your Year off to a good start

Go On a Webelos Overnighter or

Go to a Webelos Woods weekend!!




Northern Star Council

What does citizenship mean to you?  The right to go where you want without government interference; the right to free speech; the right to choose our own religion or many other things.

You as Webelos leader will be more fully able to answer this question as you help your boys towards earning this activity badge which is required for the highest award a Cub Scout may earn before entering Boy Scouts, the Arrow of Light.

During this time you will gain invaluable insight into the way the boys of today view their citizenship as well as, hopefully, reinforce your own views.

Citizenship actually means taking part in your national government as well as your state and local governments by using the power of the vote and keeping actively informed about what is going on.

Working on the Citizenship badge can be as interesting or as dull as YOU the leader makes it.  Adult Americans have long seen "Law" as a synonym for "Justice".  Youth sees justice as being fair play.  At least, that's the way many of them see police, courts and other symbols of law.  Our Webelos Scouts have been exposed to terms such as "pig", "fuzz" and other uncomplimentary words describing law and order.  We have an opportunity through the Citizen Activity Badge to teach them respect for law and authority.


To foster citizenship in Webelos

To teach boys to recognize the qualities of a good citizen

To introduce boys to the structure of the U.S. government

To familiarize boys with the basics of American history

To convince boys that laws are beneficial

To encourage Webelos to become community volunteers

The Plan:

The Citizen Activity Badge is recommended to be presented in a two month format, as outlined in the Webelos Program Helps booklet.  This example outline presents the Badge in eight weekly meetings.  It is possible to accomplish enough requirements in four or five weeks -- I've done it with a Den.  Every requirement in the first section is covered in the outline in eight meetings.  Each Scout who attends all meetings will satisfy all of the first set of requirements. 

The electives can be worked on partly in the Den meeting, partly at home. I prefer to pick a couple of the electives and treat them as hard requirements.  In particular I use #8, Visit a community leader, as a field trip outside the Den meeting time, to visit the City Mayor.  Also, requirements 12 or 13 can be hard requirements that are done by each Scout.  The remaining electives are then discussed, in some detail, during the Den meetings, in order to impart a good deal of information to the Scouts and hopefully increase their thinking skills as a Citizen.

A note:  Most of the things the Scouts will learn when working on this badge will be forgotten quickly.  You should drill them on the basic points each meeting.  This is also the right time to start having each scout take a turn leading the opening flag ceremony.

Use the Webelos book in the meeting.  Have the Scouts read sections from the book.  Use all the resources you have available, such as the Program Helps and the Webelos Den Activities Book.  Make sure you sign off their books each meeting.

Week 1

Requirements to be fulfilled:

1.     Know the names of the President and Vice President of the United States.  Know the names of the governor of your state and the head of your local government.

7.     Tell about two things you have done to help law enforcement agencies.

Discussion :

  Read the introduction and requirements on pages 83 - 85  Discuss the requirements and how they will be worked on in and outside the Den.  Make sure you alert the Scouts and the parents about any field trips that will be planned.  Also, make sure you telephone the parents a few days before the field trip -- it helps attendance.

  Read Page 86 on Government and You.  "The right to vote for our elected officials is one of the most important rights we have as American citizens."

  Have each Scout open their binders to a blank piece of paper.  Ask who knows the name of the President, Vice President, Governor and Mayor.  If one stumps them, tell them the name.  Have them write the names down.  You can talk a little about their political parties, what they believe in, the programs they promote.  Talk about elections, who can vote, the difference between primary elections and general elections, who votes for President and how often.

  Read the page on Helping the Police.

  Discuss the ways a person can help the police.  Ask the Scouts how they have helped the Police or other agencies.


  Ask your parents what they know about the President, Vice President, Governor and Mayor.  Ask them how they select who they will vote for in elections.

Week 2

Requirements to be fulfilled:

2.     Describe the flag of the United States and give a short history of it.  With another Webelos Scout helping you show how to hoist and lower the flag, how to hang it horizontally and vertically on a wall, and how to fold it.

