Baloo's Bugle

April 2008 Cub Scout Roundtable Issue

Volume 14, Issue 9
May 2008 Theme

Theme: Leaf It to Cubs
Webelos: Outdoorsman & Artist
Tiger Cub Activities


Carol, American Elm District, Black Swamp Council

Be sure to check CS Program Helps for the recommended activities for these advancement possibilities for this theme.  They are listed in the individual sections for the Tiger, Wolf and Bear Dens  Carol


Ach  -5D, 5G, 1F              Elect. - 4, 22, 30, 32, 33, 35


Ach  - 5, 11A, 6, 6B, 9D                     Elect. - 9B, 15B


Ach  - 3G, 6B, 23A                          Elect. - 12A, 15D

More Games And Activities
Sam Houston Area Council

From the Cub Scout Leader How-To Book:

  • Know Your Leaf (hiking game) – page 4-4
  • Fun with Trees – pages 4-9 to 4-12



Can You Hear The Heartbeat
Sam Houston Area Council
One of CD’s favorites!!

If you listen carefully with a stethoscope, you can hear the “heartbeat” of a tree. Find a thin-barked tree more than 6 inches in diameter and place your stethoscope against its trunk. Be very quiet. Move the stethoscope around until you can hear the crackling, gurgling sound of sap flowing up to the branches.

Do Trees Drink?
Grand Teton Area Council

A simple demonstration can be done with celery.

  • Use a piece of celery with leaves for each boy.
  • Place three drops of red food coloring in a glass of water and place celery in the water.
  • Over a couple of days, the veins on the outside of the celery will start changing color, showing how the liquid goes up the stalk.
  • The same type of activity takes place inside a tree.

Take a Hike Tree Survey
Grand Teton Area Council

Preparation: Make a survey sheet for each boy and bring along a tape measure and some crayons.

Survey Sheet should include the following –

How big is nature? Can you hear it: How does it feel?
You'll need to use all of your senses to complete this hike survey.

  • Around, Wide, And Long
    Use a tape measure to find each of the measurements.
    • Circumference (distance around) of the biggest tree
    • Circumference of the smallest tree
    • Distance between any two trees
    • Length of a leaf close to the length of your nose
    • Width of something more narrow than your thumb
    • Length of a friend's shadow
  • Using Your Senses
    Use your eyes, ears, nose and fingers to find something that fits each description.
    • Smells good
    • Makes a noise
    • Feels bumpy
    • Looks wrinkled
    • Likely to change the way it looks
  • How Does It Feel?
    Look for objects that fit the descriptive words below.
    Place this paper over each object, one object to a box.
    Use a crayon or pencil to make a rubbing of each object.
    Have a sheet of paper or two divided into 6 sections
    In each section put of the following words
    • Smooth
    • Gritty .
    • Ridged
    • Grooved
    • Patterned

Leaf  Bookmark
Sam Houston Area Council


  • Clear contact paper cut to a 7” x 4” rectangle,
  • A variety of small leaves
    (clover, wild strawberry, small ferns)


  • With the protective backing still in place, fold the contact paper in half lengthwise so it is two inches wide.
  • Plan the arrangement of your leaves on your paper.
  • Once you have decided how you will place your leaves, peel off the protective paper.
  • Lay your leaves in your chosen arrangement on one half of the sticky side of the contact sheet.
  • When you are ready, fold over the other half of the paper with sticky sides together.  This will seal the leaves in between the two halves.
  • Press carefully from the crease to the edge to seal it well and remove any bubbles.
  • Punch a hole in the top of the book mark and string a length of cord, ribbon or yarn through the hole.
  • An adult may carefully press the bookmark (covered with a thin cloth or piece of paper) with a (very?) low temperature iron to eliminate any air bubbles around the leaves and give it a nice edge or crease.
  • Trim the edges if needed.

Leaf Sun Prints
Sam Houston Area Council

Make amazing white on blue prints with your favorite leaves. Just place leaves, ferns, flowers, shells, or whatever you choose, the photosensitive paper and place in the sun. Remove the objects after a couple of minutes and rinse the paper to “fix” it. Congratulations, you've made a permanent piece of sun art!

How does it work?

