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Baloo's Bugle

February 2006 Cub Scout Roundtable Issue

Volume 12, Issue 7
March 2006 Theme

Theme: Cubstruction
Webelos: Engineer & Athlete
Tiger Cub


Nail Driving Contest I
Baltimore Area Council

Object:     To be the first team to drive nail into wood.

Materials:Scrap wood and 10-penny nails.
A hammer for each team.

  • Divide the den into teams.
  • In front of each boy place a hammer and a piece of scrap wood with a 10-penny nail already started a half-inch into it.
  • Boys take turns hammering the nail until the head is flush with the wood.
  • This is not a speed contest. Fewest strokes wins.
  • If the nail is bent, start over with a new one.

Nail Driving Contest II
Alapaha Council

Divide the den into two teams.  Line up the teams for a relay race about 10 feet from the driving area.  Provide each team with a piece of two by four about 1 foot long, a hammer, and nails shorter than the thickness of the wood.  Each boy runs to the board, drives 2 nails, runs back, and gives the hammer to the next player.  The team driving the most straight nails (not the fastest) wins. Variation: Have boys switch hands.

Sawing Contest
Baltimore Area Council

Object:     To be the first team to cut a 2x4 in half.

Materials:A 24-inch length of pine 2x4,.
A handsaw for each team.

  • Divide the den into two teams.
  • Give each team a handsaw and the 2x4.
  • In turn, each boy takes one stroke with the saw until the wood is cut through.
  • This is not for speed.

Stack the Bricks
Greater St. Louis Area Council

Equipment:  Lots of Dixie cups (bricks)


  • Divide the den into 2 teams. 
  • At the other end of the hall or room is a pile of cups.
  • In turn, each boy runs up and adds one cup to the tower started by the first boy. 
  • If it falls over the tower has to be rebuilt. 
  • The team with the tallest, the only, the neatest (you decide – pick one of these or choose one of your own) standing tower is the winner.

Tower of Cups
Greater St. Louis Area Council

Equipment: Lots of flat bottom plastic or foam cups

Directions: Using only one hand; see how many paper or plastic foam cups you can stack top-to- top and bottom- to-bottom before they fall.

Person who stacks the most is the winner.

Bricklayer's Relay
Greater St. Louis Area Council

Equipment: Per team: 1 hard hat; 1 dustpan; 1 flag; 3 or more 'bricks' - stones, pieces of Styrofoam, or blocks of wood.


  • Divide the group into teams.
  • Have them stand in parallel straight lines at one end of the playing area.
  • The leader shouts 'BUILD'.
  • The first member of each team dons the hard hat,
  • Places a brick in the dustpan and
  • Runs down to the other end of the playing area.
  • He places the brick on the ground and runs back to the starting line.
  • Each team member in turn, races down to build up the wall.
  • The race continues until all the bricks on each team are used up .

Long, Short, Round
Baltimore Area Council

Object:     To run the relay keeping track of the location of three objects.

Materials:Each team requires two containers.
A long common tool, e.g. a wooden mallet;
a short common tool, e.g. a stubby screwdriver,
and a round object, e.g. a small disk of wood.

This is a good game to sharpen alertness if the leader keeps it moving fast.

  • The teams sit down in a single file line with feet extended.
  • They count off so that each Cub in the den has a number.
  • At the start, the container with the objects is at the front and the empty container is at the back of the team line.
  • The leader signals with his arms long or short or round,
  • Then calls out a number.
  • Scouts with that number race to their can, pick out the object, take it to the other container, and put it in the other container, and return to their places.
  • The first Cub Scout back in place wins a point for his team.
  • Keeping track of the location of the objects soon becomes a mental challenge.
  • If a Cub heads for the incorrect can, he is bound to lose the point.

Tool Box Sort Out
Baltimore Area Council

Use an egg carton for the toolbox. Have an assortment of nuts, bolts, screws, etc, to be sorted. The first boy to sort by size in the proper place wins.


Name The Tools
Baltimore Area Council

Cut different silhouettes of tools from construction paper, such as a hammer, plane, brace, bit, screw driver, etc. Glue these on light weight cardboard and use as flashcards.

See the Craftsman section in Baloo a few months ago for pictures you can use.  CD

Log Rolling Contest
Baltimore Area Council

Make logs from 4” cardboard cylinders. This can be a relay, with each boy rolling a log with a dowel or stick to a given point and back to the next person in line.

Human Ladder Crossing:
Sam Houston Area Council

 Played with one Den, this is a timed event.  With two dens, it’s a relay.  Sit the team down in a straight line, with their hips about a foot apart and feet pointing in the same direction.  Have them spread their legs, so that their feet touch those of the guy next to them.

Starting at one end of the line, upon command, one boy on each team jumps up and runs to touch the wall and then runs back over the “ladder” made by the legs of his team.  He may not step on the boys’ legs and the ladder mustn’t move.   After getting across the ladder, he then touches the opposing wall and runs back across the “ladder” to take his original position.  Once he sits back down in his spot, the next boy in the ladder jumps up, crosses the ladder in both directions and gets back to his spot (and so on until everyone has had a turn).

This game can be made more interesting by providing simple obstacles around the two outside edges of the hall, e.g. car tires to get through, turned gym benches to walk along, or chairs to go under.

Alapaha Council

The players form a circle facing inwards and are given a stave or walking stick each to hold upright in front of them on the ground.  The leader will call a direction and a number (e.g. 2 to your left.)  Each player must let go of his stave (he must not push it, simply let it go in an upright position) and move to grab the appropriate one (e.g. the second one on their left) before it hits the ground.  If the stave hits the ground first, he is out.  The circle closes up any gaps and continues play.  Play continues until only one player is left.  Variations: To make a more challenging game, call directions faster and further.

