Bass Pro Shops Free Summer Clinics

Bass Pro Shops is offering free Summer Clinics on bird watching, plant and insect identification, animal identification, hiking, fishing, camping, archery and BB shooting. They are 30 minute clinics that are lead by a BPS employee and they have a video presentation along with it.

The kids get a a little 4 page informational Q and A sheet with some games and pictures. They have a little Scavenger hunt around the store with Q and A's for the kids, followed by receiving a pin for the program.

The Bass Pro Shops program is best suited for 6-8 year old, although there were some older kids there. Classes are held Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday from now through July 5th.

Manna Bags

Teaching your Scouts one way to help others this Summer...

One day while I was in Bible Study, the topic came up about how to help some of the homeless/hungry people that we see standing on the corners so frequently around Nashville.

One of the ladies told us about "Manna Bags" that she keeps in her car and hands out to those in need. I think it's a great idea and wanted to share it with you. I know that I'll have my boys help make some of these up for Daddy to keep in his car as he travels around Nashville.

Suggested items to include in your bag:
-first aid kit
-tuna or chicken kit
-travel size wet ones
-water bottle
-travel size toiletries
-travel pack tissues
-plastic utensils
-fruit cup -tic tacs/gum
-pop top canned veggies
-pop top pork and beans
-Bible (with highlighted scripture)
-peanut butter cracker packs -local shelter/food bank info
-cereal or granola bars -note from family and/or child(ren)

Have fun and get creative as you help others in your travels this Summer!

What have your boys taught you?

As I wrapped up my year as a den leader, I reflected back on my year and thought about my boys. So in an open to letter to my boys... here is what I have learned from them. I urge you to think back about how each boy is special and let them know how much you have learned from them this year.

What my boys have taught me this year.

I have spent countless hours preparing for den meetings. Making lesson plans, researching activities, gathering supplies… and then there is entering all those advancements into scout track. But while I was busy thinking I was teaching these young men, they in fact, were actually teaching me.

Mr. Loreant and Mr. Gifford have taught me to be the best I can be. These two young men are my over achievers. They have pushed me to be more innovative, more creative and to always bring my A game.

Mr. Reid and Mr. Denson have taught me enthusiasm. They ask more questions and answer more questions than any other boys in my den and they do so with great enthusiasm.

Mr. Sheppard has taught me determination and attitude. He started the year with “I can’t” and “I won’t” and has ended the year with “I can” and “I’ll try.”

Mr. Baker has taught me confidence.

Mr. Morris has taught me humility.

Mr. Waldon has tried to teach me patience, although, I still don’t have any.

Mr. Childress has taught me unconditional love and acceptance.

Mr. Sandlin has taught me the value of friendship.

When we started our year, we made a den flag. Leave no Trace… leave nothing but footprints. I knew I would be awarding it to one of my scouts at the end of the year. I was going to give it to the young man who best embodied what Scouts means. And it was a tough decision. But a couple of weeks ago, while we were preparing to work on our softball belt loop, a couple of the boys were messing around, not listening to me as usual. And one of them fell off the bleachers and landed on his arm. While were waiting on his Mom to come pick him up and take him to the doctor, with tears streaming down his face, he said “But Ms. Jen, I just want to play softball with my scouts.” He hurt his arm, but all he wanted was to play with his scouts. So it my great privilege to present our den flag to Mr. Trey Sandlin.

Leave No Trace Banner

For our Leave No Trace Banner/Poster we decided to let the boys walk through paint with their bare feet. Let me say, the boys LOVED it! The concept behind our banner is that when you leave nothing but footprints, eventually your footprints will fade away, but what you leave behind (such as trash) will not.

The boys will be signing the poster and then we will be taking pictures on our service project tonight... a hike with a trash pick up on a frequented trail.

Also... for additional fun, be sure to check into Geocaching. It's on online "treasure hunt". I happen to know that there are "caches" on the trail, so we'll be introducing the boys to that fun activity as well!

Emergency Preparedness Awareness Award

With Spring weather being so unpredictable this year, I thought now would be a good time to work on the Emergency Preparedness Award.

