Bill's Unofficial Cub Scout Roundtable
A compendium of Ideas For Cubmasters, Den Leaders and those who help them.
About RT492Boy Behavior
Blue & Gold
Character & Ethics
Cheers & Stunts
Dist & Council
Den Prog Plans
Good Turn For America
Places to Go
Prepare For Scouts
3 Magic Words
WHERE TO GO; WHAT TO DO
What does it mean to communicate? Communication is the art of transmitting and receiving information. And how do we as human beings go about this exchange of information? We communicate with words, facial expression and body language.
As the human race developed so did our communicative skills. Early man drew pictures on the walls of caves. With the development of language came a better way to keep records and tell stories... writing! With the discovery of electricity came the telegraph, telephone, radio, television, computers, micro-wave transmission, optical fibers, lasers, and on and on and on.
Who makes a good communicator? We do of course! With all of the modern technology at our fingertips today it is still important for us to learn basic communication skills. Skills that will be with us throughout our entire lives. Things, like how to talk to one another with respect, how to listen to one another. Silly things, like saying please and thank you. Things like, learning good telephone manners and practicing being polite and courteous to others.
This is a quick introduction to get you started on secret codes for Scout and Cub meetings. Codes make great games for Scouts and Cubs of all ages, and they're really very easy to learn.
Webelos enjoy being able to communicate in code – it's like knowing a happy secret. Codes are used all over the world. When you send a telegram or a email, you are sending a kind of code written in a short way to keep costs down. During wartime, codes are an important way for sending secret messages. Even the brands marked on cattle and markings on planes and ships are kinds of code. Codes usually have two parts. The first is making the code, known as “encoding” the message. The second part is called “decoding”, which tells the person who receives the encoded message how to read and understand it.
Suppose you want to send the message LOUIS LIKES BEAN SOUP.
In the rail fence code, you encode by dropping every other letter down:
L U S I E B A S U
.O I L K S E N O P
Then, take the bottom line of letters and put them next to the top line of letters. You'll come up with the coded message:
When your friend wants to decode the message, he just counts the number of letters in the message, divides it by two, and places the last half below and between the first half.
For writing the dot code, it's best to use lined paper. On the top line, write a mixed up alphabet, with the letters evenly spaced across the sheet. Each line down the page will represent one letter of your message. Starting on the first line, put one dot on each line beneath the letter you want the dot to be. To read the message, start on the first line and read downward.
The example above decodes as "SCOUT."
A variation that would be more difficult to break would be to use a pre-arranged secret letter instead of a dot as the indicator.
In this case, the secret letter is "T" and the coded message is, again "SCOUT".
Ask your den if they could think of other ways to make the code more secure.
A simple code which substitutes numbers for letters is made by building a square of 25 boxes into which the alphabet is inserted. Number each of the columns in the square from 1 to 5, then do the same with each row. Put a letter into each box. For one box, 2 letters will have to share the box, but the other letters in the message will help clarify which of the 2 letters is needed when the message is being decoded.
Using this system, the row number followed by the column number indicates the letter needed for the message. For example, “O” is 34: row 3, column 4. Using the box code, try to decode the message hidden in the numbers of the “grocery order” below. Be sure you use all the numbers in the order.
Please accept my order for the following and deliver at once.
43 cans of your best sardines @ .15
33 boxes of soap flakes @ .14
23 large boxes of napkins @. 15
31 large cans of peaches @ .35
Message: Send help
How would you go about describing something to a blind person?
An animal for instance, one they have never seen.
Try this exercise: blindfold your den, give them each a pencil and a piece of paper, then describe to them an animal and have them draw what they think they hear. Remove the blindfolds and see if they can guess what animal they have drawn. Hint: Don't use any key words. Example: if you are describing an elephant don't use the word trunk for his nose.
Have your den form a large circle. In the center place an empty coffee can. Blindfold one of the boys and supply him with a broomstick. The object of the game is to have the den direct the blind Scout to the can and have him pick it up with the broomstick. Was it easy? Does it work better with one boy giving directions or all of them?
Use prerecorded sounds or have den chief produce sounds from behind a screen or another room. Webelos listen as each sound is produced and then write down what they think the sound is. Example: Sandpaper rubbing against something; a deck of cards being flipped into the air, a golf ball or Ping Pong ball, bouncing on a bare floor; bursting of a paper bag; etc.
After you've played Telephone, you know how stories change dramatically as they are passed from person to person. In this
After you've played Telephone, you know how stories change dramatically as they are passed from person to person. In this game players pretend they are on-the-spot reporters adding to a news story as it unfolds without any planning,
ROOM:Chairs in a circle
Get everyone seated in a comfortable position in a circle. The object of this game is for each player to add three words to a single story as it is passed around the group. The three words should help describe an incredible news story. The more absurd the funnier.
Begin the story slowly. The example, the first player might say "Just last night..."; the second player might add "...a green monster..." while the next player adds "...ate New York," If someone gets stuck and can't think of something, come back later. It important to keep the story moving along from player to player.
Select a simple object such as a paper bag, a key, a piece of string, or anything that can he passed around. As it is being passed around the group, have each player add three words to its life story. Allow each person's imagination to unravel as the object's family, friends and history are discussed.