Den Ideas for Spring!
Field Trips are a great way to show the Scouts how the world works and hands-on activities at places that allow it, are the best. Following are some ideas for fun Field Trips for Spring that are indoors, you can never count on the weather to cooperate in Minnesota in the Spring! Also, when taking Field Trips, be sure to follow the rules and get signed permission slips for the boys, and tour permits when needed.
- Police and Fire Stations - Call the Ramsey City Hall to schedule.
- Pavek Museum of Broadcasting - This is a GREAT place where the boys will learn alot about electricity, be able to participate in a LIVE radio broadcast, a Quiz Show and learn to use Morse Code and a telegraph! They have a HUGE collection of antique radios, televisions and broadcasting equipment. Well worth the $3.00 per child! Located in St. Louis Park. Call to schedule your trip well in advance.
- Post Office - What a busy place!
- Connexus Energy - located in Ramsey, see how electricity gets to your home.
- Radio & Television Stations - Talk with a D.J. or Meteorologist
- Commercial Printing Company - take a tour!
- Newspaper Facility - Talk to a Reporter or see how the newspaper is printed.
- Science Museum - located in St. Paul, plan on a few hours anyway, don't forget the IMAX theatre!
- Childrens' Museum - located in St. Paul, lots of hands-on activities!
- Mayor's Office or other Public Official
- Recycling Center - Learn the importance of recycling, and what happens to the recyclables you put at your curb.
- Maple Syrup Demonstration - Roselawn Stables, call before February to make reservations and find out when they expect to do demonstrations. Due to weather, they may change the dates. Of course, this would be an outdoor Field Trip, so be sure to dress appropriately.
- Library - to see how books are cataloged, or get a library card!
- Woodworking or Carpentry Shop - ex. cabinet maker, lumberyard
- Attend a High School or Professional Play
- Theatre - to see how a movie is run from the projection room.
- Attend a sporting event - either high school or professional
- Visit an Airport - Make arrangements before-hand so the boys can board an airplane and talk with a pilot.
- Gym or Health Club - Let the boys try out the weight lifting equipment, talk to a fitness instructor about the importance of physical fitness and execise.
- Bike Shop - Visit Ramsey Bicycle for a lesson on bike maintenance and get that bicycle ready for summer!
These are just some ideas for Field Trips, I'm sure you can come up with others! Remember, a minimum of two adults per 5 boys is required for Field Trips! Make sure to plan driving arrangements and make sure that everyone has the same directions so no one gets lost! (This is from experience)
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The craft ideas below are found in the Cub Scouts How-To books and in other books such as the Cub Scouts Fun Book or the Program Helps book. The book and page number are specified. Others can be found at various websites, be sure to go check them out! There are LOTS and LOTS of craft ideas available online. I've just highlighted a few of the best.
- Birdhouse - Old How-To book page 3-22
- Birdfeeder - Old How-To book page 3-23/New How-To Book page 4-21
- Nesting Materials Holder - Old How-To book - page 8-14/New How-To Book page 4-22
- Bird Call - New How-To book - page 4-23
- Squirrel Feeder - New How-To book - page 4-24
- Kite - Old How-To Book 3-57/New How-To book - page 2-10
- Windsock - New How-To book - page 2-9
- Neckerchief Slides - Old How-To book - page 3-62/New How-To book - page 2-37 / also a good selection found at: Woggle World and there is another link on our 'Links' page to a great neckerchief slide website!
- You Can Find TONS of craft ideas at:
Making Friends.com or
You won't be sorry you went to these two places! I use them all the time!
- Another good place to do crafts during the school year (I think they run through April), is the Home Depot stores. They hold FREE Kids Workshops on Saturday mornings. The boys build various projects, ex... stool, treasure chest, tool box, birdhouse, etc. and the Home Depot provides all the materials, tools and the INSTRUCTORS for free! The only catch is you have to sign up early, as these do book up way in advance. These are simple projects that only take about a half hour to complete. You could go as a Den, or meet there. You have to try this at least once. The boys each get to keep an orange Home Depot apron, and they get a Kids Workshop pin.
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There are so many games listed in both the old and the new How-To books that I could never list them all. Suffice it to say you will never be out of ideas for games as long as you have either of those two books. I will be happy to borrow them to anyone who wants to look through them, but you really do need to go get one for your own, they are invaluable to a Den Leader. Also there are monthly theme-related games in the Program Helps book. I'll give you a few examples of indoor games that have worked well in my den:
As far as quiet indoor games go, they do exist, but boys like the noisier games with more activity. In the Spring if we still have snow or it is raining or cold outdoors, you can use the gymnasium at Ramsey Elementary if it isn't being used already, so you can play loud games that require lots of room. Ramsey Elementary charges $5.00 per hour for rental of the gym. You will need to bring your own equipment, they won't let you use theirs. Call in advance to see if you can schedule rental, 506-4000.
- Charades - The boys love to play charades! It gives them the opportunity to ham it up and show off, or just be silly in front of their friends. You can use charades for a variety of different subjects, ex. What Am I?, Who Am I?, What Am I Feeling?, What Am I Doing?. Give it a try, you won't be sorry and it never gets old to the boys.
- Marbles - Marbles are inexpensive and even though some of the boys may not really get into 'playing' marbles, they will surely like 'collecting' them. If you play Marbles in your Den, the boys can earn their Marbles Beltloop and have a great time learning an old-fashioned, (before the computer age anyway), easy game.
