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Baloo's Bugle

January 2006 Cub Scout Roundtable Issue

Volume 12, Issue 6
February 2006 Theme

Theme: Cubs in the Future
Webelos: Scholar & Engineer
  Tiger Cub
Activities: Requirement #4


WEBELOS -to- Boy Scouts Bridging Ceremony

Del-Mar-Va Council

I picked this up at Del-Mar-Va Council Pow Wow a few years ago and it has become my favorite bridging ceremony.  The bridge I made for this ceremony generally gets used several times each year as other Packs in my district borrow it for the ceremony.  CD


4 - 5 to 6 foot 4 X 4's (or 2X6’s) for foundation notched to interlock

5 - 4 foot 2x10's - one plain, one yellow, one blue, one green, one red

All words are spoken by same person (Narrator, Cubmaster) but you could divide them up amongst several leaders.

WEBELOS leader, will you please place the first post on the stage in a North/South direction.  (WL places post)

WEBELOS Asst. leader, please place the second post on the stage three feet away from the first post in the North/South direction. (WA places post)

These two posts placed here are symbolic of the foundations of Scouting that these WEBELOS leaders have instilled in their WEBELOS Scouts through activities and outings as represented by the natural brown color.

Scout Master (name) and Assistant Scout Master or Senior Patrol leader), please place your posts in an East/West direction 3 feet apart over the North/South posts that are already in place.  (SM and SPL place posts)

As represented by the structure assembly, Boy Scouting will build on the Scouting foundation begun in WEBELOS.  These leaders have set the stage for bridging the boys from Cub Scouting into Boy Scouting.

WEBELOS Scout  (name), will you and your parents please bring the unfinished plank forward and place it across the east/west posts.  (Scout places plank)

This unfinished plank represents the boys as they arrived in Cub Scouting, full of potential but unfinished.

WEBELOS Scout  (name), will you and your parents please bring the blue plank forward and place it snuggly against the unfinished plank.  (Scout places plank)

This Blue plank represents the Wolf and Bear years of Cub Scouting where with the help of their parents the Scouts became true blue and loyal friends.

WEBELOS Scout  (name), will you and your parents please bring the gold plank forward and place it snuggly next to the blue planks.  (Scout places plank)

This Gold plank represents their golden years in Cub Scouting as Webelos learning important skills through activity badges and culminating in the Arrow of Light.

WEBELOS Scout  (name), will you and your parents please bring the green plank forward and place it next to the gold plank.  (Scout places plank)

This green plank represents their new beginning as Boy Scouts, who will soon be green Tenderfoot scouts, anxious to begin the Boy Scout trial toward Eagle.

WEBELOS Scout  (name), will you and your parents please place the final plank onto the bridge.  (Scout places plank)

This last plank is red the predominant color in the Eagle Scout Badge and represents the fact that as they step off the bridge from Cub Scouting to Boy Scouting they are beginning of their journey to becoming Eagle Scouts.

Webelos entering Troop (number), please assemble with your parents at the unfinished board of the now completed Bridge to Scouting?

As we present you with your Pack graduation Certificate, will each parent please remove your sons Webelos neckerchief and slide. 

Scoutmaster invites boys across the bridge, calling each by name and (performing whatever ceremonies are customary for your pack and troop)

After all have crossed - Pack (number) please stand and show your pride to the new Boy scouts from this Pack. (Cheer (Blast Off), Applause)...

We are very proud of you all.


Sam Houston Area Council

Tonight, we are recognizing Webelos Scouts from our pack who have earned the Arrow of Light Award -- the highest honor in Cub Scouting.

 We all know that the Cub Scout advancement plan follows the life story of Akela, an Indian brave of the mythical Webelos tribe.  As we follow the Cub Scout trail, we follow in the footsteps of Akela and, like Akela, learn many things, so that someday we, too, may become brave Scouts.  The first thing that Akela had to learn was the law of his tribe.  It is the same in Cub Scouting. In order to become a Bobcat, our boys must learn the law of the pack.

 Bobcat_____, will you light the candle representing the rank of Bobcat. (He does so).