The requirements are different for each cub scout level, however the guidelines for all scouts can be found at

For Wolf Den:
  1. Complete Wolf Cub Scout Achievement 9*—Be Safe at Home and on the Street. This is a check of your home to keep it safe.
  2. Complete Wolf Cub Scout Elective 16*—Family Alert. This elective is about designing a plan for your home and family in case an emergency takes place.
  3. With your parent or guardian's help, complete one of the following activities that you have not already completed for this award as a Tiger Cub:
    • Take American Red Cross Basic Aid Training (BAT) to learn emergency skills and care for choking, wounds, nose bleeds, falls, and animal bites. This course includes responses for fire safety, poisoning, water accidents, substance abuse, and more.
    • Make a presentation to your family on what you have learned about preparing for emergencies.
    • Join a Safe Kids program such as McGruff Child Identification program. Put on a training program for your family or den on stranger awareness, Internet safety, or safety at home.
I found great resources on the following websites to help with this program:
If you want to buy kits:
If you want to make your own:
Internet Safety, Stranger Abduction, Gun Safety
Finger Print Kits
Emergency Preparedness

Web Rangers

I stumbled upon this fun website for kids while planning our upcoming family camping trip. It's a National Park Service site for kids.

Perfect for the upcoming May theme of Leave No Trace. The website is full of fun activities and a "virtual patch blanket". Activities range from easy to difficult and include lots of activities that Scouts do, such as recycling, be safe in the parks, artifacts, dinosaurs, maps, and all sorts of other fun things to do. When they complete all of the activities, the National Park Service will send them a patch! And we are all about the patches!
Definately worth checking into!

New BSA Family Program

There is a new BSA Family Program. They have taken the old program and revamped it into a 5 part program. You can earn patches and pins for completing 2 activities in each of the 5 sections.

  • Shaping your Families Identity
  • Developing Personal Skills
  • Building a Family Team
  • Connecting with your Community
  • Facing Family Challenges

You can create a fun summer program while keeping your scouts engaged this Summer.

Tie it Right Elective 17

We are doing all of Elective Chapter 17 in one den meeting. We are setting up stations and having the boys move from one station to another upon successful completion of each activity.

Elective 17A~ Tie a knot
Elective 17B~ Tie your shoes
Elective 17C~ Wrap and tie a package
Elective 17D~ Tie a stack of newspapers
Elective 17E~ Tie two cords together
Elective 17F~ Tie a neck tie
Elective 17G~ Whip a rope

Dinosaur Footprints

We are making "dinosaur footprints" next week as part of Jurassic Pack theme. Concrete stepping stones are an easy and fun project for the boys.

What you'll need:
  • Bag or box of dry concrete
  • water
  • decorative stones or mosaic tiles
  • paint sticks
  • small containers such as small trach bins (for mixing cement)
  • WD40
  • water catching plant trays (approx 10-12 inches)

You will mix the concrete and the water in the small containers with your paint sticks. Prep your plant trays with WD40 so that when the molds are dry, the stepping stone will pop out easily. Once you add your cement to your trays allow the boys to decorate with hand prints, foot prints, rocks, tiles, etc.

Instant fun activity! And it will keep forever!

Go Out and Play!

One of our parents is the Asst. Coach of a girls softball team. They arranged for our cubs to attend the practice, practice with the girls and then play a little scrimmage against them. It was so much fun. The weather is nice and you probably have some sports parents in your den or pack. Take advantage of this resource and earn some belt loops! It makes for a super fun den meeting and as a leader you actually get to sit back and play with the boys instead of leading them.

Softball Belt Loop Requirements:

  • Expain the rules of the game to your leader/adult partner.
  • Practice 30 minutes of softball skills
  • Participate in a softball game

Geology Belt Loop

With this months theme of Jurassic Pack we worked on the Geology belt loop. There is a great resource to teach kids the rock cycle, the different types of rocks and minerals. It gives you every thing you need to know to walk through this belt loop.

I made this activity a game and it was meant to be more like final Jeoporday, but ended up more like poker... but the boys really loved it. I gave them all 5 dinosaur tattoos. I would then read to them something about rocks, minerals, rock cycle, etc and let them wager how many tattoos they wanted. If they got the answer right, I matched the tattoos and if they got it wrong, I took the tattoos. Wow, did those boys pay attention! They did great!
Geology Belt Loop Requirements:
  • Define Geology
  • Collect a sample of igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks and explain how they are formed.
  • Expain the difference between a rock and a mineral.
I went to the used book store and bought geology picture books since I didn't have access to actual rock samples. And you can find flash cards with sedimentary, metamorphic and igneous rocks as well.

We wrapped up the activity by breaking geodes. That was so awesome! Some of them were solid crystal and others were hollow and had lots of individual crystals, but the boys had a blast! I highly recommend that activity!

I got the tattoos and the geodes from

Language and Culture Belt Loop

The Landguage and Culture Belt Loop works great with this months American ABC's theme and you can work in Elective credit as well!

