Cub Scout Lava Lamp

Items Needed:
  • An inexpensive bottle of cooking oil
  • Empty Cup
  • Cup of Water
  • Food Coloring (you can choose any color)
  • Effervescent Antacid Tablets

How To:
  • Remove 1/4 of oil from the bottle into an empty cup
  • Place about 3-5 drops of food coloring into the cup of water and mix
  • Pour the water / food coloring mixture into the oil bottle leaving about 1/2 inch of air. (you may need to use a funnel)
  • Break up the Effervescent Antacid Tables and drop one piece in at a time.
  • Make sure to never place the lid on the oil bottle as the tablets are dissolving. It will explode and get oil/water everywhere. 
Whats Happening?
You will find that the oil and water will never mix together. The oil naturally will float on top of the water due to the oil having a lower density than the water. The Effervescent antacid tablets release carbon dioxide gas and take some of the water along for the ride as it rises up to the top. The gas escapes as it reaches the top and the water droplets detach and fall back to the bottom. The reason the tablet fizzes in such a way is because it contains citric acid and baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), the two react with water to form sodium citrate and carbon dioxide gas (those are the bubbles that carry the colored water to the top of the bottle). Place the lid on the bottle for storing.

Try This
With the lid attached tightly; Tip the bottle form side to side and see what happens.

How To Predict The Weather


People have been watching the skies for millennia to help them predict the weather. Check the following folklore predictions with your own observations to see how many might be true. 

Red sky at sunset is a sign of a fair tomorrow. (The sky you see at sunset is air that will reach you tomorrow. Dry air produces a red glow, whereas wet air produces a yellow-gray sky color.)
Dull moon and stars foretell a rainy tomorrow.
Lightning from the westerly sky is from a storm that is on its way toward you. 
Towering, ragged clouds predict a rain squall and wind. 
A sky full of webby cirrus clouds foretells a rainy spell on its way.
A halo around the sun or moon means a warm front is on its way, with rain. 
Dark clouds against a lighter ceiling foretell a windy rainstorm.
The higher the clouds, the finer the weather. Lowering clouds foretell rain. 
When swallows fly high, it will be dry.
If the cows are lying down, it will rain.
A good fall for fruit means a hard winter to come. Wind direction also helps forecast the weather:
The west wind generally brings clear weather, except when it blows off the ocean.
The north wind brings clear, cold weather.
The south wind brings heat and sometimes showers.
The east wind brings rain east of the Rockies. When rain is near, nature gets excited. Look for these signals:
Tree frogs cry.
Fish swim near the surface.
Flies sting.
Low clouds move swiftly.
Gone-to-seed dandelions close up like an umbrella.
Cloverleaves fold together.

How to Make Homemade Slime


Area of Science: Chemistry
Meant for at least Grade K-3 (age 5-7).
This experiment is inedible.
An adult should be present.

Make slime from everyday things in the home.

Borax can be bought at your local grocery store in the laundry detergent aisle.
White glue can be purchased at a Mass merchandise store like Target, Walmart, or
Food coloring is optional but can be purchased in the grocery store in the baking aisle.
Ziploc bags can also be purchased at the grocery store.
Need measuring cups and spoons.

Not to be fed to your pet or baby brother. Not good for leaving in carpets or on furniture
overnight. To keep almost indefinitely, leave in Ziploc bag in refrigerator when not
sliming! Not a bad idea to wash hands before (so it doesn't grow mold) and after (so mom
will let you eat dinner) playing with it.

How to do the experiment:
Borax White Glue Water Food Coloring (optional) Ziploc bag

1. Borax is available in the laundry section of your local grocery store. Take a cup of
water and add to it 1 Tbs. of borax (approx. 4% solution). Stir until completely dissolved.
2. Make a 50% water 50% white glue solution. Take 1/4 cup of each and mix thoroughly.
3. In a Ziploc bag, add equal parts of the borax solution to equal parts of the glue
solution. 1/2 cup of each will make a cup of slime.
4. Add a couple drops of food coloring.
5. Seal bag and knead the mixture.
6. Dig in and have fun. Remember to wash your hands after playing.
7. Keep your slime in the sealed bag in the refrigerator when not playing with it to keep it
longer. Unfortunately it may eventually dry out or grow mold. Just throw it out and start

The borax is acting as the crosslinking agent or "connector" for the glue (polyvinyl
acetate) molecules. Once the glue molecules join together to form even larger molecules
called polymers, you get a thickened gel very similar to slime. If you've tried this recipe
(formula) before using blue starch (instead of the borax) with mixed results, you won't be
disappointed with this one. Works everytime! If you have access to a chemical supply
house, try a 4% solution of polyvinyl alcohol instead of the glue for a less rubbery
polymer and one that is transparent showing off the color better.

How To Make A Water Jug Lantern

One of the most needed necessities while camping is light when it is dark.  One trick that I learned was how to make a lantern using only a headlamp and a clear water container.  The process is simple; place the light directly on the side of the clear water container.  Just make sure that there is water inside the container. I personally like to use an old milk jug so I can have a handle when walking with my newly created lantern.

Kool Aid Play Dough


Great project to complete with your cubs. Use safety precautions around the hot water.

Items needed:
1 cup flour
1/4 cup salt
1 packet kool aid
2/3 cup water
1 Tablespoon oil

Combine the water and oil together and bring to a boil.
While waiting for the water and oil to boil, mix all the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl.
Combine the wet and dry ingredients and mix until thick enough to start kneading. (it will be a little warm to handle for a few minutes) Place in a zip lock bag to preserve moisture.

Total cost: roughly 30¢

Cotton Ball Fire Starters

I take a bag of these fire starters with me on every camp out and hike. Extremely easy to make, easy to use, and light to pack.

Items needed:

  • 100% Cotton Balls
  • Petroleum Jelly (any brand works)
  • Bag to store in (close-able plastic bag)
Completely coat the cotton ball with the petroleum jelly.  Make about 10 per plastic bag and store within your pack.

Always remember to use your best judgment when working with fire.