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  • Camping Activities for Cub Scouts

    Hello to all

    I am looking for some suggestions on what I might be able to with the Cubs scouts when we do an overnighter this spring. I was thinking about trying to some of the requirements, but I don't want it to be just that. I am looking for some ideas of what we can do to also keep the campout fun and some suggestions on how to schedule. Time we start out in the morning and when to break down the next day.

    Any help.

  • #2
    SMORES. Actually smores are considered a requirement by Cub Scouts.

    Launching bottle rockets is cool too.


    • #3
      Activities we had at my son's Cub Scout campouts included:

      - Map & Compass: Paperplates were stapled to trees around the perimeter of a field. Headings were taken from a start point. Scouts were taught how to take a heading to a specific point (tree with letter A on the plate). Then each den was given a list of headings. They were to track across the field to the paperplate. They were given a list of headings and plot new course. They were to record the letters at each heading. At the end of the course, they unscrambled the letters and spelled a word. Scout, Bear, Wolf, etc. Tigers needed help, older boys did fine.

      -First Aid: scouts were given basic instruction in bandaging and then tied bandages on buddy

      - Marshmallow guns. 1/2" PVC pipe was pre-cut into lengths and fittings were provided. Scouts were given a specific number and type of fittings and specific number of pipe lengths. They assembled a gun and then were allowed to shoot mini-marshmallows at a posterboard target. Parts cost $2 per gun. Scouts were allowed to purchase guns because Pack could not afford to purchase for all boys. Parts needed: 2 elbows, 2 T's, 2 End caps, 5 pipes 5" long, 2 pipes 2" long

      - Build/Assemble nesting box. Wood was precut and sometimes pre-drilled. Den was given all the necessary boards, screws, and nails to assemble a bird house, nesting box, bat house, or project of the day. Small nails and screws were nailed or screwed by scouts to assemble box/house with adult supervision. Sometimes they were hung as a community service project with permission from park service. Other times scouts took home.

      - Fishing pole casting: Fishing poles with 2-3 oz weights were distributed one to each den. Hola Hoops were placed 25 feet away from each den. Each den member attempted to cast into the hola hoop.

      - Pick up game of baseball. One bat, one ball, and one glove for catcher. One of the favorite activities.

      - Den Presentations: A theme was chosen and each den was given a topic at least 3 den meetings before the campout. The scouts developed a 10 minute presentation. At the campout, each den got up in front of the pack and made there presentation. Tigers generally made posters. Older dens brought examples and explained topics. Wolfs and Bears have taught basic knife safety. Displaying sheath knifes, pocket knifes, proper opening, handling, blood circle, etc. Webelos made box ovens and baked cookies. Webelos I made a box oven as part of the demo. Weblos II put cookie dough on a sheet and cooked in the 12 minutes during the box oven making demo and them distributed cookies to audience.

      - Star gazing: Someone agreed to bring their telescope and allowed scouts to look at constellations and planets visible that night. Often a presentation was made using different balls to show the relative sizes of planets and distance between them.

      - Matchless fire starting: Scouts were taught how to make sparks using the BSA Hot Spark ($2 at scout store). The dens were provided 0000 steel wool, sisal rope, cotton balls plain and dabbed with vaseline, batteries, dried cattails, and lighter/fat wood. Dens were allowed the opportunity to attempt to start the tinder with the BSA Hot Spark, Gerber Strike Force, Magneisum bar, flint & Steel, batteries and steel wool. Prentations could be made by other dens about fire ring building, fire saftey, types of fire lays (A-frame, Tepee, log cabin, etc), collecting firewood, etc.