 When Akela was of Bobcat age, he was taken on short trips into the forest by his father. Here, among the great trees and streams, he became acquainted with the animals. From the wolf he learned the language of the group, the tracks and the ways of food. Much the same as Akela, our Cub Scouts worked and learned and received the rank of Wolf.

 Wolf Cub Scout _____, will you light the candle representing the rank of Wolf. (He does so.)

 Later Akela learned from the big, kindly bear the secret names of trees and from other friends the calls of birds and the language of the air. Just as Akela learned new things that required a little more skill, so, too, do our Cub Scouts earn the Bear badge.

 Bear Cub Scout _____, will you light the candle representing the rank of Bear. ( He does so. )

 From his father, Arrow of Light, Akela learned the speech and calls of the Webelos Tribe. After Akela had learned the ways of the wolf and bear, and had passed the tests of the tribe, he was admitted into the lower ranks of the young braves. Thus, he became a Webelos Scout.

 Webelos Scout _____, will you light the candle representing the rank of Webelos. (He does so. )

 Here we should stop and think of the inner meaning of the word Webelos. It means "We'll be Loyal Scouts” -- to our country, our home and to God. Now, as we look back down our Cub Scout trail, we see how bright the pathway is bright because you Cub Scout have helped make it so. You light the pathway through Cub Scouting by doing your best, being square and giving goodwill.

 Will our Assistant Cubmaster please select those boys worthy of receiving the Arrow of Light; and bring them and their parents forward.  (He brings them forward.)

 Webelos Scouts, the emblem you see before you represents the Arrow of Light Award.  You have completed the four ranks of Cub Scouting: Bobcat, Wolf, Bear, and Webelos. There are seven rays in the Arrow of Light. As they are lighted, you will hear how they stand for the seven great virtues of life. 

  • Wisdom ] Wisdom does not necessarily mean superior knowledge. It means putting to the right use the knowledge that one possesses.
  • Courage ] Courage is not the quality that enables men to meet danger without fear; it is being able to meet danger in spite of one's fear.
  • Self]Control ] Self]Control isn't limited to the control of one's temper but control of one's self in all things.
  • Justice ] Justice is the practice of dealing fairly with others without prejudice or regard to race, color or creed.
  • Faith ] Faith is the conviction that something unproved by physical evidence is true.
  • Hope ] Hope means to expect with confidence. Always hope for better things to come.
  • Love ] There are many kinds of love: love of family; love of home; love of fellow man; love of God; and love of country. All these loves are necessary for a full life.

 You Webelos Scouts have fulfilled all requirements for the Arrow of Light Award. Placed before you are the burning candles which represent the ranks of Cub Scouting. May it always be said of you, as a brave of the Webelos Tribe, that you have reached the top of any ladder of achievement set before you. You are soon to go into Scouting, there to be tested again. May you every be successful.

 It is an honor for me to recognize you Webelos Scouts and to present you with these arrows. You may hang your arrow in your room to remind you of the good times we have had together in Pack.



Great Salt Lake Council

When presented with interest and enthusiasm from the leader, this badge will not seem like drudged up schoolwork! Help the boys to learn that there is more to school than just homework.

Some Ideas For Your Den Meeting

  • Learn about the history of education, how schools developed in America.
  • Invite a grandparent to your den meeting to talk about how school was when they were children. If not a grandparent, try a retirement home.
  • Invite the parents of WEBELOS Scouts to come to a den meeting dressed in the type of clothes they wore to school. Have parents bring along such things as class pictures, yearbooks, report cards, etc., and allow each ample time to share his/her school days with the den.
  • Locate some old school books and compare to current books being used.
  • Invite someone who attended school when it was a “one room building and all ages were together” to talk to the boys about their experiences.

Plan A Field Trip

Briefly visit a school board meeting. Let them know you are coming. They may be interested to know the boys are working on the Scholar Activity Badge.


  • To familiarize WEBELOS Scouts with "roots" of a school system.
  • To convince WEBELOS Scouts that schooling is essential.
  • To introduce WEBELOS Scouts to careers in education.
  • To teach WEBELOS Scouts the benefits of a good education.