The sun print paper is coated with light-sensitive chemicals, which react to light waves and particles when exposed to light. When you place objects on the paper, they block the light and turn white while the paper around them remains blue. Water stops the process and fixes your images on the paper.

Leaf Prints I
Grand Teton Area Council

  • Spread neckerchief fabric on a sheet of newspaper.
  • Place a leaf, vein side up, on another sheet of newspaper and paint the leaf with fabric paint.
  • Be sure to cover the entire leaf, but try not to put paint on too thick or your finished product may look smudgy.
  • When the leaf is covered, turn it paint side down onto the neckerchief.
  • Cover the leaf with a single piece of clean newspaper and
  • Gently move a roller back and forth over the leaf two or three times.
  • Pick up the newspaper and discard it,
  • Then gently remove the leaf.
  • Green leaves work just as well as dried ones and often can be used for repeat images.
  • To make the image permanent, press the neckerchief with a warm iron after the paint has dried.
  • Can also be done on paper bags and construction paper

A New Twist For Leaf Prints II
Sam Houston Area Council

Would you like to make leaf prints with your Scouts but need to catch their attention with a little dazzle?

Use metallic acrylic paints
like gold, silver, bronze or copper!!

  • Apply a light layer of paint to the vein side of a leaf using a sponge brush or roller.
  • Place the painted side down on a piece of black paper and press carefully without moving the leaf.
  • You may lift and reapply the leaf in another location to get a more subdued image.
  • A background of dark construction paper or cardstock printed with metallic colors will make the images really stand out.
  • The Scouts can cut them to use as cards or make a twig frame to complete the project.
  • These make very nice, inexpensive gifts.

Leaf Identification Neckerchief
Grand Teton Area Council

  • Make a neckerchief for each boy out of inexpensive cotton fabric.
  • When a boy can identify a particular forest tree leaf, print the leaf on his neckerchief.
    (For instructions on leaf prints, see previous item)
  • Each boy will earn a permanent record of the forest trees or plants he has identified.

More Activity Ideas
Grand Teton Area Council

  • Invite a conservationist to visit den meetings and talk about trees or another phase of nature
  • Make a leaf collection, and leaf prints
  • Make a list of all plants you can find in a given area
  • Take a nature hike and look for different plants and trees.  (You can also look for animal tracks and then make plaster casts of the tracks.)

Nature Mobile
Sam Houston Area Council

Materials: 2 sticks, twine and nature elements like barks, leaves, seeds, pods, feathers, twigs and shells


  • Cross and tie sticks together with twine for the top of the mobile.
  • Tie a length of twine from the center top of the mobile for a hanger.
  • Tie nature elements onto the mobile with twine.
  • Balance the weight of the items so the mobile hangs evenly.
  • Two or more elements can be tied on the same piece of twine.

Beaded Tree
Sam Houston Area Council


  • String, cord, or plastic lacing,
  • 21 green pony beads,
  • 4 brown pony beads


  • Fold a length of cord in half.
  • Start with one green bead and put both ends of the cord through the hole.
  • For the second row, add two beads, putting both ends of the cord through both beads.
  • Continue as shown in the diagram. Secure with a knot.

Leaf People
Sam Houston Area Council

  • Arrange leaves on the sheet of paper to make bodies for leaf people.
  • Glue the leaves in place.
  • Add a head, legs, and arms with markers. (Some smaller leaves may be used for hats, boots, etc).
  • Use your imagination to make creatures from outer space, characters from favorite TV show or replicas of people you know.

Leaf Creatures
Grand Teton Area Council

This is a terrific craft for those scouts that think that they can't draw, paint, or do anything artistic.

There is no need to make a sketch or design first...just let the leaves do the work.

Tools & Materials: 

  • Lots of leaves, all shapes and sizes
  • Pasteboard or drawing paper
  • Clear drying glue

Lots of imagination.


Collect different types of leaves. 

Place in a book (a thick telephone book works best). 

The more shapes and kinds of leaves you collect the more fun you will have making all types of creatures.

Leaves can overlap, but should never be cut.

Once you try designs of this kind, you will soon find how easy it is to produce amusing and often beautiful things from natural materials.

Leaf Bursts
Sam Houston Area Council

Materials: Newspaper, paper, paintbrushes, tempera paints, container with water, rags, fresh green leaves


  • Cover table with newspaper.
  • Place paper on newspaper.
  • Put leaf on paper.