      - Charcoal Chimney making: Get #10 cans free from school cafeteria. Get used hangers free from laundry mat. Bring a few can openers, a few hammers, a 16# nails, a few pliers. Have scouts remove tops and bottoms of cans using can openers. Have scouts use a "Church Key" style can opener to make a row of triangle holes around the rim of one end of the can. (air holes) Have scouts use the hammer and nail and punch a ring of holes about 1" apart all the way around the can about 1-2 inches up from the air holes. (insert an arm sized stick into can, have person sit on stick on top of bench, drive nail through can into stick, pull out nail and do again 1 inch over. Without stick you will flatten can.) Have the boys cut the coat hangers into length 2 inches longer than the width of the can. Scouts thread the coat hanger wire through the holes and bend over the ends with pliers. The wires from a grid inside the can. Poke two holes on the top rim of the can. Use another longer piece of coat hanger to make a bale handle. Stuff couple pages of newpaper under can on the air hole end. Fill the top of the can with charcoal. Light the paper. The paper lights the charcoal. Heat rises and gets the coals ready quickly. Use coals for box oven or dutch oven.

      - Box oven making: Get boxes, foil, coat hangers, 8x8 foil pans, charcoal, stapler, pliers. Line box with foil. Line box lid with foil. Use stapler to attach foil to box and lid. Cut coat hanger to make lengths of wire. Poke 3-4 wires thorough box about 2/3 way up. This becomes shelf. Make 4 wads of foil and place in botton of box. Put coals in 8x8 foil pans and rest on foil wads. Wads keep charcoal off bottom of box and keep it from burning. Pan allows you to move charcoal in and out of oven. Have scouts cook something. We have baked the fridge cookie dough, Martha White muffins (add 1/2 cup milk, stir, bake 12-14 minutes, makes 6 muffins), and pizza (tortillas, 2 spoons pizza sause, handfull of grated cheese, topping) Once they learn they can bake, they will want to make more things. Brownies make a great snack to pass around the campfire at night.

      - Knot tying: Lengths of rope were cut and whiped ahead of time. One end of each rope was dyed a color. Boys were taught how to tie the 6 knots in the handbook. Having one end dyed a color make directions easier to give. Use colored electricans tape instead of dye

      -Tree/Leaf Idenficiation: Scouts were lead around campsite and given basic information about trees. Type of bark, shape of leafs, common uses of tree, etc. Sample leaves were collected and boys make tracings of leaves by placing paper over leaf and rubbing with crayon.

      - Leatherwork: 8 pack of leather neckercheif slides were purchased from scout store. Roughly $1 per leather slide. 1/4" letter set was purchased from scout store, about $25-$30. Rank logo stamps were purchased at about $3 per rank. Scouts were allowed to stamp the leather. Recommended they put Den #, rank logo, name, and date. They were able to wear the slides within 10 minutes. Makes a great keepsake. Scouts were still wearing years later.

      - Park Ranger Presentation: We usually camp at state parks. Contact park ranger well in advance. They often offer a 45-60 minute presentation. Great for scouts and parents.

      As for timing. Wake everyone at 7am. Breakfast until 9am. Raise flag, begin activitieis around 9:30. 45 minutes for each prentation: Two or three activites/presentations in morning. Break for 2-3 hours for lunch and free time. 1:30 start two or three more presentations/activities. Break for evening meal around 4:30. Campfire starts at dusk. Skits, songs, stories during campfire. Pack provides a dutch oven dessert. Dens are encouraged to cook a dutch oven dessert and share with Pack. Lights out and in tents by 10pm at latest.

      We had 45-55 scouts along with families. The Pack cooked the meal Sat night for everyone. We planned on feeding 125 people. We normally rented a portable grill about 2.5' x 6' and cooked chicken. Once chicken was grilled, it was wiped with BBQ sause. We cooked about 60-70 breasts and 30-40 leg quarters. We would use a turkey fryer and boil about 100 hot dogs. We would use 2 other turkey fryers and boil 100 half ears of frozen corn. We would heat two #10 cans of baked beans on camp stove. Open two #10 of fruit cocktail or sliced peaches. Each person was allowed two meats until all was fed. Then as much as you could eat until all gone.


      • #4
        What age Cubs and what kind of camping? Have you picked a camping area yet? What resources or features does it have?


