Baloo's Bugle

March 2008 Cub Scout Roundtable Issue

Volume 14, Issue 8
April 2008 Theme

Theme: Abracadabra
Webelos: Sportsman & Family Member
Tiger Cub Activities


Note on Word Searches, Word Games, Mazes and such – In order to make these items fit in the two column format of Baloo’s Bugle they are shrunk to a width of about 3 inches.  Your Cubs probably need bigger pictures.  You can get these by copying and pasting the picture from the Word version or clipping the picture in the Adobe (.pdf) version and then enlarging to page width.  CD

Tricks of the Trade Word Search
Alice, Golden Empire Council

Find the words in this word search that all have to do with magic – the words can be vertical, horizontal or diagonal

Abracadabra                Rabbit                  Apparatus

Rope                         Cards                        Secret

Coin                          Spell                   Disappear

Top Hat                    Illusion                        Trick

Levitation                   Wand                    Magician

Pull a Rabbit out of the Hat:
Alice, Golden Empire Council

Put directions for some simple magic tricks in a Magician’s hat, along with the necessary props, all in a sealed plastic bag.  Have some parents pull out a trick, without looking.  During the pack meeting, call them up to perform their trick.  Be sure to give everyone a great applause – and check out the “When it all goes Wrong” section.

Give “Magician in Training” awards and remind the boys that Practice makes Perfect!

See various magic tricks in Cub Scout Magic Book, various Cub Handbooks (Tiger has a few great tricks and so do some others), The Klutz Book of Magic and in this issue of Baloo’s Bugle

Abracadabra – A Magical Word
Alice, Golden Empire Council

Give each family or den a paper with Abracadabra spelled out vertically along the left side.  They must come up with a word that has to do with magic for each letter.  Winning team is the one that finishes first or has the most answers.

By any other name:
Alice, Golden Empire Council

Have each family or den think of as many words as they can that mean magic. (see some ideas under Fun Facts About Magic)

Betcha can’t…or can you?—
Great Salt Lake Council

The best magic is watching the Cub Scouts, parents, siblings and friends participate together.  Have activities that will involve everyone.  For your Gathering Time thismonth, set up several stations around the room each with a quick activity that everyone can try. 

Here are some activities can be done separately, with each taking just a few minutes, or you can enlist the help of parents to have five or six activities going at once so that the boys can try one and then move on to the next. The question is, can it be done…why or why not?

Bet you can’t pick up a chair — Have the subject back away from a wall to the distance of four foot-length. Place a chair or stool between the person and the wall. Instruct the person to lean over and rest his or her forehead against the wall. Now the subject must pick up the chair and then straighten up without touching the chair to the wall or the floor. (Most women, many boys and very few men will be able to do this successfully; the secret lies in the size of the feet. When a man (with larger feet backs four foot lengths from the wall and leans forward, his center of gravity is farther from his base than a woman’s. Cub Scouts get excited that this is something their mothers can do but fathers can’t…it’s even better when they can do it but their fathers can’t)

Bet you can’t tear a piece of paper into three pieces — Fold a piece of paper into thirds. Open it out again and cut or tear the paper equally along the folds so that only about an inch of paper keeps the strips together. Hold the tops of the two end strips. Now try to tear the paper so that the middle strip drops out and there are three separate pieces of paper. (Paper like all other material, succumbs to force at its weakest point. The two tears you started in the paper are weak points, and they are not equal, even if they appear to be. When you pull, the weaker tear gives way first.  Then you are left without the opposing force needed to separate the other two strips of paper.)

Bet you can’t catch a quarter worth of pennies — Fold your hand up to the shoulder on the same side of your body and place 25 pennies on your elbow. The goal is to catch all the pennies at once in that hand. (With practice this is possible…it helps to start with 2-3 pennies and work your way up.)

Bet you can’t step through an index card — Give each boy an index card and a pair of scissors.  The goal is to be able to step entirely through a hole cut in the index card. (If cut as shown in the diagram, the index card will expand enough that even a fairly large man or woman will be able to step through the resulting hole.)

Bet you can’t cut a paper loop into two pieces — Cut a strip of newspaper about two inches wide. Turn over one end of the strip and then tape the two ends together to form loop. Now try to divide the loop into two pieces by cutting lengthwise down the center of the strip. (When you have finished cutting you will still have a single loop but it will be twice as long as the original. That’s because the twisted loop is a topological oddity called a Mobius strip.) 

More on the Mobius Strip elsewhere in Baloo.  If you cut it again, you get two interconnected loops!!  CD

Science and magic are full of the oddities shown above a little research will find even more that will stump and astound the Cub Scouts. Let them experiment to find what they can do---and what they can’t do


I did not know where to put these so this month I created a special sub category.  These are neat tricks the CM can do to get the Pack MeetingSHOW underway.

An Opening Icebreaker To Start With
Capital Area Council

Cubmaster enters, carrying a decorated box, asks for 2 volunteers to donate neckerchiefs.  CM tosses them into box, announces that it is a magic trick and if the right word is said; the neckerchiefs will come out ‘tied’.  CM scratches head, admits he has forgotten the magic words. Maybe the cubs can help him. With each magic word he takes an item out of box (car, comb, ball, etc). Then CM remembers word – Akela!

All boys shout out magic word- Akela, CM looks into box, states the neckerchiefs are tied. Begins putting magic box away, of course, Cubs will want to see in box.  CM feigns sadness at not being trusted, opens box, and brings out a box of TIDE.

A Balloon That Won’t Burst
Capital Area Council

This trick is in the Tiger book, so if my directions confuse you, check it out in the Tiger Book.  This will make a great trick to start your meeting.  Just begin with, “I want to start this meeting with a BANG!”  Then do the trick by yourself.  I use it a lot.  It has now become how I start my Friends of Scouting presentation.  I, also, quote from the song, “Alice’s Restaurant,” in my FOS presentations!!  Our council financial director could not figure pout how I could do that but once he heard it, he liked it.  Problem is most Cub Scout parents are too young to remember “Alice’s Restaurant.”  CD

Blow up several balloons and have someone hand out all but one to people in the audience.  With each balloon, hand out a pin.  Take the remaining balloon and explain that some magic can make it indestructible.  The magician passes his hand over the balloon as he says some magic words.  Tell one person in the audience to burst his balloon with the pin.  The balloon pops. The magic takes the pin from the person and sticks it into his balloon and nothing happens.  The magician repeats this with several of the balloons that were handed out and his balloon still doesn’t pop.  The audience will be convinced of the magic powers of the magician.

The Secret: While the magic trick is being set up (in the confusion of handing out the balloons), tape small patches of cellophane tape to different spots around the magician’s balloon.  The magician sticks the pins through the taped spots.  A pin can be stuck through the tape without bursting the balloon. But be sure to hit the tape or the balloon will burst!