Seven Ways to Improve Yourself

  • Learn to Listen-Concentrate on the speaker, you may miss important facts if you're not paying attention.
  • Develop good study habits--Have a study place away fromdistractions. Have supplies handy. Do your homework at the same time every day so it becomes a habit.
  • Use the right reading technique -- slow carefulreading is necessary when you must understand and remember.
  • Improve your vocabulary -- Look up a word if you don't know. Write it down and note the spelling.
  • Sharpen your writing skills -- Organize yourthoughts. Double-check your spelling and punctuation. Go over your work. Read all the directions and make sure you understand them. If you don't know the answer to one question, skip it and come back to it at the end.
  • Learn how to take tests--Study for a test ahead of time. Do not cram. Read all the directions and make sure you understand them. If there is an answer you don't know, skip it and come back to it.
  • Develop a positive attitude.

Game: Intelligence Test

This test is to see if you can follow directions. Just concentrate, but remember, you only have two minutes.

  • Read everything before doing anything.
  • Put your name in the upper right hand comer of this page.
  • Circle the word name in sentence two.
  • Draw 5 squares in the upper left comer.
  • Put an x in each of those squares.
  • Put a circle around each square.
  • Stand up, turn around and sit back down again.
  • Draw a triangle in the lower left comer.
  • Put an x in the triangle.
  • Multiply 70 x 61.
  • If you have followed directions to this point callout "I have".
  • Now that you have finished reading this carefully, do only #1, #2, and #12.

Game: Scout Law Dart Board

Needed: A dartboard with the numbers one through twelve,


  • Have each boy, in turn, throw a dart at the dartboard,
  • A point is scored if he can recite the point of the Scout Law that relates to the number where his dart landed.
  • If he is correct he gets one point and may continue throw again.
  • The first boy to score 12 points wins.

Sam Houston Area Council

The Scholar Activity Badge experience can help to improve the Webelos’ relationship with his school.  It will help the Scout understand why an education is important.  When presented with interest and enthusiasm from the leader, this badge will not seem like drudged up schoolwork!  Help the boys to learn that there is more to school than just homework. 


  • Have the boys make a list of the things they like about school.  And another list of the things they don’t like.  Discuss them using the Start, Stop, Continue evaluation tool.
  • Learn about the history of education, how schools developed in America.
  • Invite someone to talk about careers in education.
  • Locate some old school books and compare to current books being used.
  • Tour the city library.
  • Invite someone who attended school when it was a “one room building and all ages were together” to talk to the boys about their experiences.
  • Encourage the boys to be a part of their school’s safety patrol.
  • Visit a high school or college campus.
  • Discuss possible patrol service projects for the school.
  • Work on the Academic Belt Loops and Pins for Language, Mathematics and Chess.


In school, at home, on the sports field or at Scout meetings, each of us needs to evaluate what is going on, so that our grades are good, our home life is happy, and we are meeting our team goals.  An older method of evaluation was “Thorns and Roses” where you list things that you have gone well and things that you didn’t like.  Current BSA training thinks that this method can lead to the boys dwelling on the negative, and fails to take the next steps toward figuring out how to make your situation better.

What we recommend as an evaluation method is to use Start, Stop, Continue (S.S.C.) when the boys (or groups of adults) need to evaluate how an activity went, in their opinions.  Two out of three of these (Start and Continue) focus on the positive, and even the ideas for what to Stop can empower the boys to make the decisions on what they shouldn’t do, or don’t want to do anymore.

  • START.  What should we start doing that might be better?  What other new activities should we try?  What behavior might be better?  What should we do next?
  • STOP.  What activities or behaviors should we stop, so that we have more fun or so that we get more things done?  What didn’t work?
  • CONTINUE.  What went pretty well, and we should do again next time?  What did you like about what has been going on?

As the new BSA prescribed evaluation tool, leaders can use Start, Stop, Continue evaluations after every activity so that the boys can empower themselves to keep improving.  Try it in Pack Committee meetings each month too.  Start, Stop, Continue is a positive way to evaluate the activities of the Pack, so that feelings are less likely to be hurt when changes are proposed.


