This was probably the best den meeting I had last year:
I told the boys that "Forgetful Phil has had a break-in and the vandal messed up all the labels he had on his fish trophies/pictures. Phil loves to fish, but he's very forgetful so he can't remember what label goes with what fish picture. He needs your help to relabel the fish and catch the thief. But first Phil wants to make sure you are qualified for the job and know your safety rules and local laws." At this point we had a little true/false quiz on fishing safety. (I attached the document I used for the quiz, which includes the notes I copied from other web sites while I was learning about fishing.) I had the quiz written out, but it could easily be done orally. After the quiz I pronounced them ready to solve the case. I had already printed out pictures of local fish and taped them to the wall before the meeting. There was a set of pictures for each boy since I had a small den. Each boy was given an envelope with the labels for the fish pictures, which he had to match to the correct fish. Each label also had a description of the fish's appearance so the boys weren't randomly guessing. To make it more fun I labeled each envelop with names like "Agent Nightcrawler" and "Agent Fishhook" and other fishing-related terms. After going over their guesses, I told the boys, "You find clues that the intruder escaped through the woods in the backyard. You must jump over the streams if you want to have any chance of catching him." Then we played Drowning River (which I found in Baloo's Bugle). Whoever wins catches the intruder (which was me). At the end we had cups of blue Jell-o with Swedish fish inside.
This was super fun and kept the boys moving from one activity to the next. It was also a fun way to complete part of the wolf fishing elective that is relatively dry (fish i.d. and rules/laws). This activity completed Elec. #19 a, d, e. The next meeting we made a fishing pole, and later on we had a fishing derby to finish out the rest of the elective.
Vicky's Fishing Safety Examination If you are in a boat you only need to wear a life jacket if you don't know how to swim. True False
Don't fish in areas where it is not permitted. These areas have been declared “off limits” to protect wildlife, vegetation, or for your safety. . True False
Hooks are only sharp enough to hook a fish. They can't hurt people. . True False
Always fish with a buddy. Always tell someone where you are going and when you plan to be back.