Hint: Hold the leaf still with one hand and use the other had to pain on the leaf, brushing in an outward direction

  • Move leaf to another part of the paper and repeat painting.
  • Use another leaf to create more leaf burst designs.

Or... you could also...

    • Staple painted leaves to finished leaf burst design.
    • Use cut shapes and patterns (other than leaves) to create “pattern bursts”.
    • Use chalk instead of paint. Rub or brush chalk marks with tissue.

Sliced Slides
Capital Area Council


  • Standard slide materials (no backing needed),
  • 1 to 1-1/2 inch diameter tree branch that's already dead and dry, and that isn't rotten,
  • Sandpaper
  • Polyurethane and
  • sponge "paint brushes"


  • Precut 3/8- to 1/2-inch think "slanted" slices of the branch. 
  • Give each boy a slice and sandpaper to smooth off the cut surface.  (If bark is in tact, that's good; otherwise, they should peel that off also.) 
  • Polyurethane the front surface of the slice. 
  • Attach slide ring. (PVC pipe is great!! CD)

Fire Safety Tie Slide
Capital Area Council


  • Popsicle stick or tongue depressor
  • Plaster of Paris
  • red paint
  • leather strip


  • Mix the plaster of Paris until it is a thick consistency. 
  • Dip the stick into the mixture. 
  • Be sure that just the tip of the stick is covered. 
  • Let the plaster dry - it should dry quickly. 
  • Paint the plaster red except for the tip. 
  • It should resemble a wooden match. 
  • Write on the stick "Fire Safety" or something similar. 
  • Attach the piece of leather with glue for a loop for the neckerchief.

Friendship Stick
Capital Area Council

Be sure to enlarge this picture to help the boys

It is exciting to learn about animals, birds, insects, flowers, trees, soil, weather, water, and stars.  Nature is everywhere all the time; in cities, in the woods, and in the fields, in the winter, spring, summer and fall.  Nature is not confined by time and place, it is everywhere.  The following craft idea will help you, the Cub Scout Leader, explore nature with your den.  Feel free to adjust the symbols to have more meaning for your Cubs.

  • The friendship stick is made of green wood and is a symbol of friendship.  It is curved to fit the curve of the earth, symbolizing that friendship can grow just as the trees in the forest grow. 
  • The green circle at the bottom is for Faith in God and one another.  It is the first ring on the stick because it is the basis of a happy, meaningful life.
  • The next four circles represent the races of the world-red, yellow white and black.  They stand close together indicating that all people are equal.  Every person is capable of being a loyal friend.
  • The green of Hope is above the races.  This is the hope of the future-that everywhere people will try to overcome any difference of opinion and human failing.
  • Thus the four races are bound by faith and hope, the path leading toward a central goal signifying the attachment of this unity.
  • The Cross and Star of David are symbols of the way for all races to come together and work for world peace. (You may wish to add in more religious symbols here CD)
  • The smiling face is the result of Friendship based on Faith, Hope and Unity.  To be greeted by the smiling face of a friend is one of the greatest joys which can be experienced.
  • The face is crowned with green of the forest, symbolizing the wonderful outdoors, and the friendships developed therein.
  • A friendship stick must be carved by the giver.  It shows time, thought and effort.
  • Prepare a friendship stick for each boy in the den.  When you present the sticks, read the symbolism to them.
  • Then furnish each boy with an uncarved green stick and ask him to carve his own story in the stick.  He can paint the symbols that he feels are appropriate to the story.  When he is finished, he can show his stick to the den and tell what the symbols represent.

Nature Treasure Hunt
Capital Area Council

The treasure hunt layout depends upon your meeting site. The committee should lay it out several hours before the meeting. Make sure the course is challenging enough to test the Cub Scout's knowledge. The sample course given here would be appropriate for a small park with some trees, picnic area, and a playground.

Dens start at intervals of 5 minutes. All dens are given scorecards on which they write their findings for each station.  Tell them this is not a speed contest.  At each station they are to look under a rock to find a note telling them what to do and where to go next.  An adult should be in the vicinity of each station to provide minimum help, if needed, and to make sure the notes with directions are replaced by each den.

