Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Baloo the Builder and Digging in the Past

(Construction plus Dinosaurs--kinda reminds me of my four-year-old's favorite TV show Dinotrux!)

Bear Adventure: Baloo the Builder requirements
Complete all of the following requirements.
1. Discover which hand tools are the best ones to have in your toolbox. Learn the rules for using these tools safely. Practice with at least four of these tools before beginning a project.
2. Select, plan, and define the materials for the project you will complete in requirement 3.
3. Assemble your materials, and build one useful project and one fun project using wood.
4. Apply a finish to one of your projects 

Wolf Elective Adventure: Digging in the Past requirements      
Complete the following Requirements.
1. Play a game that demonstrates your knowledge of dinosaurs, such as a dinosaur match game.
2. Create an imaginary dinosaur. Share with your den its name, what it eats, and where it lives.
3. Complete one of the following: A. Make a fossil cast. 
B. Make a dinosaur dig. Be a paleontologist, and dig through a dinosaur dig made by another member of your den. Show and explain the ways a paleontologist works carefully during a dig. 

4. Make edible fossil layers. Explain how this snack is a good model for the formation of fossils.
     Den Meeting #1 "dino game and useful wood project"
     Gathering Activity: play the Dinosaur Match game from the Den Leader's Guide.  For a fun twist you can buy toy dinosaurs and have the boys match to actual 3D dinosaurs.  We also challenged them to see if they could accurately sort the toy dinosaurs by whether they were plant or meat eaters and the boys loved showing us that they could! Dinosaurs for this badge are most cheaply purchased at dollar tree (if in stock) or from Amazon if you can get free shipping.  Walmart and Party City are also options if they have dinosaurs in stock.  I purchased 7" dinosaurs so we could use them to decorate the bookend project, but if you are using them for the game, for digs, or to make fossil footprints, or to decorate your edible fossils, pretty much any size will work.

Activity: Learn about tools by starting Baloo the Builder "useful" project such as dinosaur bookends or just regular bookends.  Or make any readily available wood project it doesn't have to be dinosaur themed if that makes this den meeting too complicated, Home Depot has free wood working classes the boys can go to on Saturday mornings and sometimes will give free kits from these classes to Den leaders who can't make it on Saturday morning.  Just play dinosaur match on the drive to the store and the den meeting is done for you! 

      This month I have 7 boys in my den and four of them are special needs, so to keep things moving along, we made sure the Bear scouts did all four wood working skills (measure the book ends, screw them together, sand them, practice cutting with a saw on some scrap wood) and the other boys only had to sand their projects (my wolves didn't have the attention span or gross motor skills to do all the wood working skills.)  My husband pre-drilled and put the screws in for the younger scouts (Bears helped put in their own screws) and Home Depot measured and sawed the blocks for us.  The dimensions were 3x4" and  6x4" two blocks of each.  The boys had fun sanding and then they painted their bookends.  I had envisioned white, but my cubs found other colors of paint and we ended up with a lot of splatter painting which actually looked great.  We used spray paint, but half the boys couldn't do spray painting very well and I was terrified it would get on their clothes, so next time I think I'll have paint shirts and acrylic paint ready to go.  I had each boy choose a dinosaur toy to decorate their bookend so I would know which ones to have cut and ready for gluing the next week.  The instructions I followed said to cut the dinosaurs with a stanley knife and glue the dinosaurs on with hot glue, but we used E6000 outside in a well ventilated spot  just to be sure it would hold (see walmart craft section).  
   Supplies for Dinosaur Bookends
   1x4 lumber cut into two 3" and two 6" blocks
   1 1/2" screws
   medium or fine grit sandpaper
   paper or cardboard to cover ground while painting
   paint (green, white, black)
   paint brushes if using acrylic paint rather than spray paint
   hot glue or E6000
   rubber bands or masking tape to hold dinos in place while glue dries.
     Den Meeting #2 "imaginary dinosaur"
     Gathering: Finish gluing or painting or staining the "useful" project if needed, (such as gluing dinosaurs onto the bookends), or tell dinosaur jokes.  If you plan on doing dinosaur digs next time, have the first boys to arrive help you with these, if boys are late and don't help make the digs, don't worry too much, the requirement only specificies that they do the dig, not that they personally make the dig.
      Dinosaur Digs:  lay out bones, dinosaurs, toys, little shells, pasta noodles, coins, etc in a plastic container, 1 for each boy.  Mix 8 cups sand with 1 cup plaster of paris and 1 cup water.  Working quickly (this sets fast) layer sand, then misc items, then more sand and leave to harden until next week.  Then the following week they can dig them out with spoons, plastic knives, bamboo skewers, and paint brushes.  

