scout project planning help...

Discussion in 'General Preparedness Discussion' started by 2bgrand, Jan 9, 2009.

  1. 2bgrand

    2bgrand Guest

    my wife and I have recently been enlisted to coordinate some of the activities and projects for our 7 yr old's cub scout den. The previous den leader has only done artsy-crafty stuff, and due to the economy now has had his job shuffled a bit.

    When I was in scouts, it was more about survival and camping and hiking, not so much of the glue this and paint that for a christmas ornament. I have done web searching for a variety of projects, and found this forum and thought it would be a relevant forum.

    I have tools, a woodworking shop, minimal fundage, 2 jeeps to get us anywhere, and take a lot of pride in everything I do. I want to be able to guide these scouts before their mothers cry mutiny and remove them from a program that has helped many of us.

    I was on Instructables - Make, How To, and DIY for ideas, and like the cotton ball film canister thread here so far, as campfire starting should be a primal skill for a scout. Any other ideas?

    Thank you in advance for your help.
  2. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?


  3. ke4sky

    ke4sky ke4sky

    Great ideas for Scouts

    Your family may not be together when disaster strikes, so it is important to plan in advance: how you will contact one another; how you will get back together; and what you will do in different situations.

    It may be easier to make a long-distance phone call than to call across town, so an out-of-town contact may be in a better position to communicate among separated family members.

    Be sure every member of your family knows the phone number and has coins or a prepaid phone card to call the emergency contact.

    You may have trouble getting through, or the telephone system may be down altogether, but be patient.

    Many many ideas can reduced to short half-hour workshops with "play time" for the scouts to discuss and try out ideas under adult supervision. Some concepts to introduce are:

    Positive mental attitude

    Situational Awareness

    First Aid / Sanitation






    Shelter construction

    Fire making without matches:
    flint striker with cotton balls and petroleum jelly
    battery and steel wool
    Fresnel lens
    bow drill

    Signaling with whistle, flashlight, signal mirror

    Home hazard hunt, how to turn off the water, electricity, gas
    Use the CERT Field Operations Guide and discuss

    Home emergency equipment and supplies
    72 hour kit calendar

    Safe neighborhood refuge - where do I go if something happens and Mom and Dad aren't home? Who do I call? Safe places to go, fire station, uniformed school security officer or policeman

    Involve children in familiy PREPAREDNESS

    Sheltering at Home During an Emergency
    For using a building without working utilities as shelter

    Exhaust – candles, camp stoves, lanterns, generators,
    heaters, charcoal grills, all generate carbon monoxide
    and must not be used indoors!
    Open flame – above ignition sources
    must never be left unattended!
    Fuel – most of the above require flammable fuels
    to operate, which must be stored outdoors.
    Use Fire Marshal approved fuel containers

    Avoid as shelter:
    Areas around downed utility lines
    In or near culverts
    Within the “collapse zone” of a damaged building
    (maintain 2:1 ratio of distance away to building height)

    Improvised Shelters:

    Emergency Shelter Materials:
    Salvage building materials from debris or
    from damaged structures only when it can be done safely
    TYVEK building wrap
    Plastic sheeting
    Roofing paper and shingles
    Siding, plywood
    Chain link fence
    Wire, rope, and fasteners

    Build Your Shelter In Layers
    Structural framing: lumber, plywood, fencing, metal
    Fasteners: reinforce structural connections with nails, wire or rope ties, wooden spikes
    Water and wind proofing: TYVEK, plastic sheeting, tarp, shingles, roofing paper
    Insulation: drywall, leaves, tree branches, carpeting, (may also be used as ballast to hold water/wind proofing layer in place)


    Day: Mirror flashes – best daylight signal device
    Brightly colored cloth flag / panel (VS-17)
    ICAO surface-to-air signals
    V Require assistance
    X Need medical assistance
    Y Yes - affirmative
    N No - negative
    → I am proceeding in this direction

    Night: Flashing strobe light
    Signal flares
    Sound, i.e. whistle, siren, vehicle horn

    Maintains body temperature
    Great morale booster
    Deters wild animals and insects
    Boils water
    Cooks food
    Used as day (smoke)
    or night (light) signal

    Minimum for drinking
    1 gallon per person, per day
    More water is needed for
    Cooking and food preparation
    Personal hygiene, sanitation and decontamination
    Store a two week supply as minimum
    Food grade containers with screw caps
    Away from direct sunlight

    Captive water in household hot water tank and interior plumbing is OK
    Filter cloudy water to remove particulates, using an EPA-rated filter
    with a pore size ≤ 1 micron, then:
    Disinfect with Clorox (6% sodium hypochlorite) add 8 drops of Chlorox
    bleach per gallon if clear, 16 drops if cloudy, let water stand 15 minutes before use
    Or boil vigorously for 15 minutes
    Store potable water in clean containers.

