Baloo's Bugle

September 2008 Cub Scout Roundtable Issue

Volume 15, Issue 2
October 2008 Theme

Theme: Adventures in Books
Webelos: Citizen and Showman
Tiger Cub
Achievement 5


The Case of the Missing Watson

Southern NJ Council

Divide audience into five parts.  Assign each part a word and a response.  Instruct them they are to say the response whenever they hear the word.  Practice as you make assignments.

Sherlock Holmes          The Game is afoot!

Dr. Watson                          Brilliant Holmes

Detective                                               I Spy!

Investigate                                  Elementary

Old Soldiers                       Yes, Sir!  Yes, Sir!

These parts are not evenly distributed.  You may want to go with just Sherlock and Watson  CD

Ever wonder how DR. WATSON and SHERLOCK HOLMES got together?  They were the best DETECTIVE team that ever INVESTIGATED anything.  You remember all the stories DR. WATSON chronicled or wrote?  SHERLOCK HOLMES was a consulting DETECTIVE and poor old DR. WATSON wrote stories about their investigations.  The way I heard their story went something like this:

One foggy morning in old London town SHERLOCK HOLMES went to the corner newsstand on Baker Street to INVESTIGATE the news to see if there were any advertisements for jobs for a Consulting DETECTIVE.  Well, low and behold!  There was one that just jumped off the page, literally!!  (That's a word use in literature).  Anyway, somebody needed SHERLOCK HOLMES to INVESTIGATE the disappearance of a local Doctor.

SHERLOCK HOLMES hurried 'round to the address listed in the paper to detect if there were possibilities to INVESTIGATE this disappearing act done by a DR. WATSON.  When he reached the structure he found that the ad had been placed by the landlady/housekeeper of an OLD SOLDIERS' home.  A really boring place, wherein resided a group of OLD SOLDIERS from the Boer War.  In chatting with the OLD SOLDIERS there and the landlady/housekeeper he was really investigating the activities of DR. WATSON.  From the information he got from the OLD SOLDIERS and the landlady/housekeeper, Mrs. Jones-Ridley, he detected that investigating this case of the missing DR. WATSON could turn out to be the best chance for SHERLOCK HOLMES to make a NAME for himself.

The game was now officially "afoot"; he put his foot on the sidewalk and started to do what a DETECTIVE always does, put the pieces together.  SHERLOCK HOLMES had gathered all of this:

Item 1.  DR. WATSON was an "Old Soldier".

Item 2.  He lived in a very boring place with others from the Boer War.

Item 3.  Not much went on there.

Item 4.  DR. WATSON liked to tell stories, mostly about that war.

Item 5.  DR. WATSON had run out of new stories and was very bored!

Elementary!!  He shouted for all in the street to hear and SHERLOCK HOLMES hailed a hansom cab (that's a horse drawn taxicab in England).  He called to the driver to take him to the nearest library to INVESTIGATE the disappearance of DR. WATSON.

Upon reaching the library, SHERLOCK HOLMES strolled through the bookcases called stacks to find DR. WATSON.  The Old Soldier was trying to find new material to talk about at the Old Soldier home.  The case was solved!  The investigation was a success!!  And SHERLOCK HOLMES and DR. WATSON were forever to be partners in solving mysteries and writing stories that you can read today.


Daniel’s Hat

Southern NJ Council

Divide audience into six parts.  Assign each part a word and a response.  Instruct them they are to say the response whenever they hear the word.  Practice as you make assignments.

BOONE -         beat on chest (for brave man)

GUN -                                                 bang, bang

ANIMALS -                               howl and growl

COONSKIN CAP -                                  tip cap

WEATHER -       brush hands and slap knees

INDIANS -                                           war hoop

Daniel BOONE, wearing a COONSKIN CAP and carrying his GUN , encountered many dangers in his explorations west. There were wild ANIMALS, bad WEATHER, and INDIANS. He established the Wilderness Road and founded a city named BOONEsboro, Kentucky. Once he was captured by INDIANS during very bad WEATHER.  Fortunately the ANIMALS, upset by the WEATHER, howled and howled and the INDIANS ran away. BOONE escaped with his GUN and COONSKIN CAP.  BOONE was a famous pioneer. This courageous man, who braved wild ANIMALS, the WEATHER and the INDIANS, to explore and find new trails into the new frontiers is best remembered as the owner of a COONSKIN CAP!!

