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


Digging in the Past

The theme for the February 15th Den Meeting is Digging in the Past. The Meeting Plans are here. Once again I am pulling stuff from all three meeting plans to fulfill the new requirements, which are a bit easier. Since we are making a food, please let me know if there any allergies to the ingredients and we can probably change the recipe. The edible fossil layers will also be our snack!

We will be receiving the Camp Cards from our Committee Chair. I am attaching files about the program to this post. Any unsold cards should be returned to me or the Chair before May so that the Council will not charge us for them.

2017 Camp Card FAQs  Boy Scout Talking Points

This meeting is going to be jam-packed with crafting activities! This is the last meeting before the Blue and Gold Banquet so we will also be working on the decorations for that. I will be taking the boxes for the Blue & Gold banquet back so that we will be sure to have them to display them.


  1.  Play a game that demonstrates your knowledge of dinosaurs, such as a dinosaur match game.
  2. Create an imaginary dinosaur. Share with your den its name, what it eats, and where it lives.
  3. Complete one of the following:
    1. Make a fossil cast. 
    2. Make a dinosaur dig. Be a paleontologist, and dig through a dinosaur dig made by another member of your den. Show and explain the ways a paleontologist works carefully during a dig.
  4. Make edible fossil layers. Explain how this snack is a good model for the formation of fossils.


  • Gathering Activity: Dinosaur Matching Game
  • Opening
  • Decorate boxes for Blue & Gold Banquet
    • Stickers
  • Make a fossil cast
  • Create imaginary dinosaurs
  • Edible Fossil Layers
    • Clear plastic cups with an inch of jello at the bottom
      • Put some animal crackers into the jello
      • Graham Cracker crumbs
      • Chocolate pudding with more animal crackers
    • Plastic Spoons
  • Closing


Code of the Wolf

The theme for the February 1st Den Meeting is Air of the Wolf. The Meeting Plans are here. For this meeting I am pulling stuff from all three meeting plans to fulfill the new requirements, which are a bit easier.


Complete two of the following:

  • With the members of your den or family, make a game with simple materials that requires math to keep score.
  • Play a game of “Go Fish for 10s.”
  • Do five activities at home, at school, or in your den that use mathematics, and then explain to your den how you used everyday math.
  • Make a rekenrek with two rows, and show your den leader or other adult how you would represent the numbers 4, 6, 9, and 14.
  • Make a rain gauge or some other measuring device, and use it.

Complete one of the following:

  • With other members of your den or family, identify three different types of shapes that you see in nature.
  • With other members of your den or family, identify two shapes you can see in the construction of bridges.
  • Select a single shape or figure. Observe the world around you for at least a week, and write down where you see this shape or figure and how it is used.

Complete one of the following:

  • With your den, find something that comes with many small, colored items in one package. Count the number of items of each color in your package. Keep track of each color. Then:
    • Draw a graph showing the number of items of each color.
    • Determine what the most common color is.
    • Compare your results to those of the other Scouts.
    • Predict how many items of each color you will find in one more package.
    • Decide if your prediction was close.
  • With your den or family, measure the height of everyone in the group and see who takes more steps to walk 100 feet.
  • Have each member of your den shoot a basketball. Count the number of shots it takes for each scout to sink five baskets. Make a graph that shows how successful your den was. Your graph should show each group that needed 5, 6-10, 11-15, 16-20, and more than 20 tries to sink their shots.

Complete one of the following:

  • Use a secret code using numbers to send a message to one of your den members or your den leader. Have that person send a message back to you. Be sure you both use the same code.
  • Send a message to another member of your den or your den leader using the pig pen code or another code that changes letters into special shapes.
  • Practice using a code stick to create and decode a message


Air of the Wolf

The theme for the second January Den Meeting is Air of the Wolf. The Meeting Plans are here. For this meeting I am pulling stuff from all three meeting plans to fulfill the new requirements, which are a bit easier. Scouts who participated in the Raingutter Regatta already have a requirement marked off.


