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Cub Scout Buckets September 20, 2009

Posted by thetrainerscorner in Uncategorized.
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Hello fellow Scouters,

If you are looking for a fun and useful craft for your den, consider CubBucketmaking a Scout bucket. You can use the bucket to store craft supplies, snacks, their Scout book, some basic tools, and anything you want to send home. And you always have a bucket available for games that require one. Plus, if you put a cushion on the seat you have a chair always ready for the scout.

You can buy empty 5 gallon buckets with lids at many home improvement stores. Or you can call on your local painting or drywall contractor to see if they have any empty 5 gallon buckets and lids that you could take from them (or ask them to save some for you). Don’t be afraid to ask – you’d be surprised what people will do for Cub Scouts.

Now I have to confess that I’ve never made these, as I first heard about it towards the end of my time as a den leader (so I don’t have a decent picture to show you. The one for this post is “stolen” from an Internet site, and these buckets don’t have much work put into them, IMO). So I’m going to write on how I would do this if I was making it.

First, if you have a bucket that is not white, take some primer and paint the outside of each bucket. You might need more than one coat to get rid of any markings or color hue. I would use a water-based paint for this as the cleanup is easier. Plus, I would not use spray primer, as you’d go through a lot of cans of primer to cover enough buckets for your den. It’s your call if you want the Scouts to prime these, as it can be very messy.

Once the primer dries you can have the boys decorate it any way they want to. There are so many ways to personalize it. You can buy some craft paints and have the boys practice their art skills on it, or you can get stickers for it, or can have them glue pictures to it, or all of the above.

You have two choices when it comes to a cushion for the top. If you have someone in your den that sews, and has a lot of free time, then you can see if they’d be willing to help you with this. You can get custom foam at your home improvement store and cut squares that fit the top, then cover them with material. Or you can buy chair pads, which can be found at home improvement and Walmart/Target-type stores. I personally wouldn’t attach the pad to the top, only because attaching them makes it more difficult to clean it or replace it. Since they have a bucket with them, they can throw the pad in the bucket and bring it with them. But if you want to attach the cushion to the top, a strong construction adhesive should do the trick.

If I had it to do over again, I would have the boys make a Scout bucket early in the program. This way the boys would always have a container to carry their book and anything else they need to have for a meeting. And they would always have a seat ready of we needed to sit for any portion of the meeting. Now if you know me, you know I don’t like a meeting where they sit for very long, so please don’t use these Scout buckets as a place for the boys to sit during a lecture. Boys learn better when they are standing and holding and working with something in their hands. But a Scout bucket is a great way to have storage and a seat, all-in-one.

In Scouting,

 – Scouter Jeff <><



1. emskuban - September 21, 2009

My friend’s daughter made this for brownie day camp this summer during her troop meeting. They painted them. However, I think I would probably use Sharpies, as the paint chipped somewhat over time. My friend was given stuffing and a template to cut fabric to make the cushion. It turned out wonderfully! (I can use a sewing machine, and enjoy sewing and shopping at Joann’s and Hobby Lobby, so this wouldn’t be an issue for me. However, I have some family struggle to get their insignia on the uniform due to the sewing factor, so this might be a deterrent.)

Instead of taking a pack each day to camp, her daughter took the bucket filled with her supplies– sunscreen, bathing suit, water bottle, etc. I was told that it was a great solution for storage and organization at camp.

It seems to me in those situations there is actually more need for storage than at your typical den meeting.

MidEvil Melle - February 17, 2010

We use these buckets for camping as well. They make great sit-upons around the campfire and hold all our gear. Mine stays packed year-round with sunscreen, first aid kit, water bottle, mess kit, my clean-up jar (it’s a large peanut butter jar with a mini bottle of liquid camp soap, a scrubbie, a net bag with a small bar of soap and clothespin for hanging, and nail brush), comb, toothbrush, clothesline and pins, camp knife, wind-up flashlight, pencils, Bible & notebook in a ziploc bag, rain suit, duct tape, aqua socks, and bandana. These gear buckets are the only thing we allow the kids to leave out around the campfire circle area.

Of course, we don’t use them when we hike – they are awkward to tote for long distances! LOL!

2. Allan Campbell - September 21, 2009

We made buckets as Tigers. The boys brought them to meetings to sit on or keep stuff in. I could send home flyers and permission slips in them. I found a real lid seat on the internet and we ordered them for each boy. When day camp came around each boy had a place for all of their projects, jackets, pretty much everything. We came up with the saying” you cannot sit on a backpack” for when people asked about them.

3. Derby Monkey - April 29, 2010

These buckets are great ideas for den meeting activities. Krylon makes spray paint for plastic tubs that should work well on these. The Sharpie idea is a good one too.

4. Tony Hooker - August 8, 2010

I’m having my scouts make the pads. (I will precut the fabric, padding, and plywood) And have them hammer in tacks to hold it all together.

Since my den seems allergic to Decorating stuff, I’ll make anything past the name optional. We might Use Strips of Duct Tape to write our names, if Sharpies don’t draw on the plastic buckets well.

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