     Activity: Make an imaginary dinosaur(s) and fill out a trading card or cards for each dinosaur.

     The imaginary dinosaur pictured in the Wolf book uses paper rolls, boxes, and bottles.  If doing these kinds of dinosaurs have lots and lots of tape and some sharpie markers on hand.  I knew my den needed something simpler.  The simplest version I saw for this was where clothespins , foam shapes, and paper plates were used.  The gluesticks, clothespins, plates, foam, and markers can all be purchased at the dollar store, craft store, or walmart.  If you are lucky you will even find the foam in little peel and stick shapes.  I would have the foam, head and tail pieces prepared in advance.  Then the boys can add their own color to the plates and clothespins with crayon or marker and glue the foam on themselves! 
picture from a Facebook post

    Another option is making playdough dinosaurs.  Check out these pictures of great playdough fantastical  dinosaurs!!! (scroll down to the eighth project-pasta, googley eyes, and play dough.  There is even a wood imaginary dinosaur project, so you could have the Baloo "fun project" and the "imaginary dinosaur" be the same activity!!!). 

     I love having a fill in the blank card ready where we write down the creature's name, food, and where it lives so that they can take home and show off how creative they are.  I encourage silly dinosaurs like pizza-o-saurus or stinkysock-o-saurus.

      name: Bubble Gum-a-saurus
      favorite food: bubble gum
      lives: in sticky swamps and blows bubbles out of slime and muck
     Den Meeting #3 "fun dino wood project"
     Make a "Fun" Project such as dinosaur tic tac toe (instructions in the Wolf book) or sand and glue together a dinosaur 3D model.  

     We did 3D dinosaurs because I'm not handy enough to drill holes for tic tac toe.  3D dinosaurs are pretty challenging for the youngest 8 year olds, but the 9 and 10 year olds loved them.  With the youngest boys we helped them glue every single piece using either hot glue or school glue, so it was leadership intensive.  If you used the simpler 3D models they could be fun for the boys to to paint as well.


   Den Meeting #4 "Dinosaur Fossils"
   Gathering: Make a fossil cast or do a dinosaur dig 
   To make dough for the fossil cast look authentic, try adding coffee grounds to the recipe.  Ask at any restaurant or a good friend if you don't have your own, they just go in the trash after all, I'm sure they would be glad to help out the cub scouts!  Or you can put sand in the dough for a nice texture as well.  Here are two great idea pages
   Dinosaur Fossil Dough from Red Kite Days blog 
   Sand dough from Frugal Fun for Boys

  Activity: make edible fossil layers
   The Wolf book calls for strawberry jello, animal crackers, crushed graham crackers, and vanilla pudding.  We subbed our favorite pretzel jello dessert recipe which is similar, but we especially like because of the buttery sweet pretzels.  

     You can layer in cups, but the layers were more visible using a glass pan.  I had half the recipe in cups and half in the pan.  We weren't able to get two layers of cream, but you may have better luck with pudding.  Also if a boy doesn't like one of the layers, he can take his dessert cup home to his family and just munch on pretzels or plain jello for his snack at the activity.

   Ingredients (made 10 jello cups plus an 8" pan):
   8 oz pretzels
   5 tbs butter
   4 tbs sugar
   1 cup sugar
   8 oz cream cheese
   1 8oz container whipped topping, thawed
   6 oz strawberry jello
   8 oz frozen strawberries, cut up a bit (optional)
   2 cups boiling water
   1 cup cold water
   1 package animal crackers (small dollar store package is plenty)
   Advance Preparation:
   1) crush pretzels until the pieces are very small then toss with melted butter and sugar.  Spread out in a pan and toast at 350 for 6 minutes, stirring halfway through, cool.  
   2) Dissolve jello in 2 cups boiling water.  Then add 1 cup cold water and strawberries, if adding a full 16oz of strawberries you can skip the 1 cup cold water.  Or you can the skip strawberries entirely.  Pour a 1" layer of jello in each clear cup or in a glass casserole dish.  After about 10 min in the refrigerator you can put an animal cracker in each cup to represent animals caught in the fossil layers

  Cub Scouts Cooking:
     Have the scouts watch or participate in adding 1 cup sugar and the cream cheese to a mixer and mixing until smooth.  Then gently fold in the whipped topping.  

     Then teach the boys about how fossils are formed when animals are caught in layers of sediment.  (Sediment: solid matter like rocks broken into very small bits such as sand and gravel, leaves, branches, etc.)

