Paws for Action


Complete Requirement 1 and two others from Requirements 2-4

  1. Learn about our nation’s flag. Display it at home for one month. Say the Pledge of Allegiance and learn its meaning.
  2. Do at least one of the following.
    • Find out about two famous Americans. Share what you learned.
    • Find out where places of historical interest are located in or near your community, town, or city. Go and visit one of them with your family or den.
  3. Do at least two of the following.
    • With your school or den, visit a local sheriff’s office, police station, or fire department OR talk with a fire safety officer or law enforcement officer visiting your school or den. Find out what skills the officers use to do their jobs. Ask questions that will help you learn how to stay safe.
    • Make a list of emergency numbers and discuss with your family where the list should be kept. Show your family that you know how to call for help in an emergency. Talk with your family about people who could help you if a parent is not available.
    • With your family, develop a plan to follow in case of an emergency, and practice the plan at least three times. Your family can determine the emergency, or you can develop several plans.
  4. Do at least one of the following.
    • Do a cleanup project that benefits your community.
    • Participate in a patriotic community parade or other civic event that honors our country.

Mr. Janney will visit our meeting and tell us about what he does in his work as a police officer for Montgomery County in the Bethesda District.



Complete at least four of the following:

  1.  Identify six tasks performed by robots.
  2. Learn about some instances where a robot could be used in
    place of a human for work. Research one robot that does this type of work, and present what you learn to your den.
  3. Build a robot hand. Show how it works like a human hand
    and how it is different from a human hand.
  4. Build your own robot.
  5. Visit a place that uses robots.

We built Bristlebots, learned about the FIRST high school robotics competitions like the one students at Walter Johnson HS participate in.

Baloo the Builder

The Thanksgiving and December holidays mean there is only one Den Meeting in those months. We will be working on the Baloo the Builder Required Belt Loop in both meetings.


  1. Discover which hand tools are the best ones to have in your toolbox. Learn the rules for using these tools safely. Practice with at least four of these tools before beginning a project.
  2. Select, plan, and define the materials for the project you will complete in requirement 3.
  3. Assemble your materials, and build one useful project and one fun project using wood.
  4. Apply a finish to one of your projects.

We will learn about different kinds of wood, how to tell how hard the wood is, and different kinds of finishes we can use on wood.

Tools to practice with: Safety Glasses, Sandpaper, Coping Saw, Hand Drill, Hammer, Screwdriver, Hand Saw
Fun Project: 
Raingutter Regatta Boats (November)
Useful Project: Birdhouse (December)

  • Drop cloth
  • Safety glasses
  • Paint & varnish
  • Brushes
  • Hammers (everyone please bring one)

Marble Madness

The theme for the October 25 Den Meeting is Marble Madness. This is an elective belt loop that can be used as the one elective required for the Bear Rank.

Requirement 5 is optional

  1. Discuss with your family or den the history of marbles, such as where and when the game began. Talk about the different sizes of marbles and what they are made of and used for.
  2. Learn about three different marble games, and learn to play one of them. Learn how to keep score. Learn and follow the rules of the game. Play the game with your family, friends, or your den.
  3. Learn four or five words that are used when talking about marbles. Tell what each of the words means and how it relates to playing marbles. Share this information with your den.
  4. Complete one of the following:
    • With your den or family, make a marble obstacle course or marble golf course. Share what you create. Invite everyone to go through your course.
    • Create your own game using marbles, and design rules for playing the game. Share the game you created with your den, family, or friends. Explain the rules and how to play the game.
    • With your den or family, create a marble race track. Have at least two lanes so you can race your favorite marbles against each other.
    • Make a marble maze.
  5. With the help of an adult, make a marble bag to hold marbles.

Bear Necessities

The theme for the October 11 Den Meeting is Bear Necessities. With the campout fresh in our minds, it should be easy to go over what kind of things you would need to bring for yourself or the group. The boys will see if they can setup a simple dome dent on their own. We’ll review the knot we learned last year (square knot), which can be used to tie two ropes together. Then we’ll learn the two half hitches which is a good knot for tying something to a pole, tree, or ring.

