Monday, April 16, 2012

Cub Corner: Improvised flag stand

If you are Cub Scout den leader like I am, you know two things: flag ceremonies are a MUST and "the cheaper the better". Den leaders are a lot like teachers - they end up spending a lot of their own money getting stuff for the benefit of the kids they serve. Resourcefulness is the key to survival and it's something we try to teach kids in their own lives.

So here was my problem.

Our church, which is the chartering organization for our den, has a "scout closet" with an American flag and flag stand in it. Do I have the key to said scout closet? No. So that flag stays in the scout closet until the monthly pack meeting when the Committee Chair and the Cubmaster open the closet. How does that help me have flag ceremony in the den meetings so the boys can practice? It doesn't.

That's when I say to myself, "Self, you need your own flag/flag stand."

I've made small flag stands for little flags on 1/4" dowels...just take a #10 can, stick an empty soda can in the bottom and fill in around the soda can with plaster. When dry, it can handle a thin dowel about 3 feet long with a 1 foot by 2 foot flag on it. Unfortunately, the state flag I had was bigger so the flag stand had to be taller so it wouldn't tip over.

Poking around in my basement and garage I found some stuff that would work:

A tall six gallon bucket from the garage;

A juice bottle with a wide neck from the recycle bin;

Bottle goes in bucket. I didn't put any glue on the bottle but that might actually be helpful to keep the bottle from shifting around. Hot glue or some kind of superglue or epoxy should do it nicely.

Without having glue on hand that would cement the bottle in the bucket, I had the thought to utilize some of these packing peanuts that were tucked away in the basement.

Pour the packing peanuts around the bottle and smush down as much as possible and the bottle shouldn't move around too much.

Now I needed a flag pole. I found some scrap PVC in the basement. I drilled tiny holes in it and added some screw-in brass hooks. They wiggle a bit because the PVC is hollow whereas if you used a wooden pole/dowel the hooks screw threads would have something more to sink into. I am thinking of dabbing a little hot glue at the base of the hooks to more securely hold them onto the PVC, but in a pinch, it does fine as long as you don't drill too big of holes to begin with.

Put the flag grommets on the hooks and Ta Da! - Improvised flag pole with a stand. It's portable! I wouldn't recommend it for windy days outside (the packing peanuts might blow away - maybe stuffing an old bathtowel on the peanuts would keep them there) or for flag poles taller than 4 feet (might not be enough weight to hold the pole up), but it's better than nothing! After all, the Cub Scout Motto is "Do Your Best"!


Lourie said...

That's very impressive. And shame on whomever is in charge of that closet. If it's a requirement. Stuff like that irks me. And it's everywhere. haha. I think I will pin this for fellow cub people. It's really great.

Pam said...

You are a credit to survival classes!