Baloo's Bugle

October 2007 Cub Scout Roundtable Issue

Volume 14, Issue 3
November 2007 Theme

Theme: Indian Nations
Webelos: Craftsman & Readyman
Tiger Cub
Requirement 5


The Scout Law in Song

Heres the best way I know to teach a WEBELOS the Scout Law,  a song called Trusty Tommy  CD

The tune is Yankee Doodle

It s found at

Trusty Tommy 

TRUSTY Tommy was a Scout,

LOYAL to his mother,

HELPFUL to the folks about, and

FRIENDLY to his brother.
COURTEOUS to the girls he knew,

KIND unto his rabbit,

OBEDIENT to his father too, and

CHEERFUL in his habits.
THRIFTY saving for a need,

BRAVE, but not a faker,

CLEAN in thought and word and deed, and

REVERENT to his Maker. 

There is midi file for the tune at 

Clove Hitch Neckerchief Slide


  Here is a slide from my friend Norm that may work to help your Webelos learn to tie the Clove Hitch.  

  Cut a 12 inch long piece of piece of rope

  Whip both ends

  Twist the rope and make two loops like so


  Place one end over the other, then over a 5/8 rod or dowel


  Pull tight

  Then remove it and tie it at the arrows

  Add glue to the inside and let it dry

  When dry, remove the tie strings

  It should look like this


Have you contacted a local Boy Scout troop yet??  Made all your arrangements for your outdoor adventure with them?  Please dont wait until January (unless you are in Hawaii or Florida) and then try and get it in before Blue & Gold? 



Timucua District, North Florida Council

Purpose: Learn how to work with tools

Challenges: Wide range of abilities, obtaining adequate supervision, making a mess, inexpensive materials,

Solutions: This badge will be a favorite, but requires a lot of preparation.  Some projects, like leather work and cardboard, can be held at your regular meeting place. Others, like woodworking, should be held in a shop or garage where the sawdust can be contained easier. Because every Cub wants to do something, you'll need a large supply of hammers or set up cutting, sanding, nailing, and gluing stations.  Have small groups rotate around as the work progresses.  If everybody is starting fresh, you may need a second project to keep all boys busy. An adult helper or guide with each group or an adult supervisor at each station are both good methods.  Remember, everyone is included in the clean-up.

Resources: Collection of materials will be a challenge. Check with local companies for wood scraps.  Plywood is usable for most projects, but solid lumber such as pine is better for some cutouts.  Hardwoods like oak, ash, and walnut are too hard for most Cubs to cut and shape; they may get frustrated.  When hardwoods are needed, precut and rough sand them in advance, leaving the finishing work to the Cub.
For leather crafts, check with companies for scraps that the boys can cut and tool.  6" square or round pieces of Masonite make good work surfaces for cutting and stamping operations.
First projects should be simple.  Key chains are easy and make good gifts.
Clay projects are good for gifts and puppet heads that can be used for work in the Showman badge.
Try a ceramic shop for advice and possible help with glazing and firing.

Planning: The Craftsman is a multi-meeting project, and the Cubs may also do a lot of work at home.  The Cubs require a lot of supervision and help on most projects. Plan one adult for every two or three Cubs. Remember that tools used correctly are safe, but the incorrect use of tools can have serious consequences!


The activities included in the Craftsman section of the Webelos book help the boys grasp a basic understanding of using hand tools while building something from scratch. As a Webelos den leader this leaves you with a lot of flexibility in helping the kids come up with ideas for FUN projects to build.


The key word here is FUN. If the project is not fun the kids will not participate and you will likely never finish. and remember these kids are 4th and 5th graders and do not yet have the skill level or attention span necessary to build a work of art.

They will require a lot of one on one attention during these activities. The best advise for you is to BE PREPARED for each den meeting and have a lot of help. If you decide to build these projects during the den meeting I suggest that you have everything set up and ready before the boys show up. Most project will take a minimum of 1 hour to complete.


The Webelos Scout Helps set a side both November and December for the Craftsman activity badge. Your best friends during this time are the boys parents. Who can resist a trip down to the local hardware store to get just the right tool for the job. Remember also that these projects are just in time for Christmas.