You can work in the following Electives:

  • Elective 22A~ Say hello in a different language
  • Elective 1C~ Write your name in sign language
  • Elective 1D~ Indian Sign Language

For the Language and Culture Belt Loop:

  • Talk to someone who grew up in a different country than you did
  • Learn 10 words in a different language (Elective 22B~ Counting in a different language)
  • Play 2 games that originated in another country (Mahjong, Mankala)

American Indians

Why not use American ABC's as a time to include the Electives on American Indians?
  • Elective 10A~ Tell a story about American Indians

  • Elective 10E~ Make an Indian House

  • Elective 10F~ Write a story with Indian words

  • Elective 1D~ Indian Sign Language

Geography Belt Loop

American ABC's is a great time to work on the Geography Belt Loop. It's easily tied into the this month's theme! Plus you can parlay it into an Elective credit as well!

Geography Belt Loop
  • Make a map of your neighborhood (include how to get to the fire station, police station, den meeting and school for Elective 22D)
  • Identify major landmarks within 100 miles
  • Use a globe to identify continents, equator, northern and southern hemispheres, oceans. Latitude and Longitude lines.

Elective 9 B Making Bean Bags

We made beanbags in our den meeting this month for Amazing games. I prepped a couple of the sides, and let the boys fill them with rice and sew them up. Do you know almost every boy took them to school the next day and several have asked their moms if they can start sewing their patches on their patch blankets! Sweet! And to think that was another one of those projects I thought they would think was stupid!

Multi function if you use rice: you can throw them in the microwave, heat them up and use them as reusable hand warmers!

Glowing Ceremony

By now your boys should be getting close to completing their Wolf Badge. Our Blue and Gold Banquet is usually held in March, so instead of having the boys wait until Blue and Gold, we are recognizing them with a special ceremony called "the glowing ceremony." We are doing this in the den meetings as each boy completes his badge. A funny thing about the glowing ceremony is that the boys who were far behind are catching up so that they can have their ceremony!
If you aren't already familiar with this, it's very fun and you can come up with all kinds of things to say.
Items needed:
  • Large glowsticks (usually found in the camping section)
  • Disposable clear containers
Ceremony prep:
  • You will want to cut one end of the glow stick off being careful not to break the glass tube inside.

  • Allow the liquid from the glow stick to collect into one of the containers.

  • Wipe the glass tube carefully so that the chemicals will not cross contaminate when you empty the tube.

  • Now you must be incredibly careful and remove the liquid from the glass tube and allow it to drain into another container.

  • Test your chemicals before your ceremony! I usually dip the end of a paper towel into one solution and then pour a little of the other solution onto the towel so that they so not mix in the cups. Check in a dark room to insure that they glow!

  • Cover both containers.

Now you have your prep done and it's time for your ceremony. We turned the lights off and had a little camp light in the corner to give us enough light to work with but was dark enough to see the glow.

It's time to work up your "story". Here was ours:

Boys, when you become a den leader there are several things that you get to do that no one else gets to see. One of those things you will get to see when you become den leaders to your children, is the Well of Akela. Now the Well is a special place where the Spirit of Akela lives. As a den leader, we are allowed to collect some of the well water to share with you. The Well water is very special. It will bond with the words that you say and will glow if you tell me the truth. Now, I need you to be very quiet. Only the Scout who is being asked the questions may talk. (At this point remove the cover from the "water" cup). Now Scout, I ask you to tell me the Cub Scout Promise. (Cub Scout Promise) Have you completed all of your requirements to the best of your ability? (Yes) And have you been a cheerful helper at home? (Yes) Very well, the water from the Well of Akela has bonded with your words. I will now mix the bonded water with the original water from the well, and if you are speaking the truth, your cup will glow. (mix the chemicals and they will glow.) Congratulations Scout on achieving the Rank of Wolf.

Note: one of the chemicals will be colored. I used a baby nose suction bulb to squirt the colored chemicals so that the boys didn't notice the color. Also do not reuse any of the containers. These are chemicals after all and not designed to be ingested. I did not allow any of my boys to touch the glowing substance as there may have been glass particals from the glass tube.

The boys love this ceremony. And it is lots of fun to see their faces light up.

American ABC's

February is American ABC's. Our den has found this cardboard project to work on. All of the US States come apart and can be assembled together to create the US map.

We have 10 boys, so all boys got 5 states that they will get to decorate. They have been given letters of the alphabet and have been challenged to find cities that match those letters. They must then decorate the states in some way, such as using the state flag, industry or historical monuments.

The map came from and is item #57/6858. Cost is $12.99.

This project also counts towards the Citizenship Pin (create a collage about America)

You can find an interactive map to help your kids discover which states they have at and there is an alphabetical listing of cities in all states (except Nebraska... it somehow got overlooked)

Have fun with your American ABC's!