This month’s pack activities teach the boys to use their hands and their imaginations and to make something they can be proud of. The point of the Scout Law for this month—Thrifty—embodies this process as boys creatively use the resources that they already have around them.

A SCOUT IS THRIFTY

A Scout works to pay his own way and to help others. He saves for the future. He protects and conserves natural resources. He carefully uses time and property.

CubstructionHow Does “Cubstruction” relate to this point of the Scout Law? Part of being thrifty is avoiding waste and using resources wisely. It is important to learn how to conserve and repurpose the many items we use every day to help our environment as well as use our resources in an innovative way for fun and adventure.

Genius Kit

Genius KitsHowever, the centerpiece of this month is “The Genius Kit.” This activity has been around a long time; my son loved it 30 years ago and my grandson is going to love it this time around.

Genius kits are fun for the Cub Scouts and their families to do together. You will need a paper sack for each boy (or team). Place several different items in the sacks, but make sure the items in all the sacks are identical. The more items the boys receive, the more creative they can be. Contents might include:

  • Aluminum foil
  • Beans
  • Colored paper
  • Cotton balls
  • Different-sized wood pieces
  • Dried peas
  • Egg cartons
  • Empty plastic bottles
  • Feathers
  • Fishing line
  • Garbage bag ties
  • Juice can lids
  • Macaroni
  • Nails
  • Nuts and bolts
  • Paper clips
  • Paper cups and plates
  • Paper-towel rolls
  • Pinecones
  • Plastic six-pack holders
  • Plastic spoons
  • Popsicle sticks
  • Rubber bands
  • Small empty cans
  • Small cereal boxes
  • Rope, string, yarn
  • Styrofoam peanuts
  • Tacks
  • Used spark plugs
  • Washers

Give each Cub Scout and his family half an hour to make something using only the items in the sack and, if desired, the sack itself. They can bring tools from home that might be useful—scissors, glue gun, hammer, screwdriver, etc.

Use Your Local Resources

Contact local home-improvement stores. Many of them have youth programs, and some even have monthly clinics where the Scouts can build projects for use at home. Also talk to them about tours of different departments. Remember that boys can learn a lot with very little. Having an information session in the garden department at one of these stores, or a show-and-tell of different tools can provide so much fun information for your boys.

Pack Meeting

Preopening Activity

Hardest Matchstick Puzzle SolutionMatch Puzzle

There are many match puzzles, but this one is the best. Empty a box of “dead” matchsticks (or toothpicks) onto a table and invite everyone present to take only eight. With those eight matches, challenge them to produce a square and four triangles. When the time limit is up, show them how easy it is.

Opening Ceremony

Building Character

Cub #1 (carrying hammer): In Cub Scouting, we learn to build character.
Cub #2 (carrying plank): It is not what the boy does to the wood, but rather what the wood does for the boy.
Cub #3 (carrying a plane): Through Cub Scouting, we learn to remove the sharp edges off our personalities.
Cub #4 (carrying sandpaper): As we grow as Cub Scouts, we become more refined and smooth in our manners.
Cub #5 (carrying a tool chest): Our talents are gathered together, and we get a chance to try them out when our den works on a theme each month.
Cub #6 (walking with parent): When our parents help us earn adventure loops, we learn how to use the tools of life.
All: Thank you all for helping us grow into well rounded citizens

Prayer

We hope to build up our Cub Scouts, just as we show them how to build things in our world. May we maintain the same positive attitude we want our Cub Scouts to have. May they always be reminded of the wonder and beauty of the creation around them as they do their best to create their projects. AMEN.

Songs

CUBSTRUCTION
Tune: “Alouette”

Chorus:
Cubstruction, we build with Cubstruction.
Cubstruction, it’s how we build our world.
First you take a block of wood,
Then you cut it down to size.
Block of wood, down to size,
OOOooohhh!

(Repeat chorus.)

Next you take the right size nail,
Then you hammer carefully,
Block of wood, down to size,
Right size nail, carefully,
OOOooohhh!

(Repeat chorus.)

Now you take a big paintbrush,
Then you paint it very nice.
Block of wood, cut to size,
Right size nail, carefully,
Big paintbrush, very nice,
OOOooohhh!

(Repeat chorus.)

Last we put our name on it,
Then we know that we are done.
Block of wood, cut to size,
Right size nail, carefully,
Big paintbrush, very nice,
Name on it—WE ARE DONE!
OOOooohhh!

TOOLBOX SONG
Tune: “I’m a Little Tea Pot”

I’m a pair of pliers,
Just because.
Here is my handle,
Here are my jaws.

Chorus:
Keep me in your toolbox,
Bright and new.
Take me out and
I’ll work for you.

I’m a coping saw
That’s strung so tight
Pull, then push me
To use me right.

(Repeat chorus.)

I’m a big strong hammer,
A mighty tool.
Hit the nails only.
That’s the rule.

(Repeat chorus.)