Station 1: You are standing under a tree. Is it an elm, oak, maple, pine, or crabapple? Write down your answer. Go northwest to 4th Street entrance to the park and look around a bush on the right side.

Station 2: Within 5 paces of this spot, there is an insect's home. Find it and write name of the insect. (Could be an ant colony beehive, wasps' nest, etc.) Go south 50 paces to the park bench and look around the northeast side.

Station 3: Five paces west of this spot is a yellow flower. What is it? Is it edible?  (Plant is a dandelion.) Go west to the tallest tree you see in that direction and look around its base.

Station 4: Within 10 paces of this spot is a plaster cast of an animal track. Find it. Is of a squirrel, bear, dog, horse, deer or skunk? (Use cast of a dog track.)  Go 40 paces northwest to the playground swings and look around the post on the southeast  side.

Station 5: To your right, a Square Foot Claim is staked out. Write down all the nature things you see within it. Don't dig it. Go south to the charcoal grill.

Station 6: Within 5 paces of here, there are scattered 10 pictures of birds. Write down the names of the ones you can identify.  Go east to the twin oak trees and look around the base of the one on the right.

Station 7: Pick up a leaf or bit of grass, and toss it into the air. From which direction is the wind coming? Write it down. Go back to Station 1and turn in your scorecard.

The den with the best scorecard should be awarded a small prize--perhaps an inexpensive field guide to birds and a blue ribbon for each member.  All treasure hunters might be given candy at the end of the hunt.

Southern NJ Council

Collecting the leaves and seeds from trees helps a Cub Scout to learn to recognize many different trees. Seeds can be stored in glass pill bottles, plastic coin tubes, square and rectangular plastic boxes. For larger seeds such as walnuts, acorns, pecans, Brazil nuts and peanuts, use plastic or cardboard egg cartons.

The best way to catalog seeds is to label each jar or box with the name. Self-sticking labels work well. Cardboard tags with strings can be used for labeling pine cones or similar large items.

To display the collection, the seed bottles or vials can be wired to heavy cardboard or a piece of plywood.

Capital Area Council


  • Small clear plastic pill bottles or clear 35 mm film containers
  • Lids for containers
  • Cotton balls
  • Seeds
  • Water
  • Yarn and scissors Directions:


      • Moisten the cotton ball thoroughly then squeeze the excess moisture out. 
      • Put the wet cotton inside the bottle. 
      • Slip two or three seeds between the cotton and the wall of the bottle. 
      • Put on the lid.
      • Tie a piece of yarn around the lid then tie the two ends together to form a necklace.
      • Wear your necklace until the seeds have sprouted. 
      • Then, plant them in a flowerpot or in your garden.

Capital Area Council


  • Yellow and brown construction paper
  • Old jigsaw pieces
  • Scissors and glue


      • Cut a tree shape from the brown construction paper. 
      • Glue the tree on the yellow paper. 
      • Glue the puzzle pieces on the tree for leaves. 
  • If your puzzle pieces have lots of red, orange, and brown colors on them you can make an autumn tree and glue some of the pieces at the base of the tree, to make leaves on the ground. 
  • Pink pieces mixed with light green pieces make pretty spring trees. 
  • Green pieces are just right for a summer tree. 

Why not make all three to show the different trees during the changing seasons.


If your puzzle pieces are not the right color for the tree just turn them over and paint them the color you want.

Celebrate Arbor Day
Capital Area Council

Activity Ideas

  • Plant a tree as part of an Arbor Day ceremony at school, a nearby park or along a city street.
  • Establish an area of plantings to attract birds or butterflies at the school or other nearby site.
  • Inventory trees which grow in your schoolyard, neighborhood, local park or nearby open space.
  • Adopt a tree, study it, maintain a diary of changes and observations.
  • Promote a community awareness campaign (posters, newspapers, articles, bumper stickers, etc.) to stem consumer demand for wood products from rainforests
  • Construct and place boxes for birds and mammals which use cavities for nesting or roosting.
  • Create a bird feeding station in the schoolyard or at home
  • Hold a special assembly to commemorate trees and wildlife as part of Arbor Day.
  • Contact the nearest Forest District Office to discuss local and state forest resource issues.
  • Link Arbor Day Earth Lesson to an Earth Project to create a Schoolyard Sanctuary.