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Webelos
SHOWMAN ACTIVITY BADGE

SHOWMAN REQUIREMENTS

The Showman Activity Badge offers a choice of puppetry, music, or drama. A Webelos can pick the area that suits him best. Showman Activities Badge is in the Mental Skills group.

OBJECTIVES

  • To instill an appreciation of the fine arts.
  • To expose boys to entertainment professions.
  • To expand the imagination and creativity of Webelos.
  • To increase boys’ self-confidence in front of audiences

RELATED BOY SCOUT MERIT BADGES

Bugling, Musician, Theater, Communication, Journalism,

RESOURCES

 Webelos Scout Book
Webelos Den Activities
Cub Scout Leader How-To Book.
Boy's Life.
Scouting.
Cub Scout Magic Book.
Cub Scout Song Book.
Boy Scout Song Book.
Cub Scout and Webelos Scout Program Helps
Creative Dramatics, by Winifred Ward
Stunt Night Tonight, by Catherine Miller

SKITS

What is a skit? Basically, a skit represents the experiences of a character who wants something very much and tries to get it. Something or someone hinders him until it looks like he will never get his desire.  However, he takes some action or makes some decision which overcomes the obstacle. 

BASIC SKIT FORMULA

  • Establish the Place:
  • It could be related to the theme of the month.
  • Set the Time:
  • A date in history ... yesterday, today or tomorrow
  • Boy wants something:
  • Friendship, gold mine, game trophy, to find lost civilization, slay a dragon, etc.
  • Boy starts to get it:
  • By canoe, plane, horseback, walking, at home, using his brain, some other way.
  • Obstacles stop boy:
  • Crocodiles, native headhunters, a secret enemy, a false friend, un-climbable mountain, other problems.
  • Boy achieves goal:
  • Through an act of kindness, bravery, wisdom, magic, unexpected help.

MAKE A VIDEO 

One way to handle the play writing phase of this badge is to let the Webelos Scouts produce a video. This is a unique opportunity that should excite the boys. The idea is to let the boys write the script, choose someone to direct it, shoot it, and let the rest of the boys construct the set and act in it.

Ideas for the plot will come easily, but the boys will need help in the mechanics of film making. Here is a rough outline of the steps involved:

The Camera. The type of camera used does not matter.  Some of the boys may have had some experience using different cameras, so a quick run-through on camera operation should prevent any problems in this area. Some video cams can tape stop-action sequences so that clay puppets or other figures could be used.

The Script or Screen Play. Five seconds is the shortest time that should be allotted to any one scene or title. This allows the audience time to see or read what is going on. For lengthy title frames or credits, allow plenty of reading time.

The script should contain a plot outline to tell the story, and a detailed scene-by-scene outline describing the action in the scene and the time elapsed. Consider a music video, a commercial for some mythical product or a news program about an incident at camp.
Practice. Have a “table run” where the boys learn what to do and the director takes them through a first reading.

Set Design. Collect or build everything that will be needed in the film. This includes backgrounds, props, costumes and makeup.

Dress Rehearsals. Then comes the dress rehearsal with an unloaded camera, to check out film angles and let the actors get used to their parts. Make any needed script changes.

Sound. How will you record the sound? It could be recorded live or dubbed in during editing.

Shooting. It is best to shoot the film in the proper sequence so editing will not be necessary although editing with a VCR is certainly feasible and provides an additional experience.

Preview. The boys will want to see the film as soon as it is developed. Then show it at pack meeting or at a den family night.

Although the boys will enjoy acting in the film, also consider filming puppets.

 


Four American Composers 

John Phillip Sousa
America's greatest composer of MARCH music was John Philip Sousa, b. Washington, D.C., Nov. 6, 1854, d. Mar. 6, 1932. The popularity of his 136 marches headed by "The Stars and Stripes Forever" (1896)--gained him the title the March King, but he also composed 15 operettas, 70 songs, 27 fantasies, and more than 300 arrangements, and wrote 132 articles and 7 books, including his autobiography, Marching Along (1928), and 3 novels.

At the age of 13, Sousa enlisted as an apprentice in the U.S. Marine Band. He left the Marines when he was 18 years of age and played violin in theater and symphonic orchestras, also gaining valuable experience as a conductor. He reenlisted in the Marine Band in 1880 this time as leader and began composing; his first hit march was "The Gladiator" (1886), and his "Washington Post March" (1889) became a ballroom rage associated with a new dance, the two-step.

He left the Marines in 1892 to form his own band, which quickly became the most successful in the nation; tours through Europe in 1900, 1901, 1903, and 1905 and a global circuit in 1910-11 brought him worldwide celebrity. With the U.S. entry into World War I, Sousa again enlisted, this time to lead the Navy Band, and he continued an active musical life until his retirement in 1931.

Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington,
Born Washington, D.C, Apr. 29, 1899, died May 24, 1974, was a pianist and orchestra leader and the most prolific composer in JAZZ history. As the leader of his own band, Ellington became a popular New York City jazzman in the early 1920s. From 1927 to 1931, he and his orchestra were the stars of Harlem's famous Cotton Club; Ellington's broadcasts from the club made him a national celebrity. 

His first European tour (1933) brought him international fame as well. His orchestra featured many of the greatest jazz artists of the time, and Ellington's compositions were tailored to their special talents. They created a unique sound and a precision and clarity that won them a reputation as the finest orchestra in jazz.

Ellington wrote more than 1,000 short pieces--"Mood Indigo" (1930) was his first important hit, and there were countless others; concertos for orchestra and jazz soloist, including "Clarinet Lament" and "Concerto for Cootie" (both 1935); long concert pieces in the jazz idiom, such as Black, Brown and Beige (1943); three large religious works; and several movie scores.

