Chipmunks is a section for the youngest scouts (ages 2-4 years old). The Chipmunk section is the newest age group for OSG. Many scout groups have found that having a program to follow for siblings who are too young for Otters is helpful. This Chipmunk Handbook and the program were put together to help fill that void.
The important part of this program is that you can make it fit the needs of your group. There are no specific badges or curriculum that the program defines. Some groups have the Chipmunks work with the Otters for some activities and separately for others. Other groups run Chipmunks as a totally independent section. It really is about what works best for your scouts.
Chipmunks wear a yellow shirt with a red necker. The shirt, necker, and Chipmunk badge can all be ordered through the Quartermaster Store.
Note that the red neckers for Chipmunks are a 27″ square, slightly smaller than the usual necker size to accommodate the smaller scout.
Chipmunks do not earn proficiency badges or rank as the other sections do. One option for giving awards or badges for Chipmunks is to use the triangular Den Flash patches. Your group could define different colors for different types of activities.
The Chipmunk Handbook
The Chipmunk handbook is designed to be a child-friendly reference and keepsake. Along with the typical handbook info like the Chipmunk Motto and Promise, there are pages to draw, do leaf rubbings, and keep track of awards the scout earns.
The handbook is intended to be a small booklet, about 4 inches by 5.5 inches, so a child with small hands can easily carry and use it. Therefore, there are two different formats available below. One is best for printing at home while the other would be a good option if you plan to have the books printed and bound by a professional print shop.
The Chipmunk Handbook and cover art are available in English and Spanish.
These PDFs are a separate cover that you can print on thicker paper to make the little book sturdier. It prints two to a page. You can use a contrasting color paper or brown craft paper for the cover to make it look more interesting.
Fun fact: There isn't really a Spanish word for “chipmunk”. Chipmunks are commonly referred to as ardillas listadas which translates as “striped squirrel”. “Adrillas” is used for “chipmunk” in other situations, for example, “Alvin and the Chipmunks” is “Alvin y las Ardillas.”
Printing the Handbook at Home
The handbook is designed to be be printed double-sided on standard Letter sized (8.5″ x 11″) paper. It will print with four pages on each side of the paper. Don't worry that they seem out of order, it will work when you put the pieces together.
- Print on actual size or 100%, double-sided.
- Cut each sheet in half on the dashed line. You now have six half-sheets of paper.
- Take the three half sheets that were the bottom halves of the original print out and place them under or behind the three top halves.
- Fold the entire stack in half on the dotted line so that the big acorn is on the top and page 20 is on the bottom. Double check your page order. Pages 8 and 9 should be in the middle of the book with page 20 at the end.
- Staple the booklet together in the middle.
Chipmunk Songs and Stories
The Chipmunk handbook has a few songs and stories included. One song, “The Chipmunk Song”, on page 6, is sung to the tune of “Oh, Playmate”. This is an old children's song that sometimes has a hand-clapping game with it. This video demonstrates how to sing the song and do the clapping game.