Complete Requirements 1 – 4. Requirements 5 and 6 are optional.

  1. While working on your Bear badge, attend one of the following:
    • A daytime or overnight campout with your pack or family
    • An outdoor activity with your den or pack
    • Day camp
    • Resident camp
  2. Make a list of items you should take along on the activity selected in Req. 1.
  3. Make a list of equipment that the group should bring along in addition to each Scout’s personal gear for the activity selected in Requirement 1.
  4. Help set up a tent. Determine a good spot for the tent, and explain to your den leader why you picked it.
  5. Demonstrate how to tie two half hitches and explain what the hitch is used for.
  6. Learn how to read a thermometer and a barometer. Keep track
    of the temperature and barometric pressure readings and the actual weather at the same time every day for seven days.

Whittling Chip & Bear Claws

Whittling Chip grants a Bear Scout or Webelos Scout the right to carry and use a pocketknife. Earning the Whittling Chip is part of the requirements for the Bear Claws belt loop and Bear Rank, but the parent or guardian always has the final say on when and where your scout can use a pocketknife. Please learn along with your scout and be ready to have a new knife safety enforcer in your home!

Learning and practicing to use pocketknives safely will take multiple meetings (9/13 & 9/27). You will need to bring a small pocketknife for your scout to use at the second meeting on 9/27. We will be using cardboard, wooden, and plastic knives at the first meeting. If you decide to buy your son a pocketknife, then be aware of the following:

  • Blade must be 3 inches long or less
  • A simple Cub Scout knife is recommended. It can have a locking blade or not. Locking blades are good, but depending on the knife, they may be a problem for small hands to close safely. I found both official Cub Scout knives hard to open and close until they had been broken in (i.e. opening and closing them many, many times). They’re also made in China. For me, the locking Buck 284 Bantam was easier to open and close and made in the USA.
  • Swiss army or multi-tools may be difficult for small hands to hold. If you decide to go this way, get a knife with just a couple of tools like the My First Victorinox or the Bantam (both made in Switzerland).
  • Fixed blade knives are NOT allowed.
  • Knives are NOT allowed at pack or den meetings, even after the Whittling Chip is obtained, unless prior approval is obtained from the Den Leader.
  • Knives are NOT allowed to be used at campouts without prior parent and Den Leader approval.

You should also consider getting a small sharpening stone or a ceramic sharpener like this Gerber pocket sharpener. The scouts will be learning that a sharp knife is safer than a dull knife. The stone should be carried by the scout whenever they have their knife.

A parent/guardian is required to attend Whittling Chip training with the scout to ensure rules are understood. At the completion of training your son will be given a “Whittling Chip” card – assuming you approve. This card must be carried by your scout whenever they are using their knife. Any leader, parent, or adult can ask for the Whittling Chip at any time a Cub Scout has a pocketknife in his possession. If the Cub Scout does not have the card in his possession, the knife will be collected and returned to the parent.

A corner of the Whittling Chip card will be cut off for each violation of the rules. When the 4th corner is cut off, the card will be taken from the scout and the scout must go through training again, in order to receive a new card. The cutting of corners can be done by any adult who feel safety has been violated. For very serious infractions (such as threatening another scout), the card will be taken immediately and permanently.

While I am sure some of you may be concerned with the idea of the boys carrying a pocketknife, this program is designed to teach knife safety. Even if the boys do not get the card the class is important since most boys will use kitchen and other knives in the future. The actual Whittling Chip card will be given to the boys only with the parent’s approval at the end of the class. You will have the final say at the end of class on whether your son gets a card, or even when and where your son carries a knife after the card is issued.

If you have any questions or concerns about the class, please feel free to contact me.

Whittling Chip Requirements

This certification grants a Bear Scout or Webelos Scout the right to carry and use a pocketknife. The Scout must show his Scout leader, or someone designated by his leader, that he understands his responsibility to do the following:

  1. Know the safety rules for handling a knife and show, using these rules, that you know how to care for and use your pocketknife safely.
  2. Make a carving with a pocketknife. Work with your den leader or other adult when doing this (One of the items carved for Bear Claws requirement 3 may be used to fulfill Whittling Chip requirement 2).
  3. Read, understand and promise to abide by the Pocketknife Pledge.

