Not for commercial reproduction under any circumstances except to cover the cost of reproduction.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
welcome to skits 3
let’s make up a skit! 7
narrator Skits and Pantomimes
Do you have a Cub Scout Garden? 10
Making a Cub Scout 11
How the Sun, Moon and Starts Got Into the Sky 12
A Genius at This and That 13
The Litterbug 14
Tonto Applause 14
A Christmas Story 15
Out Where Men are Men 16
The King with the terrible Temper 17
What Makes a Leader 18
The Happy hikers 19
Daring Sailormen 20
The Reluctant Knight and the Magic Herb 21
Blue and Gold 22
Travel horizons 23
What are Cub Scouts Made Of? 24
A Driver’s Dilemma 25
Acting Skits - General
Bob Cat’s Big Catch 28
Muscle Building Champs 29
Treasures Beneath the Sea 30
Trip to the Moon 31
Buc Tuocs 32
When Knighthood was in Flower 33
The Motorcycle Driver 34
Spooks from Fire Island 35
Rip van Cub Scout 36
Lawnmower Salesman 37
Rollicking Robots 38
Water! Water! 39
The Burning Schoolhouse 39
City Slickers 40
Boss, the Train! 41
J.C. Penny 42
J.C. Penny 2 43
Bragging Fishermen 44
The Yellow Cadillac 45
Castor Oil 46
CPR Rescuers 47
Clarence Slept Here 48
Three Rivers 49
Acting Skits - Holiday
Discover America 52
Ten Little Settlers 54
If “I” Were Santa … 55
Santa’s Help-in 56
Do Your Best 57
Mister bones 60
Jeb and Ebb 61
Lost Dog 61
Smart Dog 62
No skit 62
Pain is Where You Find It 63
Flexible And Miscellaneous Skits
What’s My Hobby 66
Crazy Collecting 66
Happiness is - Misery is 67
Going Places 68
The Echo 69
Stiff Neck 69
Lost Money 70
Is It Time, Yet? 71
Run-on Skits 72
Welcome to the wonderful world of SKITS!
You have in your hands a modest collection of Cub Scout skits found in Pow Wow books collected over the years by Jean Poulton of the Eagle District, Otetiana Council, BSA. I would like to thank Jean for allowing me to use her collection as a resource; I found there many more skits than I imagined, including only one duplication. Further research proved unnecessary. Thanks Jean!
Since none of this material is original, I have included a footnote to each skit identifying the source I used. This does not mean I have avoided editorial responsibility. Rather, I have attempted to impose a consistent style on the many and varied styles one finds in Pow Wow books that span 5 councils and 15 years. At the same time, since I have not substantially altered any of the skits, I am also not responsible for their content, should it offend. I, personally, found nothing offensive, save for multiple skits revolving around Christmas and Santa Claus, to the exclusion of other faiths. I would welcome any material which would enable me to present a more balanced collection.
The skits themselves are preceded by a fine summary of general information from the Greater Cleveland Council’s 1993 Pow Wow. Several other Pow Wows touched on skit basics, make-up, props, etc., but none so thoroughly nor so timely as Greater Cleveland Council’s 1993 effort. My primary change was removal of references to a local theatrical supply house; you’re on your own here, as I have no idea where this collection of skits may go!
The skits are grouped by type, with a brief introduction to each section describing the skits and discussing some ideas for making each type of skit work on stage. Each skit specifies the cast or characters required, any props needed, and the setting, if required to understand the skit. Dialog is found directly to the right of the character’s name. Stage directions are in parenthesis. Those specific to a character’s lines are included with those lines. Stage directions that apply to all or several characters are separated from the dialog. In some skits, dialog and stage directions are side-by-side, implying that the actions occur during the dialog.
Broad margins and lots of open space are provided for any notes you’d like to make. It’s not a bad idea to start with “Let’s Make a Skit” on page 8, even if you plan to use an existing skit, just to make sure you consider all of the elements necessary for a good skit.
You see, it is up to you, the performers, to do the skits your way, not my way or the original author’s way. Customize, modify, alter to your heart’s content. Just keep in mind that the ultimate goal of Cub Scouting is to have fun. If a skit isn’t fun, change it!!
