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Webelos: Engineer Adventure

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We would like to do the new Webelos Elective Adventure:  Engineer this spring.  Has anyone done it yet? 

 

We are wondering how we should go able letting the boys plan / design their own project and building it.  We would like to get it done in 2 den meetings (or 3).  So, does anyone have any ideas on what we could encourage them to design such that they can build it themselves with some parental help?  I think the example in the book is a table.  That would be fine, but I'm guessing not many of our parents want to go purchase the wood needed for that project.  And we are really tired of making bird feeders and bird houses.  One idea we had was constructing a display board for their future AOL.

 

Learn to follow engineering design principles by doing the following:

a. Examine a set of blueprints. Using these as a model, construct your own set of blueprints or plans to design a project. b. Using the blueprints or plans from your own design, construct your project. Your project may be something useful or something fun.
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Sorry I don't know the requirements in this new program well

But a table and bird boxes and display boards sound a bit boring in the eyes of this 49 year old boy

 

Open it up to the boys, they'll think of something fun....

 

but as food for thought... think boy FUN!!!

maybe a catapult

a ping pong ball crossbow

a stomp rocket launcher

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Yeah, those are the ideas I was trying to think of -- we just want to make sure it is something doable and fun.  The table was the suggestion in the book.  You don't think they would like a display for their future arrows?  They just watched the current Webelos 2 receive their arrows so I thought they might like that.

 

On the flip side, we did Game Design during the winter months.  Two of the scouts were TOTALLY into it (designed board games and played them).  The other two in attendance were uncontrollable, ran around, and wouldn't work on them at all.  You just never know.  :confused:

 

We definitely want to do a catapult -- but is that something they can design?  From that respect bird feeders are good, but oh my gosh -- we have made some many bird feeders and bird houses!!!  LOL!!

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Yeah, those are the ideas I was trying to think of -- we just want to make sure it is something doable and fun.  The table was the suggestion in the book.  You don't think they would like a display for their future arrows?  They just watched the current Webelos 2 receive their arrows so I thought they might like that.

 

On the flip side, we did Game Design during the winter months.  Two of the scouts were TOTALLY into it (designed board games and played them).  The other two in attendance were uncontrollable, ran around, and wouldn't work on them at all.  You just never know.  :confused:

 

We definitely want to do a catapult -- but is that something they can design?  From that respect bird feeders are good, but oh my gosh -- we have made some many bird feeders and bird houses!!!  LOL!!

honestly, no I don't think most care about that arrow/plaque/display

 

Our pack has a tradition of giving each AOL award recipient the plaque with arrow.... one of the commercially available ones.

Sure the boys like the arrow

and even want it

My son's has been on the shelf in the living room for 2 months or so now without any more mention of it.

 

At one point I thought it would be cool to do those custom color thread wraps, with each wrap indicating a rank or award through their cub years...

 

BUT

honestly

these boys want to shoot stuff

or race

or compete

 

Do a little work on pioneering knots

Get a nice big stack of bamboo poles... like broom handle size maybe, or a bit smaller

They could make a doozy of a catapult

or maybe a bridge that will support a boy above a pit of "acid" (with some limit on height)

 

Another fun but easier thing is a bridge of toothpicks and mini marshmallows.... turn it into a competition

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We considered doing that elective but I got a whole lot of 'meh' from my boys. So instead, for our two required electives, we did the looking forward, looking back one and the game design one. For the next few months, all our meetings are now trips to various parks, historical areas, etc. and working on their outdoors skills. I'm taking them out of our 'class room' and putting the book away until June when we start on our AOL adventures.

 

As for the plaque and arrows, I think its a great idea but I definitely agree with blw2 on it. I have been anxiously awaiting making those plaques since my scouts were Tigers. But that's just it - I'm excited to do it, they probably couldn't care less, lol. My husband (who did carpentry for years) and I will be making the plaques and arrows and all that - the boys will have no part in it besides receiving them.

 

We've did the 'book work' required through this past year and had some fun but now I want them to get out and have some adventures. We are close to our local Boy Scout troop so I'm trying to get them on the right path since they will be bridging next March.

