What is an athlete?
An athlete is one who keeps his body physically fit, strong, graceful, coordinated and agile…a desire of practically every boy. Tell your boys about the athlete and what it takes to become one. Impress them with the fact that the body is a priceless gift and only a few minutes of exercise each day are required to keep it physically fit. By adequate exercise, getting the proper food each day – adequate servings from the food groups – and taking care of himself, a boy can become an athlete.
The activities of the Athlete Activity Badge can help a boy measure up to the standards of strength, agility, endurance and coordination necessary for good active Boy Scouting and activities in later life.
Many Webelos leaders use Athlete as the first badge a boy earns upon joining the den. This starts off their year in Webelos with an early badge to inspire them onward. By laying out a permanent, accurately measured 50-yard dash and 600 yard run near your meeting place, you can easily test your new Webelos in less than half an hour. Use a stopwatch when timing these sprint and distance runs.
As a boy completes the requirements, fill in Column 1 of his Fitness Progress Chart (pg. 53) in his Webelos book.
For fun and to stimulate interest in improving their physical abilities, use some of the dual contest found in the "Webelos Book and Program Helps."
To be an athlete, a person must be physically fit. This means he can rise to each task with bounce and enthusiasm and enjoy life more than anyone who is physically unfit enjoys. If he is fit as a boy, he can be fit as a man.
When putting boys to any test, the important thing is that they do their best! While some in physical feats do excel, some others in mental abilities do well. So don’t compare and expect the same of all; let each set his Personal Best goal. “Give them encouragement and praise their skill, and you’ll find they will strive their best to fulfill.”
Where To Go And What To Do
These are some suggestions on how to layout an obstacle course, depending on the abilities of the boys. Missed obstacles should be repeated.
Good Health Habits
Circle the correct answer(s).
Muscle Building Champs
CAST: 6 boys in uniform holding props as described below.
Setting: All boys come on stage and one at a time step forward and speak their lines.
All Together: We all excel in building muscles
We’re champs at that, you see;
Just listen to our stories
And we re sure you will agree.
1st Boy: I hold the title of strongest in my den, do you suppose it’s because of my friend? (Holds up toy skunk. Other boys hold their noses.)
2nd Boy: I’m known as the den’s muscle man this year, Most of my muscle is between my ears. (Pulls out small hat from behind his back and tries desperately to fit it on his head.)
3rd Boy: I hold the title of fastest of all, I’m first in line for the chow basket call. (Pulls out bag of cookies and begins eating.)
4th Boy: I’m known as the champion of the high jump, One time I missed and got a big lump. (Rubs head, with painful expression on face.)
5th Boy: To keep in shape, I exercise each day, I wonder why my muscles turned out this way. (Removes sweatshirt to show colorful padding on arms and legs.)
6th Boy: I’m the champ at making things disappear, you see, watch us all disappear, as I count to three.
(He counts slowly 1-2-3 as curtain closes.)
This can be done with a den, between dens and even as a pack activity. Here the Scouts compete through the course outlined below - record each Scouts score. Be sure to have them do some warm-up exercises before starting (ex. ten toe touches, deep knee bends, and jumping jacks and body twists). Afterwards, discuss a balanced diet and the effect exercise may have on their performance. Then challenge them to do their chosen Fitness badge exercises for thirty days and have them redo the course. Ask them how they think their performance will change. This will complete #5 of the Fitness badge and helps them to complete #2. If time is available #3, #4, and #6 of the Fitness badge should be discussed.
The following is an example of a course:
Station #1 - Sit Ups (adult holds feet)
Do 30 - record time to do 30 or how many in 3 minutes.
Station #2 - Pull Ups
Do 2 or record how many in 2 minutes
Station #3 - Push Ups
Do 8 - or how many in 3 minutes
Station #4 - Standing Long Jump
Mark off six feet in one-half foot increments (highlight the five foot mark). Begin with toes at the start line and measure at the heel after the jump. Record the distance jumped.
Station #5 - Vertical Jump
Set up a post or a board. Mark the post starting from the bottom with a scale, in inches from 0 - 15 inches. Attach a ball to a string and hang it over the post. Have an adult hold the end of the string.
The adult will need to adjust the height of the ball on the jump side, according to each Scout's height - about a foot above the tips of their fingers when their arm is stretched above their head. They then try to jump up and touch the ball., The adult watches to see how high they jump - the height of the jump is measured from the bottom of the post to the bottom of their feet at the height of the jump. Record height of jump (9inches is required for Athlete badge.)
Station #7 - Tire Run
Scout must run through a series of tires, being sure to put one foot in each tire with alternating feet.
Station #8 - Hopping on One Foot
Scout has to hop on one foot through a set of cones. One foot must be help behind their back through the entire course. Record the time to complete the course.
After the Scouts have completed the course the second time (after a month of exercise) sit down with them and compare the two sets of results. Ask them why the difference? Discuss again what it means to be physically fit.