8.     Visit a community leader.  Learn about the duties of the job or office.  Tell the members of your Webelos den what you have learned.

Discussion :

  Read the page on History of Our Flag.  Discuss the history of our flag with books closed and have the Scouts volunteer what they remember from what they read.  The Scouts will probably quickly forget the history.  Drill it a few times over a few weeks.

  Read pages 88 - 89 on Showing Respect to the Flag.  If you have a flagpole handy, have the scouts pair up and practice raising and lowering a flag.  Practice folding the flag again.  A local school will probably let you do this.  If no flagpole is available, have the scouts describe with books closed how to do it.

  With a flag, have the Scouts show how and where a flag is hung on a wall.

  Practice folding the flag.  Flag folding is a very important skill for Scouts to learn.

  Plan your trip to the community leader.  Make sure, whether the trip will be during a meeting or another time, that the parents are alerted several days early.  Take care of any transportation problems, so that all Scouts who need this badge will be there.  This is important.

  Talk in the Den about what you want to ask the community leader.


  Have your trip to the community leader. 

  Do you have a book about presidents that you can bring into the Den meeting?

Week 3

Requirements to be fulfilled:

3.     Explain why you should respect your country's flag.  Tell what special days you should fly it in your state. Tell when to salute the flag and show how to do it.

9.     Write a short story of not less than 50 words about a former U.S. President or some other great American man or woman.  Give a report on this to your Webelos den.

Discussion :

  Drill on history of the flag, flag placement and flag folding.

  From the reading last week (refresh if necessary page 88), why should we respect our flag.

  Read pages 89 - 90 on Saluting the flag.

  When should you salute the flag?  When with the Scout Salute?  When with your hand over your heart?

  Bring in material about great Americans.  Leader, do you have a book about presidents that you can bring into the Den meeting?  Talk about a couple great Americans.  What did they do that makes us admire them?  Does anyone want to write the essay?  Where do you find additional information?


It is the universal custom to display the flag only from sunrise to sunset...however, the flag may be displayed at night on special occasions when it is desired to produce a patriotic effect. If displayed at night the flag should be illuminated. Certain historic and symbolic locations have flown the flag 24 hours a day for many years weather permitting .

The flag should be flown and displayed on all days when weather permits, particularly on national and state holidays, on historic and special occasions such as:

New Years' Day                                       Inauguration Day

Lincoln's Birthday                          Washington's Birthday

Easter Sunday                                  Loyalty and Law Day

Mother's Day                                          Armed Forces Day

Flay Day                                                         Memorial Day

Labor Day                                              Independence Day

Columbus Day             Constitution and Citizenship Day

Veteran's Day      Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day

Also any other time that may be proclaimed by the President of the United States (like National Flag Week), birthdays of states (dates of admission to the Union), and on state holidays.

All citizens should know how to display their country's flag and how to salute it. Owning a flag and displaying it properly are marks of patriotism and respect.


     Those who choose to, write the essay.

Week 4

Requirements to be fulfilled:

4.     Know the Pledge of Allegiance and repeat it from memory.  Explain its meaning in your own words.  Lead your Webelos Den in reciting the pledge.

10.  Tell about another boy you think is a good citizen.  Tell what he does that makes you think he is a good citizen.

Discussion :

  Drill on history of the flag, flag placement and flag folding.

  Have each Scout recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

  Read page 90 on the Meaning of the Pledge of Allegiance

  Discuss the meaning of the words.

  Read pages 95 - 96 on What makes a Good Citizen.

  Have the Scouts think about their school chums and other kids they know.  Do they know another kid that is a good citizen?  Have them explain why they think so.


The Cub Scout salute signifies respect and courtesy. It is used to salute the American Flag and as a recognition of a position of leadership. The Cub Scout salute throughout the world is made with the right hand, with the first two fingers extended to touch the cap, or forehead of no cap is worn.

WHEN IN UNIFORM - Salute with your head covered or uncovered, either indoors or outdoors, stand at attention and salute with your right hand.

WHEN NOT IN UNIFORM - During ceremonies stand at attention, place your right hand over your heart. Men wearing hats should remove them and hold them over there heart. At sporting  events team members wearing uniforms should uncover their heads, stand at attention and hold their hat in the right hand.

