Catapults and Cub Scouts

One Hundred Fifty Cub Scouts Making Catapults!  We call this fun?  Actually we do call this fun.  It was a blast.  My husband V was asked to help with a Regional Cub Scout Merit Badge on Engineering.  V is a Chemical Engineer and we were doing mechanical engineering but Cub scouts are not picky.

The theme for this event was a Medieval Court including building a CASTLE.  So all the leaders had crowns on.My fearless leader had a crown on too, ON a hard hat.

My husband immediately turned to me and asked for my HELP.  This is the usual course of events.  So I was there and I had a crown – a sparkly TIARA 🙂 but V got the credit and the photo opp.  One of the Adults with a scout troop works with V and took the photos for their company news letter.  But hey a girl’s gotta complain about something.

When V asked me to help I was totally THERE.  He wanted to have the boys make catapults.  No way I was going to miss that. So I sent him to our favorite website that I gave him a membership to for his birthday,,  where he found a great, easy catapult.  click HERE to see catapult instructions.

Each troop rotated through the 6 engineering activity stations.  At ours V started by giving an intro., a catapult demo using our BIG catapult, and a demonstration on the benefits of using pulleys.  For the pully demo. V would have the 2 largest fathers hold on to one end of the rope with a single pully and have the smallest scout pull against them.  No luck.  Then he would switch the fathers and the scout to a rope that passed through several pulleys – a block and tackle.  Woo Hoo!  The fathers were no match for the scout.  EVERYONE got to try. 😀

scouts to the right, scouts to the left, and not a leader in sight

After that they came to me and our Explorer scout assistant, E , to make their catapults.  As they moved up the line they gathered their supplies, base, wood block, tongue depressor, plastic spoon, and clothespin.  E and I would hot glue the parts together as fast as we could so the boys could move on to the next engineering station on time.  WHEW!

At the end, (drama), we ran out of supplies!  We had not been told of the increase in registration.  We had 30 extra sets of pieces but still ran short of tongue depressors.  First I gave out all of our demo catapults.  Then I tried glueing the spoon directly on to the clothespin.  But the catapult needs the extra leverage provided by lengthening the clothespin with the tongue depressor.  😦   What to do???

Then I, yes that would be moi, the non engineer, came up with the brilliant, amazeing, tremendous, stupendous, marvelous, (I could go on), answer.  I quickly cannibalized a clothes pin.  I glued the two wooden pieces where the tongue depressor was supposed to go so that their ends overlapped a little.  Then I added the spoon.  Voila – Victory.  And that my friends is how I erned my degree as an honorary mechanical engineer.

We were unable to stay for the part where the scouts all built a Castle together using parts that each troop had been assigned to bring.  But we left our big display catapult, built last July 4th, for them to use to bombard the castle.  To see my family using the catapult we loaned for the castle atack click HERE

One Hundred Eighty-plus Cub Scouts with Catapults?  FUN!


8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. dleebug
    Jan 12, 2010 @ 14:36:37

    How come you never showed me the photos when I was there?!? Hello?!? Do you not LOVE me any more?!?


  2. Trackback: Scouts + Catapults = ? « Dleebug's Scrapblog
  3. Kelliebean
    Jan 20, 2010 @ 11:13:12

    Hi Holly!

    Adele linked me to your blog (I’m one of her scrapbooking friends) – I am just so taken by all the catapult action that goes on in this family. 🙂 It’s also wonderful to see a family who loves each other and has so much fun playing (and serving) together. My kids are going to love the clothespin catapults!



  4. Veronica aka Miss Onigur
    Jan 20, 2010 @ 12:06:04

    My son is a “Scout.” Need to show him this. Hmmm, teen boys. Catapults. Can only IMAGINE what kind of trouble they would get into?????? LOL
    Adele “linked” me here as well! 😉


  5. English Girl in NY - Jennier
    Jan 20, 2010 @ 12:25:18

    I am one of Adeles Scrapbooking fiends, I mean Friends too – Your family is very keen on distroying things! I love it! I will not be encouraging my husband to make this as I fear the dog would suffer!!


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