Wind Chime

Make a high tech wind chime from three recycled 3 1/2" diskettes.  Cut three 10" pieces of string and attach one to each of three metal diskette shutters (the 1"x2" metal apparatus that slides across the "in" edge of the floppy).  Cut two small holes through one diskette's floppy inside (large flat disc).  Thread strings through the holes and tie them. Hang the metal shutters so they will tap one another when the wind blows.  Hang the disk with a loop of string in a breezy location.


 Computer Heads

Ask the boys what they think they'd look like if they were a computer.  Tell them they're going to make a big mask they can put over their head to turn into a computer.  Cut out eyes from large paper bags, then decorate them with colored markers, construction paper, glue, scissors, string, yarn, etc.  They can wear their computer mask at a pack meeting.


CD-Rom Crafts

What can you do with all those old, useless CDs that are lying around?  Read on!

·     Many craft stores sell clock movements that will fit right in the hole in the center.  Paint a few numbers on the shiny side and you've got a fairly inexpensive clock.

·      Save a bunch of them and towards the Christmas season you can hot glue them together to form a triangle with about five or six across at the bottom.  Insert flashing holiday lights and you have an instant holiday tree with the shiny CD surface acting as a big reflector.  Great gift item to give from a den to a retirement home or to add to a church's festive decorations.

·     On the other hand if you have loads of them, you could do three of them and make a pyramid with flashing lights on all three sides.

·     Glue a couple dozen together.  Sit it on the floor and insert a six-foot dowel rod in the hole.  Instant flag stand for a skinny flagpole - just about right for a homemade den flag or may be a sign that you use at a meeting.

·     Use them for a set of trail markers or orienteering checkpoints - portable and reusable. Just paint them different colors. Collect them when you are done and re-use.

·     Quick game - have a rolling contest to see who can roll one the farthest on its edge.

·     Use the CDs for a toss in the bucket game.  Mark a line.  Place a bucket/basket at a reasonable distance. Give points for flinging the CD into the bucket.

·     Use the CDs for signaling the same way you use mirrors.

.     Use the CDs for a software graveyard on Halloween - bury half way in ground at regular intervals.

·      Use them for cowboy hat decorations.  Cut off bottom half of medium paper cup.  Invert and tape to center of CD.  Paint light brown with dark brown hatband from ribbon glued on.  Instant wild west momento.


Design Your Computer

Ask boys to bring in materials ahead of time or plan to have these on hand:

paste or glue                            caps from plastic bottles                   
pull-tabs from soft drinks           small box                                
construction paper                    colored markers
string or yarn                           buttons                                    scissors                                  aluminum foil

It might be helpful to have one partly finished product, just to help the boys start their own projects.  Tell the boys they are going to build their own brand of computer.  It can do anything they want it to.  Start by having them pick out a name for their computer.  You can remind them of some existing brands if they get stuck.  Encourage creative names.  Next give them each a box with access to the materials above and have them decorate the outside of their computer.   If there's time, let them add the insides too.  Suggest they put special knobs of buttons on the computer that do special jobs like "feed the dog," "mow the lawn," "take out the trash," etc.  Display the new computers at the next pack meeting!


An emoticon is a simple picture made of keyboard strokes that you could use to express your feelings.  Smiley faces :) and sad faces :( are two popular emoticons.  Using a drawing board or large sheet of paper, ask your boys to try to create more and guess their meaning. They may include:

:-) smiley face          :-( sad face                  :-o surprised              
;-) wink                    :-} smirk                      I-( sleeping/bored
B-) glasses            =:-) nerd                       :-P sticking tongue out
:-D laughing            (:-) bald head                :-)X snappy dresser



Write Your Own Program

Explain to the boys that programming is a very exact (and sometimes tedious) job. A computer does exactly what it is programmed to do. This includes programs that run on desktop PCs as well as computer programs in different kinds of machinery (like robots, for example). If the program doesn't include every command, the machine must do, the task won't be done properly.

For this activity, tell the boys that they are going to write a program to make a robot move an item from one place in the meeting room to another place in the same room. (Pick start and stop points they can see, but that have obstacles between them.) They are to write out the program commands for the robot, which you will have another Cub Scout then follow. After the boys are finished, shuffle all of the "programs" and give them out so that no one has his own. Then take turns reading each program out, having the "robots" follow the exact instructions from the "programs."

Dissect A Computer

Get someone from the den who knows about computers to come in with a couple "throw-away" computers (old 386s or 486s) and have the person work with the boys on identifying the different components of the computer. They may even be able to take a bunch of parts from different computers and build one working computer. Make sure the boys get to see some of the main components that they hear about all of the time, such as motherboard, RAM, hard drive, modem, sound card, etc.


Floppy Disk Ring Toss

Do you remember those floppy disks we uses to use? No, I don't mean the 8" diameter ones—only a few of us really old computer nerds remember them! I mean the 5-1/4 diskettes. They came in a thin, square "wrapper." Well if you can find some, remove the outer sleeve and you'll find a disk that the boys can use for a short-distance ring toss. You'll need to make "targets" but these can be dowels or pencils stuck into pre-drilled boards. Make sure you leave enough room between the dowels that the rings can go onto any of them. Mark each target with a point value and let the boys take turns trying to see how many points they can get. (By the way, if you can't find any of those diskettes, ask any of your computer friends as they'll surely have some around!) Another suitable computer ring is the CD; many people get lots of these as junk mail