Thursday, May 2, 2013

Cub Stuff: Blending Wolf Electives

There are a whole lot of elective activities in the Wolf Handbook.  A lot of them don't take a lot of time, which make them perfect for slipping in when you find yourself with a gap between your major den activity and when the parents arrive.

But what if you're all done with the Wolf rank requirements or due to unseen problems/changes  you have to switch things up a bit and can't adhere to the Den and Pack Meeting Resource Guide?  Here's a way to blend some electives together in a fun way....

Elective 1a, It's a Secret, shows two ways to write a secret code.  Elective 4a-d, Play a Game show simple games that can be done indoors or outdoors. Elective 7a-b, Foot Power, has the Cubs trying stilts or making puddle jumpers and walking with them. Elective 11a-c, Sing-Along, has, well, songs Cubs can learn to sing.  Elective 17a-g, Tie It Right, shows simple knots to try.

So how does one plan a den meeting around these?  Make an Elective Treasure Hunt!  Pick and choose three, maybe four activities from the electives you want to do and plan where you want to do them.  Different rooms in one building is good way to hide each activity until you're ready to do them.  If you have access to a large outdoor area, that could work too.  Once you know where each activity will be done, come up with a sentence/clue that describes that area.  Your list might look like this:

Water fountain - "Where can you wet your whistle?" - Learn and sing three Cub Scout songs.
Playground - "Go up, slide down, run around" - Make a pair of puddle jumpers and walk with them.
Field - "It's a great outdoor carpet!" - Play ring toss.
Picnic area - "Time for some Cub Grub!" - Have refreshments.

Beforehand, use the codes in Elective 1a to encrypt your clues.  Split up each clue into individual words.  The idea is that each Cub Scout uses his own Handbook to decode a word, and then all the Cub Scouts bring their decoded words together and try to unscramble them so they form a sentence that makes sense so they know where to go.  At each place they go to they do the activity you have laid out for them, and then they have to decode another clue to find out where to go next.

When I tried this with my den, I tried to make sure that everyone would have a chance to decode a wide variety of word lengths.  Some kids got a long word one time and a short word the next time. I did this by giving every Cub a number and I numbered the words in each sentence clue.  I just called out their numbers when it was time to decode the next clue.  The decoding part was fairly easy for them, the guessing where they had to go was a little harder.  They always made a race out of who would find the new location first.  I had five stations total, and we went a little over on time, but we sure didn't sit in one place too long.

You certainly don't need to keep this kind of activity only to electives.  You could do it with the Feats of Skill requirements or the Making Choices requirements, or any blend of requirements that don't necessarily take a lot of time by themselves, or can get a little boring because of all the "talking" involved.  You can throw in fun activities with the more dull requirements and with clues in between, it makes them easier to get through.

I would definitely make sure there is a treat at the end. That just caps it all off nicely.  Have fun!

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