DURING THE NATIONAL ANTHEM - Stand at attention, facing the flag, and salute at the first note. Hold the salute until the very last note of the anthem. If there is no flag or it cannot be seen, face the music. Stand at attention but do not salute if the National Anthem is sung without accompaniment or is a recording.

AT PARADES AND REVIEWS - Start your salute when the approaching flag is approximately six paces (12 feet) from you. Drop the salute when the flag is about the same distance past you. Follow this procedure when the flag is carried by mounted flag bearers or passes you on a vehicle, provided the flag is flown from a staff. A flag draped coffin rates the same honor as the flag passing in a parade. It is customary to salute when "Taps" is sounded at a military funeral.

The salute is held during the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance as you face the flag. Remember, you are saluting the flag and saying the Pledge of Allegiance, one does not say the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag.

WHEN COLORS ARE RAISED - Stand at attention facing the flagpole. Salute as soon as the flag is started on its way up and hold the salute until it is at the peak. If the flag is to be flown at half-mast, hold the salute until it is lowered to half-mast after first being hoisted to the peak.

AT RETREAT - State the salute at the moment the flag is on its way down and hold until the flag is gathered at the base of the flag staff. If the flag is at half-mast, salute as it is first hoisted to the peak; hold the salute until it is gathered at the base.

SIMPLY SAID - Salute the Flag of the United States of America ;

  When you say the Pledge of Allegiance.

  The moment a flag passes in front of you at a parade.

  From the moment the flag starts raising up a pole and until it reaches the top.

  From the moment it starts lowering until in the hands of the color guard.

  When the flag is present and the "Stars Spangle Banner" is being played.

  With pride.


  Watch the kids around you to see who are good citizens.

Week 5

Requirements to be fulfilled:

5.     Tell about the meaning of our National Anthem and how it was written.

11.  List the names of five people you think are good citizens.  They can be from any country.  Tell why you chose each of them.

Discussion :

  Drill on history of the flag, flag placement and flag folding.

  Read page 95 on our National Anthem.

  Read the first verse of the Star Spangled Banner so that the Scouts know what you are talking about.  Explain the meaning of the words and relate them to the story.

  Extra Credit:  Read the rest of the verses, just to explain what it all means.

  Arrive with names and brief bio's on the five people you think are good citizens.  Ask the Scouts for their names.  They likely will not have any.  Of if they say the president, etc, they will not have a good explanation of why.  Use the time to discuss your choices and why you chose them.  That will help them think through why they would choose someone.

Resources:  Your Duties As A Citizen

  If you are going to have rights as a citizen and you want to keep them, then you also have certain duties to uphold.  You duties as a citizen are:

  Obey the laws.

  Respect the rights of others.

  Keep informed on issues of National and local government

  To vote in elections.

  To assist the agencies of law enforcement.

  To practice and teach good citizenship in your home.

Resources:  Some Qualities Of A Good Citizen

  Obeys the laws where ever he is.

  Respects the rights of others.

  Is fair and honest.

  Tries to make community a better place to live.

  Learns as much as possible about leaders of Nation, state, community.

  Practices rules of health and safety.

  Is honest and dependable.

  Is patriotic and loyal.

  Practices thrift.

  Respects authority.


  Read the newspaper, watch the news on TV, find someone you think is a good citizen.  Tell your Den who and why next week.

Week 6

Requirements to be fulfilled:

6.     Explain the rights and duties of a citizen of the United States.  Explain what a citizen should do to save our resources.

12.  Tell why we have laws.  Tell why you think it is important to obey the law.  Tell about three laws you obeyed this week.

Discussion :

  Drill on history of the flag, flag placement and flag folding.

  Drill on history and meaning of the National Anthem.

  Read pages 92 - 93 on Your Rights and Duties.  As you read each one ask if that is something they need to do or just their parents.

  Discuss Rights and Duties.  What are the different Rights and Duties of children and adults?

  Scouts are concerned with the environment and saving our natural resources.  Why?  What can we do to help?