A to Z Audience Participation

Sam Houston Area Council

ü  Letter 2 sets of 26 cards with the letters of the alphabet.

ü  One set of the cards is then handed out to the audience

ü  Instruct the card holders that they are to put a noun on the card beginning with the letter on the card.

ü  And that they are to keep the card.

ü  During the meeting the Cubmaster tells a story.

ü  As he pauses and holds up the next letter for the story the member of the audience with that letter reads off the word on his card, first A, then B, C, all the way to Z.

ü  There will be some unusual results.

Sample Story (use this or make up your own) -

The other day I saw A and B walking down the C. I said D to them but they didn't say E. F I said and ran after G. Again I yelled H. This time they heard me. When they stopped, I saw they had an I and a J with them. “we can't talk now, we are going to the K with this and L is waiting for it. So I said good bye and got in my R to go S. When I got there, I found I had lost my T. Then I knew it was going to be a bad U. So I picked up my V, W, and X, said so long to my Y and got on my Z and left.

Robinson Crusoe's Diary

Southern NJ Council

This is a nonsense game that never fails to crack them up - the sillier, the better!  Names of objects are written on slips of paper and dropped into a container.  As "Mr. Crusoe" reads his diary, each "sailor" takes turns drawing from the container to fill in the blanks.

Copy these phrases on slips of paper:

A ship                                  A dove                            A bonfire

A big tree                         Dandelions                     A wild goat

30 cannibals                  A loud noise         Some gunpowder

My tent                        A strong fence            A chest of gold

A goatskin                   A pile of straw       A piece of canvas

My field glasses       All my belongings     A table and chair

A cup of goat's milk                                    The top of the hill

"This morning I woke up early and ate my breakfast, which consisted of   (read a slip)   and   (read a slip)  .  Afterward, I took my saw and hammer and built   (read a slip)  .  Since I was shipwrecked and alone, I had to go hunting in the woods to see what I might have for lunch.  I forgot my gun, so I had to capture   (read a slip)   with my bare hands.  I also tried to catch   (read a slip)   to  but could not run fast enough.  I went home to my cave, sat down in   (read a slip)   and ate my lunch.  Since my clothes were all lost as sea, I decided to make myself something to wear.  I made a pretty neat hat from   (read a slip)   and a coat out of   (read a slip)  .  I decided to wrap my feet in   (read a slip)  .  Suddenly, I heard a   (read a slip)   and rushed out and climbed into   (read a slip)  .  I looked through   (read a slip)   just in case I might see   (read a slip)   .  I didn't but there on the beach I saw   (read a slip)   dancing in wild glee around   (read a slip)  .  Running up the trail toward my hideout was   (read a slip)  crying out and looking very frightened.  I hid the poor thing behind   (read a slip)  .  I then found my gun, loaded it with   (read a slip)   and stood guard over   (read a slip)  .  When it seemed safe, I got busy and built   (read a slip)   all around   (read a slip)  .  Then I finally lay down in my comfortable bed, mad of   (read a slip)    (read a slip)  , and slept soundly.

This would be a great month for a storyteller at your pack meeting or to take a great old story and have a den turn it into a skit.  Here are a few stories to get your creative juices flowing.  CD

The Cremation of Sam McGee

by Robert W. Service

There are strange things done in the midnight sun
By the men who moil for gold;
The Arctic trails have their secret tales
That would make your blood run cold;
The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,
But the queerest they ever did see
Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge
I cremated Sam McGee.

Now Sam McGee was from Tennessee,
where the cotton blooms and blows.

Why he left his home in the South to roam
 ‘round the Pole, God only knows.

He was always cold, but the land of gold
seemed to hold him like a spell;

Though he’d often say in his homely way
that “he’d sooner live in hell.”

On a Christmas Day we were mushing our way
over the Dawson trail.