Human Pinball
Alapaha Council

All players except one stand in a circle, facing outwards.  Players spread their legs as wide as is comfortable, until their feet are touching their neighbors’ on either side.  Everyone bends down and swings his arms between his legs – these are the pinball “flippers.”  The one non-flipper enters the circle as the moveable target.  The flippers try to hit him by knocking a volleyball or playground ball back and forth in the circle.  Whoever hits the target gets to be the new target.  The target’s only job is to avoid the ball.  The flippers can only hit the ball, not catch and throw it.

Fumble Fingers
Alapaha Council

Divide the den into two teams.  Tell players to untie their shoelaces.  Then tell them to put one hand behind their back, or tie one hand to their belt.  On signal, each team tries to tie their shoelaces, with each player using only one hand.  The first team finished is the winner.

Kick the Can:
Sam Houston Area Council

Materials:        One empty #10 metal can, like for coffee or restaurant-sized canned food

This great old-time game can keep boys occupied for hours.  One person is chosen to be “It”, by a fair method.  He (It) then has to hide his eyes and count aloud to a pre-chosen large number, while the others all find hiding places within earshot of the can.  At the end of the count, “It” announces “Ready or not, here I come!” and then tries to find out where the boys are hiding. 

If he identifies someone hiding, “It” has to say “I see ‘Johnny’ (or whoever) behind the tree” and then they both run to the can.  If “It” picks up the can first, then the boy that was hiding gets captured.  If any hiding boy kicks the can before “It” picks up the can (even if “It” didn’t see him), then everyone previously captured goes free.  Ideally, “It” stays “It” until he captures everybody.

Since it can be very frustrating to be “It,” be sure to put the can in a large open area, so that he has a better chance.  Also, to avoid frustration, perhaps you can change who is “It” after successfully capturing a few boys, otherwise, with a large group it’s nearly impossible to ever capture everyone.

Annie-Annie Over:
Sam Houston Area Council

 It is played over a building that you can throw a bouncy ball over and be able to run all the way around it quickly.  You call out “Annie-Annie Over” and throw the ball over the building to the kids on the other side.  If they catch the ball without it touching the ground, they can sneak around the building and throw the ball at you or catch you and tag you.  You have to keep an eye open for them coming and beat them to the other side of the building.  If you make it then that is your side but if you are tagged then you are on their side.

If the ball is not caught then they can wait a moment to try and fool you and then holler out “Annie-Annie Over” and throw the ball back.  If the ball doesn't go over the building, the throwers can yell “Pigtail!”, and then try to throw it again.  The ball must be caught in order to run around the building after you.  When the last kid on a team is tagged then that team wins.

Gates, Bridges & Tunnels
Great Salt Lake Council

Equipment: Rubber chicken

To Play:

  • Divide players into groups of three.
  • One player in each group is the gate person,
  • One is the bridge person, and
  • One is the tunnel person. 
  • All players then form a large circle,
  • The players in a group of 3 stand next to each other
  • The leader stands in the middle of the circle holding the rubber chicken. 
  • When “Gates” is called, the gate people leave their spot in their circle and run around the outside of the circle. 
  • The other two players forma gate by putting their arms together. 
  • When the gate person gets back to his group, he goes through the gate to the center of the circle and tries to grab the chicken.
  • If “Tunnels” is called, the others in the group forma tunnel, which the tunnel person must pass through to get to the center. 
  • If “Bridges” is called, the others must forma bridge to be crossed to reach the center of the circle. 
  • The first player to grab the chicken each time becomes the new leader, and the former leader takes the empty place in the circle.

Dice Count
Great Salt Lake Council

Equipment: 1 die, pair ofoven mitts, a chocolate bar or other wrapped treat, a hat

To Play:

  • Before the game, wrap the chocolate bar in 5-6 layers of paper. 
  • Have the players sit in a circle and place the bar, the hat, and the mitts in front of one of the players. 
  • The player directly to the left of the person with the chocolate bar is given the die. 
  • On a signal, the person with the die starts rolling for a 6, while the other person puts on the oven mitts,
  • Then the hat, and then starts to unwrap the chocolate bar. 
  • Once a 6 is rolled, everything is passed to the left and a new person rolls the die, and
  • The previous roller tries to put on the mitts and hat and unwrap the chocolate.
  • The player who completely unwraps the candy gets to eat it.

Blindfold The Cook
Great Salt Lake Council

Equipment: Blindfold, wooden spoon, 2 bowls –one full of marshmallows, timer (or watch)

To Play:

  • Blindfold the first player, set the bowls and spoon in front of him. 
  • Time the player for one minute while he tries to scoop as many marshmallows as possible into the empty bowl. 
  • At the end of the minute, count how many marshmallows were successfully transferred. 
  • Reset for each player. 
  • The player with the most is the Champion Scooper!  (But everyone gets to eat the marshmallows!)

Crazy Drawing
Great Salt Lake Council

Equipment: Paper and pencil for each player

To Play:

  • Each player begins by drawing a single line on his paper. 
  • It can be any kind of line - straight, jagged, curvy. 
  • The papers are passed to the person to the left. 
  • Each player adds a line to the paper that is now in front of him. 
  • Continue to pass and add lines until the papers have gone around the circle. 
  • The object is to create something recognizable. 
Once the drawing starts to take shape, each player should continue to develop the picture, one line at a time.

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