  Read the pages on Why We Need Laws and Government, and Laws You Obey.

  Discuss why we need laws:  Why do we need laws?  What would happen if we did not have laws?  How are laws made?  What happens if you break a law?  Should you break laws when you know you won't be caught?  Are all laws good?  If there is a bad law, what should we do about it?  What can a one person do about a bad law?  What laws did you obey this week?


  Think about your rights and duties to your community and nation this week. 

  Do you obey the law?

Week 7

Requirements to be fulfilled:

13.  Tell why we have a government.  Explain some ways your family helps pay for government.

14.  List six ways in which your country helps or works with other nations.

Discussion :

  Drill on history of the flag, flag placement and flag folding.

  Drill on history and meaning of the National Anthem.

  Read page 92 on Paying for Government. 

  Discuss why we need government.  What would happen if we did not have government?  Talk about paying for government.  Income taxes.  Sales Taxes.  Import duties.  Business Taxes.

  Read the pages on Citizenship in the World.

  Discuss what our country does for other countries.  Have the Scouts open their binders to a blank piece of paper and together discuss six ways out country helps or works with other countries and have the Scouts write them down.  Examples are in the book.  Also, defending other countries militarily, etc.  Why is all this not always good for US Citizens?  Very costly!


  Can you find examples in the newspaper of our country doing things for other countries?

Week 8

Requirements to be fulfilled:

15.  Name three organizations, not churches or synagogues, that help people in your area.  Tell something about what one of these organizations does.

Discussion :

  Drill on history of the flag, flag placement and flag folding.

  Drill on history and meaning of the National Anthem.

  This is the last week of this badge, so use the time to review and catch anyone up who has not completed all necessary requirements.  Make sure you sign off their books.

  Read pages 101 - 102 on Citizenship in Your Town, and Citizenship and You.

  Arrive with examples of organizations that help people in your community.  Examples in the South Bay Area are the Second Harvest Food Bank, CitiTeam Ministries, Goodwill, United Way, Police Athletic League, Boy Scouts of America (food drives), etc.  Have the Scouts suggest organizations.  It is likely that they will not have any ideas, so then explain your examples.




Materials:  Pictures of government officials.

Directions:   Have boys match up the correct name with the correct official.


Materials:  One current newspaper per team.

Directions:   Divide boys into teams.  On signal, each team starts a search for news items that definitely illustrate the Scout Law.  Team with the most clippings in a given time is the winner.


Materials:    Cardboard flags - 1 each of 5 U.S. flags shown in Citizen section of the Webelos book.  1 set for each team, divided into stripes, background, field of stars, name of flag and year of flag.


Push pins

Directions:   Divide Scouts into two teams.  First Scout from each team runs to his pile of pieces, grabs a stripe background and a push pin and pins it to the corkboard.  First Scout runs back and touches off the second Scout who pins up a star field piece which matches the stripe background.  Next team member matches appropriate flag name and four pins up the year of the flag.  Continue to rotate until all five flags have been properly constructed, named and dated.


1.     The right hand of the Statue of Liberty hold a torch.

2.     Which is taller - the Statue of Liberty or the Washington Monument?

3.     What words are inscribed on the ribbon held in the mouth on the eagle on the Great Seal of the United States?

4.     In the Great Seal, what is the eagle carrying in its talons?

5.     What denomination of currency has the Great Seal printed on it?

6.     How many people can fit inside the head of the Statue of Liberty?

7.     What is the official U.S. Motto.

8.     Francis Scott Key was inspired to write the "Star-Spangled Banner" when he saw the flag still flying over what fort.