        • #5
          We are thinking about a Nature Center nearby. But I do not want to have them inside the exibits all day. I was thinking about getting a flag foot ball set and working on that belt loop. We mostly have Tiger Cubs, one or two Wolf, and 2 or 3 webelos.

          I know that the nature center and planetarium will probably have a lot for us to do but I was also trying to find out other things.

          Thanks for the help so far. I will look at some of the things and see what we can come up with.


          • #6
            In order to take your Pack camping the person in charge of the trip MUST have completed BALOO training.

            Many of your questions, including a sample agenda, packing list, ideas for games and activities, and approved Cub Scout camping facilites, will be answered at your training.

            One of the basics is to utilize the resources of your camp area. Maybe the Center Naturalist can do a hike, or some kind of other outdoor program with the Pack. Is there a lake nearby where you can hold a fishing derby? Is there a large enough open space where you can do air rockets, paper airplanes, or kites?

            Another big consideration is weather or not you are including siblings. If you are, you must make sure that they have activities that are geared for them also.

            With mostly Tigers, flag football might be a bit rough on them. Also, since Tiger Partners are required to attend, you should make sure to include them in all of the activities that their Tiger are doing.


            • #7
              At our family camp outings, our pack always includes a short hike for the boys. This past year, the destination of the hike was a small lake, where we knew many animals came to drink. We took along plaster and water and made casts of moose tracks that we found on the shore of the lake. That was a huge hit with the boys.

              Another thing we always try to do is some sort of conservation/clean-up project to benefit the area where we are staying. In fact, two years ago, the state park allowed us to stay for free in exchange for doing a clean-up project.

              Also, try to plan to have a campfire program heavy on boy participation. Have each den do skit/song/stunts/run-ons/jokes/whatever; we like the "audience participation" skits as well to try to get everyone involved. End with quieter songs and reflection to get the boys ready for bedtime more easily.


              • #8
                We do a family campout every year for Pack and Troop. When we do it at a scout camp, we book a rifle range for BB shooting. Throw in fishing, swimming and plenty of free time for the boys to run, jump and play.

                This is also a great opportunity for large group belt loop work like Ultimate or Flag Football.

                Last year, we had everyone bring bikes for a long trail ride although it was very stressful on the ride leader (me) cause we got too strung out with different levels of riders.

                Since it's a family camp, we generally have family meals with common dessert time. I'd prefer common meals but we had a number of families whining about the selection and the cost. We had the audacity to charge a whopping $8.00 per person for two nights of camping, all activities and meals. They thought that food should have been cheaper but neglected to tell us that they would be bringing their own food and not paying until they got there.

                A good, well planned campfire is a must with songs, skits and stuff. Our last two years also had a Boy Scout Court of Honor.

                We generally end the evening with a flag retirement which is new to many of the younger scouts.

                We try to do some age appropriate outdoor skills training and include plenty of fun


                • #9
                  A lot of excellent Ideas...

                  You might invite the Scout Troop(s) that your Ws bridge over to. Do you have any Den Chiefs? Good time to recruit them from the Troops nearby.

                  The 'hero worship' factor can really work in your favor with a couple of Boy Scouts to help with the Cub activities.

                  KiS MiF YiS


                  • #10
                    We usually camp at the nearby state park lake, so we have a fishing derby - safety and other info to earn fishing belt loop, then 1 hour of fishing, with awards for (at various campouts) biggest fish, most total inches of fish, most interesting non-fish, smallest fish - this takes up most of Saturday morning. May/June campouts we include a period of swimming (with Safe Swim precautions) in the afternoon.

                    We usually have a den time - dens plan their own activities for an hour. Potluck hot dog dinner (pack provides hot dogs and drinks, everyone brings a side or dessert).

                    This May, our campout is going to focus on Geology belt loop/geologist activity pin (Web father is a geologist and puts on programs).

                    Many times I've put on the hug-a-tree program (how not to get lost in the woods and what to do if you get lost). Sometimes a scavenger hunt by den (include the appropriate cub handbook as one item). Tug of war is a big hit.

