On a recent Cub camp, I suddenly had need of a craft activity to occupy half a dozen kids for twenty minutes.
I had a ball of string, my multitool, and a handy patch of woodland, so this is what I came up with: a rustic woggle.
It's a fun and simple activity, a bit of a challenge, but ultimately achievable, and, as a bonus, it can count towards a pioneering badge.
(If you notice a discontinuity in the photos, it's because I took them at different stages of Make of different Cubs' woggles. Also, they're just phone snaps taken in a dining tent...)
Step 1: Needful Things
If you're planning on doing this with your Cubs (or Scouts, of course), all you need to take with you is a ball of string and something to cut it with.
On site, you need to collect a handful of thin twigs or sticks. Make sure they're dead sticks - you shouldn't be ripping parts off live trees.
Step 2: Sticks and Strings
You need to break up the collected sticks into short pieces, maybe as long as a Cub's little finger.
Cut two pieces of string roughly 45cm / 18 inches long, lay them out one above the other, and place your first piece of stick across the two of them.
Step 3: Knot Your First Step
Tie an overhand knot in each piece of string, and pull them tight.
If you're working with younger Cubs, or Cubs who have not done knots before, you may need to hold the stick still for them, or get an older Cub to help them.
Step 4: Knot Another Step
Once the first knots are secure, tie a second overhand knot on top. If you tied the first overhand knots left-hand first, tie the second knots right-hand first to make a reef knot (we're in Scouting, after all). It's not a disaster if you accidentally tie a granny knot, just as long as you pull it tight.
Step 5: Repeat Until...
Place another stick over the knots you tied around the first, and tie another pair of knots.
Keep adding sticks and tying knots, growing your woggle like a little ladder, until you have enough sticks tied to wrap around to the size you need. The number of sticks you need will depend on how thick they are, but keep going until the gap in the middle of the rolled-up sticks is a snug fit on your finger.
Step 6: Finally...
When you have enough sticks tied together to make your woggle, tie the last stick to the first, and trim off the excess.
Slide it onto your neckerchief, and you are done!
Step 7: Options...
If you don't like the rustic look of the woggle made with sticks, try using other stick-like objects; pencils, lengths of dowel, bamboo, rolled up paper, anything you like!
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