- Toss Games - Any 'Toss' type of games, ex. bean bags at targets or through hoops, washers into pie plates, clothespins into buckets, pennies - see who's penny comes closest to a tape line, balloons into buckets, cards into a hat, these are all games that boys love to play.
- The Limbo! - An indoor game that is fun AND noisy. Music please! Two boys hold a broomstick and the other boys have to take turns going under the stick. After each rotation of boys, the stick is lowered a little more and you do it all over again until you can't fit under the bar anymore. Try a little Reggae or Island music, the boys will have a blast!
- Bowling! - You can use bowling as a field trip and a game all in one! Holm's Super Bowl in Ramsey will give Cub Scouts a discount on games and usually shoes will be free. Boys can use the bumper lanes to give everyone the same chance of knocking down the pins. Self-scoring machines and a snack bar! What kid could ask for more! Usually by Spring the leagues are just about done and you can book your time in advance. Give them a call, (763)421-7779.
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Den Activities for Spring
There are Den activities that you can use for Rank specific requirements such as 'Good Turns' or fun activities that just add sparkle to your Den Meetings. Some ideas for activities are:
These are just a few Den Activities. The possibilities are endless. Make sure you read the Program Helps book for ideas about next months theme. It will help you decide what to do with your Den any time of the year! And don't forget that How-To Book!
- Clean-up! - When the snow melts there is usually much 'cleaning up' to be done. You can 'Adopt A Highway' or a section of road that is the responsibility of your Den to clean. You can call the Ramsey City Hall to see if there are any areas near you where there is a need. Trail systems are a good place. Always have the boys wear appropriate clothing and rubber gloves when handling garbage. Make sure that you properly dispose of anything you pick up. Another good place to do a clean-up is at a beach! No one likes to see garbage when they go to a beach to relax and swim. This activity fulfills the requirement for the World Conservation Award.
- Go Rollerskating! - Cheap Skate in Coon Rapids has many open skating times that you can work into your schedule.
- Have a Bonfire - Even if it's a little chilly you can still have a small bonfire to warm things up. Make s'mores, make 'Hobo Dinners' or roast wienies! This fun activity is even better when you combine it with teaching the boys how to build and have a safe fire. It also fulfills several of the rank requirements.
- Magic Tricks - You can use magic tricks whenever you want to really, boys never get tired of them, but they are a quiet, indoor activity for Spring. There are several magic tricks in both of the How-To books.
- Collect Recyclables - This can be done in conjunction with your Field Trip to the Recycling Center. It is also considered a 'Good Turn'.
- Have a Kite Flying Contest! - With kites you made in your Den.
- Work on A Skit - Eventually it will be your Dens' turn to perfom a skit at a Pack Meeting. You might want to check the calendar and see when it's your turn, and begin by choosing a skit, choosing the boys parts in the skit, making props, and practicing the skit. A good skit can be either simple or involved, so make your choice and have fun with it. Let the boys make the props and you will fulfill a few of the rank requirements.
- Sing, Sing, Sing - You should try to include at least one song in each Den Meeting. Most boys are very happy to sing a song, they are too young to be embarrassed by it, and the sillier the better. The Cub Scout Song Book is full of 'silly' songs, that are put to the tune of familiar songs. The Cub Scout Song Book is only about $3.00 and you can find it at any of the Scout shops.
- Invent a Den Yell! - A Den Yell is a short, LOUD cheer. For example: 2,4,6,8, which Den is REALLY great? Den 2! Den 2! Deeeen 2! Let the boys come up with ideas for their own Den Yell!
- Make a Den Doodle - Den Doodles are one way for the boys to show off their progress in Scouting. Den Doodles can be brought to each Pack Meeting. The Den Leader should do any of the cutting of wood, but the boys can decorate their doodle and attach their advancements to it. See the Old How-To Book, page 3-13, or the new How-To Book, page 1-3 for ideas, or invent your own!
- Have a Speaker Visit Your Den - To break up the same old same old, maybe you can enlist the help of a parent that is a police officer, firefighter, teacher, or has another interesting talent. Have them come to your Den and tell about his /her job. Make sure you have the parents fill out the Family Talent Survey as soon as you can. You never know who is going to be interesting until you ask! Conservation Officers and other community service people are usually happy to come and speak with your Den and may help fulfill a requirement that you are having trouble doing on your own.
- Plant Trees - Saplings are easy to plant. You should make sure that the ground is warm enough to be worked and the saplings won't die. You can order saplings every year from the local DNR for a small cost. Ask the area DNR office where you can plant saplings. Usually a wildlife preserve, nature preserve or trail system is in need of some kind of plantings.
- Make Birthday Bags - A project the boys can work on for the ACBC Food Shelf is 'Birthday Bags'. A Birthday Bag consists of: a brown paper bag decorated with a birthday theme, a cake mix, a frosting and a toy (around $10.00). They told me the Girl Scouts do this too and they are overwhelmed with 'girl' toys. They need bags for boys too! The bags are grouped by age 1-3, 4-6, 7-10. This can be done as a Den project or individually, whichever your den can afford. After the bags are done, you can make arrangements for the boys to drop them off at the Food Shelf and the people there will give the boys a tour and info session. This is sometimes the only gift a child receives for their birthday, so these bags are very important any time of year. This counts as a service project or a 'Good Turn'. Let's see if we can't help out.
- Work on a Skit - Each Den will have it's turn to do a Skit. Be prepared and work on one early, check your yearly Pack schedule to see when it's your Den's turn! Stumped for skit? There are over 500 Skits on the Resource page. You need the Adobe Acrobat Reader to open this pdf document. Get the Adobe Acrobat Reader here.
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