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


Thanks to Scouter Jim from Bountiful, Utah, who prepares this section of Baloo for us each month.  You can reach him at or through the link to write Baloo on   CD

Roundtable Prayer

CS Roundtable Planning Guide

We thank you for the pleasure we find in reading.  As we read books, help us open our hearts and minds to allow us to learn courage,  faith, and strength.  Help us do our best to guide our boys so they will appreciate books and retain their imagination and sense of adventure for the rest of their lives.”


Learn to Read, Love a Book

Scouter Jim, Bountiful UT

The slogan of the American Library Association is “Libraries Change Lives.”  Many years ago, I won a State Libraries Association essay contest by writing an essay about how my local library had helped me complete my education and earn a degree in English.  I was raised in a home where books were valuable and available.  My mother was in a second-hand-store one day and saw a worker piling books into a laundry basket. 

She asked him, “What are you going to do with all those books.”

He told that he was getting rid of them and, “Lady, if you want these books, you can have every book here for ten dollars.”

Money was tight at our home, but that was an offer she could not resist.  She called my father at work and he drove his ¾ ton pickup truck to the store, and the books were loaded into the back.  The load was so heavy that the truck was running on the flat overload leaf springs.  As I recall, we spent the better part of the summer going through those boxes of books and sorting them out.   There was a little bit of everything, from paperbacks to a 1909 Encyclopedia set.

Love of books and libraries are intertwined with the history of America.  Before 1730, books generally were a rare commodity.  Even today, there are homes where there are no books and there are children who have never owned their own book other than a Bible or other religious book.  Companies like Scholastic Books and organizations like Reading is Fundamental (R. I. F.)  and others, have made an effort to put books into the hands of children.

Before 1730 in America only the very wealthy could afford to own large collections of books.  Men of moderate means were limited in the number of books they could own or read.  On July 1, 1731 Benjamin Franklin with a group of men drew up “Articles of Agreement” to create a private library.  This small venture would lead to the creation of America’s Library system.  Abraham Lincoln was known to have walked twenty miles to borrow a book.  He was largely a self-educated man, deriving his education from the books he could read.

As Cub Scout Leaders, illiteracy is one of the unacceptable of Scouting.  There is much we can do as Scout Leaders and Parents to combat illiteracy and improve reading.  Below are some suggestions from the Reading is Fundamental website,, and is used by their permission:

Your Independent Reader (ages 9-12)

A child in grades four through six has probably mastered basic reading skills and can read independently for pleasure. This is a great time for you to keep encouraging and motivating your child to read more often. And don't forget the importance of reading aloud to your child and participating in reading- and writing-related family activities. 


Here are a few things that you can do to help build your child's literacy skills:

  • Continue reading aloud books that challenge your child’s listening vocabulary and thinking skills. Reading books that are above your child’s reading level will help him or her grow as a reader.
  • Encourage your child’s independent reading by providing a steady flow of books and conversation about them.
  • Help children who seem to lose interest in reading find the time to read at home for pleasure. Make sure that their lives haven’t become overly scheduled.
  • Help your children find more reasons to write. Enlist them in taking messages, making the shopping list, writing letters, and answering email.

Reading is Fundamental has a children’s activity page, Reading Planet, which can be used as a valuable resource for Cub Scouts.

October is a great time for Scout Leaders to read stories of adventure to our Scouts.  Let’s go out and read and spread the spirit of literacy.


Quotations contain the wisdom of the ages, and are a great source of inspiration for Cubmaster’s minutes, material for an advancement ceremony or an insightful addition to a Pack Meeting program cover

Education is not the filling of a bucket but the lighting of a fire.  William Butler Yeats

Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom. 
Thomas Jefferson

No two persons ever read the same book.  Edmund Wilson

My first book was the book that changed my life.  Stephen Ambrose

A real book is not one that we read, but one that reads us.  W. H. Auden

Outside of a dog, a book is a man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.  Groucho Marx

Ideally a book would have no order to it, and the reader would have to discover his own.  Mark Twain

O Day of days when we can read! The reader and the book, either without the other is naught.  Ralph Waldo Emerson

Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him.  Maya Angelou

The book you don't read won't help.   Jim Rohn

When I read a book I seem to read it with my eyes only, but now and then I come across a passage, perhaps only a phrase, which has a meaning for me, and it becomes part of me.   W. Somerset Maugham

When you read a classic, you do not see more in the book than you did before; you see more in you than there was before.   Clifton Fadiman

A book is a gift you can open again and again.  Garrison Keillor

Each book first begins with a little idea.  Dick Bruna

A book is a version of the world. If you do not like it, ignore it; or offer your own version in return.  Salman Rushdie

The way a book is read, which is to say, the qualities a reader brings to a book can have as much to do with its worth as anything the author puts into it.   Norman Cousins

The reason a writer writes a book is to forget a book and the reason a reader reads one is to remember it.  Tom Wolfe

The book to read is not the one which thinks for you, but the one which makes you think. No book in the world equals the Bible for that.  Harper Lee

When I was about eight, I decided that the most wonderful thing, next to a human being, was a book.  Margaret Walker

When a new book is published, read an old one.  Samuel Rogers

The only true equalisers in the world are books; the only treasure-house open to all comers is a library; the only wealth which will not decay is knowledge; the only jewel which you can carry beyond the grave is wisdom.  J. A. Langford

Perhaps no place in any community is so totally democratic as the town library. The only entrance requirement is interest.  Lady Bird Johnson


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