 

That being said, if you do decide to do this, please let us know how it goes!

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My husband is the den leader, and is an engineer, so that's why we are doing it.  We thought we could do it in March while the weather is still iffy here, and we plan on the outdoor ones after this.  We wanted to do the Into The Woods elective this month, but the trees have not even started to bud out, so we plan to do that next month.  We also have spring break this month and a pack meeting, so we have less time for meetings.

 

I should also mention we have BEGGED all the other parents to lead any elective and NOBODY has volunteered.  We have 10 in our den, but a couple of them are sporadic.  I cannot even get them to reply to let me know whether they will be at a meeting so we can plan the materials.  Now that is spring, four of our six most active boys play baseball (including ours) so the time is limited.  I don't mean this in a bad attitude way at all, but I did tons of planning and shopping for our Christmas den meeting last year and only 4 showed up.   For the first 2.5 years everyone came and participated...since then they have become really sporadic -- divorces, job loss, other activities -- stuff we cannot control.  We are really looking forward to the bears crossing over so we can do some adventures this summer jointly.

 

I think this one requirement is a little difficult for the age -- they have to draw a blueprint of what they want to make and then make it.  It should be fairly easy, but fun.  I will need to ask Google!

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My son did a major portion of this when he went to a Scout day at a museum here where we live. They built an underwater craft that moved around and picked things up and the kids lost their minds. I would check the places around your area to see if they have scout programs that would offer those things. It is all about fun for the kids to get them to do things that they think are boring.

Edited by David14

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My son did a major portion of this when he went to a Scout day at a museum here where we live. They built an underwater craft that moved around and picked things up and the kids lost their minds. I would check the places around your area to see if they have scout programs that would offer those things. It is all about fun for the kids to get them to do things that they think are boring.

Are you saying the kids thought it was boring?  The Engineer badge.   Okay, I must have a "strange kid" -- he loves to build things and he loved making the game.  (Of course, both my husband and I are engineers and two of his grandparents are scientists.)  He also loves to read and plays basketball and competitive travel baseball (less someone thinks I make him sit around and do educational stuff all day...LOL!)

 

I have looked around our area and so far I have found NOTHING.  I was hoping their would be a couple field trips where they could earn part of their badge there.  Not in March....maybe in the summer.  We had a science museum nearby that used to do a belt loop, so I am hoping they will do the Earth Rocks Adventure sometime.  I am also going to check with a large nursery nearby to see if they will do some  or all of Into the Woods.  And like I mentioned, I had asked for help from other parents with other careers and interests, and so far, no volunteers.

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My husband is the den leader, and is an engineer, so that's why we are doing it.  We thought we could do it in March while the weather is still iffy here, and we plan on the outdoor ones after this.  We wanted to do the Into The Woods elective this month, but the trees have not even started to bud out, so we plan to do that next month.  We also have spring break this month and a pack meeting, so we have less time for meetings.

 

I should also mention we have BEGGED all the other parents to lead any elective and NOBODY has volunteered.  We have 10 in our den, but a couple of them are sporadic.  I cannot even get them to reply to let me know whether they will be at a meeting so we can plan the materials.  Now that is spring, four of our six most active boys play baseball (including ours) so the time is limited.  I don't mean this in a bad attitude way at all, but I did tons of planning and shopping for our Christmas den meeting last year and only 4 showed up.   For the first 2.5 years everyone came and participated...since then they have become really sporadic -- divorces, job loss, other activities -- stuff we cannot control.  We are really looking forward to the bears crossing over so we can do some adventures this summer jointly.

 

I think this one requirement is a little difficult for the age -- they have to draw a blueprint of what they want to make and then make it.  It should be fairly easy, but fun.  I will need to ask Google!

