Because of Thanksgiving, our Cub Scout den did not have a regular meeting last week. Instead, I offered to host a Geology Night for any of the boys who would be in town. This was the third time I've hosted a belt loop night. (Click the links to read about Astronomy Night or Hiking and Photography Night.) I decided to be extremely ambitious and cover the three belt loop requirements AND the five pin requirements.
I wanted the boys to start with a craft activity so that early arrivers had something active to do while waiting for the last boys to show up. One of the pin requirements is to make a pet rock and tell a creative story about it. In general, I am all about creativity and open-ended assignments for crafts, but in this case, I knew that giving 8-year old boys unlimited choice wouldn't be ideal, both in terms of staying on schedule and my desire to not have my dining room end up covered from floor to ceiling in paint, glitter, glue and sequins. Since they are working on their Bear (3rd grade) rank, it made sense for each of the boys' pet rocks to be a bear. Here's my sample:
Materials: a rock, gesso, brown paint, brown felt, pink felt, black Sharpie, googly eyes, and white glue
When I made my sample, I immediately realized that I'd need to pre-paint the rocks for the boys. The painting process (or, more accurately, the drying process) was very time-consuming. Gesso on the front, let it dry, gesso on the back, let it dry, brown paint on the front, let it dry, brown paint on the back, let it dry, brown touch-ups on the front, let it dry, brown touch-ups on the back, let it dry. Life would be much easier if the boys started with painted rocks.
I gave each boy a brown rock, brown and pink felt, and googly eyes. I showed my sample, but emphasized that theirs didn't need to look anything like mine. The boys started cutting, drawing, and gluing. Trevor's ended up looking the most similar to my sample:
The others went their own directions, which is awesome.
As they finished their pet rocks, I asked each boy to come up with name for his pet and to prepare a creative story. Some chose to write their story, while others drew a habitat to go along with the story. Then each boy presented his bear and story to the group.
Tomorrow I'll share what we did for the three belt loop requirements and the other four pin requirements.