I’m a handy wood plane,
Give me a try.
I can help you out
If your door’s too high.

Cheer or Applause

Timber: Divide audience into two sides. One says, “Chip!” The other says, “Chop!” After a few rounds, everyone yells, “Timber!”

Electric Drill (or Chain Saw): Make Brrrrrr sound for as long as you can.

Glue: Clap hands together a few times. Then they become stuck, and you struggle to pull them apart.

Super Glue: Hands get stuck on the first clap and can’t be pulled apart. The pack then yells out a source of help (e.g.,Home Depot, Lowe’s, Mr. Fix-It—be creative).

Rubber Tree: Pretend you are using an ax to chop a tree. Every time you swing, the ax bounces back. Make a bouncing noise, “Boing, boing!”

Sandpaper: Rub hands together as loud as you can.

Advancement Ceremony

CUBSTRUCTION CEREMONY

The Cubmaster wears a work apron with a carpenter’s tool belt. Awards and parent’s pins are taped to wood scraps hidden in tool belt. Be sure to emphasize the verbal puns throughout the ceremony.

Cubmaster Tool BeltCubmaster: Tonight, we have some boys who “saw” the opportunity to “nail down” some advancement. At times these boys had to keep “hammering” on some of the tougher requirements, but they continued “drilling,” “carving,” and “sanding”—and finally “cut” through. We “wood” like to honor them tonight. These boys have “chiseled” through the requirements for the Bobcat badge (takes the Bobcat awards from his tool belt, holds them up, and calls the boys’ names).

We “wood” like to have their parents present the award (hands the awards to the parents for presentation). Bobcats, would you now pin the parent’s pin on your parent (hands out the pins)?

Repeat the above for each rank, using new puns:

  • Tiger—filed
  • Wolf—sharpened
  • Bear—cut
  • Webelos—painted
  • Arrow of Light—hammered

Games

SORTING OUT THE TOOLBOX

Use an egg carton for the toolbox. Have an assortment of nuts, bolts, screws, etc., to be sorted. The first boy to sort by size in the proper place wins.

NAME THE TOOLS

Cut different silhouettes of tools from construction paper, such as a hammer, plane, brace, bit, screwdriver, etc. Glue these on lightweight cardboard and use as flashcards.

NAIL-DRIVING CONTEST

Materials: Provide each team with scrap wood, 10-penny nails, and a hammer.

Divide the den into teams.
Give each team a hammer and a piece of scrap wood with a 10-penny nail already driven a half-inch into it.
Team members take turn hammering the nail until the head is flush with the wood. This is not a speed contest; rather, the team that drives their nail in with the fewest strokes wins.
If a nail becomes bent, the team starts over with a new one.

KICK THE CAN

Materials: one empty No. 10 metal can (for coffee or restaurant- sized canned food)

This great old-time game can keep boys occupied for hours.
One person is chosen to be “It,” by a fair method. He then has to cover his eyes and count aloud to a preselected large number, while the other players all find hiding places within earshot of the can. At the end of the count, “It” announces “Ready or not, here I come!” and then tries to find where the others are hiding.

If “It” locates someone, he has to say, “I see John behind the tree,” and then they both run to the can. If “It” picks up the can first, John is captured. If any hiding player kicks the can before “It” can pick it up (even if “It” didn’t see him), everyone who has been captured in the game goes free.

Ideally, “It” stays “It” until he captures everyone. Since the role of “It” can be very frustrating, be sure to put the can in a large open area so that he has a better chance. Also, to avoid frustration, have another player be “It” after he has captured a few boys; otherwise, with a large group it’s nearly impossible to capture everyone.

Audience Participation

THE HOUSE THAT I BUILT

The leader provides the lines and actions, which are then repeated by the audience. This is the house (makes a roof with arms, touching fingertips together) That I built (points to self).

This is the saw that cut the boards (makes sawing motion) That went into the house (makes roof with arms) That I built (points to self).

This is the hammer (makes fist with right hand) That nailed the boards (pounds right fist into left palm) That I cut with the saw (makes sawing motion) That went into the house (makes roof with arm) That I built (points to self).

JOHNNY AND THE BIKE

Divide the audience into six groups. Assign each group a part to perform when their designated word is read in the story:

Johnny: “I can fix it!”
Dad: “Be careful, son.”
Wrench: “Oh, nuts!”
Screwdriver: “Straight or Phillips?”
Bike: “Drrrinnngggg, Drrrinnngggg”
Pliers: “Hold me tight!”

JOHNNY had a problem. His BIKE was broken. Now JOHNNY could not ride to the park with his dog, Ralph, to play with friends. JOHNNY, being a very smart Cub Scout, knew how to fix the BIKE. However, he needed a box-end WRENCH, a pair of PLIERS, and a SCREWDRIVER.