    All natural sources (from springs, ponds, rivers or streams)
    must be boiled or chemically disinfected.
    Chemical disinfection or boiling - Kills bacteria and viruses
    Doesn’t remove particulates or chemical pollutants
    Filtration - Coffee filters, etc. remove gross particulates only
    EPA-rated filters (pore size smaller than 1 micron) are needed
    to remove bacteria, viruses and Giardia cysts, but don’t remove chemical pollutants.
    Distillation is the most effective method.

    Lowest of the seven survival priorities
    Need is mostly mental, because we are used to eating regularly
    Healthy people will do OK without food for a week or more, if they are well hydrated
    Balanced nutrition is a important health factor for elderly and infants.

    Food in a refrigerator is safe for a day after the power goes off,
    either use it in 24 hours or throw it away
    Frozen food is safe if there are still ice crystals,
    once thawed, cook and consume it within 24 hours
    Next use non-perishables and dry staples
    Canned foods are best for long term storage
    (up to 4 years) but are heavy to transport and bulky to store
    Dry packaged foods are easiest to transport
    Choose foods requiring minimal preparation
    Eat at least one balanced meal daily
    Include nutritional supplements in supplies
    Drink enough water.

    MREs, or Heater Meals®
    Prepared survival rations
    Primitive survival methods:

    Each person should have their own backpack of personal essentials
    Portable radio
    Extra batteries
    First Aid Kit, (containing a first aid manual)
    Personal medications and sanitation supplies
    Cooking and eating utensils
    Wool blanket or sleeping bag for each person
    Sturdy shoes and extra socks
    Rain gear
    Change of warm clothing and underwear
    Items for special needs, care of infants

    For further information:
    Prepare - Fairfax County, Virginia
    Make a Plan - Fairfax County, Virginia > Prepare & Prevent > Family Disaster Planning
  4. dilligaf

    dilligaf Well-Known Member

    call me crazy but i think its a bad idea to be putting 7 year olds and fire skills together..:p

    it cant end well. some kid will burn his house down matter how much you preach safety your dealing with 7 year olds.the temptation will get the best of one of them..

    why not something a little less potentially destructive?:rolleyes:
    maybe what to do if you get lost,building a basic shelter,basic map reading,how to read a compass,take them fishing,make simple bird traps or snares,plant identification,nature hikes,preparing a day pack,animal tracking are just a few ideas and most cost next to nothing to do.

    you need to remember these are just kids,the goal now is to make it fun for them and keep it basic and simple so they will be encouraged to continue into boy scouts and start learning skills and collecting badges.

    i think at that age its more important to keep them happy and interested than it is to teach them vital skills.keep whatever you do down to a very basic level.

    hope that helps..
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2009
  5. The_Blob

    The_Blob performing monkey

    I've heard that the older cub scout/boy scout manuals have a lot more relevant information in them that has not been reprinted in current editions, so my advice (along with the good suggestions offered by others so far) would be to get your hands on some older scouting manuals & photocopy parts of them for 'home handouts' maybe you'll get some of the other mothers/fathers involved if they see that these are useful skills & not just a way to get the kids out of their hair for 3 hours once a week...
  6. ke4sky

    ke4sky ke4sky

    It can work both ways. You have to gage the maturity of the kid and his sense of responsibility.

    When I was in first grade my Dad taught me how to build a fire in the wood stove and to prepare a charcoal grill for a picnic. This was to be my job when called for, but only when supervised. Dad impressed upon me how serious a house fire was. It was made it clear that if I screwed up there would be no scouts, no camping, hunting, fishing or backyard barbeques because we'd all be dead! I had no curiosity about either fire or firearms, because neither were forbidden. I treasured those times with Dad when he would let me help do "big boy stuff." He is long gone but I remember his firm, gentle teaching like he is still right there beside me and surely do treasure those memories.

    A neighbor kid was forbidden to have even toy guns, or go anywhere
    near matches. He was too curious, a firebug and would sneak around, light matches and start small fires. Once I saw this, I knew how dangerous it was and told my Dad. My Dad told the kid's father. They sat the kid down on the curb in front of the house with a big box of Ohio Blue Tips. They made him strike each one and hold onto it until his fingers burned and he had to let go of it. Today they would call that child abuse, but that kid never picked up a match again. He got cured of that curiosity.

    I "lost" my friend only for the summer until school started. Shortly after we started third grade a kid across town died in a house fire which was started by playing with matches. They talked about it in school. I approached my neighbor again and said. "I'm sure glad that wasn't you!" and the little lightbulb came on in his head. We are still friends to this day.
  7. dilligaf

    dilligaf Well-Known Member

    i agree,however when dealing with a group you cant really go on a individual basis,simply because the kid seems mature enough to be taught such things is in no way a guarantee that he will treat the skill responsibly. kids will be kids. its not like the child is yours and you can be around most of the time to reinforce safety,nor can you be confident that the child will be under proper supervision should they decide to experiment when not with the pack..

    that being the case what this boils down to is in todays litigious society you simply cant risk taking a large group of kids and teach them such a potentially dangerous skill without setting yourself up for all sorts of potential legal ramifications..