     We have some edible sediments to layer on our edible animals.  Some layers make the animals dissolve and others don't (like the jello vs the pretzel layer).  
      To make their own sediment layers the boys first sprinkle a thin layer of pretzel on the jello.  Optionally they can add another animal cracker, then they dollop a spoonful or two of the cream filling on that.  If they dip their clean fingers in water they should be able to smooth the cream layer down flat without it sticking, wet spoons can also work.  Finally they sprinkle another thin layer of pretzels.


Thursday, September 28, 2017

Howling at the Moon/Roaring Laughter

Cub Scout Comedy Den Meetings!

Wolf Adventure: Howling at the Moon requirements
Complete each of the following Requirements. 
1  Show you can communicate in at least two different ways.
2  Work with your den or family to create an original skit.
3  Work together with your den or family to plan, prepare, and rehearse a campfire program to present at a den meeting or pack program.
4  Perform your role for a den meeting or pack program.

Faith in God Developing Talents #3 (LDS religious emblem) write a poem, story, or short play that teaches a principle of the gospel or is about Heavenly Fathe's creations.

Bear Elective Adventure: Roaring Laughter requirements

Complete at least four of the following.
1.      Think about what makes you laugh. Write down three things that make you laugh.
      2. Practice reading tongue twisters.
      3. Create your own short story. Remove some nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs from the story, leaving blanks. Without telling the story, have a friend insert his or her own nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs in the story you created.
      4. With a partner, play a game that makes you laugh.
      5. Share at least two jokes with members of your den to make them laugh.
          6. Practice at least two run-ons with your den, and perform them at a pack meeting or campfire program.

Meeting 1: Comedy Activity -1 (also LDS religious emblem)
Howling at the Moon #1, #2, #4

Developing Talents #3
Roaring Laughter #1, #2
Discuss communication, laughter is a kind of body language, speaking is another way we communicate.
Practice tongue twisters
Make up a short skit, poem, or story on a gospel topic

 Gathering Activity: We had the boys read tongue twisters as they arrived.  There are great ones in the book or you can read pages out of Fox in Socks by Dr. Seuss.  They got pretzel twists for participating.  Then we watched a couple studio C sketches including "Prop Change".

Talk Time: discussed different types of communication verbal, non-verbal, written, and visual, etc.  We learned the scout motto in sign language as a demonstration.  We also had the boys in the circle send a message with body language to the group either "I am happy" or "I am mad" or "I am confused".  

"Communication is important for education as well as enjoyment.  We are going to be learning about a fun kind of communication in this adventure badge: comedy."  We discussed what made the boys laugh, I had the bears specifically list three things (they could duplicate each other).

Then we talked about how they got to make their own comedy sketch with props today.  
I had a laundry basket filled with various props: an artificial flower, tray of play food, pillow, blanket, pool floatie, watering can, a wrapped present, a broom, a wig, etc  

I told them our sketch needed to teach a gospel principle and the principle for our pack this month is courtesy.  Good manners are part of treating others the way Jesus would treat them.  So I challenged them to use their props twice in the skit, once to teach what courtesy is and once to teach what it isn't.  I told them we would be performing this skit at pack night for families.  The boys came up with the situation and chose their props, the leaders helped direct a bit, but the boys were able to improv with their props pretty well and we had a cute skit for pack night.

Den Meeting 2 Comedy Activity -2
Howling at the Moon  #2, #3, #4
Roaring Laughter #4, #5, #6
Share jokes such as those on Laffy Taffy.  Play games that make you laugh such as the minute to win it “face the cookie”.  Work on skits/poems/stories. 
Homework: Howling at the Moon #4 or else perform for parents in a den meeting.

Gathering Activity: We did several Mad Labs using a Mad Libs app.

Talk Time: discuss the basic parts of a campfire program.  We don't go camping in our pack, but we use most of the principles in our pack night and this is approximately how we plan to do it at our next pack night: 
opening: prayer and flag ceremony
songs: we choose not to sing at most pack nights, but this is fun around a fire- have any of the boys done this?  What song did they sing?
Cheers: We love cheers we did the "bobcat cheer" and "the wave" this month for boys getting awards.
Skits: We will have our courtesy skit and hopefully some run-ons from the Bears.
Story: Our cubmaster is a great storyteller, he always has captivating stories to help us remember the gospel principle of the month.  Stories are also great around a campfire.
Closing: We will have a drawing at the end of our program (entries for everyone who was on time, wore their uniform, or came to support their cub scout brother) then we will end with a prayer.

Joke Circle:  We had a joke circle where we went around and each boy got to share at least two jokes.  Each boy started with two Laffy Taffy's they could eat while we shared.  They could share the joke on the candy or share a favorite joke they already knew.  There are also great ideas in the book, or library's have fun joke books.