Teach the boys how to count to ten in several languages:















































































As part of the Chess belt loop and pin.  At one meeting have an expert cover over how a chess game is played, and some of the strategies and opening moves.  Announce that there will be a chess tournament.  At a subsequent meeting hold a timed chess tournament round-robin, so that everyone is always playing someone.  Each game has a time limit of 15 minutes, and the winner of each game is either whoever takes the most pieces in that time limit or who gets a checkmate.


Perhaps for the February “Cubs in the Future” Pack Meeting

You will need lots of old magazines, construction paper, scissors, glue markers and pencils.

The world is changing rapidly, thanks to computers and new technologies.  Have the boys discuss what they think school will be like in 30 years (2036). 

  • Will the students all be learning from computers? 
  • Will they interact with their teachers from a TV hook-up at home? 
  • Will they travel to Mars for mathematics and to Saturn for science? 
  • Will someone have invented a “smart pill” or brain implant for each subject? 

In the future, will we do away with some of the subjects that are taught now?  Which ones? 

Can they imagine any new subjects that might be taught instead?  Which ones?

After the discussion, divide the boys into two or three project groups to make posters of their view of education in the future. 

Make costumes for the “Cubs in the Future” Pack meeting, using lots of aluminum foil (edges of foil can be very sharp!):

  • Aluminum foil radiation hats, to keep cell phones from frying their brain.
  • Computers, communicators, and displays on your sleeve.
  • Keyboard pants.



Great Salt Lake Council

Boys have a natural interest in how things work. The Engineer Activity

Badge gives an introduction to how the big things in our lives work.

One of the purposes of Cub Scouting is "fostering a sense of personal achievement by developing new interests and skills" in boys.  This activity badge probably does this more than any of the other badges. 

Engineering is one of the most exacting of the professions and the badge includes projects that will give a boy an insight into some types of engineering.

Types of Engineers

Great Salt Lake Council

  • Aeronautical Engineering:  Deals with the whole field of design, manufacture, maintenance, testing, and the use of aircraft both for civilian and military purposes.
  • Astronautical Engineering:  Closely related to aeronautics, but is concerned with the flight of vehicles in space, beyond the earth's atmosphere, and includes the study and development of rocket engines, artificial satellites, and spacecraft for the exploration of outer space.
  • Chemical Engineering:  Concerned with the design, construction, and management of factories in which the essential processes consist of chemical reactions.
  • Civil Engineering:  Perhaps the broadest of the engineering fields; deals with the creation, improvement, and protection of the communal environment; providing facilities for living, industry, and transportation, including large buildings, roads, bridges, canals, railroad lines, airports, harbors, and other constructions.
  • Electrical Engineering/Computer Science:  Divided broadly into the engineering of electrical power distribution systems, electrical machinery, and communication, information, and control systems.
  • Geological & Mining Engineering:  Includes activities related to the discovery and exploration of mineral deposits and the financing, construction, development, operation, recovery, processing, purification, and marketing of crude minerals and mineral products.
  • Industrial or Management Engineering:  Pertains to the efficient use of machinery, labor, and raw materials in industrial production.
  • Mechanical Engineering:  Covers the design and operation of all types of machinery and small structures.
  • Safety Engineering:  Concerned with the prevention of accidents.
  • Sanitary Engineering:  A branch of civil engineering that has acquired the importance of a specialized field due to its great importance for a healthy environment, especially in dense urban population areas.

Make Electricity with a Lemon Battery

Great Salt Lake Council

Materials: Lemon, steel wool, copper nail, zinc nail.

  • Scrub a copper nail and a zinc nail with a piece of wool until they are clean and shiny.
  • Rinse the nails under the water faucet.
  • Poke the pointed ends of the nails into the center of a fresh lemon. Spaces the two nails about
  • 1” apart and leave 1/2” of each nail protruding.
  • Take a small LED (light emitting diode) and touch the leads to the two nails.  You should see a glow. 
    When I was a Cub Scout, we stuck out our tongue and touched the tops of the two nails and felt a tingle. What Happened? You have just made a simple chemical battery and the glow you saw or the tingle you felt on your tongue was electricity! Because the lemon contains acid and water, which reacts with the metals, zinc and copper, a slight electrical current was formed and it passed over your tongue fromone nail to the other.