9.     Name the four U.S. Presidents carved in the Mt. Rushmore memorial in South Dakota.

10.  The Declaration of Independence says that all men are created?


1.     Book

2.     The Washington Monument

3.     E pluribus unum (one out of many)

4.     Arrow symbolizing war and an olive branch of peace

5.     The $1.00 bill

6.     40

7.     In God We Trust

8.     Ft. McHenry

9.     George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt

10.  Equal


1.     Name the state tree: _________________________

2.     Name the state flower :_______________________

3.     Name the state stone: ________________________

4.     Name the state fish: _________________________

5.     Name the Governor :________________________

6.     Name the state capitol _______________________


Materials:  None

Directions:           Two teams face each other with a wide space between them. The leader asks each player a question about the Declaration of Independence, the Star-Spangled Banner, the President, Vice-President, Governor, or other fitting subject.  A correct answer entitles that team to move one step forward.  An incorrect answer passes the question to the other team.  The first team to cross the other team's starting line is the winner.


1.     Give some of the toys Cub Scouts may have made as part of the Craftsman badge to a children's home, hospital or institution for handicapped children.  Use Craftsman skills to repair or refurbish toys for the same purpose.

2.     Give a holiday party for children in a home or hospital.  Plan games, songs, small gifts and treats.

3.     Collect canned foods or good used clothing for distribution to the needy by Salvation Army, Goodwill Industries, churches or other organizations.

4.     Collect good used books and magazines for the library of a children's home or institution for the elderly.


As a project, your den might like to check out the following list to see which of the things listed can be found in their community, who operates them and how they are paid for:

  Health - hospitals, clinics, doctors, dentist, ambulance service, water filtration plant, sewage disposal, garbage collection.

  Protection - storm sewers, fire and police protection.

  Education - public schools, high schools, colleges, night schools, vocational schools, libraries.

  Recreation - theaters, pools, parks, playgrounds, golf courses, lakes.

  Transportation - roads, highways, bus terminal, train station, airport, parking lots, garages, service stations, car lots.

  Stores - shopping centers, supermarkets, corner stores, appliance stores, markets.

  Business - what major companies are there in you community?

  Industrial - what items are manufactured?

  Agriculture - what products are produced locally?

  Voluntary Agencies - what agencies are there?  What do they do in the community?  Organizations and Clubs - service? fraternal? hobby?

  Religion - churches, synagogues, temples, halls, seminaries.


Alice, Golden Empire Council

         In keeping with the Railroad theme for the month, sponsor a Railroad Safety event at a local school or community center.  Make arrangements for a speaker from a railway that runs through your area.  Ask them to talk about safety and the dangers of being around the tracks.  Alternately, you could order a copy of  the Sly Fox and Birdie video or DVD to show.  Boys could also put on a skit showing dangers that can happen with children and teens walking on the tracks, listening to music on a headset, taking a shortcut across a trestle, going through a tunnel.  Most Railroads or transportation systems have a public information person who can come and bring brochures, key rings, etc. to share.  See Websites.

         Study a map of the rail systems in your area.  What services do they offer?  How do they impact the products, groceries, manufacturing supplies that are needed in your community?  What about fuel?  How does it reach your community?  Are rails and other forms of transportation used together?  What impact do they have on health and safety?  Local economy?  Public transportation in and out of your area? What if there were no rail systems available in your area?  How would products and people get in and out of your area?  In case of emergency, would transportation systems be used to take people to safety or bring in supplies?  Would flooding, earthquake or other weather shut down the systems of transportation?  Does the City Council or local government make rules about rail and other transportation?  Do these transportation companies pay taxes or other charges to operate in your community?  How are the funds used?

         Do a service project cleaning up a railtrail created from a former railway bed check  for information 



Baltimore Area Council

The activities required for this badge help a Webelos Scout to understand how he and others communicate.

Webelos enjoy being able to communicate in code its like knowing a happy secret. Codes are used allover the world. When you send a telegram or a cable, you are sending a kind of code. During wartime, codes are an important way for sending secret messages. Even the brands marked on cattle and markings on planes and ships are kinds of code. Codes usually have two parts. The first is making the code, known as encoding the message. The second part is called decoding, which tells the person who receives the encoded message how to read and understand it. Part of the Community group.


To learn about various forms of communication problems that other people may have. To become aware of different ways that people can communicate.

Where to Go and What to Do

         Visit a local newspaper office, radio station, or cable TV station. Visit and tour a post office and see how communication by mail is processed and delivered.