There are a lot of suggestions in the Webelos book for easy to medium hard projects. Experience has shown that boys this age are very eager to start cutting, hammering and gluing but don't know how to use the tools properly. Most of these young men have never used a coping saw or hammer before. Begin by explaining how to safely use the tools that you will need to do the project. Next demonstrate on a scrap piece of wood or plastic how to properly use each one. You will be very surprised to see how hard it really is to use a coping saw, if not properly done. This demonstration will save you a lot of time later on when the boys begin cutting on their projects. Let each boy try it on the scrap wood.

More Activities

Visit furniture factory, lumber mill or lumberyard.

Some local home centers offer special weekend classes for Webelos age children.

Invite someone to give a demonstration on the safe use of tools.

Visit a construction site or find out about helping with a Habitat for Humanity project.

Visit a tannery or leather goods manufacturer.

Invite someone to give a demonstration of leather craft and explain how to use leather tools.

Invite someone to give a demonstration of metal work, using tin snips and a vise.

Have a nail driving contest.

Build a bridge for pack crossover ceremonies; tie it into the Engineering pin.

Tie in with the Scholar pin and discuss how education helps when doing crafts and working in the technology field.

Pedro Doorstop

Timucua District, North Florida Council


Use grid method to enlarge Pedro pattern to about 7-by-6 inches. 

Trace on 1/2 inch plywood or scrap and

Cut with coping saw.

Paint as desired.

Name that Tool

Timucua District, North Florida Council


Pictured above are some basic tools Webelos Scouts may use when working with wood, leather, or tin. Place the appropriate number next to the named tool.

_____ Awl                           _____ Ax (hand)

_____ Brace & Bits                   _____ Chisels

 _____ Coping Saw              _____ Drawknife

_____ File                     _____ Half-round File

_____ Hammer (claw)           _____ Hand Drill

_____ Leather Punch                   _____ Plane

_____ Pliers (slip-joint)                 _____ Saw

_____ Screwdrivers                  _____ Shears

_____ Spokeshave                 _____ Tin Snips

Potholder Hanger

Timucua District, North Florida Council

Use scrap wood about 1-by-4-by-12 inches, L-shaped cup hooks, and picture hooks.




Timucua District, North Florida Council

Remember the Scientist Activity Badge is a "doing" badge, not a "watching" badge.
For best results, follow this procedure:

1.    Demonstrate the experiment.

2.    Explain the experiment.

3.    Ask questions to test understanding.

4.    Allow Webelos to do tile experiment.

5.    Have each boy log the experiment.

6.    Have each boy explain tile experiment.

7.    Ask again for questions

What does a scientist do?

A scientist studies things to learn how they behave and why.

Scientists try to find out the laws of nature about the things they study.  People can use these rules or laws in making things.
While working on this activity badge, you will learn a few of the main ideas in physics.  Physics is a science with several branches.

One of these branches will be weather.  You can learn a little about weather in these activity badge requirements.

Another branch of physics is called optics. You will have a chance to learn something about sight and find out how your eyes work.

Scientists learn a lot by experimenting or trying things out. Try things for yourself.

Scientists take nothing for granted.

They may be sure an idea is true, but they always test it, if possible, to make certain they are right.

Scientists And Engineers

Aren't they the same thing? Not quite.  Though they use many of the same ideas and methods, scientists and engineers are somewhat different.

What do scientists want?  Scientists want to know how the universe works. They may see it as an enormous jigsaw puzzle to solve for its own sake. Some things they find are useful right away, others not (though much of what scientists have found in the past has turned out to be useful in some way). Though they certainly want to help people, their major goal is understanding, not usefulness.

What about engineers?  Engineers try to use the facts of science and math to do things that are useful to people. Many engineers are designers -- designing the many products that we use in the world, from computers to cars to camera lenses.

What do they have in common?  Quite a few things, actually. Scientists and engineers both use the facts and methods of science, and both often use  MATH and COMPUTERS in their work.