 

I think you're my doppelganger here :) We have 10 in our den as well but lots of sporadic activity. The trip we've planned for this weekend - I have 4 yes' to attend and the rest, maybes, nos or no replies (maybe almost always means no.) 3 of ours do sports, 5 do robotics. My son is one of 2 that do nothing but scouts (mainly because I can't be all over the place with another son in sports already!) I planned a huge Christmas part last year, half didn't show. And our end of they ear party last May, the three I bought awards for, for never missing a meet - didn't show. Plus some others. It was very disheartening. Just know you're not alone, it seems to be very common as they get into the higher ranks. That doesn't mean I'll give up, I'm just getting myself accustomed to it. I also requested our parents help plan events. None did - one reason I'm doing this trip Sunday. It was going to be a trip my family did, regardless, so I turned it into something I hoped everyone would enjoy. I sent out reminders last night and well, yeah.

 

Sorry, going off on my on tangent here. I hope y'all can get it going and the Woods elective sounds like a lot of fun!

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I think you're my doppelganger here :) We have 10 in our den as well but lots of sporadic activity. The trip we've planned for this weekend - I have 4 yes' to attend and the rest, maybes, nos or no replies (maybe almost always means no.) 3 of ours do sports, 5 do robotics. My son is one of 2 that do nothing but scouts (mainly because I can't be all over the place with another son in sports already!) I planned a huge Christmas part last year, half didn't show. And our end of they ear party last May, the three I bought awards for, for never missing a meet - didn't show. Plus some others. It was very disheartening. Just know you're not alone, it seems to be very common as they get into the higher ranks. That doesn't mean I'll give up, I'm just getting myself accustomed to it. I also requested our parents help plan events. None did - one reason I'm doing this trip Sunday. It was going to be a trip my family did, regardless, so I turned it into something I hoped everyone would enjoy. I sent out reminders last night and well, yeah.

 

Sorry, going off on my on tangent here. I hope y'all can get it going and the Woods elective sounds like a lot of fun!

I'm glad to know I am not alone in this frustration.  I guess people do what they want to do.  In relation to not showing up / not answering e-mails, I wish the other parents would realize we are 100% volunteers that use a LOT of our time, so the courtesy of a reply or saying they aren't participating anymore would be great.  I feel you pain about the planning.  Last year, I spent a BUNCH of time planning and organizing our Christmas party.  We had 14 registered and only 4 showed up!  It was so disheartening.  And I get nearly zero parent participation.  We finished all our requirements for the year two weeks ago, I've e-mailed everyone their open items and we and the cubmaster have offered to help finish anything they need finished.  Besides our son, only one has finished so far.  I guess people do what is important to them.  My children have ALWAYS done scouts and sports and we made the effort to participate in both.  It's hard, but worth it we believe.  We aren't going to have any more regular den meetings until the fall, but once school is out we will schedule some of the AOL / Webelos electives for the scouts who wish to participate (we will do it with the new Webelos 1 so that should be fun.)

 

I wanted to update on the Engineer activity.  We finished it in three weeks.  Honestly, it would be very easy for it to take 4 weeks.  The first week which was mainly discussion was a little bit dry for the boys although we tried to make it interactive.  The next two weeks we worked on the three projects we needed to build and did paper airplane design (I was surprised that one of the boys did not know how to make paper airplanes?), designed and build a catapult and designed and built a stomp rocket.  I know someone said it was boring, but our four boys that participated seemed to have a great time!  I'm glad that it went well.

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I had the same problem.  But I complicated it by having both Webelos 1 & 2's who were new to scouting, as well as "old hands". .  What I finally decided was to have 1 weekend  day meeting (for us, Sunday 1:30 - 4ish worked best), and 1 week night plus the Pack meeting each month.  The weekend allowed us to go out, hike, build fires, cook, build stuff, etc. Just be older boys doing fun scout like stuff.  The weeknight was to catch up with book work, AND to do stuff with the other dens - we all meet the same night / school  in different rooms. And my boys liked working with the wolf den,  or at least the snacks they always had   :rolleyes:

 

 As for scouts not completing requirements,  every month or so I sent a report home saying what they had completed, and what was left, I  included:

 

"As always, your scout is NOT required to do this "home" work.  It is perfectly fine if he just wants to come to scouts & have fun (and learn stuff btw).  However, your scout will NOT EARN the rank without completing his homework.  He will, however, advance on with his den to the next rank at the end of the year."