Talk of your cold! through the parka’s fold
it stabbed like a driven nail.

If our eyes we’d close, then the lashes froze
till sometimes we couldn’t see;

It wasn’t much fun, but the only one
to whimper was Sam McGee.

And that very night, as we lay packed tight
in our robes beneath the snow,

And the dogs were fed, and the stars o’erhead
were dancing heel and toe,

He turned to me, and “Cap,” says he,
 “I’ll cash in this trip, I guess;

And if I do, I’m asking that you
won’t refuse my last request.”

Well, he seemed so low that I couldn’t say no;
then he says with a sort of moan:

“It’s the cursed cold, and it’s got right hold
till I’m chilled clean through to the bone.

Yet ‘taint being dead—it’s my awful dread
of the icy grave that pains;

So I want you to swear that, foul or fair,
you’ll cremate my last remains.”

A pal’s last need is a thing to heed,
so I swore I would not fail;

And we started on at the streak of dawn;
but God! he looked ghastly pale.

He crouched on the sleigh, and he raved all day
of his home in Tennessee;

And before nightfall a corpse was all
that was left of Sam McGee.

There wasn’t a breath in that land of death,
and I hurried, horror-driven,

With a corpse half hid that I couldn’t get rid,
because of a promise given;

It was lashed to the sleigh, and it seemed to say:
 “You may tax your brawn and brains,

But you promised true, and it’s up to you
to cremate those last remains.”

Now a promise made is a debt unpaid,
and the trail has its own stern code.

In the days to come, though my lips were dumb,
in my heart how I cursed that load.

In the long, long night, by the lone firelight,
while the huskies, round in a ring,

Howled out their woes to the homeless snows
—O God! how I loathed the thing.

And every day that quiet clay seemed to
heavy and heavier grow;

And on I went, though the dogs were spent and
the grub was getting low;

The trail was bad, and I felt half mad,
but I swore I would not give in;

And I’d often sing to the hateful thing,
and it hearkened with a grin.


Till I came to the marge of Lake Lebarge,
and a derelict there lay;

It was jammed in the ice, but I saw in a trice
it was called the “Alice May.”

And I looked at it, and I thought a bit,
and I looked at my frozen chum;

Then “Here,” said I, with a sudden cry,
“is my cre-ma-tor-eum.”

Some planks I tore from the cabin floor,
and I lit the boiler fire;

Some coal I found that was lying around,
and I heaped the fuel higher;

The flames just soared and the furnace roared
—such a blaze you seldom see;

Then I burrowed a hole in the glowing coal, and I stuffed in Sam McGee.

Then I made a hike, for I didn’t like
to hear him sizzle so;

And the heavens scowled, and the huskies howled,
and the wind began to blow.

It was icy cold, but the hot sweat rolled
down my cheeks, and I don’t know why;

And the greasy smoke in an inky cloak
went streaking down the sky.

I do not know how long in the snow
I wrestled with grisly fear;

But the stars came out and they danced about
ere again I ventured near;

I was sick with dread, but I bravely said:
“I’ll just take a peep inside.

I guess he’s cooked, and it’s time I looked;”
. . . then the door I opened wide.

And there sat Sam, looking cool and calm,
in the heart of the furnace roar;

And he wore a smile you could see a mile,
and he said: “Please close that door.

It’s fine in here, but I greatly fear
you’ll let in the cold and storm—

Since I left Plumtree, down in Tennessee,
it’s the first time I’ve been warm.”

There are strange things done in the midnight sun
By the men who moil for gold;
The Arctic trails have their secret tales
That would make your blood run cold;
The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,
But the queerest they ever did see
Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge
I cremated Sam McGee.



Robert Service Biographical Sketch

Robert W. Service, a Canadian poet and novelist, was known for his ballads of the Yukon. He wrote this narrative poem that is presented here because it is an outstanding example of how sensory stimuli are emphasized and it has a surprise ending.

Robert William Service was born in Preston, England, on January 16, 1874. He emigrated to Canada at the age of twenty, in 1894, and settled for a short time on Vancouver Island. He was employed by the Canadian Bank of Commerce in Victoria, B.C., and was later transferred to Whitehorse and then to Dawson in the Yukon. In all, he spent eight years in the Yukon and saw and experienced the difficult times of the miners, trappers, and hunters that he has presented to us in verse.