Unusual Catapult

Great Salt Lake Council

Materials: Thin cardboard, colored pencils, long rubber band, scissors


  • Draw two separate five sided shapes, tracing the pattern as shown.
  • Cut out. Lightly fold back along dotted lines.
  • Color each of the six separate sections a different color.
  • Overlap the two shapes and loop the rubber band over every other corner to hold the two pieces of cardboard together.  The rubber band should be stretched slightly but not too tight.
  • When you let go of the cards, which should be laying flat on the table, the slightly stretched rubber band will contract which will cause your contraption to “leap” into a solid shape.

Why does this happen and is this really a

Why does this happen and is this really a Catapult?The energy in the stretched rubber band pulls the cardboard contraption into the shape. This illustrates what makes a catapult spring in the simplest way imaginable.

Explain to your Scouts that some substances, such as elastic or rubber, stretch when you pull them, but spring back into their original shape when released

Although most catapults “fling” or  “throw” something away fromthem, this one uses the spring or force of the catapult to “throw its flat shape “up” into a ball or solid shape. Even though it is very different froma standard catapult, it nevertheless operates on the same principles, only in reverse.

Sam Houston Area Council

One of the purposes of Cub Scouting is “fostering a sense of personal achievement by developing new interests and skills” in boys.  This activity badge probably does this more than any of the other badges.  Engineering is all about applied science, and it is one of the most exacting of the professions.  This badge includes projects that give boys an understanding of this profession.

There are many types of engineers; chemical, electrical, civil, petroleum, mechanical and industrial are just a few.  It usually takes a creative mind and attention to detail to be a good engineer.  Through work on the Engineer Activity Badge, your Webelos Scouts will get an appreciation for engineering and what it takes to accomplish engineering feats.


  • Have the boys find pictures of different bridges and put together a poster for the pack meeting.
  • Visit a college engineering or architecture department.
  • Invite an engineer or architect to visit the patrol meeting to talk about their job.
  • Measure the dimensions of your meeting place and include the locations of doors and windows.  Show how to sketch a simple floor plan with these measurements.
  • Make a block and tackle and demonstrate its use.
  • Make catapults and have a contest. 
  • Compare design and Construction of various kinds of bridges and make a model of one or more.
  • Visit a construction site with a contractor.  Ask him to explain the use of blue prints and the order of construction.
  • Visit a power generation plant.
  • Work on the Academics belt loop and pin for mathematics.


Be forewarned that like most machines, all catapults have the opportunity to be dangerous, even small ones.  Catapults were originally invented with the intent to hurt people, so leaders need to be very safety conscious with boys around catapults.  Be safe, so that mistakes won’t lead to injuries.


Using wood scraps and an old ruler.  Lay the ruler flat onto a larger board and nail another board over and inch of the end of the ruler.  Then wedge a small board under the ruler to form the leaf spring catapult.


Catapult Experiment:  Use ruler and rubber eraser or other soft projectile.  Have boy strike the short end of the ruler balanced on a dowel.  How far did the eraser go?  Now have him try it with half the ruler over the edge of a table and hit it with the same force.  Why is there a difference in the distance that the eraser flies?


The spring and lever action of a mousetrap can be harnessed for many kinds of fun machines.  Give the boys mousetraps, string, tinker toys or K-nex and have a contest to build and see how far their mousetrap contraption could throw a small object like a dry bean.   Below is an example with the mousetrap pulling a lever that then throws the bean.



Hand the Webelos each one sheet of 8½ x 11 paper, two foam cups, 4” of tape and a matchbox-sized car.  Tell them to build a bridge that will support the toy car as it rolls across the bridge.  They can cut or fold the paper into any shapes that they want.  They may use small pieces of tape to help hold the paper in desired shapes but not to tape to the cups.  This can be a group effort, team play or on an individual project.  You can do something similar as a tower-building contest.

Strong Bridge Ideas:

  • Cut a strip and roll it up.  Use this as a center support.
  • Fold two long edges of the card.
  • Cut a strip and curve it under the bridge as a support.
  • Cut three strips and sandwich one folded in a zig-zag.


