Updated December 9, 2007
Troop 205 Webelos Skills Weekend, Hidden Valley Scout Reservation, December 7-9, 2007

When Troop 205 invites Webelos to a campout, the first order of business is knife safety. All the Webelos have probably had some knife safety in their dens, but it is a good thing to review from time to time. Knife skills are necessary when cooking, or just having fun taking the bark off or carving a point on a stick.
There was some snow on the ground, enough to get a good slide down a camp road on a sled. The boys enjoyed sledding in their spare time, and thought it really cool late at night.
The Webelos II Scouts will be moving into a Boy Scout Troop in just a few months. Knowing that, we spent a lot of time working with them separately on hatchet and axe safety. They are restricted to cutting only when under direct adult supervision until they join a troop.
All kids like fires, so it makes sense to teach them about it, so they will treat all fires with respect. We start with safety in handling the matches, having a proper place, and having water nearby. Then we work into what a fire needs to burn, how to find the right types of fuel, and how to arrange it properly. They then get to light their own fire to burn a string placed about 18 inches above.
The older scouts demonstrated how to boil water for hot cocoa in a paper cup.
All the Webelos were introduced to saw safety and usage, and were allowed to cut some wood. At a woodsman’s festival type event, two teams raced to see who could cut five pieces from a log first. Each Scout cut for 90 seconds, then had to safely pass the saw to the next Scout before they could begin.
The highlight of the weekend for most of the boy’s was the construction of a twenty-foot tripod tower. The Webelos had been instructed in the square knot, clove hitch, and square lashing. With the Boy Scouts helping hold logs, and coaching on the lashing, everyone constructed the tower in less than 90 minutes. After spending some time playing and climbing around, they then undid each lashing and returned the poles to the Camp storage shed.
Sunday was the restocking of the firewood in the cabin. Everyone formed a line and passed wood from the outside woodshed into the cabin, to prepare it for the next group of Scouts. As simple as this seems, it requires teamwork.