In my experience, once boys are old enough to read, they enjoy reading skits, selecting the ones they like best, and customizing them to fit their own senses of humor. With younger boys, the Narrator skits work well. They have no speaking parts, but require the boys to act out or pantomime the story. Kids love this stuff! Hopefully, you will, too.
September 10, 1996
WELCOME TO SKITS
In this age of Mario Brothers, Zelda, Princess Toadstool, Dannon, Freddy Kruegger, Jason, Batman, Slimer, Peter, Egon, the Hulkster, etc., the Cub Scouts are still doing skits. Why? Is it because the adults enjoy watching them? We’re sure this may be a small part but we hardly think that is the main reason. Is it because the boys enjoy doing them? Just ask a 9 year-old what he thinks about doing a skit (He’d rather touch a girl.). Then watch his face when his den completes a skit in front of the pack. The picture is truly worth a thousand words.
The theater is one of man’s oldest art forms. Through television and movies, we are exposed to it daily. With all of those great actors out there and the characters they play, why in the world would we want to have a young boy stand in front of a group with props that are marginal by today’s standards (at the very least) and expect them to recite lines that someone else wrote for them?
Let’s look back at some time in each of our lives. Perhaps “grade school,” your class was expected to do a play for one occasion or another. Of course, there was a villain and a hero. Which one did you want to be? And you weren’t picked for either one. You had a rather small part, but you did a good job at it and in the end, you shared in the applause that the audience gave you. No matter how large or small the part. Remember the feeling? And now it really doesn’t matter that you were the sunflower, does it? You still feel the glow.
Recognition is one reason we do skits. There is no better feeling for a boy than to hear applause of the audience. Instant recognition, not up in front with an adult receiving an award that he has completed on his own. but recognition that he and a team of boys have worked far on their own. This recognition is the only way that we, as leaders, can get boys to do skits. Telling them that they will like it afterwards (especially the first time) won’t get a boy on stage.
So you have your den rehearse until you feel like nothing will ever go right and you wonder why you are even trying to get them to do a skit. Think a minute. Why would you even try? IT IS a lot of work. Much easier to tell the whole den to be sick the night of the pack meeting right?
Maybe. But when you became a den leader, you showed a commitment to the boys. And a commitment to their mental development. Speaking in front of a group is part of that development. So you are using a “tool” by having them speak to other boys that they know (even if it is in front of a group), and having them live a little fantasy doing it, even if they can’t ride on an ant or fly through the air. Boys love to fantasize. Just look at all the things that they love that are based on fantasy.
So put away your Grecian formula and Lady Clairol bottles. This section is designed to give you the tools to have your boys put on successful skit. Some of the skits may seem a little elaborate. Some of them are very simple. Use your own creativity to turn them into whatever you want! And then sit back and bask in the glow of the applause. You deserve it; you helped them to do their best!
Many things have to be taken into consideration when your den is going to present a skit. The age of your boys has to be the first consideration. You can’t expect a Wolf to do the same kind of a skit as a boy in a Webelos den. In the same respect, the boys in a Webelos den would feel silly doing a very simple skit, but they can be very good in a skit that requires a lot of reading or memorizing. Boys of Webelos age take a lot of pride in how much they can memorize! You can also appeal to the helpfulness that a Webelos boy has to offer. By doing a simple skit, he can help teach the rest of the pack about an historical event, even, if he has no other interest in it.
Next you have to look at where the skit is scheduled during a pack meeting. Don’t do a serious skit where the pack meeting is really rolling. Nor should you try a humorous skit after a serious advancement ceremony. It just won’t fit and might hurt the confidence of the boys. If It doesn’t fit, get the schedule changed or do a different skit. Also, keep in mind that a skit can be an opening, a closing, or even a ceremony.
Figure out what kind of audience you have. A skit that might go over good at a Blue and Gold dinner, where there are many adults present might not be appropriate at a pack meeting where there are more boys than adults. You’ll be looking for maximum acceptance from the audience (otherwise known as applause) to encourage your boys to do another skit later. Boys in the other dens will also be encouraged. They will look forward to getting their applause next month when they do their skit.
