Otters: Blue Paw

Recently I wrote up how to complete the Red Paw for otters in a set of meetings. Below, I’ve done the same thing for the Blue Paw.  This set includes needing to have 5 meetings, one of them focused on your service project, plus a camping trip. If you want to work on the blue paw and red paw both in a scouting year, you can alternate the meetings, or mix and match the activities from the two posts.

In general, I don’t recommend working to get through the otter paws as quickly as possible. It is ideal to have time to revisit skills and do some things more than once. However, we all do what we can to make our scouting year works out. If you want to follow this plan, make changes that align with how your group works. Add reading a picture book to the opening circle if your raft enjoys that.  Change up the order in the meeting plans below. Make it your own. This is just an outline, you can add or change anything you like. I try to alternate sitting still activities with ones where the kids get to move and play. I find that works well for most kids.

 

Blue Paw Badge requirements:

          • Practice being a good winner and a good loser.
          • Learn the names of every scout in your den.
          • Participate in: Sport games, Physical fitness, Board/card games, An obstacle course
          • Go on two day hikes.
          • Go on a night hikes.
          • Sing three songs.
          • Connect with another Otter raft and make a pen pal.
          • Discuss ways to welcome everyone into your Otter games.
          • Visit a senior center and do some fun activities or crafts with them.

 

Meeting  1

Supplies
Obstacle Course- you may need to bring items and plan how to use items at the meeting site to set this up. Pool noodles, balls, chalk, cones, or stuffed animals could all be part of the course.

  • Opening- Have all scouts repeat the motto “Busy and Bright.”  Sing the song Here we sit like Otters on a Cedar Log.
  •  Activity 1: Have scouts gather in a circle. Go around the circle and each scout says their name and one thing they like to eat (if they were older, you could add this item should start with the same letter as their name- but for younger kids- don’t sweat it).  As they go around the circle, each scout will need to say each person who came before them and what they liked before adding themselves at the end.  Adding a Leader as first and last can help give an example of how to do this- but too many parents make this game longer and more complex.
              • First scout: I’m Josh and I like jelly.
              • Second scout: (pointing) He’s Josh and he likes Jelly. I’m Ash and I like apples.
              • Third Scout: Points at each scout- Josh likes jelly. Ash like apples. I’m Ava and I like ice cream.
              • Fourth Scout: Points at each: Josh like jelly. Ash likes apples. Ava likes ice cream. I’m Rowan and I like marshmallows.
              • Continue until you go around the entire circle.
              • This should help scouts know their friend’s names for the rest of the meeting.
  • Activity 2:  Have scouts run a quick race to a tree (or other object) and back to burn off excess energy from sitting still for that game for so long.
  • Activity 3:  Line up scouts and have them do an obstacle course one by one and cheer for each other. Use either playground equipment, natural elements like rocks and sticks, or brought items like poole noodles and toys to create the course. You can also use chalk to draw obstacles on pavement if needed for otters to spin, jump or hop over.
  • Activity 4: Otters should now have a 10-15 minute break to free play together with the obstacle course. They can set up activities for each other- switch to tag or whatever. Allow otters to explore.
  • Activity 5: Gather back as a group for closing. As part of closing- sing a song. This song should be sung at the end of every meeting for this season, so all otters can learn it. Vespers is one option. The song Make New Friends But Keep the Old,  is another good choice.

Meeting 2

Supplies: None- but this meeting requires a hike, so think ahead where you can hike.

  1. As part of the opening, sing Here we sit like otters on a cedar log song. Otters should sing this song each week until every scout knows all the parts.
  2. Ask otters to shake hands with every other otter in their den and say their names to review names from last meeting. Otters should be up and moving around and shake everyone’s hands including leaders. Leaders should use whatever name they ask otters to call them, whether their name or Ahmeek or Balloo or whatever.
  3. Sit otters down and tell them they did a great job. Ask them what they could do to make a new otter feel welcome in our group. Ask how they could include an otter who was different in their games or at a meeting. What if an otter was in a wheel chair? What if an otter was hard of hearing or blind?
  4. Ask otters what games they know how to play. Do they know any sports? Like kick ball? Soccer? Baseball? Dodge ball?  (Make note of what they say, you will use this information top plan a meeting next time).
  5. Take a hike.  Call on each otter by name at some point to say something they see. This helps otters to learn each other’s names.
  6.  Remember to sing last week’s song as a part of closing.

 Meeting 3

Supplies- Playground ball- and supplies for whatever sport you will try with them this meeting

  1. As part of the opening, sing Here we sit like otters on a cedar log song.
  2. Play a simple game of toss with the playground ball. Each otter should say the name of the otter they intend to catch the ball. Once you have done that sing a song while tossing, the alphabet song works well.
  3. Ask the otters how to be a good winner and how to be a good loser. Discuss. Have kids practice acting out how to do each even though they are not playing a game right now.
  4.  Play a sport ball activity based on what the otters said they liked last week.
  5. Allow otters  to free play until end of meeting.
  6. Gather back as a group for closing, be sure to sing your closing song.

 Meeting 4

Supplies: Names and addresses for Otter Pen pals.  Paper and crayons.

  1. As part of the opening, sing Here we sit like otters on a cedar log song.
  2. Have otters do physical fitness activities. Relay races and jumping jacks are good options.
  3. Write letters or draw pictures for otters in another group.
  4. Play tag or another simple game like Red light, Green light or Mother May I? 
  5. Free play until meeting time is over.
  6. Gather back as a group for closing. Be sure to sing your closing song.

Service Project

The required service project for the Blue Paw is visiting a Nursing Home and entertaining residence. Leaders should see what they can do to meet this requirement. This may require a separate meeting just for this. Options may include asking Otters to do a zoom call with an elderly person and singing them a song, making cards the leader can take to a nursing home or asking parents for further ideas for community service that goes with this badge and helping the elderly. If you want to try visiting a nursing home, contact one near you and see if you can have an activity outside with the residence to reduce the risk of bringing germs to the residents.

Camping Trip

Activities Needed to complete this badge:

        • One more day hike
        • Go on a night hike.
        • Play a card game or board game. Some games like Uno and Spot-It even come in waterproof versions great for camping trips.
        • On this trip review all scout names, sing songs around campfire, play more games.

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