Rehearse Campfire Program:  This was essentially a run-through of our skit from last week and a practice of some run-ons for the Bears.

Play a game that makes you laugh:  You could play the soldier game in the handbook (try to make someone with a serious face laugh) or any other game you know that results in laughter, we did a blindfold game where the blindfolded person had to first find a person in the room and then that person had to say "peep" in a silly voice and the blindfolded person guessed who it was.  If time is short you could do Minute to Win It, Face the Cookie where you try to move an oreo from your forehead to your mouth by scrunching your face muscles.  Our boys didn't have much luck, but they laughed and enjoyed eating the cookies anyway.

Note: we finished this this badge in two den meetings, for the third week, you could do makeup activities, or do more of the above activities, having another silly games activity or watching some comedy sketches and discussing, or reading a joke book from the library would be a simple and fun den meeting.  

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Fellowship and Duty to God/ Duty to God Footsteps

This badge is intended for families to do at home, even though you may cover requirements in den meeting, I would encourage families to have these discussions and do these activities at home as well.

Complete Requirement 1 or 2 plus at least two others.
  1. Discuss with your parent, guardian, den leader, or other caring adult what it means to do your duty to God. Tell how you do your duty to God in your daily life.
  2. Earn the religious emblem of your faith that is appropriate for your age, if you have not already done so.
  3. Offer a prayer, meditation, or reflection with your family, den, or pack.
  4. Read a story about people or groups of people who came to America to enjoy religious freedom.
  5. Learn and sing a song that could be sung in reverence before or after meals or one that gives encouragement, reminds you how to show reverence, or demonstrates your duty to God.
  6. Visit a religious monument or site where people might show reverence. Create a visual display of your visit with your den or your family, and show how it made you feel reverent or helped you better understand your duty to God.
Complete the following requirements.
  1. Same as Wolf requirement #1
  2. Complete at least one of the following:
    A. Identify a person whose faith you admire, and discuss this person with your family.
    B. With a family member, provide service to a place of worship or a spiritual community, school, or community organization that puts into practice your ideals of duty to God and strengthens your fellowship with others. (HOMEWORK)
  3. Complete at least one of the following:
    A. Earn the religious emblem of your faith that is appropriate for your age, if you have not already done so.
    B. Make a list of things you can do to practice your duty to God as you are taught in your home or place of worship or spiritual community. Select two of the items and practice them for two weeks.

Religious Emblem Requirements, LDS:(see Faith in God booklet for boys)

Learning and Living
the Gospel
Serving Others
Developing Talents
 #2 Give a family home evening lesson on Joseph Smith’s First Vision (see Joseph Smith—History 1:1–20). Discuss how Heavenly Father answers our sincere prayers.
Paws for Action History Den Meeting
(Choose Joseph Smith for one of the famous Americans, scouts must teach what they learned at home to family, I encourage them to do this the same day, it doesn’t have to be on a Monday)
#2 Write a letter to a teacher, your parents, or your grand- parents telling them what you appreciate and respect about them.
Paws for Action service den meeting
#3 Write a poem, story, or short
play that teaches a principle of the
gospel or is about Heavenly Father’s creations.
Roaring Laughter/Howling at the moon/
Den Meeting
#5 Give an opening and a closing prayer in family home evening or at Primary. Share your feelings about how prayer protects us and helps us to stay close to Heavenly Father and the Savior.
HOMEWORK with Duty to God Den Meeting #1
#8 Read the twelfth article of faith.  Discuss what it means to be a good citizen and how your actions can affect others.
Paws for Action Flag Den Meeting
#6 Tell a story from the Book of Mormon that teaches about faith in Jesus Christ. Share your testimony of the Savior.
Christmas Den Meeting, (the people have faith that he will come and they won’t be killed.)
#8 Prepare a pedigree chart with your name and your parents’ and grandparents’ names. Prepare a family group record for your family and share a family story. Discuss how performing temple work blesses families.
Duty to God Den Meeting #2

Duty to God Den Meeting #1:

Gathering Activity: Make bread dough "footprints."

Bread Sculpture Recipe (aka pizza crust recipe)
2 cups warm water
2 packets yeast (I used SAF instant, my recipe doesn't specify)
5 cups flour (700g) add up to 1/4 cup more flour if dough is really sticky.
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Dissolve the yeast into the warm water.  Stir in the other ingredients, about 20 strokes.  Set aside for 5 minutes.  Shape dough, if you don't know what to make, start with a lot of balls and snakes and take it from there.  Bake for 12 minute or until nicely browned.  Very large shapes may need 2-3 extra minutes and very small ones may need a minute less.  Use a pastry brush to brush "pizza oil" over the top when they come out of the oven.  This recipe was perfect for 10 girls.

