It’s Marbleous!

When was the last time you played marbles? Have you ever played? Marbles is an inexpensive, fairly simple but fun activity for your children to play.
I personally do not recall playing marbles. I do remember watching other kids play the game when I was younger. My mom says I did play but I don’t remember it. When I think back on the other children playing, it always seemed like it took such skill and dexterity to shoot that marble and hit the other marbles.

One of the electives available for the Bear Scouts is marbles. Since we have completed just about all of our required adventures, I figured it was time to have a little bit of marble fun; therefore, the other night at Scouts, I taught the Bears how to play marbles. We played three different games. The first was marble toss. This was a simple game where you toss marbles into an egg carton and collect points based on where the marble landed. Another game, Archboard, required the boys to hold the marble in the traditional way and shoot it through the arches of a cardboard bridge structure. The last game and maybe the most fun game was just plain old marbles which is really called Ringer. We made a circle or a ring and the boys placed their marbles inside the circle. Each boy took a turn using his shooter marble to eliminate the other boys’ marbles from the circle.

The first thing I discovered is that none of the boys had ever played marbles. The second thing I discovered is that they loved playing marbles. They had so much fun that they didn’t want to stop when it was time to do something else.
If we’re ever at a point where our kids are not spending enough time away from their screens, pull out a bag of marbles (available at the dollar store) and have a bit of fun.

Whittle While You Work

This month in Cub Scouts, we will work on our Bear Claws requirement. This requires us to use pocket knives. Needless to say, I am very excited and a little anxious about the boys using their knives.

As usual, for this adventure, I turned to the help of the Internet. I have been watching way too many videos about whittling. So much so that I feel like I could lapse into the Beverly Hillbillies theme song at any moment.

For the meeting, we will start out with soap bars and plastic knives to get the cubs familiar with the feel of the knife cutting through a substance. Later, we will switch to pocket knives and/or paring knives to cut the wood.

In my Internet travels, I came upon a site that had templates for cutting the three different pocket knives out of paper. You use those little brads to put them together.  I will add a picture of mine here for you to see. I thought this was a cute idea for an extra activity. If we have time, they could do this at the meeting. Otherwise, they can do it at home and bring it to the meeting.

I’ll be in touch to let you know how it goes.  I will have my first aid kit handy- just in case.

Happy Scouting!

Adventures in Grandparenting

I have been a grandma since 2009 and it has been one adventure after another. This week’s adventure starts with Cub Scouts. At the end of last year, I volunteered to be the den leader for my eldest grandson’s Cub Scout den.

What in the world was I thinking!? I am already quite busy in my life but I feel that Scouting is extremely valuable to the children. None of the parents were able to step up and take on the role (for whatever reason) and I did. Now, here I am one day before the start of Cub Scouts and I am really not ready.

I took some time this evening to try to locate some hints and tips on being a den leader. There is a lot of information on the Internet (both old and new) and filtering through the old stuff to get to the new information related to the new scouting format was somewhat daunting.  Despite that, I persevered.

During my search, I happened upon this really helpful blog post from a young mother who also was new to scouting a few years ago and was nice enough to share her organizational information. Since I am a bit anal when it comes to organizing, I was especially grateful for this. This will at least get me started in the right direction.

As the year progresses, I will keep you posted on how everything works out.  For now, I am off to print some Scouting forms.