Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Combining Adventures

With the old program, we had a file called "double takes," that told you which activity badge requirements could count for more than one thing. The new program is better and doesn't have as much duplication! However, to save time, you can combine adventures and still get the full experience of both while saving time.

Combining Adventures

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Webelos Walkabout and Into the Woods

You might as well do Webelos Walkabout with the Into the Woods Adventure and knock two out at once. You can also do it along with the Scouting Adventure.

We did this one in two weeks—prep for the hike one week, and then the hike the next week. The first week, we planned our hike, prepared our first aid kit, talked about poisonous plants and animals, and planned leadership roles.

Before leaving on our hike, we recited the Outdoor Code and Leave No Trace and discussed how to follow them. We picked up trash in the parking area and also as we hiked the trail for the conservation project. We also passed off the Into the Woods Adventure as we went on our hike.

Stronger, Faster, Higher

Be aware as you plan that this adventure will take more than just a month to pass off (requirement #3 requires 30 days). I was worried about finding a sport that people haven’t tried before, but I think we found one. It’s an old Danish sport called kubb. You can find information (including instructions on how to make your own set and how to play) online. It’s a pretty good bet that none of our Webelos will have played it before.

Scouting Adventure

This one was a lot of fun. It does have a few challenges, but you can still make it work. One challenge is coordinating with the troop for two activities. Also, our troop is not necessarily functioning perfectly as far as what they are supposed to learn/report after the first troop meeting. Because of that, I gave our den chief a copy of the pages from the handbook so he could review that information with our Webelos (like leadership, how advancement works, etc.).

Also be aware that this one will really take more than one month if you do it correctly. You should be practicing the patrol method for a month. In my mind, choosing the patrol leadership and having them start the next week, then having one or two more activities before Pack Meeting isn’t quite enough.

I combined this with the Webelos Walkabout and Into the Woods adventures. (You could potentially do the hike as the outdoor activity with the troop if you can make that work—otherwise go on your own hike.)

Another potential difficulty with the Scouting Adventure is that they have to memorize the Scout Oath, Law, motto, slogan, sign, salute, handshake, First Class Scout Badge, and Outdoor Code. We are practicing these EVERY week (we do First Class Scout Badge puzzle as a gathering activity regularly). 

Also, see our Gathering Activities for more suggestions.

Gathering Activities

As the Scouts arrive, have them start playing games to review skills you’ve been learning, or to practice things like the Scout Oath and Law that they will have to memorize. We try to do at least one of these each week so they are constantly practicing. These activities are also good for throwing in at the end of a den meeting if you have a few minutes before parents come.

First Class Scout Badge puzzle: print the puzzle and have them put it together. They need to know what each piece means, as well as how it fits together. (This is a good one to do in pairs.)

Scout Law Flashcard: Each Scout gets his own set of flashcards. He puts the points of the Scout Law in order (using pictures or words) as fast as he can. I haven’t ever gotten around to it, but you could also make a similar game for the Oath, Outdoor Code, and Leave No Trace.

Charades: My Webelos have liked this one a lot more than I thought they would! The Scout who is “it” looks at the Oath, Law, Motto, Slogan, Outdoor Code, and LNT cards hanging on the board and chooses one. (He chooses one word strip, like “Loyal,” “Be careful with fire,” etc.) He then tries to act it out so that everyone else can guess. This has also been a good activity to help them understand what each part means.

Knot tying contest: You can have them review the knots you have learned for the Scouting Adventure by seeing who can tie each knot correctly, and fastest!

In general, we have found that anything we can turn in to a game, the more fun it is. This age of boy does not like to have worksheets or to be lectured at. We do games as much as we possibly can! Most requirements that have us talk about something can be turned into a game, whether it is a board game, a relay race, or whatever. Even when they have to explain something, when they do it in a game format, they’re more willing to do it. At least that’s what we’ve found!

Looking Back, Looking Forward

This one turned out a lot differently than I originally thought it would, but it was still pretty good. We did this one in February so we'd have a special display and presentation for the Blue and Gold Banquet.

We started by talking about the history of Scouting. As part of that, we watched the first segment of the Century of Honor. (THIS segment) I'm not sure that link worked. If you're interested, click on the "Century of Honor" link above and click on the "The Start of a Movement" link. You can download or view it from there. We also watched the "A Brief History of Cub Scouting."

We talked about all the things that are mentioned in the book--what's the same, what's changed, etc.

They did a page about their own Scouting Story, and of course the Scouting in the future.

For the timeline requirement, we did this all together, instead of each of them choosing their own two topics. We did food and toys. It worked out pretty well! I did some research ahead of time so everything was ready. I found the food and toys for 100, 50, 20, and 5 years ago. We had samples for all possible (so they could taste the food and see/try the toys, when possible), but the funnest part was we found original commercials for as many of them as possible on YouTube to show them. Talk about a journey to the past! It was a blast. They decided themselves what they wanted for the "Now" category, and then brainstormed the future.


We loved this one! It was so much fun.

We used to create the storyboard. It was easy. It has a lot of different backgrounds, props, and posed people you can put into scenes. We just did one picture for each scene to represent what was happening in the story. We decided the easiest way to do this was to have a silent film, so we didn’t have to worry about dialogue. That made it so much simpler! We used PowerPoint for the text boxes in the film. We filmed at a quiet, semi-wild park near our meeting place. We put it together in Windows MovieMaker, which is really simple. I changed all the video files to black and white/sepia in Windows MovieMaker, and we sped up the video to 1.5 speed, so it was a little fast and jerky like old silent films. It really turned out great. And, it was a HUGE hit when we shared it at Pack Meeting! Of course then we also burned it onto a DVD so our Scouts could keep a copy. :)

You can do a google search for "silent film music" to get the background music. You can also watch a few silent films on YouTube as an example before you start--just be sure you pre-screen them so you don't have any inappropriate surprises when you are showing your Scouts!