Pizza Oil Recipe
4 TBS butter melted
1 TBS parmesan cheese
garlic salt to taste, I sprinkle it over the butter like I would over pasta or bread.
a sprinkle of parsley flakes ground up between fingers adds some nice color

I start the bread about 15 minutes before the kids are due to arrive.  Then when the kids come (after washing their hands) give them a piece of dough that is ready to shape.  I tell them I need help making footprint treats because this is a footprints activity and that they can make a footprint and one other thing.  If the dough is too sticky, add a bit of flour to make it shapeable.

I had a greased cookie sheet in the center of the table and as they finished a sculpture they placed it on the tray.  When the first one was full I put it in to bake and then they filled up a second tray.  

these are way too big, you can make them quite a bit smaller!
Painting bread with pizza oil right after taking it out of the oven, optional

Opening Ceremony: Be sure to begin your den meeting with a prayer, remind the boys to say thanks for their bread that is in the oven!  Ask the boys how prayer protects us and helps us stay close to Heavenly Father and the Savior.

Talk Time:  We can do our duty to God by following in the footsteps of Jesus.  I really liked the Lesson for Younger Children at Danielle's Place "Follow in His Footsteps Bible Lesson". We didn't cut out footsteps and write though, we just had the boys discuss.

Next we quickly learned the song "Jesus Said Love Everyone" because it is a great example of following in the footprints of Jesus.
Jesus said 
love everyone
"treat"  them kindly too
when your heart 
is filled with love
others will love you!
To learn the song we had the boys hold up visual reminders.  I sang it once and they held up the reminders.  Then we repeated the words together one time, then we sang it together!

Activity: At this point you can eat your bread and play a game (see Danielle's game ideas).


Alternate Activity:  Instead of bread you could do footprint shrinky drinks.  I think bread is an easier activity because sometimes shrinking the shrinky dinks is a pain, but I've done both activities several times and both are fun for the kids.

Follow in His Footsteps Zipper Pulls:

We used #6 plastic lids from disposable cake pans at Dollar Tree and zipper pull hooks from Walmart.  And we had 4x5" foot templates they could trace with permanent markers.  Definitely practice with the shrinking process before hand!  We found that 300 degrees for about 5 minutes worked best for us in my oven.  If we went hotter, the projects curled too fast to completely flatten at the end.   If you do shrinky dinks, you don't need to do bread dough because both have bake time, so pick one craft and then either do a game at this point or a game for the gathering activity.
Our Footprints all done!  The striped design was done by an 8 year old, pretty impressive!  We liked it so much we made a copy of it.
Don't forget a hole punch before shrinking!
You can see the templates we traced in the bottom left of this picture.

Duty to God Den Meeting #2 (working on LDS religious emblem)

    LDS Faith in God-Learning and Living the Gospel #8

    Prepare a pedigree chart with your name and your parents’ and grandparents’ names. Prepare a family group record for your family and share a family story. Discuss how performing temple work blesses families

    Note: If possible, ask boys to bring the names of their grandparents to the activity.  Also have them prepare a family story to share (about a grandparent, parents, family tradition, ancestors, etc).  They need to be able to tell it, NOT read it.  If they would like they can bring a visual aide.  For example, my husband's grandma found hundreds of snakes in her house when she was a widow and living alone.  Her bravery in staying to fight the snakes got her on the national news.  I loved this grandma, she was an inspiration in lots of ways during her life, I'm always telling my kids about her.  If there isn't time for advance notice, you could always have the girls share a family story about a favorite tradition, vacation, a favorite grandparent, etc.  They could guess on the grandparents and correct it when they get home.

To start, have a lesson/discussion on how performing temple work and doing family history work blesses families.

    Next help the boys fill in the first three rows of their pedigree chart, the great grandparents are a bonus if they know them!
    Here is a pretty pedigree chart, there are lots to choose from online.

    Print a family group record for each boy to begin filling in.

    We finish this activity by giving the kids popcorn, twizzlers, and leftover halloween candy to munch on while everyone shares their stories.  If time permits the leaders can tell a story too.

    Next Den Meeting:
    Earning the LDS religious knot takes six more den meetings!  Because it takes so long that is why I choose to have "earn the religious knot" as a Bear elective requirement in our den instead of as a Wolf.  This way the Bears might have done all or some of the other six activities by the time we start working on this badge.  If not, we get to them over the next few months.