Information on these Whittling Chip requirements can be found in the Bear Claws adventure of the Bear Handbook. The Whittling Chip patch is considered a temporary patch and, if worn, should be centered on the right pocket of the Cub Scout or Webelos uniform shirt. It should not be sewn on a pocket flap.

Bear Claws Requirements

  1. Learn about three common designs of pocketknives.
  2. Learn knife safety and earn your Whittling Chip.
  3. Do one of the following:
    • Using a pocketknife, carve two items.
    • With a pocket knife, safely perform each of these tasks:
      1. Demonstrate how to cut a piece of rope, twine or fishing line
      2. Open a sealed box without damaging the contents
      3. Open a can with a can opener tool on a pocket knife
      4. Remove and replace the screws on an object with the screw driver
        tool on a pocket knife
      5. Open a letter

Meeting Plans

  • First Meeting
    • Rules review
    • Knife passing practice
    • Practice with wooden knife
    • Carving soap with a plastic knife
  • Second Meeting
    • Rules review
    • Knife sharpening demonstration
    • Carving balsa wood, foam, or soap with a pocketknife
    • Carving carpenters pencils
    • Written Quiz
    • Hand out cards

Meeting Materials

  • PowerPoint Slides
  • First Aid Kit
  • Fake Knives for opening/closing, and passing practice
  • Plastic Knives
  • Newspaper
  • Ivory Soap for carving
  • Patterns
  • Pencils, craft sticks or orangewood sticks to draw pattern in soap and for carving
  • Balsa carving blocks
  • Carpenters Pencils
  • Knives
  • Sharpening Stone and Oil
  • Whittling Chip cards
  • Boy Scout Wood Carving merit badge pamphlet
  • Den Leader Guide Meeting Plans

Paws of Skill

UPDATE: We will try this activity again on May 17th. The theme for the May 3rd Den Meeting is Finding Your Way. The Meeting Plans are here. The meeting will be outside on the St. Jane’s playground unless the weather is very rainy. The boys will choose a game to play for 30 minutes, so bring whatever equipment might be necessary to play soccer, basketball, etc. I have no experience in coaching kids in sports activities, but hopefully some of you parents do and can help out.

Please return all unsold camp cards and a check to Pack 461 for the number sold to me at the May 3rd den meeting.

Please login to Scoutbook and mark off any completed requirements for Adventure Loops. The Grow Something seeds should be pretty far along now, and if you haven’t had a chance to visit a community or botanical garden you can research one online.

May 20th is the Arrow of Light Ceremony at Robert C. McDonnell Campground in Cabin John Regional Park. The boys will be graduating to the Bear level then. This will be our last opportunity to hand out advancements for Wolf requirements.

Requirements 5,6,7 are optional

  1. Talk with your family or den about what it means to be physically fit. Share ideas of what you can do to stay in shape.
  2. With your family or den, talk about why it is important to stretch before and after exercising. Demonstrate proper warm-up movements and stretches before and after each activity you do that involves action.
  3. Select at least two physical fitness skills and practice them daily for two weeks. See if you can improve during that time.
  4. With your family or your den, talk about what it means to be a member of a team. Working together, make a list of team sports, and talk about how the team works together to be successful. Choose one and play for 30 minutes.
  5. With your den, develop an obstacle course that involves five different movements. Run the course two times and see if your time improves.
  6. With your den, talk about sportsmanship and what it means to be a good sport while playing a game or a sport. Share with your den how you were a good sport or demonstrated good sportsmanship in requirement 4.
  7. Visit a sporting event with your family or your den. Look for ways the team works together. Share your visit with your den.


  • Gathering Activity: Playground
  • Opening
  • Play a game for 30 minutes
  • Closing


  • Soccer ball
  • Basketball
  • Fitness log
  • Poster paper for list of sports

Finding Your Way

The theme for the April 5th Den Meeting is Finding Your Way. The Meeting Plans are here. This adventure was partly done with our Geocaching outing.

There is a pack meeting the very next night with the theme of Cub Scout Carnival. Please return or give me an update on the Camp Card sales. All unsold camp cards must be returned to me by the May 3rd den meeting.

