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AKdenldr

Webelos notebook and bear sewing project

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I have two related questions:

 

1.) I want to do a sewing project with the bears -- a bag that would hold their handbook and a pencil or so. Sized the right size that they could use it for Webelos -- then on into Boy Scouts. Does it need to be sized to handle a notebook in addition to the handbook? Does anyone have a pattern or dimensions? I'm thinking to use recycled adult jeans or other repurposed fabric.

 

2.) Can someone describe to me the Webelos notebook? Do we need to use one? I see requirements for a safety notebook and see lots of worksheets on meritbadge.com. Do the boys find these too school like? Do they make it back and forth to the meetings? (Notebooks strike me as school like -- typically what I tried to avoid in my den.)

 

Thanks much in advance.

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I'm working with 1st year Webelos. I made binders for each scout. It has tabs for Schedule, Important Info, Badges, Extras. I printed out all the Activity Badge requirement worksheets and put them in the Badges category. I encourage them to work on some badges like Family Member at home. The ones we work on in den meetings we never open the binder, but when we complete it, I stamp the worksheet DONE. It also has a large pencil pouch that is big enough to hold the Webelos book and a pen or pencil. Any info I send home is 3 hole punched and put in the binder before they leave. As long as they have the binder with them, they have everything they need.

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1) I must say that I can't see a 3rd grade boy (much less a middle, or high, schooler) carrying around a small handbook sized bag. Maybe, if it were tote sized so they could use it for other stuff. Still.... A messenger bag, or backpack, would probably be more their bag of choice, and could be used on campouts too.

 

Maybe a bookcover, with a loop to hold a pen? BSA sells Handbook covers. You could take a look at one to get an idea.

 

Another idea for recycling jeans is a "sit upon". Cut off jeans at the top of the legs. Sew the waist and leg holes closed. Fold up an old towel and put in a large ziplock bag. Insert the towel in through the zipper. This gives you a seat for campouts and a spare towel. Another idea I have heard used for stuffing is old plastic grocery bags. Easy to get tons of, gives you a soft seat when stuffed full, and also provides a spare plastic bag when needed.

 

2) Notebooks are not really needed for Webelos for every meeting. Basically they are used when doing work at home. This gives the Webelos somewhere to document his work so it can be approved by his den leader.

 

Would your Webelos remember to bring a binder, pocket folder, or bag, to every meeting? Maybe. It depends on your boys. I know when my group was Webelos, most were lucky they remembered their heads, much less anything else!

 

Personally, I am not a big fan of the worksheets. They might be helpful in some instances, but on the whole they seem to be to much like schoolwork and tend to be used by some leaders as the entire Webelos program. Webelos should be learning about Adult Association through the use of various Activity Badge Counselors, and learning thru hands on activities.

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That sounds a lot like a "murse", Joey's man purse from Friends. Just don't really see that happening.

 

In the spirit of offering other ideas after poo-pooing that one....depending on your climate how about a polar fleece scarf? Could either be a no-sew knot project that gives lots of overhand knot practice or if it's really cold then double it over and stitch a seam. The same could go for fleece hats or mittens in an outdoorsy fabric. Another simple sewing project could be a string bag to carry the notebooks and stuff in or a den flag the boys design.

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When my boys started Webelos we asked them all to get a binder of some sort. Most parents bought the zipper binders. In that binder they had a folder, a notebook, a couple pens and pencils and their book. I also gave them each a couple of baseball card holders so they could get used to putting their activity cards in them as they earned them to prep them for when they earned their blue cards. I started with 7 5th grade Webelos we crossed 6 to the same troop and the 7th moved. Almost a year later 5 of the boys still carry their binders now with their troop info in it. The 6th boy is not very active. We have also added 2 new boys to that patrol and they have also started carrying binders. I think the parents like it as everything in in one place and they don't have to search for Johnny's book every week. The boys don't seem to mind carrying them as most have them every week. I don't think my son or his friends would carry a tote. Maybe a messenger bag

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My 4th grade daughter is chomping at the bit to join a venturing crew specifically because she hates the sewing craft project that her girl scout group is working on.

 

I think it's a double negative to ask 4th and 5th grade boys to SEW a HANDBAG.

Good luck with that.

 

;^)

JoeBob

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>>"I think the parents like it as everything in in one place and they don't have to search for Johnny's book every week."

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As the mother of two boys, I would really, really discourage you from having them sew a bag that isn't useful as a piece of outdoor equipment. (My oldest just muttered "Man purse, man purse," when I asked what he thought of this project.)

 

If you want to include useful sewing projects, try finding mendable garments at home and show them how to sew a button, patch a rip, resew a seam, fix a hem. You could probably find mendable clothing at the Salvation Army or Goodwill which they can't put out on the floor. You could even turn fixing these minor problems into a service project.

 

Some of your pack parents or a nearby troop may have outdoor gear that needs repair (or is beyond it) that can at least serve as a model of how to fix gear and make it through the trip.

 

If you want to do a personal project, the polar fleece scarves with a nice blanket stitch would be the easiest, and you could offer the boys the option of giving these to a shelter if they didn't want to take them home.

 

Boys and men need to learn to fast and simple repairs. If a boy has a bent toward the textile arts or engineering gear, he'll probably discover it later in life.

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Try bandolier bag. It is a very simple construction of a pointed rectangle folded into about thirds, depending on how long you want your flap (two seams) and a shoulder strap (two more seams). Good quality felt from a fabric store will do you for fabric. The boys can decorate it with fabric paint or use it to sport some patches.

 

http://www.berrybeadwork.com/bandoliers.html (This is Martha Berry's web-site. She is one of the foremost modern Cherokee beadwork artists.)

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Not against all bags. Just against the idea of a bag that is only big enough to hold a Handbook and a pencil. It is not practical, and I doubt that the boys would use them.

 

There have been other suggestions offered for other kinds of bags and other sewing projects.

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