    far be it from me to tell anyone what to do or how far to trust kids,but if it was me personally,their is no way in hell i would show a buncha 7 year old kids how to make cotton ball fire

    but then,,,thats just me...
  8. Canadian

    Canadian Well-Known Member

    I'd say be careful what you teach the kids. In this day and age everyone is eager to sue everyone. A wood shop can be a dangerous place. If a kid so much as gets a small cut you could be in legal trouble. I'd stick to activities that are very safe and injury free. Also activity waivers area good idea. Have the parents sign one before every "dangerous" activity for a little extra legal protection.
  9. Merlin

    Merlin Seeker of Knowledge

    Hi I have been asked a few times to sit in at some scout meetings because of my SAR work.. In my opinion part of the lessons taught should be something useful they can use the rest of their lives. I would suggest at their age Mabe knot tying two great books you could buy or get from a library are Ashley book of Knots... 2nd The Ultimate encyclopedia of knots and rope work both have pictures and drawings both give history and use of the knot I thing all preparedness people should have one or both also to practice a few.. The low funds would not be a issue do to library and you could find a rope and cut into many pieces for them to work with maybe other parents would have some even if their different sizes and types all good to learn with this could also enable a next step of making lanyards for the items and would lead to other lessons.. Next would be hiking sticks or staffs made of broom handles tree branches from downed trees or my favorite is the hollow alum pole now this brings out lessons of what would they put in it. what to do to the outside of it like wrap string on it for gripping.. and storage for items when needed I will try to post some pics of some we use out in the woods hiking look in my picture gallery I hope this helps you along with all the others ideas
  10. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Amateur Radio call sign KM4GDU

    When I was in Cub Scouts We did not do much in the way preparedness stuff, except for first aid and some knot tying. most of our survival Stuff was covered in Boy Scout (11-17 yrs).

    I think for the young kids (<10yrs) they Should know the basic Stuff and not be over loaded with to much.

    They should know the following.

    General first aid and maybe a CPR class.

    Where to go if they are separated from there parents or guardian
    ( I was always told to go to a Church or find a policeman)

    How to make temporary shelter.

    how to make a fire (for the older ones)

    how to find food and clean water

    Contact information for relatives

    Know their full name and address ( for the little ones.)
  11. mtnscout

    mtnscout Active Member

    Scout ideas

    Seven year olds are wolves=second graders. They can earn the emergency preparedness badge the requirements are found at
    They list requirements for each age group in scouting, this can be combined with knots and other activities that teach all sorts of different skills.
    The activities listed in the program helps for each month tie into the theme of that month and are age appropriate. While teaching the boys the camping skills has always been part of the program if it's not fun the boys won't keep coming back and a lot of boys are now from a urban background and find outdoorsy stuff strange but are always eager to try it.
    I say with a lot of scouting background that over time and careful choosing of activities that you can teach them what you want them to learn and in a way they enjoy but don't rush because as another poster said the meat of learning outdoor skills happens later in boy scouts.
  12. flight or fight

    flight or fight Guest

    Wolf Scouts are way too young to be learning about building fires. As a 10 vet of Scouting you need to go through the Wolf Book at the pace that it is designed. Subsequent books ( Bear, Webelos1, and WebelosII) are designed to build on the knowledge they have learned in previous years and if you jump to the great stuff you will find your boys quitting before Boy Scouts because they will get bored with all the repetition to earn their achievements.
  13. racer944

    racer944 New Member

    Fightorflight and ridgerunner have the right idea. When I was a cub scout, we pretty much learned the very basic basics while going on lots of campouts (car camping is a great idea at this point) and doing all the silly competitions that are a ton of fun (pinewood derby, anyone?). The best thing at that point is not to overload them with heavy talk of survival, just stick to what ridgerunner said and make sure they go on tons of car camping trips with campfires, smores, and the like. Once they get into Boy Scouts, it's time for going on the Appalachian Trail, SeaBase, and getting the Polar Bear Award.

    Also, keep them away from fire as long as possible. Every year at summer camp we required from our parents at least a bottle of bug spray a day from all the pyromania, seriously. Once they are in Boy Scouts, it's going to be pretty much necessary to teach them how to make fire without a lighter/matches, but until then, keep them away.
  14. Smithy

    Smithy Outdoorsman, Bladesmith

    I've been working with Scouts for 13 years now, and I think at the age of 7, you need to cover the fundamental personality-builders that will enable them to think right later on. Self reliance, personal accountability, and very elementary skills applicable to their immediate environment (how to dial 911, how to tie a knot, how to put on their own band-aid, how to avoid high-risk situations to start with... ie, don't go pet the snake.)

    You can teach the basics of fire, such as the rule of 3 - needing oxygen, fuel, and heat, to offer the principle behind the thing, and approach it from the angle of putting one out in an emergency. Lighting them? Tons of good age-appropriate material on scout resource websites, but I wouldn't go too far.

    As for other scouting activities, since you're asking here, I'm guessing you haven't been to U.S. Scouting Service Project. and there's an activity guide for cubs there at USSSP: Cub Scout Activity Guide

    Good luck.