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
Source: http://greenforecast.com/what-is-the-geologic-time-scale/


More Fun with Codes at Home

I hope the kids enjoyed working with the pigpen codes last night. You can download the sheet we used last night here. My son made his coded message “THESE ARE ALL EMBARRASSING,” so dad-mission accomplished.

If you want to try out a simpler code that younger kids will grasp, start with a simple letter-number substitution cipher. Each letter is assigned a number in order:

So to code “DO YOUR BEST” would be “4-15 25-15-21-18 2-5-19-20.”

You can create or solve this type of cipher online using this link.

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


Blue and Gold Banquet, Pinewood Derby

 Blue and Gold Banquet

The Blue and Gold Banquet date has been changed to Friday, February 17th. We will begin setup at 6pm and the event will officially start at 7pm. The pack has decided to provide full catering and dessert, so our only job as a den is to decorate our tables and impress everyone.

I have painted papier-mâché boxes for each scout and we will finish decorating them at a Den Meeting. It has the Wolf badge on top and my hope is that it will serve as a reminder in years to come of your year as a Wolf Scout. You can store all your patches, belt loops and other small scout items inside.

The pack will provide blue and gold plastic table cloths. Any suggestions for other decorations for our table are welcome (streamers, centerpieces, etc.).

Pinewood Derby

Scouts will soon be receiving their Pinewood Derby car kits. We are working to setup a workshop at Home Depot on March 4th so that we can work on our cars together and avoid buying lots of tools. The actual race is on Saturday morning, March 25th. If you’ve never seen a Pinewood Derby before there are lots and lots of videos on YouTube to watch.

Winners of the Pack Derby move up to compete at the District level. For this reason it’s important that your car be “legal” according to the District rules. Hobby Works in Rockville and the Scout Shop have a lot of accessories and knowledgeable employees, but please make sure you’re following the rules.

Additional Pinewood Derby kits should be available for purchase for siblings and if not are $3.99 at the Scout Shop.  There will be sibling-built car races and possibly parent-built car races as well.

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

Den Website, Glow Golf, Snack and Helpers, Blue and Gold Banquet

Den Website

I have been keeping the emails I have been sending on a Den Website. I am removing any personal or private information from the public posts and promise to never post any photos or names of scouts. One nice thing about the site is that it has a Den Calendar which updates automatically from Scoutbook. You can quickly pull this page up without logging in. Certain details will only be in Scoutbook, but will be included in Reminder Emails.

I am also working on getting Pack Events entered into the Scoutbook Pack Calendar so that we can stop using Scoutlander. My goal is to keep things as easy as possible for parents.

Glow Golf

Our next den event is Glow Golf on Sunday, January 15 at 1pm. I will use our den budget to cover the cost for the scouts. There is an RSVP in Scoutbook and you will get a couple of reminder emails with full details. This event will finish up Running with the Pack for several scouts.

Snacks and Helpers

We have 7 den meetings left this school year. I am looking for volunteers to bring snack and help running the meetings. I figure each family could take a turn for a meeting. It would help to have a second person “in charge” at each meeting so that when I am helping one set of boys we can keep any eye on the rest. I will make a sign-up sheet for the next meeting, for which I already had a volunteer (please remind me who you were, thanks!).

Blue and Gold Banquet

The Blue and Gold Banquet is a birthday parting for Scouting which takes place every year, usually in February. The Boy Scouts of America turns 107 this year! This year’s Banquet is on Friday, February 10th and takes the place of the usual Pack Meeting. The pack is planning on providing pizza. Each den will be responsible for some portion of the additional food or supplies. I will let you know exactly what as soon as I know. At the next den meeting we will work on centerpieces and other decorations for the tables.

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:

Popcorn & Scout Sunday

Our Assistant Cubmaster just sent out an email asking families to contribute $60 if they did not have a chance to participate in popcorn sales. I want to be the first to apologize if any of you were confused by the popcorn process. We had many new scouts this year and it was not always clear what to do, even for me. The deadline reminders seemed to be emailed before I had even figured out what to do.

It was calculated that each scout would sell on average $200 of popcorn, and many did or exceeded this goal. But there are other opportunities for helping the pack besides opening your checkbook, so please keep reading.

“The Pack Runs on Popcorn”

Our pack budget calculates each scout will raise a certain amount of money through fundraising. The budget is what we need to keep things going (camping, den supplies, badges, pack activities, etc.). We share the proceeds of the popcorn sales with the Council, so the pack receives about 30% of the retail price of each popcorn item. Now you see where the $60 request came from. Online sales are year-round and have a 50% commission back to the pack so you can still help through online sales.

Camp Cards

We will have another fundraiser in the new year called Camp Cards. These are cards that sell for $5 and have many coupons on them, including a $5 off supermarket coupon which I believe will be for Safeway.  With one coupon alone the net cost to the purchaser is 0. The pack makes a 50% commission. The coupons are good until 12/31/2017, and many families simply buy $100 worth of the cards and use them to buy their groceries.

Ways to Contribute $60 to the Pack

  • Sell $120 in popcorn online
  • Sell 24 Camp Cards
  • Some combination of the first two
  • Write a check

Scout Sunday

You should have received a reminder about Scout Sunday which is not until February 26th, from Scoutbook. I know this a long way off, but we are trying to get an early count so we can order patches. This a voluntary event. All are welcome, but please do not feel obligated or pressured to participate if you are not of the Catholic faith.

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.