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Recruiting nite- 1 man show

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A very cheap and very simple break-out activity we've done at our recruiting night the past couple years now is the alka-seltzer rocket launch. A few of our adult leaders go off with the boys to launch the rockets while I go over the program with the parents.


The rockets really seem to keep the boys engrossed - both years now we've finished up our parent discussion and have a snack ready and waiting, but not a boy around. I have to go tell the boys to wrap it up and come back for snack!


It's the kind of activity that would be fun for you to incorporate into your Pack meeting regardless of how many new recruits show up. If you do have a good turn-out of potential scouts/parents, and if you are able to get a couple adults to help watch the boys while they launch then you can probably get a good 20 minutes of time to talk to the potential parents.

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So how does an Alka Seltzer rocket launch work? Haven't heard of that one.



I've found stomp bottle rockets to be a powerful draw to recruiting nights. The only downside is that parents want to keep watching the boys launch the rockets rather than come inside and sign up for Cub Scouts!

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That's funny because we've never done the stomp rockets. Always something new to learn about and try...


For our alka-seltzer rockets we use a 35mm film canister, alka-seltzer tablets and water. There is a resource on the web where I found some paper templates to decorate the film canister like a rocket with a nose and fins. We found that process to be too time-consuming last year (even with the parts pre-cut), so this year we just did the nose.


But basically you fill the canister with some water, drop in part of an alka-seltzer tablet, quickly put on the cap and set the canister on a flat surface (parking lot, sidewalk) with the cap facing down. Wait a few seconds and the pressure build-up pops the cap off, shooting the canister into the air. Different combinations of water and tablet result in different heights, but we've seen some shoot as high as 12 feet.


It's very simple, the boys can launch themselves several times in a short time period, and at this age they think it's cool. Even my boys who have done it before still enjoy launching them.


We have several CVS and Walgreen stores with photo labs nearby, so we swing by and ask for any used film canisters. Some canisters work much better than others...we use clear ones that have a lid that fits on the inside of the canister. The ones with lids that close around the outside of the canister rarely get any lift at all.


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