December 5, 2014

It’s Kub Kars Season! It’s Kub Kars Season!

Hey Cub Scouters! It’s Kub Kars Season!

Well, not yet, but it’s only a few months away. But that doesn’t mean we can’t look ahead and think about how to get our Kub Kars done now.

I’ve heard of groups who spend 1 week a month working on their Kub Kars and I’ve heard of groups that have spent upwards of 5 weeks doing Kub Kars. Forgive me for saying this, but do they really need that much filler for program? Since my inaugural year as an Akela, I’ve NEVER done a Kub Kars session during a meeting. I honestly see it as a waste of time. Here’s why:

Your Cubs work hard on their designs 1 meeting. They get super into it, they are happy, and they are ready to get onto the next exciting step – taking a chunk of wood and making it into their master piece. Alas, time to go home!

Meeting 2 – Cubs completely have lost momentum and change their minds in the course of a week. Now, you have 2 Cubs missing. That’s okay, you’re only tracing the patterns onto the blocks this week.

Meeting 3 – Cubs are overly anxious to do what is honestly the coolest part of making a Kub Kar, cutting it out. Sally, Tommy and Johnny aren’t in this week, it’s okay you’ll catch them next week.

Meeting 4 – Cubs continue to cut. This week Alley is missing and she didn’t get to cut last week. That’s okay, she can cut next week.

Meeting 5 – Some cubs are done sanding, some are still waiting to cut. Looks like yet another week.

While this doesn’t fit with a timeline of 10 Cubs, it’s pretty accurate to a pack of 20+. I honestly can’t justify spending a month of program making Kub Kars. Before you start to think I’m preventing my Cubs from having the single best experience of their lives, I want to tell you about… Carpentry Camp.

Oh yes, for the last couple of years I’ve been super sneaky. Early spring I sneak in a luxury camp that’s primary objective is to make Kub Kars. For a pack of 8+ Cubs, this is the only way to go in my opinion (heck, even for 6 Cubs it’s worth it).

In the past I’ve used Yennadon’s meeting area, Camp Whonnock and SFU’s multipurpose rooms for this style of camp. All you need is somewhere to be creative, have the Cubs run around and somewhere to do the cutting and sanding (outdoors is highly recommended).

Here’s what happens at my version of a Carpentry Camp.

  • Friday 18:00 – Youth show up already having dinner and energized. They get to settle into their beds for the night if you’re multipurpose room isn’t also your sleeping quarters.
  • 17:00 – Run a game. It’s camp. If you’re having this camp in the late winter, a wide game outside is highly appropriate.
  • Kub Kar Rally

    Kub Kar Rally 2012 – Scouter Nathan’s Kar.

    17:30 – Talk about Kub Kars. Normally I read the story of the Cub that did their best and had a not very pretty car, but still won the rally. I have only a printed copy of this in my files and will add it at another date. Emphasizing that each car is going to be perfect in their own unique way goes a long way. I also take this moment to explain the rules, restrictions and regulations that apply to the cars. Discuss what makes a great aerodynamic car. At the end, I show a selection of cars that I’ve collected over time to help inspire the Cubs.

  • 18:00 – Snack time. They just had a run around and their minds are going bananas with ideas right now. Give them some fuel.
  • Kub Kar Rally

    Kub Kar Camp – Designing

    After snacks – give each Cub a few sheets of paper, pencil and eraser. Added bonus points for including rulers, french curves and misc items.

  • 20:00 – Wind down time. Collect their designs and proceed with bed time.
  • Saturday 07:00 – If you’re Cubs are anything like mine, you’ll already be up for an hour. At this time, it’s the perfect time to wake up the rest of camp and get on with the day. We’ve got a busy day of creation to do.
  • 08:00 – Breakfast. Super cool points for making pancakes in the shape of a “car”.
  • 09:00 – Finalizing of designs and opening of the kits. I always write the Cub’s name on the boxes and tape anything that isn’t the block of wood to the inside. Cubs that are 125% sure of their design can proceed to cutting out their stencils and marking off where they get to cut off.
  • 10:00 – Game break/morning stroll.
  • 10:30 – WHEN MACHINES RUN WE DON’T RUN. Essentially, this 30 minutes is dedicated to teaching the Cubs how to use the saws of choice. Typically I’ve always had access to a band-saw so making sure everyone is SUPER DUPER safe is always a top priority of mine. I’m 5/5 for no cuts at camp! Normally I make sure that the saws are in a separate location from the rest of the production. It makes a world of difference.
  • Kub Kar Rally

    Kub Kar Camp – The First Cut

    11:00 – First Cub to Cut gets their woodworking on.

  • Cubs continue to go one at a time to cut. Cubs that have finished with Cutting get to help with making lunch/dinner.
  • 12:30 – Lunch break.
  • 15:00 – Game break.
  • Once all Cubs have finished cutting their cars out – it’s time to sand. Feel free to get cubs to over sand to help fill the time. I’ve personally made sure that the first cut item is my car with super rough edges so I can show just what a good sand job can do – smooth corners and a rounded nose.
  • 17:30 – Dinner!
  • Hopefully by the time dinner is done and a bit more sanding has happened, the majority of Cubs are all set to crack out the paints. If not, do not worry, you’ve still got 4 hours!
  • Typically, I set out large garbage bags and squirt the paint directly onto the garbage bags. Makes for a super quick clean up and easy to get colours to different Cubs. Mostly it’s just easy to clean up.
  • That’s pretty much all you do for the first day. Let the paint dry and run a wide game or campfire if you’re able to.
  • Sunday 07:00 – Cubs have been up for an hour. My bad.
  • 08:00 – Breakfast.
  • Kub Kar Rally

    Kub Kar Camp – The Weigh In

    09:00 – Weigh ins. Any Cub that has finished their painting may take a number to be weighed in.

  • From here, it’s all about getting the weights onto the cars and attaching the wheels (aka, you’re home free!)
  • 12:00 – Lunch
  • 13:00 – Rally time. Do you really think we’d spend a weekend building our prized cars and not race them? Posh.

One weekend – infinite amounts of fun. Sounds like a much better plan than spending countless meetings trying to make the Kars. I’ve also had the pleasure of running this camp as an all sections camp and it was great.

Learn more about doing a Kub Kars Rally here.



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