So he asked his DAD if he could borrow a box-end WRENCH, a pair of PLIERS, and a SCREWDRIVER. His DAD said “Sure, but make sure you take care of the box-end WRENCH, PLIERS, and SCREWDRIVER, and return them as soon as you’re finished. “I will, DAD,” said JOHNNY. So JOHNNY went with Ralph into the backyard to fix his BIKE with the box-end WRENCH, PLIERS, and SCREWDRIVER. Since JOHNNY knew how to use a box-end WRENCH, a pair of PLIERS, and a SCREWDRIVER, the BIKE was soon fixed and ready to ride. Ralph helped all he could.

JOHNNY took a quick spin to make sure everything was all right, and then he called Ralph to go with him to the park. “Oh,” said JOHNNY, “I’d better return these tools to DAD before we go.” But when he reached for the tools, the WRENCH and SCREWDRIVER were there but the PLIERS were missing. “Oh no! What will DAD think?” said JOHNNY. He looked all around for the PLIERS. He looked in the bushes, but no PLIERS! He looked all over the yard, but no PLIERS!

Finally, he noticed Ralph digging in the garden. JOHNNY went over to Ralph and there were the PLIERS in his bone hole. So the PLIERS were found. And JOHNNY was able to return the box-end WRENCH, the PLIERS, and the SCREWDRIVER to his DAD. Everyone was happy the BIKE was all fixed—except Ralph!

Skits

THE INVISIBLE BENCH

Two Cub Scouts are building an invisible bench using invisible tools. They pretend to hammer and saw, lift pieces, and carry the completed bench to a spot onstage. Make sure they make the “bench” look heavy!

Cub #1:  Boy, am I glad we are done building this invisible bench.
Cub #2:  Yes, let’s go show it to (name of leader).
Cub #3 and Cub #4 now enter, move the invisible bench to the other side of the stage, and leave.
Cub #1 returns and squats as though sitting on the invisible bench where it was originally placed.
Cub #1:  I’ll just sit here on the bench until (Cub #2’s name) returns with (leader’s name)  to check our work.
Cub #2 (enters with leader):  Here it is (leader’s name) ! Come try out our bench.
Cub #2 and the leader sit on bench beside Cub #1. All three of them comment about how comfortable and well made the bench is. Then Cub #5 enters the scene.
Cub #5:  What are you doing?
Cub #1:  We’re sitting on the invisible bench.
Cub #5:  Can I join you?
Cub #1:  Sure, there’s plenty of room.
Cub #5 sits on the invisible bench. Then a few more Cub Scouts enter and the same dialogue exchange is repeated each time. Finally, Cub #3 and Cub #4 return and look surprised.
Cub #3:  What are you guys doing?
Cub #2:  We’re sitting on the invisible bench.
Cub #4 (points):  But we moved it over there this morning!
All (pretending to fall off the bench):  AAAHHHH!

MEASUREMENT PROBLEM

Materials:  stave or a pole

Two Webelos Scouts enter the stage, carrying a long pole.
They prop it up, then stand back and look at it.
Webelos Scout #1:  Now, there are several ways we can figure out the height of this pole. How do you want to start?
They try various methods of calculating the height, without success.
Webelos Scout #1:  According to my calculations, that pole is about 2 meters high.
Webelos Scout #2:  There’s no way. It has got to be shorter than that. Just look at it.
This type of exchange repeats several times as the two boys become more and more frustrated. Finally, a younger Cub Scout strolls onto the stage.
Cub Scout:  Hi! (He watches for a few seconds.)  What are you guys trying to do?
Webelos Scout #2:  We’re trying to measure the exact height of this pole.
Webelos Scout #1:  We haven’t had too much luck yet, but we WILL get it.
Cub Scout:  Why don’t you just lay the pole on the ground and measure its length?
Webelos Scout #2 (to the Cub Scout):  Didn’t you hear right?
We want to know how TALL the pole is—not how LONG it is.

Cubmaster’s Minute

This month’s theme of Cubstruction is about building things. Anything worth building takes some thoughtful planning so that we know what materials we need, what rules we have to follow, and when we need to get it done. While you’re building something useful, you are also building your skills. So if something was tough for you to build this time, it won’t be as hard the next time. You’re not only building cool stuff, but you’re building your own personal toolbox of skills that you will carry with you for the rest of your life.

Closing Ceremony

TOOLS THAT BUILD A BETTER WORLD

Materials: ruler, hammer, saw, drill, wrench, plunger, and pliers

Seven Cub Scouts hold up the seven tools. Each boy’s lines are written in large print and tagged on the tool for him to read.

Cub #1 (with ruler): We are the future builders of America and the world. And this is how we will shape tomorrow.
Cub #2 (with hammer): I will hammer out injustice.
Cub #3 (with saw): I will help cut out crime.
Cub #4 (with drill): I will drill love into every heart.
Cub #5 (with wrench): I will wrench out discrimination.
Cub #6 (with plunger): I will plunge out hatred.
Cub #7 (with pliers): I will pinch out poverty.
All: Good night.

 

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