The year is winding down, and the rest of the den meetings this year will be outside unless it is raining. Also, the May pack meeting has been replaced by the May 20th Arrow of Light Ceremony at Cabin John Park campground. The boys will be graduating to the Bear level then.


  1. Using a map of your city or town, locate where you live.
  2. Draw a map for a friend so he or she can locate your home, a park, a school, or other locations in your neighborhood. Use symbols to show parks, buildings, trees, and water. You can invent your own symbols. Be sure to include a key so your symbols can be identified.
  3. Identify what a compass rose is and where it is on the map.
  4. Use a compass to identify which direction is north. Show how to determine which way is south, east, and west.
  5. Go on a scavenger hunt using a compass, and locate an object with a compass.
  6. Using a map and compass, go on a hike or walk with your den or family.


  • Gathering Activity: Playground
  • Opening
  • Find where we are on the map and the compass rose
  • Draw our own maps using the compasses to find directions
  • Make posters for the carnival
  • Treasure hunt in the field/playground area using GPS
  • Make foam flags (if another activity is needed)
  • Closing


  • Maps of the area with compass rose
  • Compasses
  • Paper, posterboard and colored pencils/markers
  • Geocaching supplies
  • GPS

Grow Something

The theme for the March 8th Den Meeting is Grow Something. The Meeting Plans are here. This adventure ties into our April outing to Brookside Gardens. We are only having 1 meeting the next two months as we have a lot of other things going on with Pack activities like the Pinewood Derby and Spring Break.

There will be some follow-up for this Adventure to be done at home. Seeds don’t grow in an hour! Please take the things we plant home and have your son take photos or make drawings over the next 4 weeks.

The Geocaching outing is happening this Sunday. You can watch this video if you want to get an idea about what Geocaching is. This outing will tie into the Finding Your Way adventure loop in April.

Bring your Pinewood Derby car and axles if you want to talk over how to put it all together. The last time I looked, there was one of the tools for bending the axles as shown in the YouTube video in the Scout Locker. If it has not disappeared we can use it during the meeting.


  1. Select a seed, and plant it in a small container. Care for it for 30 days. Take a picture or make a drawing of your plant once each week to share with your den or family.
  2. Find out the growing zone for your area, and share the types of plants that will grow best in your zone.
  3. Visit or research a botanical or community garden in your area, and learn about two of the plants that grow there. Share what you have learned with your den or family.
  4. Complete one of the following:
    • Make a terrarium.
    • Using a seed tray, grow a garden inside your home. Keep a journal of its progress for 30 days. Share the results with your den or family.
    • Grow a sweet potato plant in water. Keep a journal of its growth for two weeks. Share the information with your den or family


  • Gathering Activity: Ping pong ball games
  • Opening
  • Plant seeds
  • Setup Sweet Potato (add water at home)
  • Make foam flags
  • Talk over Pinewood Derby, bend Axles if we can
  • Closing


Jungle Book, Cub Scout Day Camp

Jungle Book

The 2016 version of the Jungle Book is on Netflix right now, so you may want to watch it as a family. I am suggesting this because many aspects of the Cub Scout program are based on Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book (e.g. calling your helpful adult Akela). If you watch it, I think you’ll see how the story has influenced Cub Scouts, especially the Wolf Den.

Cub Scout Day Camp: “Bug Hunters”

The Potomac District holds Cub Scout Day Camp each year somewhere nearby. This year camp will be June 19-23 at Lois Green – Sligo Izaak Walton League, Gaithersburg. Activities might include archery, BB guns, crafts, fishing, nature, scout skills, sports, and STEM.

This camp is run by volunteers, and the pack has to provide 2 adults each day for each group of 10 scouts. I am asking early to gauge interest, and to find out if we have any teachers or parents/grandparents with increased availability in the summer. The fee starts out at $190 if paid by April 23rd, and registration is done at the pack level. Please let me know if you are interested and/or able to volunteer.

Personally, I could cover a day or two, but this requirement makes attending the camp tough. Sometimes it’s quite a task to cover the 5 days with enough parents.