         Have a visually impaired, hearing impaired, or speech impaired person or a teacher for those with these impairments explain their compensatory forms of communication.

         At the local library, find books about secret codes and various forms of communications.

         Visit the base of a ham radio operator.

         Have a parent who uses a computer in his/her job explain its functions. Visit a computer store

         Visit a travel agent to see how a computer is used to book a flight. This could also be used as part of the Traveler Activity Badge, as you determine cost per mile of various modes of transportation.

         Learn the Cub Scout Promise or Boy Scout oath in sign language.

         Teach some secret codes or Morse Code

         Have a radio DJ or newscaster visit your den

         Visit a retail or production facility for cellular phones. Learn how to make a cellular call.


Have the boys use their knowledge of communications to set up a den newsletter with a calendar of upcoming events, a listing of supplies needed for future den meetings, a reporting of den activities, and acknowledgments of people who have helped with recent den programming.

Body Language Game

To play this game, give your den members paper and pencil. Ask them to think about feelings they can show by body language only without making a sound. Have them make a list of at five feelings they can show.

Den members take turns showing one of their feelings. The others try to guess what the feelings are. The den leader or den chief can be referee and decide whether the body language really does show the feeling. If a den member guesses correctly, he gets one point. If nobody guesses correctly, the boy who performed the body language gets one point. The final winner is the boy with the most points.

Win, Lose, Or Draw!

Divide into two teams. The equipment you will need for this activity includes a one-minute timer, drawing marker, a pad of newsprint on an easel and a box with object cards in it. One member of a team chooses an object card and tries to draw it on the newsprint. His team tries to guess what he is drawing within one minute. If the team guesses the object, then they get three points. But if the team is unsuccessful, the drawing is passed to the other team to guess within 30 seconds. An accurate guess is worth 2 points. If they, too, are not successful, guessing is opened up to both teams together for another 30 seconds, and an accurate guess is worth only 1 point. Play continues when the second team chooses an object card and draws it. The winner is the team with the most points after a designated period of time. Charades are not allowed for hints!


Ideas For Object Cards

Blue and Gold

U.S. Flag

Cub Scout

Neckerchief Slide



Table Decorations



Summer Activity Award



Pack Flag

Council Patch


Pinewood Derby



Arrow of Light



Webelos Activity Badge




This amusing way for expressing actions and moods will cause boys and parents more fun than you can imagine. A fun way to start is to have boys in a circle. Leader makes an action and players exaggerate their version. Then, make up your own mime and have fun!

         Say with your hand, Stop! (Raise palm up.)

         Say with your head, Yes! (Nod).

         Say with you shoulders, I bumped the door. (Bump shoulder vigorously)

         Say with your foot, Im waiting (Tap toes impatiently on floor)

         Say with your ear, I hear something. (Tilt ear upward and look sideways)

         Say with your waist, Im dancing. (Sway hips)

         Say with your jaw, Im surprised! (Drop jaw suddenly)

         Say with your tongue, Yum, this tastes good. (Lick lips)

         Say with your finger, Come here. (Beckon with finger.

         Say with your fingers, This is hot! (Jerk fingers away from imaginary hot object)

         Say with your nose, I smell fresh pie. (Sniff in appreciation.)

Magazine Story Telling

Equipment: Magazines, Scissors, Glue, Paper

Each player or team is given a set of materials. Within a given time 10 or 15 minutes the players must write a story using pictures and words cut from the magazine. These clippings are glued to the paper to form a book which can be read when the time is up. If desired, you can choose winner from the funniest, spaciest, most Scouting, etc. Or you can choose a theme before the game starts.

Whos Who in the History of Communications

Match the following inventions to their inventors.

