Apr 25, 2013 - Amy Dobbins
I am a den leader for Bear Scouts that are in 3rd grade. I do not feel that the soap carving activity in the Bear Book is appropriate for boys of this age to complete with a pocket knife. Their motor skills are not developed enough to do such precision cuts, with the knife. We completed this part of the requirement with a plastic knife to give the boys a chance to learn some knife skills. They used the pocket knife for all other parts of the achievement. Would the activities we completed, fulfill the requirements for the whittling chip card?
Mrs. Amy Dobbins
Apr 25, 2013 - Yukon Jack
@ Amy. Short answer, yes. As long as thyey did everything, there is no requirement that it be done with a metal pocketknife. I was a bear DL once and we did this activity several times. Only one small cut (did a couple first aid requirements after that, the injured boy didn't pout at all...sort of proud to be the demonstrator) and a lot of excited scouts to become boy scouts and get their own knives. Just part of growing up. I had a knife well before third grade when I was a kid, nicked myself plenty of times, but that's how you learn.
Apr 28, 2013 - Linda B
I have 12 boys in my den and they learned how to use a knife at a 2 hour class offered at the local decoy museaum. None of my third grade boys even knicked themselves. The instructor was very strict and the boys paid close attention. They have carved since then with sticks and soap with only one small incident. Good instruction is the key with close supervision afterwards.
Nov 12, 2013 - Kasey
I know that this says it is meant for Bears and Webelos, but if you meet the requirements can you get it as a wolf?
Nov 12, 2013 - Scouter Paul
Nov 12, 2013 - cliff
As a webelos DL and a dedicated parent throughout the years, we found that using a potato/veggie peeler works very well as a training tool. Upon reaching webelos we switched it up to a real appropriatly sized pocket knife
Nov 13, 2013 - Casey Hatcher
I am going to be doing this with my den this weekend. Is there a specific knife that they have to use or can they use any pocketknife?
Nov 13, 2013 - Scouter Paul
@Casey - No specific knife is required.
Nov 24, 2013 - Pat
I want to do the Shavings and Chips achievement with my son. Where do we get the Whittling Chip card once he's completed it? From the den leader? Local BS store?
Nov 25, 2013 - Scouter Paul
@Pat - Whittlin Chip cards and patches are at your local Scout Shop, or online at ScoutStuff.org
Talking with the den leader about plans to earn this recognition would be a good idea - he may already have it scheduled as a den activity.
Jan 30, 2014 - David Walters
As a current Bear Leader heading into this section I found a great tool to use for practice. I made a request to the council and was able to purchase wooden pocket knives. They are available in kits that the boys can put together and practice with more safely than metal knives. They are roughly the size of a normal knife and can allow you to spot potential problems with small hands prior to sharp metal being used.
Feb 13, 2014 - Cubmaster Mac (1595)
I recommend using an Ivory soap bar. It is very soft and easy to work with. Each scout gets 2 bars - 1 to learn on and 1 to make something with.
COLLECT THE SHAVINGS! Have each scout place their shavings in their own bowl and microwave it for about 30 seconds - It makes a "snowball" about the size of a grapefruit. It will be HOT, so let it cool before they put their "booger hooks (fingers)" in it.
After the boys are done playing with the soap, have them crush it in to small powder and combine it with Borax and it makes great laundry detergent.