Conduct two of the following investigations to see how air affects different objects:

  • Make a paper airplane and fly it five times. Try to make it fly farther by
    altering its shape. Fly it at least five more times to see if your changes were effective.
  • Make a balloon-powered sled or a balloon powered boat. Test your
    sled or boat with larger and smaller balloons.
  • Bounce a basketball that doesn’t have enough air in it. Then bounce it
    when it has the right amount of air in it. Do each one 10 times. Describe how the ball bounces differently when the amount of air changes.
  • Roll a tire or ball that doesn’t have enough air in it, and then roll it again
    with the right amount of air. Describe differences in how they move.

Complete two of the following:

  • With other members of your den, go outside and record the sounds
    you hear. Identify which of these sounds is the result of moving air.
  • Create a musical wind instrument, and play it as part of a den band.
  • With an adult, conduct an investigation on how speed can affect sound.
  • Make a kite using household materials. With your den or family,
    explain the rules for safely flying kites. Fly your kite.
  • With your family, den, or pack, participate in a kite derby, space derby,
    or rain gutter regatta. Explain how air helps the vehicle move.


  • Gathering Activity: Paper Airplanes
  • Opening
  • Basketball Experiments
    • What is air? Can we feel it? Have you ever noticed air pressure on a weather forecast? Atmospheric Pressure was roughly 15 psi (30.8 inches of mercury) when I wrote this.
    • A totally deflated basketball has the same internal pressure as the room or lower. It does not bounce and rolls badly.
    • We have to compress air and force it into the ball to make it bouncy and keep its round shape. When properly inflated it’s about 8 psi more than the pressure in the room.
  • Paper tube “bullroarer”
  • Craft Stick Harmonica
  • Bubble Tea Straw Pan Flute
    • Hot glue seems to the best way to keep it together. Parents will need to help with the mini glue gun.
  • Closing

Howling at the Moon

Happy New Year! We are right back into Cub Scout things this week with a Den Meeting and a Pack Meeting.

Several of the boys in our Den are nearly done with their Wolf Rank requirements. This should not discourage anyone, as there is still plenty of time left to finish the required belt loops by May. Please contact me if you need help understanding a requirement or coming up with a way to fulfill it.

The theme for the first January Den Meeting is Howling at the Moon. The Meeting Plans are here.


  1. Show you can communicate in at least two different ways.
  2. Work with your den or family to create an original skit.
  3. Work together with your den or family to plan, prepare, and
    rehearse a campfire program to present at a den meeting or pack program.
  4. Perform your role for a den meeting or pack program.

For part of Requirement 1 we will learn the American Sign Language for “Do Your Best.” Some of you may have already watched the various videos on how to do this and can hopefully help us out on this.

For Requirement 2, start talking to your scout about how we can make a funny and age-appropriate skit using the format below. The original skit(s), along with a few classic scout skits and jokes will make up our program. If there is time during the Pack Meeting we may perform one of these skits there as well.

Den Skit Planning Sheet

Theme (or the story’s message):
Skit title:
Number of actors (total number of the Scouts in den):

Briefly describe what happens as each part this outline is played out in the skit.
Note: Keep it simple. Keep it short (three to five minutes). Keep it in good taste.

A Scout (or a group of Scouts) wants something:

The Scout (or group) starts to reach that goal:

Obstacles stand in the way:

The Scout (or group) uses knowledge to achieve the goal:

Running with the Pack

If you missed last night’s meeting I will re-cap what was done so you can work with your son on the Running with the Pack Activities. All the boys are on track to earn their Wolf Rank by the Blue and Gold Banquet in February. If you need help filling in or understanding missing requirements, please let me know! Remember, the whole program revolves around the motto of “do your best.” So if you feel that your son did his best at a requirement that’s good enough.

Scoutbook has now been updated with the 2016 requirements, but if you already started an Adventure Loop with the 2015 requirements you have to keep using those. If you are skipping or modifying a 2015 item, just enter a note explaining you followed the 2016 requirements. EDIT: This may not be the case, it’s possible that I was seeing a bug for a particular case where a retired requirement was already completed.