During the Balkan War of 1912-13, Service was a war correspondent to the Toronto Star. He served this paper in the same capacity during World War I, also serving two years as an ambulance driver in the Canadian Army medical corps. He returned to Victoria for a time during World War II, but later lived in retirement on the French Riviera, where he died on September 14, 1958, in Monte Carlo.

Sam McGee was a real person, a customer at the Bank of Commerce where Service worked. The Alice May was a real boat, the Olive May, a derelict on Lake Laberge.

Anyone who has experienced the bitterness of cold weather and what it can do to a person will empathize with Sam McGee’s feelings as expressed by Robert Service in his poem The Cremation of Sam McGee.

For more information on Robert W. Service and his poetry –




Pecos Bill Rides a Tornado

Capital Area Council

Now everyone in the West knows that Pecos Bill could ride anything. No bronco could throw him, no sir! Fact is, I only heard of Bill getting' throwed once in his whole career as a cowboy. Yep, it was that time he was up Kansas way and decided to ride him a tornado.

Now Bill wasn't gonna ride jest any tornado, no ma'am. He waited for the biggest gol-durned tornado you ever saw. It was turning the sky black and green, and roaring so loud it woke up the farmers away over in China. Well, Bill jest grabbed that there tornado, pushed it to the ground and jumped on its back. The tornado whipped and whirled and sidewinded and generally cussed its bad luck all the way down to Texas. Tied the rivers into knots, flattened all the forests so bad they had to rename one place the Staked Plains. But Bill jest rode along all calm-like, give it an occasional jab with his spurs.

Finally, that tornado decided it wasn't getting this cowboy off its back no-how. So it headed west to California and jest rained itself out. Made so much water it washed out the Grand Canyon. That tornado was down to practically nothing when Bill finally fell off. He hit the ground so hard it sank below sea level. Folks call the spot Death Valley.

Anyway, that's how rodeo got started. Though most cowboys stick to broncos these days.

Idaho Potatoes

Capital Area Council

We here in Idaho are right proud of our potatoes. Our fields are so chock full of potatoes that you can hear them grumbling when you stick your ear on the ground. "Roll over, yer crowding me," they say.

Potatoes grow bigger in Idaho than anywhere else. Once, a greenhorn asked me for a hundred pounds of potato. I set him straight real fast. I don't believe in cutting into one of my potatoes. "You buy the whole potato, or you take your business elsewhere," I told him.

Why do our potatoes grow so big? Well, its because we feed them like family. Corn meal and milk every day for breakfast, lunch and dinner. You should taste my wife's mashed potatoes! They are the creamiest mash potatoes in the whole United States. Its all the milk our potatoes drink while their growing. Makes them so creamy that all my wife needs to do is just boil them and mash them up.

Sometimes, the size of our potatoes creates a problem for the farmers. One fellow I know got trapped for eight hours beneath a potato. His wife came looking for him when he was late to dinner. She had to get the neighbors to help roll it off. But that's just they way it goes when you're farming potatoes in Idaho.

The Crystal Mountain

Capital Area Council

According to the latest reports, there is a crystal mountain residing somewhere in Wyoming. You can't see nothing of it, it being clear straight through. But folks hereabouts reckon its about three miles around at the base, on account of all the bones of birds which killed themselves crashing into the danged thing.

I know of one lad who was showing off for his girl. He was doing wheelies on his bike when he crashed right into the side of the crystal mountain and knocked himself cold. I hear his lassie married another man who was smart enough to avoided mountains, visible or invisible.

That danged crystal mountain is always messing up the huntin' in these parts. A friend of mine got a peach of a sight on a ten-point deer once, right in rifle range. But when he fired, his bullet didn't come anywhere near the dad-blame creature. What's more, the deer didn't even flinch; jest kept on grazin'. It took three or four shots before my buddy realized that that pesky crystal mountain was acting like one of them telescopes and had reflected the image of a deer from the other side of the forest!



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