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Do you just start crafts or finish them at the meeting?

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  • Do you just start crafts or finish them at the meeting?

    I've read that you should just start crafts, but send them home for the boy to finish. That would free up a lot of time and we'd be able to get craftsman in over a few months, but only devoting a little bit of time. I'm worried, however that things wouldn't be finished. My son never finished the bear sawdust and nails achievement. We brought home the 3/4 made toolbox and never finished. We also have all the pieces to make a pinewood derby car display, but never did assemble it. (I'm not a woodworker and his father doesn't do that stuff.)

    I was planning to make: toolbox (so it counts for bears as well- is there an easier way to make it?), bird feeder (again it works for a bear achievement as well), then maybe the patch vest thingy for the extra patches and pins, a brag lanyard for mom to put her pins on, potholders (I've got a couple looms for woven potholders.), and drawstring bag??? (My 8 year old made a drawstring bag, so older kids should be able to do it.)

  • #2
    We had bad luck sending things home to be finished--they never were completed.. But there is no reason why you couldn't start it one week as the main activity and finish it the next week as the gathering activity. We also tended to break up craftsman and work on one project a month til it was completed, so we could mix things up and not be sitting doing crafts for a month+ straight. The boys liked things mixed up. Also be sure to have a pack meeting night to display everything you've made and ask the boys to all bring theirs to show off.

    We made the bear display thingy from the book for patches that looks like an animal hide and used it for webelos craftsman. Hint, we used chamois you can buy it pretty cheap, made a pattern and cut branches off of a tree. We used wire to wrap the corners to hold it together, but then covered the wire with thin leather strips so it looked like it was lashed together. Then when they get out of their blue uniforms, they can put all their patches on there and give away the blue uniform shirt to someone else in the pack to wear.

    You could make buddy boards from wolf and have it be a bear or webelos woodworking project. Or the stilts or other things from the wolf book.

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    • #3
      If I don't think we'll have enough time to complete a project from scratch, I will do some prep work ahead of time to minimize the things the boys have to do at the meeting. That goes for woodcrafts and regular crafts. My goal is to have them take home a finished project. They may have to paint or stain at home if they really want it to look nice, but it goes home fully constructed. I usually have them do only one or two sawcuts each, so I pre-cut some of the boards for them. Sometimes I have them do a group wood-working project, if our pack is in need of some item. My Webelos built a large Advancement Ladder for the pack where each boy constructed a portion of the ladder, painted their portion, then took turns putting the pieces together to make the finished project.

      I would have your son try to do a potholder before you bring that one to a meeting. With the kids that age, those potholders really take a lot longer to make then you think they would, and (for me) finishing the edges takes forever.

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      • christineka
        christineka commented
        Editing a comment
        My son crochets, which is basically what you do to make the finished edge. (He has older sisters. He crochets like a boy, though- he's got all kinds of super mario brothers figures made out of yarn.) I had already decided teaching the boys to crochet was out. You make a good point about the potholders.

    • #4
      We definitely go for a finished product by meeting's end. We also tried to scatter the craftsman requirements throughout the year so they did them in the middle of other badges. Some examples-
      1) a beaded red/white/blue kerchief slide during citizenship
      2) a wooden tiki cut from branches and decorate with nailed on things and paint for the luau theme B&G
      3) duct tape wallet (just because but it could go with family member and the money tracking)
      4) polymer clay Christmas ornaments and key chains

      None of these took more than an hour.

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      • #5
        We aim to have ours completed either by the end of the meet or we return and complete it the next meet. I love the idea of sending them home to let them finish them there but in the past, doing this showed me that a lot won't complete them (they'll flat out tell you nope, lol.)

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        • #6
          At their age, immediate gratification and recognition by being able to present mom with a completed project, no matter how mangled it really is, IS important. Mom can fawn over it and the boy can beam on the job well done. When I was DL I tried to make sure the activities were such that they could be finished by the end of the meeting. I do understand how hard that is.

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          • #7
            We spread webelos craftsman over several meetings. We made key racks, picture frames from moulding, leather key chains & neckercheif slides, duct tape wallets and paracord bracelets. The leatherwork was one meeting, the woodworking was one meeting (a few dads were able to set up stations) the wallets and paracord were each a meeting. The kids picked those out. We do it in the spring. 1st time thru Webelos we did the wood projects and leather ones but made knife cases from a donated kit. They also made flower pots (parent with a pottery kiln) and they made a checkers set in a bag that is the board.

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