  1. Play catch with someone in your den or family who is standing 5 steps away from you. Play until you can throw and catch successfully at this distance. Take a step back and see if you can improve your throwing and catching skills.
  2. Practice balancing as you walk forward, backward, and sideways.
  3. Practice flexibility and balance by doing a front roll, a back roll, and a frog stand.
  4. Play a sport or game with your den or family, and show good sportsmanship.
  5. Do at least two of the following: frog leap, inchworm walk, kangaroo hop, or crab walk.
  6. Demonstrate what it means to eat a balanced diet by helping to plan a healthy menu for a meal for your den or family. Make a shopping list of the food used to prepare the meal.

We pretty much did all the activities in both Meeting Plans including the under the broom and skin the snake games. This finished requirements 1,2 and 5. I gave out the My Plate packet linked here to help with requirement 6 to be done at home.

Please do the rolls for requirement 3 at home on a cleaner and softer floor 🙂

For requirement 4 the boys unanimously decided to play Glow Golf.  Details on when and where omitted from this public post.

The Wreaths Across America project would be a great way to fulfill Requirement 2 for Council Fire. The weather is looking like it will be not so great, so dress for cold, mud and rain! You can substitute any school, scout or religious organization service project for this. The important part is for the scout to play an active role in running the project (e.g. by handing out and collecting bags for a food drive).

Some Easy Ways to Fulfill Wolf Rank requirements

Now that I have had some time to review the revised requirements I realize that everything has been done to make things easier. Some requirements have been made optional, and other things that previously had to be done as a den can now be done with your family.

Scoutbook is in the process of being updated, and additional developers have been hired to get this done as quickly as possible. However, Scoutbook still shows the old requirements. If you’re skipping a requirement simply make a note but go ahead and check it off as completed (for now).

I wanted to pass along the following thoughts on how to get some of the requirements done as easily as possible, especially for those who have missed a few of the Pack activities.


Call of the Wild

  • For 1 the Outdoor Activity could be the Billy Goat Trail hike the pack went on, so I’ve marked that off for the scouts who came. Since this can now be done as a family, I would pick the next nice sunny weekend day and go on a hike! Also fulfills Paws on the Path 5.

Council Fire / Duty to Country

  • For 2 the Service Project could be the upcoming Wreath Event at Arlington Cemetery. I got the names of the scouts who participated in Scouting for Food, so I have marked this off for those boys.

Duty to God

  • For 4 ask your son if he read a story around Thanksgiving about the Pilgrims and how they came to America for religious freedom. If not, you could easily find one online or at the library.

Howling at the Moon

  • For 1 learn how to say the Cub Scout Motto in American Sign Language (ASL). Here is a site with videos that shows you how.

Paws on the Path

  • For 1, see if your scout remembers the six scouting essentials (whistle, sunscreen, trail food, flashlight, water bottle, first aid kit) and bring those when…
  • For 5, pick a sunny winter day and go on a 1-mile hike!

Air of the Wolf

  • For 2E the boys made and raced Raingutter Regatta boats and I have marked off those who did.

Cyber Chip

  • This is watching 2 videos and playing an online game. Then talk with your son about what he learned.

New Wolf Requirements Effective December 1st

The Boy Scouts of America have simplified the requirements for the Wolf Badge and various Adventure Loops. The new requirements are here. The attached document will supersede the handbook going forward. I am assuming Scoutbook will reflect these changes.

The BSA made this move because many boys and families were having a difficult time with the new requirements and not advancing. Until 2015 the Wolf Program was basically the same program I did in 1984. In fact the handbook and requirements had not changed much since the 1960s and was hilariously outdated. For example, there was an item “Visit an office that uses computers.” You could pick and choose your items from a very long list. This meant you could easily advance without going camping, for example.

In 2015 this all changed, and families were having trouble fitting it all in within a school year with things like camping now required. The requirements are changed so that difficult items should no longer hold your son back.

Please let me know if you have any questions, and I look forward to working you and your families on these revised “adventures.”