Leonard  Bernstein
  (1918-1990) was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts. He took piano lessons as a boy and attended the Garrison and Boston Latin Schools. He became Music Director of the New York Philharmonic in 1958. From then until 1969 he led more concerts with the orchestra than any previous conductor.  Bernstein was a leading advocate of American composers, particularly Aaron Copland.

He  had a strong influence on American musical taste, particularly in his championing of Mahler. In some  works, notably in West Side Story, a modern American version of Romeo and Juliet, he attempted a synthesis of American musical styles.
Works Popular compositions of Bernstein include the ballet score Fancy Free and the overture to his comic opera Candide, in addition to West Side Story.

Bernstein wrote three symphonies, his second symphony, The Age of Anxiety, based on the work of the English poet W.H. Auden. The Jeremiah Symphony of 1943, with its mezzo-soprano solo, represents a religious vein in Bernstein's music.
The Jeremiah Symphony was followed twenty years later by another overtly Jewish work, the so-called Kaddish Symphony. The Chichester Psalms were commissioned for Chichester Cathedral in the South of England. His theatrical setting of the Roman Mass may be mentioned by the side of his later Missa Brevis,  based on his own incidental music for a play by Jean Anouilh.

He won eleven Emmy Awards in his career. His televised concert and lecture series started with the "Omnibus" program in 1954, followed by the extraordinary "Young People's Concerts with the New York Philharmonic," in 1958 that extended over fourteen seasons.

Scott Joplin,
Born: Texas, possibly in Texarkana, where he was raised--Nov. 24, 1868, died Apr. 1, 1917, was the most celebrated composer of instrumental RAGTIME. Although his family was poor, his parents had been slaves, the young Joplin studied classical piano as a child; he later worked as a dance musician, and at about the age of 20 he became an itinerant pianist, traveling throughout the Midwest. 

He published his first composition, the song "Please Say You Will," in 1895; other sentimental songs and marches followed. His "Maple Leaf Rag" (1899) became the most popular piano rag of the period, securing for Joplin a modest lifetime income from royalties and the title "King of Ragtime." Altogether, he published some 60 compositions, of which 41 are piano rags; the balance consists of songs, marches, and the opera Treemonisha (1911), produced unsuccessfully in concert form in 1915 but revived successfully 57 years later. 

During his lifetime, Joplin was never acknowledged as a serious composer. Recognition came posthumously, however, with the republication (1972) of his music, a Pulitzer Prize (1976), and popular and scholarly acclaim.
 

GAMES FOR SHOWMAN

FASHION SHOW 
Divide the den into teams of about four persons each. Give each team a bundle of newspapers and a package of pins. They select one person from their team to be the model. The others dress him in a newspaper costume, tearing the paper where necessary and pinning the pieces in place. Do not provide scissors. The most sensational costume wins.

GUESS WHAT I'M DOING 
This is it pantomime game. The leader thinks up a number of action safety rules. For example, "Look all ways before crossing the street"; "Buckle up"; "Wear a raincoat on rainy days". Write them down on separate pieces of paper and drop them into a box. Then ask for a volunteer to go first and start the game. He comes forward and selects it slip of paper. He pantomimes the safety rule for the rest of the den. The first one to correctly guess what he's doing gets to act out the next rule.

WHISTLE WHILE YOU WORK
Boys take the bottoms of their T-shirts that they are wearing and pull them up to contain their heads and arms. Their bare chests are painted to look like faces, using their belly buttons as whistling mouths. They then dance or perform to a sound effects tape of a whistled song. A variation of this "costume" would be a head and arms cover-up to look like an elf's stocking cap at Christmas time and "whistle" a Christmas tune.

WHERE TO GO AND WHAT TO DO

  • Junior high and Senior high school plays.
  • Make up a Webelos band to entertain at a pack meeting.
  • Contact a local chapter of SPEBSQSA to learn about barbershop quartets. Webelos parents might even get in on the fun of creating a barbershop quartet skit.
  • Learn magic tricks to do as a skit. Or take your magic show on the road to a residential center for seniors or children.
  • Make a video tape of a play the Webelos write and perform. Show it to parents or in a demonstration corner at a pack meeting.
  • Invite an artist, an actor, and/or a musician to a den meeting to tell about their profession or hobby.
  • Write and/or perform a skit complete with scenery and costumes.
  • Attend a folk music festival. Learn to sing a folk song. Learn about the history of the song.
  • Invite the boys to tell about the instruments that they play.
  • Make an audio tape of a radio program the boys perform.

dancersTOPSY TURVY

A line of dancers, in these topsy-turvy costumes, will have your audience in hysterics. To make the costume, first pull the arms of an old sweater, blouse or sweatshirt up over your legs. Pin the bottom of the sweater around your waist, or baste it with heavy thread.

For the head, stuff a piece of old sheeting or flesh colored material -- pantyhose will work, too. Pin the head to the collar of your sweater between your knees. Add yarn hair or a wig that they are wearing and pull them up to contain their heads and arms. Their bare chests are painted to look like faces, using their belly buttons as whistling mouths. 

They then dance or perform to a sound effects tape of a whistled song. A variation of this "costume" would be a head and arms cover-up to look like an elf's stocking cap at Christmas time and "whistle" a Christmas tune.

For the skirt, use a piece of an old sheet. Make it as long as the distance from your waist to the wrists of your upraised hands, and as wide as necessary for a full skirt. Gather one long edge to fit your waist, adding toes. Gather the other long edge the same way; add elastic loops to slip over wrists. Cut holes at eye level; cover holes with gauze.  Place socks and shoes on your "feet", put over-sized work gloves on "hands". At the end of the dance, lower your arms to take your bows.