                    We've also done a Tent-or-Treat campout the past 2 years in October - afternoon includes pumpkin carving by family, early evening includes a pumpkin contest, costume contest and trick-or-treating to tents, followed by a campfire (glow stick necklaces/bracelets were a big hit.)

                    Short worship service Sunday morning before packing up.


                    • #11
                      The campouts are always fun. My recommendation is to make it a two night event. Typically if you make it just Saturday night about half will show up afer noon, cutting your usuable day in half. It also makes a full day of time that does not involve setting-up break-down for the adults.

                      As for events, successful ones that we have done are a nature hike, orientiering with a prize at the end (usually chocolate or trail mix), bottle rockets (2 litter pump up water rockets, not the real ones which are not allowed for Cubs), some sort of sports activity, fire starting can be demo but we usually don't let them handle fire until at least Bear age, Cub-O-Napolis (dens make race cars out of large cardboad boxes, not too large, an race around a circular course in a relay wearing them).

                      For our spring campout this year we are doing it Olympics style because of the games this year. We are planning Cub scout knowledge quiz, Scout skills challenge, orienteering challenge, rock wall (must be commercial wall for Cubs), obstical course, and some others that we haven't come up with yet.

                      Something else that can be fun is if you have some Webelos there, they can cook the meal for the pack (with plenty of adult supervision and help). We did that at our Webelos winter campout and it worked out awesome. Saturday night they assembled hobo meals for themselves and their adult. On Sunday morning the Webelo 2's cooked a breakfast of eggs, sausage, potatoes, etc for everyone. If you do this, just hit up everyone attending for their cooking gear don't try to buy all your own.

                      Also, a campfire program is always fun. Smores, a few songs, a skit, etc and it's always a hit. We also do a Sunday morning service, usually revolving around God & nature and cub age boys.


                      • #12
                        Flag retirements are also great. Keep in mind two things: age level means that they are usually run by adults...and explaining the reason before hand (yes before!). We had one imigrant boy who was quite upset and wanted to know why we were burning "his" flag. It is also important to have a good burning fire, but not too large. I recommend a small pile of wood saturated with lamp oil. I rewrote a retirement cerimony for our Pack by combining some concepts we liked and aiming it more Cub age boys. You'll notice that most of them are written with wording and concepts way above their level. It's not perfect, but I'm pretty proud of it. I'll post it here, anyone that wants is free to use it.

                        Pack 212
                        Southeast Christian Church
                        Flag Retirement Ceremony

                        Items needed: 1 US flag, old, worn, and/or tattered for retirement. 1 pair of large sharp scissors. A modestly burning campfire. 4 or more Adult Leaders or Boy Scouts to handle flag and as many Cub Scouts for reading as may be appropriate.
                        Sections in red are to be used if the flag is too large to safely retire in one piece.

                        Prepare fire pit, preferably by lining with ashes from previous retirement. Fire pit should either be a separate one from the campfire or should be the last thing that the campfire is used for that evening. If metal grommets are used, remove them from flag prior to ceremony with scissors.
                        Light fire and begin ceremony when it is burning sufficiently to not go out.

                        MC: Please stand. I would ask you to remain silent, standing until the retirement ceremony is over, and the flag is completely burned.
                        MC: Color Guard advance. (color guard enters to stand behind fire)
                        MC: We are here tonight to give honor to this flag one final time. It has flown long and proud as a symbol of our nation at (place location here). The flag is always to be treated with respect. United States Code Title 4, Chapter 1, Section 8 states The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.

                        (red part) As part of this ceremony, we will be separating the flag into four sections for the safety of the color guard. The blue union will kept in one piece, as it represents the fifty states and the union should never be broken.