Once you choose your skit, don’t be afraid to alter it. Mold the skit to fit your use. Add characters, rewrite the lines, add props – use all of your resources to enhance the skit. These resources include the boys when they are rehearsing. Sometimes they come up with an idea that really seems to make the skit work better. This idea may come about accidentally, through a blown line or a joke that one of the boys makes about the skit. Don’t be restrained by the printed material in front of you.
As a den leader, you will have to reassure the boys that they are being laughed with, not laughed at. Encourage the boys to improvise if there is a “blown line” or if things are not going exactly as they were planned. Make sure that they understand that skits do not always have a rigid structure and there are many ways to accomplish the same purpose. Remember that they will look at a skit just as you do; if you take a skit in the good humor it is intended, the boys will be more relax.
Plan your skits well in advance of when they will be done. Don’t ever wait until the last den meeting before a pack meeting. If the boys feel unprepared, they will feel ill at ease and will be reluctant to participate in future skits. At the same time, do not over rehearse. Ten to fifteen minutes should be enough to introduce the boys to their skit, assign parts, and run through it once. At the next two den meetings, five to ten minutes should be all that is devoted to “running through” the skit.
A microphone can make a skit far more interesting. There is nothing more boring for the audience than to sit through a five minute skit without hearing anything. The microphone can also be used to amplify sound effects that would otherwise be useless at a pack meeting. If you don’t have access to a microphone, or your boys are shy about speaking up in front of a crowd, try recording the skit and play it back on a “boom box” as the boys pantomime the skit in front of the audience. When you do this, encourage the boys to “lip-synch” with the tape.
WRITING A SKIT: Most skits come from resources such as the Cub Scout Leader’s How-To Book, Group Meeting Sparklers, the Cub Scout Magic Book, or books found in the local library. While these are very good sources, a den leader should not be limited by them, Some of the best skits presented are original and written by den leaders and their boys.
If you can not find anything from these resources, try writing a skit from “scratch.” To get yourself going, make a list of all of these things in columns:
seashore hippie Boy Scout garter
mountain mountain man dress
desert grandmother sink
city billy goat motorcycle
country mouse wig & purse
As you can see, some of these items are related, others are not. You can add to this list over a period of time. Just carry it with you and when something comes to mind, jot it down on the list. When you are ready to write the skit, pick out one setting, two characters and two props. Use these as the basis for your skit, then build on your ideas from there.
There are certain areas that should be avoided when writing or presenting a skit for Cub Scouts. For obvious reasons, you should avoid:
Other things that may not be in good taste may not be included in this list. As a general rule, if it degrades a specific person or group of people, do not use it. If you are in doubt as to how the theme will be received, discard it.
PROPS and SCENERY: These are used in many instances to create a “mood” or a setting. Cub Scouts take great pleasure in helping create the things that they will use in a skit, and in many cases, it will help them to complete achievements, electives, or Webelos activities. Ideas on scenery, masks and costumes can be found in the Cub Scout Leader’s How-To Book, and in the children’s section of the public library.
If you decide to include scenery and props there are two ways you may decide to do it; by making them as inexpensive as possible for use only once or twice, or by spending a little more time and money to make them durable enough to be used for many years.
When you decide to make inexpensive scenery and props, paper bags, cardboard boxes, aluminum foil, yarn and tempera paint go a long way. If you decide on more permanent props and scenery, cloth, masonite, old paneling, papier maché, and latex paints are good choices.
If you or a person in your pack is artistic, you may want to make some backdrops of very basic scenes on panels of cardboard or wood: A 3’x5’ panel is easy to handle and store. Use 4 or 5 of these to create an interesting backdrop. One scene that is versatile is an outdoor setting; another is the inside of a log cabin. One indoor scene that is very popular in skits is the inside of a store. You can have the boys make this by saving labels from canned goods and boxes. Cut the appropriate parts out and have them paste them on the “shelves.”
Whatever you choose, you will find that your basement, attic, closets, and every nook and cranny in your house will become a warehouse for these items. Once you make them, you will find that there are many other skits and situations that will make you happy that you have saved them. Items that are available for use by other dens in your pack should be added to a list in your Pack’s resource library.