Fasten a white disc, 3/4-in diameter on a 3 foot piece of white thread.  Have someone hold the thread so the disc can swing like a pendulum.  Start the disc swinging in a perfectly straight line and view it from a distance of three feet against a plain wall.  Notice how the disc swings in a line like a pendulum.  Hold a sunglass lens over one eye.  Observe the path of the swinging object again.  The movement will no longer be in line but in a circle.  If you switch the lens to the other eye, the movement will appear to be in the opposite direction.
Principle demonstrated: Shows how important it is for the eyes to receive similar images.


This measures the density of a liquid.  An object can float in a liquid only if it is less dense than the liquid.  Prove this by placing a fresh egg in a glass of water.  The egg will sink.  Then add 1 tablespoon of salt to the water and the egg will float.  Try sticking a thumbtack into a pencil eraser and place the pencil in water, point up.  Mark the waterline on the pencil.  Add salt to the water.  The pencil will ride higher in the water.


"The pressure of a liquid or a gas like air is the same in every direction if the liquid is in a closed container.  If you put more pressure on the top of the liquid' or gas. the increased pressure will spread all over the container."
A good experiment to demonstrate air pressure is to take two plumber's force cups (plumber's friend) and force them firmly against each other so that some of the air is forced out from between them.  Then have the boys try to pull them apart.
When you drink something with a straw, do you suck up the liquid?  No! What happens is that the air pressure inside the straw is reduced, so that the air outside the straw forces the liquid up the straw.  To prove this fill a pop bottle with water, put a straw into the bottle, then seal the top of the bottle with clay, taking care that the straw is not bent or crimped.  Then let one of the boys try to suck the water out of the bottle.  They can't do it!  Remove the clay and have the boy put two straws into his mouth.  Put one of the straws into the bottle of water and the other on the outside.  Again he'll have no luck in sucking water out of the bottle.  The second straw equalizes the air pressure inside your mouth.

Place about 1/4 cup baking soda in a coke bottle.  Pour about 1/4 cup vinegar into a balloon.  Fit the top of the balloon over the top of the bottle, and flip the balloon so that the vinegar goes into the bottle.  The gas formed from the mixture will blow the balloon, up so that it will stand upright on the bottle and begin to expand.  The baking soda and vinegar produce C02, which pushes equally in all directions.  The balloon that can expand in all directions with pressure, will do so as the gas is pressured into it.
For this next experiment you will need: A medicine dropper, a tall jar, well filled with water; a sheet of rubber that can be cut from a balloon; and a rubber band. Dip the medicine dropper in the water and fill it partly.  Test the dropper in the jar - if it starts to sink, squeeze out a few drops until it finally floats with the top of the bulb almost submerged.  Now, cap the jar with the sheet of rubber and fix the rubber band around the edges until the jar is airtight.  Push the rubber down with your finger and the upright dropper will sink.  Now relax your finger and the dropper will rise.  You have prepared a device known as a 'Cartesian Diver'.  The downward pressure on the rubber forces the water up into the bottom of the diver, compressing the air above it, producing the effects of sinking, suspension and floating, according to the degree of pressure applied.


Fill a 12 ounce glass three fourths full of water. Add a tablespoon of baking soda and stir until clear. Drop raisins into the glass. Pour vinegar into the glass. Use as much vinegar as it takes to make the raisins come to the top of the water. Bubbles will appear, and the raisins will "dance."

Mixing vinegar and baking soda together forms a gas called carbon dioxide. Bubbles of carbon dioxide stick to the sides of the raisins, act like air bags, and float the heavy raisins to the surface. At the surface the bubbles break, the raisins sink again, and the process starts all over.


This is the classic way I did it when I was a wee lad. Colorful, small, delicate crystals grow on a charcoal or brick surface. You can also use pieces of sponge, coal, or crumbled cork to grow the crystals on. Crystals are formed because the porous materials they grow on draw up the solution by capillary action. As the water evaporates on the surface, deposits of solids are left behind, forming the crystals.  As more solution is drawn up, it passes through the crystals that have already formed, depositing more solids on their surfaces, causing the crystals to grow.