                        A small amount of ashes have been kept from a previous retirement and are lining the fire to prepare a place of honor for this flag. After this retirement, the ashes from this flag will be buried secretly so they cannot be dishonored and the grommets will be taken to a veterans cemetery and placed at the headstones to honor those who died for our freedom.
                        MC: Color Guard present the colors. (Color Guard unfolds flag and holds it facing assembly, blue field to stage right)
                        MC: I was born on June 14th,1777 and the Declaration of Independence is my birth certificate. I am more than just red, white, and blue cloth shaped into a design. I am the shelter of the worlds mistreated people; the silent guardian of freedom. I am the symbol
                        of the greatest nation on Earth; a nation of the people, by the people, for the people. I am strong because of the strength of the American people; their desire to give help to those in need. I try hard for peace yet stand ready to fight cruelty. I feed the starving and offer help to the needy. I defend the freedom of those who desire it and offer a home to anyone who will pledge allegiance to me. I have led your sons and daughters from Valley Forge to the Arabian Peninsula. I have flown at Gettysburg, Flanders, Normandy, Korea, and Vietnam and I fly today in Iraq and Afghanistan. I have protected the weak and the innocent in dozens of nations. I covered in silence each of your honored dead taking them in my embrace to their final resting place beneath the rows of white crosses. I fly over you schools, your homes, and your churches. I even stand on the moon, as a symbol of what this great nation is able to do when united in purpose. I have flown through peace and war, difficulty and success. Honor me, respect me, and defend me with your lives and everything that you have. Never let my enemies tear me down from my high place lest I never return. Keep alight the fires of patriotism; keep alive the spirit of democracy. Worship Eternal God, keep His commandments, defend freedom and justice; and God willing I shall remain in freedom for the rest of my days.
                        MC: Scout salute! MC: Please join me is saying the pledge to this flag one final time.
                        (say pledge)
                        (If necessary for safety, Scouts separate flag into four pieces with one cut vertically and one cut horizontally during the following. Keep the union in one solid piece to be burned last)
                        MC or Scout 1: I have 13 stripes which represent the 13 colonies, which stood defiantly for freedom and became the first states.
                        MC or Scout 2: The red reminds us of the blood of patriots and heroes who have died for our freedom.
                        MC or Scout 3: The white represents the purity that is in all our hearts and the honor deep inside our soul.
                        MC or Scout 4: My 50 stars represent the 50 states, which make up our great nation.
                        MC or Scout 5: My blue field stands for truth and justice under Gods heaven, which binds our union together.
                        MC: Do not grieve for this flag, for it has served our nation proudly. It is deserving of retirement with the honor and respect, which we now give.
                        MC: Honor guard retire the colors!
                        (The honor guard now places the flag or pieces of the flag in the fire, lowering the center into the flames and folding the corners inward to the fire. If the flag has been separated, burn the union last)
                        (Once the flag is completely aflame and the fire begins to burn down) MC: Two!
                        MC: Color guard dismissed!
                        MC: Pack dismissed!
                        (after the fire has gone out, collect some ashes to keep for the next ceremony, and secretly bury the remainder of the ashes so that they cannot be desecrated)


                        • #13
                          That is a great idea. I think I will us that in a slightly different manner. But thanks for the Script. We will be also having our blue and gold and the Webelos will possibly doing a Flag folding demonstration. I think I will use that script while they fold it.

                          Thanks again, and to all, keep the ideas coming.


                          • #14
                            Great flag retirement ceremony. I was thinking of trying to include a flag retirement in our spring campout, but some of the leaders weren't sure the younger scouts would be able to keep attentive.

                            **I recommend a small pile of wood saturated with lamp oil**

                            I am not sure that the lamp oil is allowed. The Guide to Safe Scouting says: The use of liquid fuels for starting any type of fire is prohibited.



                            • #15

                              Our pack does a flag retirement at every family campout in August. We usually come up with about 6 flags or so. We do not cut them up, instead, we unfold the flag with one adult or leader at each corner and gradually lower the flag into the fire. After each flag, the Cubmaster asks one of the men to offer a prayer. Each one will pray for a certain topic such as the Pack, our President, Soldiers etc.

                              The last time we did the ceremony, it was night, cooling down and beginning to sprinkle. Among the 50 or so people around the pit, there was perfect silence and attention.

                              Advise your leaders to do the ceremony.