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  • showman

    Next badge on the list to tackle is showman. Are there any great ideas of how you can get the boys to write a play (or puppet play) within a relatively short amount of time? Fill in the blanks or something? How about some easy way of making marionettes?

  • #2
    Showman was the first badge my boys worked on as Webelos. In the spirit of Boy Scouts I gave them the sole responsibility of coming up with their own puppet ideas and play. I did have a few ideas for the play, but mine were all rejected, so I left it up to them. Without my direction, it took 5 meetings to finally put on the play, which is much longer than I had anticipated. It took 2 meetings for them just to decide what they wanted to do, 1 meeting to make the puppets and paint the scenery, 1 meeting to practice the play, and the pack meeting to present it. The boys made giant stick puppets, which were very easy to make, and we painted a sheet purchased at a thrift shop and draped it over a board between two saw horses for our scenery. Their play was Zombie Minecraft Three Little Pigs. They did a great job and their play got lots of laughs at the pack meeting, but it was definitely a time-consuming project. I would do it again, though, because the boys really enjoyed it.

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    • #3
      I had one boy do a shadow box play. He started with a shoe box, cut a peek hole in one end and a slot in the bottom. Decorated the inside with scenery and then costumed up his fingers as the 4 characters of his play. It was really kinda neat. That way each boy gets to make up his own play.

      Stosh

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      • #4
        I was doing Showman and Fitness together, so I had them mash it together: write a play with a boy saying "no" to cigerretts, drugs, and alcohol. In the end, the police officer puppet comes in, sends the other puppets to jail, and congratulates the boy for making the right decisions (that was their addition to the story).

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        • dedkad
          dedkad commented
          Editing a comment
          We were also doing Fitness at the same time, and I had something similar in mind. My idea was soundly rejected by the boys.

      • #5
        We did sock puppets and made a cardbox puppet stage. Divided boys into groups of 3 to create a play, The plays (which took about 30 minutes for them to get organized on) were mostly hilarious, occasionally repetitive. (how many sock fart jokes can you do, Apparently a lot and the boys enjoyed it,)

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        • moosetracker
          moosetracker commented
          Editing a comment
          TT - You first need to scientifically prove to me that socks fart, thankfully I don't think my socks have the anatomy.

        • Tampa Turtle
          Tampa Turtle commented
          Editing a comment
          They do have that large opening on the bottom...and they smell.

      • #6
        We did a puppet show recently in a workshop led by a professional puppeteer. He had the students make puppets first, simple stick puppets, then put them in groups of 3 or 4 to make up a play. He used a timer and gave them 20 minutes to improvise the play, then the groups took turns to perform their play. He said kids work better if kids make puppets first then create characters and a story that fit the puppets. The Star Wars fighter jet attacking a peacock was quite amusing.

        Good luck!

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        • #7
          First off, thanks for reminding me why boy scouts is so much more enjoyable than cub scouts...

          I suggest letting them run with it, with a few parameters. As WDL I told the boys they had to come up with a story--not just a big epic battle with puppets hitting each other. So it needed a beginning, a middle, and an ending. Then create characters and puppets to match. Rehearse the story and put on the show. It worked out pretty well.

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          • #8
            Son #1 and his buddies were just nuts about improvisation at that age. They would do skit after skit, and wouldn't stop. Before meetings, after meetings, on campouts ...
            Son #2, they just followed a short script for the Pack's Blue and Gold banquet.

            If you are visiting a troop on a campout, ask if they have a skit time in the evening. If so, challenge the boys to prepare something for that.

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            • #9
              We don't have much time to spend on this- only 2 meetings. I have 3 boys now. (One will move next week, when we are not having scouts.) I was hoping to do the 6 in puppets and one in music and theater, but have also considered doing the 6 in music, but it won't be as fun. The boys have to write a one act play to put on as well as a puppet show. Perhaps I could give them a situation to get them started? We only have two weeks in December because things get too busy with holiday stuff. Oldest boy moves on before we'll meet again in January. Speaking of, if we do this after pack meeting (One meeting is before and the other just after) would that mean the older boy wouldn't even be able to earn the badge, if he has moved on to boy scouts by the next pack meeting? If that's so, then we can spend more weeks on this.

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              • christineka
                christineka commented
                Editing a comment
                He will become a boy scout on his 11th birthday, which will occur after I plan to finish showman, but before the next pack meeting.

              • moosetracker
                moosetracker commented
                Editing a comment
                Ok.. I thought LDS went by a different age structure.. So then yeah, it means he can work on cubbie stuff until he either turns 11 or signs the registration papers to go into boy scouts.

              • christineka
                christineka commented
                Editing a comment
                We do- we go by age, not school year, so wolf is age 8, bear 9, webelos 10, and boy scouts from 11-18, but 11 year olds are in a separate patrol from the rest of the boy scouts.
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