The salt water of the seas is much denser than the fresh water of rivers and lakes, and therefore it is easier to float in the ocean. Show this by filling two glasses half full of water. In one of them, mix in about 10 heaping teaspoons of salt. 

Try floating an egg in each glass. In which glass does the egg float? 

Now take the eggs out of both glasses. Carefully and slowly, pour the fresh water into the salt water glass.  Gently lower an egg Into the water. It should float (remain suspended) at the salt water level


two Ping-Pong balls,
two feet of thread,
some mending tape and
a drinking straw.

PROCEDURE: Tape each ball to an end of the thread. Hold the center of the thread so that the balls dangle about one foot below your fingers and about one or two inches apart. Have the boys blow through a straw exactly between the balls, front a distance of a few inches. Instead of being repelled, the balls will be attracted to each other.

EXPLANATION: The air current directed between the Ping-Pong balls reduces the intervening air pressure. Stronger pressure from the far sides pushes the balls together. The strength of the air from the straw will determine how close the balls will come


Place two teaspoonfuls of baking soda in the bottom of a quart glass bottle. Drop a burning match into the bottle. It will continue to burn. Next pour four teaspoonfuls of vinegar on top of the baking soda, being careful not to pour directly onto the match. Watch what happens. The seething, foaming mass is carbon dioxide, released from the soda by the vinegar.
What happens now to a lighted match? Why? Is carbon dioxide gas heavier than air? Than oxygen? Tip bottle slowly over it lighted candle. What happens? The heavy gas can even be poured so the flame flutters and may go out. This is the principle behind some fire extinguishers.


Alessandro Volta, an Italian physicist, produced electricity by chemical reaction in 1800. He did this with a device that became known as a voltaic cell. It was the first wet cell battery. Volta's battery was made with pairs of zinc and silver pieces. The electric current ran from the zinc to the silver through pieces of board soaked in salt water. You can make your own simple voltaic cell.
MATERIALS: copper wire , fresh lemon , paper clip.


Straighten out the paper clip and copper wire. They should be about the same length.
Thrust both wires deep into the lemon. They should be side by side, but not touching.
Put the free ends of the wires to your tongue. The slight tingle and metallic taste you feel is due to the passage of electrons through the saliva on your tongue. The acid in the lemon acted as an electrolyte. An electrolyte is a substance that is not metal that carries electricity. The chemical reaction caused electrons to build up on one of the wires and decrease on the other wire.


When you put the free ends of the wires to your tongue, you closed the circuit between the two wires. Electrons flowed from the wire with more electrons, through your saliva that acted as a conductor, to the wire with fewer electrons. The entire system of lemon, wires, and saliva is a simple battery. It is similar to the first battery made by Alessandro Volta.

The Beaufort Wind Scale was originally devised by Sir Francis Beaufort to describe wind speed in chart form.  By watching the effect of wind on objects in the neighborhood, it is possible to estimate its speed.

Copy the scale on a large sheet of cardboard and hang it in your den meeting place. 



Title           Effect of Wind
Calm        Smoke rises vertically
 Light              Air Smoke drifts 
Light          Breeze Leaves rustle
Gentle              Breeze Flags fly
Moderate Breeze       Dust, loose paper
Fresh Breeze   Small trees sway
Strong Breeze  Difficult to use umbrellas
Moderate Gale   Difficult to walk 
Fresh Gale         Twigs break off trees
Strong Gale      Slight damage to roofs
Whole Gale         Trees uprooted
Storm         Widespread damage
Hurricane               Devastation 

< 1
1 - 3
4 - 7
8 - 12

13 - 18
19 - 24
25 - 31
32 - 38
39 - 46
47 - 54
55 - 63
64 - 75
Above 75


We live under a blanket of air called the earth's atmosphere.  The air in the atmosphere exerts pressure of almost fifteen pounds per inch on every surface of earth.
Hanging Water - Fill a glass to overflowing and lay a piece of cardboard atop it.  Support the card with one hand, turn the glass upside down, and remove your hand from the card.  The card does not fall.  It remains on the glass and allows no water to escape.  Why?  The air pressure from below the cardboard is greater than the pressure of the water above and presses the card tightly against the glass.


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