 

So yup, I passed it right back on the parents and the scout.  Where I think it belongs once they get to Webelos.  No one will do even as much as I did (monthly status reports) once they get to troop level.  And it takes all the pressure off me.   ;)

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Cubs and parents that are not interested or have the "Soccer Syndrome".    Drop the child off and come back in 2 hours.   And in 10 years, they will wonder why the child has no interest in them. Or is a behavior problem at school. Or can't work by themselves.

 

I liked the demonstration I once saw at a PTA meeting , where the teacher unrolled an adding machine paper roll and announced, "This is your childs life".  He taped it to a wall and proceeded to mark it up with a marker, Here's where he is born, kindergarten, sixth grade, high school, etc.  And here's the period when YOU , parent , have some say over his life.  And here is where you won't.   If you don't have a connection HERE (indicating 6 thru 12years), you won't have much if any connection HERE (indicating 14 thru 21)    .  And we talked about church, Scouts, 4H,  and maybe sports.....

 

Engineering:   Find out where the parents work. Any mechanics?  Tradesmen?  Construction?  Aunts? Uncles?   How about an architect? We have one in our Meeting, he was great talking to our Cubs, showed 'em around his workshop, even how he builds models of his projects.  Bus depot for the transit service.  Auto machine shop?  All you can do is ask and offer.  The Cubs and their parents can only say no. Their loss.

Make a study of a bridge in your area. Talk about the forces of Tension versus Compression.  Which force is in what direction n which frame member?  Reason it out.  Can concrete be pulled?  Can stone be pulled, or pressed?   How about a steel I-beam?   Same for a house's frame.  Talk to a house builder, try to look at a house under construction.  How are the "Loads" handled?   

 

Than you for your service to our future.     Remember, it will be that Kindergartener that may ultimately pick out your assisted living facility!

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@@SSScout I have seen the same thing done with a yard stick.

 

Emails to parents Do.Not.Work, don't even bother. As suggested you need to know something about the parents and then ask them for their help in a specific thing, in person. One dad never replied to a email, but once I talked to him and found out he was a HS chemistry teacher I asked if he could arrange to bring the den into the school lab for a the Scientist Activity. Once he said yes I had him and he pretty much took ownership of it. One mom was a nurse, asked for some help with Readyman. Once she was involved she basically took over.

 

The point is personally ask for one small very specific thing. Once you get a Yes and the discussions begin the involvement will grow usually becuase thier pride will take over. The Nurse sees she can do much better than I can. Do Not ask a parent to take charge of an activity, it won't happen.

 

We do not start with asking scouts to plan a Campout. Start with breakfast and then go from there.

 

Oh, and I know am late to this party but what JasonG was probably referring to was something like this. Although I have seen it the sticks connected with masking tape as well.

https://www.google.com/search?q=catapult+with+popsicle+sticks+and+rubber+bands&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en-us&client=safari#imgrc=kzBlT0SgcFDDjM%3A

Edited by King Ding Dong

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We LOVED the engineering badge! I wish I would have seen this post sooner... We made this marshmallow shooter and it was a HUGE hit! 

http://www.howtoons.com/?page_id=139

 

The comic shows the boy making a blueprint of his shooter so it was an easy jump for our boys to do their own on graph paper. I bought extra fittings and joints so they could actually experiment with different configurations. Also I encouraged them to play with a test model first (swapping out parts to make the barrel longer and shorter, etc.) so they could see what effect that had (for example, a longer barrel shoots further... ask them to guess why?). That encouraged them to put measurements on their blueprints. It was lots of fun! Hour went by too quickly!

 

The PVC you need is cheap and easy to work with. I did buy two PVC cutting tools though because they seemed much safer for boys to handle than hack saws. 

 

We made stomp rockets for our second project using the same PVC pipe. We ended up going with a version where you just duct-taped an old piece of garden house (2-3') to a 12-15" length of 1/4" PVC on one end and the plastic 2-liter bottle on the other. So easy and again... most fun we had all year!

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