You will need:  Lots of mini-marshmallows, toothpicks, various weight objects.

  • Give teams of boys an equal number of marshmallows and toothpicks.
  • Between two equal-height objects (like tables) show them the distance that they must span with their bridge.  Tell them that the contest will be to see how much weight their bridge can hold in the very center of the bridge.
  • The bridge must be at least one toothpick wide and you suggest that they use the marshmallows to connect the toothpicks.
  • Tell them that the strongest shape is a triangle, so build a truss bridge that has lots of triangles in it.


There are five kinds of basic machines that were discovered in ancient times.  All complex machines are built out of some or all of these basic machines: wheel (with axle), pulley, wedge, screw and lever.  This exercise will show the magic of how pulleys, and blocks and tackles can make lifting something heavy possible by exerting very little effort.

A pulley is a special kind of axle and wheel, where the axle is connected to some object, and a rope goes around the wheel.  A block and tackle is formed by two pulleys that may each have several wheels, and a rope goes around both pulleys.  Ropes and pulleys can be connected in many assorted ways to create different degrees of how easy it is to pull.

A simple “Come-along” can be made by tying a rope to a fixed object (like a tree), running the rope behind the object that you want to move, and pull on the rope while standing near the tree.  You will only have to pull half as hard to make the object move, as if you tried to pull it directly, because the tree actually helps you pull.  You can also achieve the same result by attaching a single-wheel pulley to the object that you want to move.

By using two pulleys, you may form a block and tackle.  With pulleys that have enough wheels and enough rope, it would be possible for a Webelos Scout to move just about any heavy object that the rope and pulleys can support.  The illustrations below show how to move more than what you normally are capable of pulling directly with a rope.  The Mother Earth News website also has some excellent illustrations of blocks and tackles.


All matter has electrons and when electrons move we see the effects of electricity.  Metal and water are both good conductors of electricity.  Metals like copper and aluminum are most often used to safely move electricity in appliances.  Our bodies are also fairly good electrical conductors, because our bodies have a lot of water, which is why people have to be very careful around electricity.

Insulators are things that do not conduct electricity very well.  Wood and plastic are two good examples of electrical insulators. 



  • Ten feet of 22-gauge coated copper wire
  • 6-volt lantern battery
  • 6 inch iron nail
  • Steel paperclips
  • Wire stripper and needle-nose pliers
  • Gloves

Current flowing through a wire produces a magnetic field (M) around the wire. The field is oriented according to the .Electromagnets take advantage of a phenomenon where electricity moving in a wire causes a magnetic field around the wire (shown left). 

A single straight wire, with electricity flowing through it, however, has a very small magnetic field.  But when you wrap that wire round and round about 50 times in a long neat coil, the magnetic fields from all of the wraps add together to form a strong magnetic field.  You can also multiply the strength of the coiled magnetic field, and make the coils much neater, by wrapping the coil around a long piece of iron or steel (like a nail).  The more tight and neat the wraps are, the better it will work.

Wire wrapped around a nail to make an electromagnet.

To make current flow through the wire, we need to make an electrical circuit.  Strip a half inch of insulating plastic off of each loose end of the wire, and with the pliers curl the ends of the bare wires into U shapes.  Scatter the paper clips on a table nearby.  Put on a pair of dry, cloth gloves, because the wires may get hot when the current is flowing.  Hook one bare wire onto one of the springs on the lantern battery.  Now hook the other bare wire to the other spring connection on the battery and voila you now have an electromagnet that can pick up the paper clips and any other small ferrous objects.  The electromagnet will work until the battery is drained or the circuit is broken.

Did you notice a spark when the second wire was connected to the battery?  Notice how warm the wires get as the electrical current flows through them.  Disconnect the wires while the electromagnet is holding paperclips and watch it drop them.  Connect the circuit, pick-up paper clips in one place and move the electromagnet over a box, then disconnect a wire and drop the paperclips in the box.  Continue this until all paperclips have been moved.

Materials found in Baloo's Bugle may be used by Scouters for Scouting activities provided that Baloo's Bugle and the original contributors are cited as the source of the material.

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