Friday, February 8, 2013

Cub Scout Den Doodle Idea

Our Den Doodle ended up being a very positive thing to inspire the boys to wear their uniforms, do Cub Scout requirements at home with their parents, and be excited about Cub Scouting!  When I was a Den Leader, I had a lot of fun with this.  Thanks to all those who were interested in my Den Doodle and asked for more information from my post "Cub Scout Orientation for New Cub Scouts and Parents" that you can open in Word, edit, and print.  If this post does not answer the questions you have, please type below and ask more.  I will keep adding to the blog and posting more pictures as I need.  Just for fun, I'll tell you that the cute little 8 year old red head is my now 15 year old son.  Enjoy your boys while you have them with you in Cub Scouts!!

To make it:
  • Take an empty gallon can and spray paint it.  
  • Spray paint any PVC pipe and connections you will need.
  • Use Plaster of Paris and put the pipe into the can.  Notice that there is only about 8" sticking out of the can and then there is an adaptor you can take apart.  That really helped as I transport it back and forth. (Notice there is a 2nd connector about 1/2 way up still in the blue.  That really helped to be able to break it down)
  • Drill super small holes in the pipe and insert screw cup holder hooks to hang the doodles on.

To use it:
  • When the boys come to scouts for the first time, have them write their name and date on the outside of the can.
  • I give them 2 leather ropes and a round metal key chain thing to tie the leather ropes onto.
  • I bought a bead alphabet at Walmart, and thin jute, and I would have the kids put their names on the thin jute and tie it to the round metal key chain.
  • For the 1st leather rope, as the boys would come every week, they would go to my plastic container and read through the requirements to see how many beads they earned for the week, they would count out the correct amount of beads, untie the knot at the bottom of the leather rope, slide their beads on, and retie the knot.
  • As the boys got 50 beads, they could trade them in for a feather to put at the top (I would attach it to the metal key chain with a safety pin).  Then they would start all over again earning more beads.
  • For the 2nd leather rope, I would have things like sticks or beads to go with the monthly theme.  I would also give them extra beads for things we did in the den - decorate for blue & gold, or other stuff.  I would also give them something when they earned their bobcat, wolf, bear, webelos, etc.  These were permanent on the 2nd rope, and kind of signified their scouting time.

This really helped the boys want to wear all of their cub scout uniform (shirt, hat, vest, neckerchief, slide), do things at home, being on time, bringing their book.  I had a little plastic container that would sit by the den doodle, and it had a list of the following in the lid.  The boys could receive beads for each of the following items...

                                                1.  Being on time.  Be in the room by 4:00.
                2.  Wearing their Cub Scout Shirt.
                3.  Bringing their Wolf Book
                4.  Wearing their Neckerchief
                5.  Wearing the (Neckerchief) Slide of the Month
                6.  Wearing the Red Vest
                7.  Cub Scout Den Hat
            8. Passing off something during the week at home with their parents.  (I would ask the parents to please write it on a post it note inside the front cover.  Then I would not have to look through every page every week of each boys book.)

I also started telling them at the end of the den session if they had earned an extra bead for being extra good, helping a lot, or something else.  It really helped to have something to bribe them with that was simple and easy.

Here is an additional idea from Claire Smith from San Diego, CA:  The second string could be a gold string that gets fancier beads that represent Bobcat, Required beltloop, Elective beltloop, Wolf, and other special events (a hike, a special pack game, participation in community service, or doing something else that is memorable and noteworthy. This string becomes a history of his time in the Den, and when he bridges, I make a special totem with a blue & gold wooden fleur-de-lis at the top (with Pack #, Den Leader names etc) that can hang on the wall (a pop-top ring glued to the back) for him to keep, and it is presented at a pack meeting as he bridges to the Bear Den.


  1. Laura Arbegast-Pack 302August 21, 2013 at 8:01 AM

    This is a great idea...
    I am going to try this for the wolves this year. We did not do anything like this for the Tigers last year, and i feel it would have really helped keep them involved.

  2. Lisa Morgan - Pack 80 Margaretville NYAugust 27, 2013 at 11:12 AM

    Same here. I wish I had seen this last year for the boys when they were mere little Tigers.
    Now to come up with multiple "tasks" for them to earn beads for. Any suggestion besides the above would be helpful.

  3. Thanks for this post. This really helps me see the value of a Den Doodle. I have toyed with the idea for a while. Now I am going to try it!

  4. Ive been doing something similar, but the thing I have trouble with is that not all my boys can afford a uniform, or a full uniform, so what would you do in this situation?

    1. There is a facebook group that is a great place to ask Cub Scout questions. Check it out!

  5. The idea is to reward desired behavior. Reward those things your scouts can do that you want them to do, even if it is just to wear the shirt and neckerchief, behave well, help others, bring their book etc.

  6. I think I want to do this! Thank you~
    I'm worried about untying and retying the knot at the bottom each time. Anyone have an idea on how to get around this? Maybe a binder clip at the top?

    1. I was thinking about that... peg or small bull clip?

  7. Where did you find all of your beads, particularly ones like the cars, boats, planes, flags?

  8. Great post! Thanks for being so thorough with your explanation and helping others replicate your process.

  9. where did you find all of your beads, particularly ones like the cars, boats, planes, flags?