1.       Telephone                                     Johann Guetenburg

2.       Phonograph                                      MadreDarquerre

3.       Telegraph        Louis Jacques & Guglieimo Marconi

4.       Printing Press                         Alexander Graham Bell

5.       Photography                              Thomas Alva Edison

6.       Typewriter                                             Howard Aiken

7.       Radio                                                      Samuel Morse

8.       Computing Machine                             Xavier Progin

9.       1st Digital Computer                        Charles Babbage

Answers: 1. Bell, 2. Edison, 3. Morse, 4. Gutenburg,
5. Dasquerre, 6. Progin, 7. Jacques & Marconi, 8. Babbage,
9. Aiken



Alice, Golden Empire Council

  • Build a Telegraph and learn to type out the message Done that is the message sent when the two ends of the first transcontinental railroad met and the Golden Spike was driven.
  • Learn about Decibels and Deafness:  Decibel is the unit of measure of sounds, with a zero decibel sound being so quiet it is barely audible to a person with perfect hearing.  Like the Richter Scale for earthquakes, the Decibel Scale increases by 10-fold with each increase.  Loud noises of 100 decibels or more can cause hearing loss over a long period of time.  At 130 decibels, sound can actually cause pain in the ears.  also, sudden loud noises can damage the ear and cause permanent impaired hearing.  Because of this, people who work around noisy equipment, such as trains or planes or large machinery need special protection from noise.  They wear ear plugs to prevent hearing loss.  Rock musicians also wear earplugs because of exposure to continued loud sounds.  Heres a list of some measured sounds:

10 decibels (dB)               Normal breathing

20 dB              Leaves rustling in the breeze

60 dB                           Normal conversation

85 dB                                            Motorcycle

100 dB                                       Subway train

120 dB                                Loud rock music

150 dB     Jet plane take-off at close range

175 dB                      Space ship blasting off

  • Visit a train station and ask to see what special aids they have for those who are hearing or sight impaired.  Ask to go on a passenger car and look for the Braille notices posted under written signs.  Check in the back of the seat for Braille emergency information booklets that help sight-impaired passengers understand what to do in an emergency.
  • Gather some Railroad, Bus, Light Rail schedules.  Learn how to read the schedules and become familiar with the signs and abbreviations on them.  Do they read from right to left, or up and down?  Does the mode of transportation change, such as rail to bus?  How do you know?  Give each boy or team of boys a different starting and destination point and have them learn what time they will leave and arrive.  Have them note any transfers or changes.  How would they make the return trip? 

Have them examine the schedule for other information, such as connecting transportation to other locations, stops other than at a station, special information about the trip.  What if they wanted to make the trip on a weekend or holiday?  How would their trip change? 

  • Go on the internet and have them look for online trip planners or information about schedules and fares.  Now try planning a trip to a location in your region, but in another city or area.  How can the boys discover what kind of transportation is available?  How much would the trip cost?  Is there more than one way to make the trip?  If there isnt an online trip planner, is there a phone contact that will help them plan their trip?  Is there a way to save some money, such as transfers, group rates, multi-ride or day passes?  Is there a special rate for students?  What kind of  ID would they have to have to get a special rate?  Have the boys calculate which is the fastest route, the one with the shortest walk, the cheapest way to go. Are there any special helps for people with disabilities, bike riders, elderly?
  • You could also use public transportation to go to some event or place, rather than car-pooling.  Many boys have never ridden on public transportation or a railroad train.  (This is actually a treat for boys who have never ridden a bus or train, and most areas have some kind of nearby opportunity Alice) If you contact local or regional transportation offices, they may be willing to give a tour and offer special activities or take-homes. Try taking a bus or subway to a train museum or to City Hall if you are working on Citizen.  What are the advantages and disadvantages over taking cars?  How does the cost compare be sure to include parking, bridge tolls, etc.

These are really useful tools for the boys to learn about now even though they may go everywhere in a car, its great to have the skill of knowing how to read and understand a schedule or fare table.  After the boys become familiar with them, try having a contest between parents and boys at the pack meeting.

  • Ask a speaker to come from an area training school for the sight-impaired.  If they bring a magazine or book in Braille, have the boys take turns trying to read with their fingers.
  • Explore how workers communicate when working on railways, buses, light rail systems.  What kind of special vocabulary is used?  For example, get a lantern and have the boys learn how lantern signals are used to communicate with train engineers (Program Helps, pg. 10 SEP 07) 
  • Learn how to read whistles an important way that trains communicate and give warning see the information in theme section. 



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