COSTUMES: Plastic garbage bags are an economical source for costumes. Used with other materials, you can make anything from a chef’s apron (white), to a formal tuxedo (black with gold foil lapels).
Rummage sales are a good source of articles of clothing that can be used for costumes and many other items that can be used in a skit. Appliance stores are a good source of cardboard boxes, which can be painted on all four sides for a quick change of scenery. Don’t forget about the “second hand” stores, such as The Salvation Army, Volunteers of America and Goodwill Industries. Many times they have some period clothing, wigs, jewelry, etc., that will make your skit more successful. Here again, it is wise to watch for things that can be used at a later date. Sometimes you will find something interesting enough to build a skit around!
MAKEUP: When using makeup, remember that boys like to pretend but they don’t want to look like sissies. Here again we’d like to refer you to the Cub Scout Leader’s How-To Bookfor ideas, with a few added comments:
- When using makeup, make sure that you let the boys know what it is; and (if you can) what it is made of. An eight year old boy will delight in creating a real Indian war face on himself (and his mother) with his magic marker set if he does not understand that there are only certain things that are used for makeup.
- If you use an eyebrow pencil or any kind of readily available woman’s cosmetics, make sure that it is not the “permanent” type.
- Tempera paint has been suggested for use as make-up in the Cub Scout Leader’s How-To Book, but we do not recommend its use except in an emergency, because it starts to itch when it dries.
- Latex is used instead of spirit gum for attaching beards and hair. It is readily available and easy to remove. The solvents in rubber cement make it unacceptable for this purpose.
- Makeup sticks are readily available in many colors. You can find some in the party shops around the city that are less expensive than the professional type of sticks. These are usually easily removed, but a word to the wise; check the package, and keep them in a cool place.
- We don’t recommend using burnt cork, because it is hard to remove, but if you must, be sure to use a base of baby oil.
The white makeup that clowns use is easy to make yourself and looks professional if you follow these instructions:
You will need zinc oxide cream (sun block), baby powder, vegetable shortening (like Crisco), and an old sock (no holes!). Put some baby powder in the sock – enough that when you. pat the sock, it comes through the fabric. Put the sock aside, you’ll use it later. Mix the zinc oxide cream with the baby powder until it is the consistency of peanut butter. Add a little shortening to keep the makeup from drying out. Using only the tips of your fingers, apply the makeup to small sections of the face. Repeat until the whole face is covered. The whole face will now be white but look streaky. Smooth the makeup out by gently patting (not rubbing) it with .your fingertips until it looks even. Hold pour breath and close your eyes and lightly pat your face with the sock filled with baby powder. This sets the makeup so that it doesn’t rub off on everything. Finish the face off with colored grease pencils purchased from a hardware store.
Finally, watch for costume sales after Halloween. The “paint on” and “stick on” costumes are usually on sale for less than half price. You may not want the particular face on the cover of the box, but the materials will be useful for other costumes.
Whatever type of makeup you use, make sure that you tell your boys that it will feel unnatural and maybe a little uncomfortable, but it is all part of the theater. Make sure that their discomfort is not due to an allergic reaction.
Throughout this introduction, you have found many references to the Cub Scout Leader’s How-To Book. This is an excellent resource, and should be considered a necessity when planning a skit, whether it is original or taken from another resource.
Some closing thoughts: When your den is planning a skit, make sure that you get some input from the boys. For Cub Scouts, this input will come from their enthusiasm about a particular skit that they have chosen from the ideas you present to them They probably know better what will be accepted by their peers, than you do. Let them add their comments to the script if you feel that it will enhance it.
REMEMBER: “If it’s not for the boy, it’s for the birds.”
Some boys are shy about performing. Try to help them out by inspiring their imagination, complementing their rehearsal performance, and, providing constructive criticism when needed. Don’t expect them to be professional actors, just encourage them to do their best.
We thoroughly hope that you enjoy this section as much as we enjoyed putting it together. If you come across a good skit, don’t hide them, but share them at next year’s POW-WOW!