That's a potato, folks!
From Scott Sinclair, The Leader, December 1993
Potatoes (spuds) offer amazing program possibilities. For those long, cold winter evenings that beg excitement, why not try a spud theme night?!
Decorate your meeting area with farm pictures; leaders could dress in country clothes and work boots. Set the mood for your Beavers, Cubs or Scouts by playing stompin' Tom Connors' song "Bud The Spud" in the background.
Ask every Beaver, Cub or Scout to bring a 4 kilogram (kg) bag of potatoes. (Leaders should have an additional 10 kg of potatoes available for those who forget to bring their spuds.)
Adapt the theme to fit your own program needs. Some groups may want to try the idea using different stations with Scouts spending five to ten minutes at each event spud pyramid, bowling, sack races. It's bound to be a hit!
Set up bowling
pins, using colorful balloons taped to paper cups. Mark off bowling lanes
with tape or chalk, then use the potatoes as bowling balls. Any "balls"
rolling outside the lane are disqualified.
must sweep five potatoes from one end of the room to the other using only
a household broom. Mark racing lanes on the floor to make this more challenging.
Organize a wheel-barrow race
with a team of two children--one on the floor walking on hands and the other
holding up his/her feet Put a potato on the back of each 'wheel barrow'.
Listen to the shrieks of glee! If the spud falls off, the team must return
to the starting line.
Put a large collection of potatoes
on a table. Try to build the tallest pyramid possible. (A great team event.)
Number five bowls of potato
chips and record which flavor is in each bowl. Keep this information secret.
Tape the five potato chip bags to the wall behind the table. The fun begins
when people start to match the taste with the bag. Yum!
Set up a ramp to roll potatoes
down. Use a long stacking table with the legs of one end collapsed, or a
household, hollow-core door. Let everyone choose a potato. Set these up
at the start line at the top of the ramp. At a signal from the referee,
the racers let their spuds go. The first one over the finish line wins.
Improvise different rules:
the straightest rolling spud wins; the fastest wins; the one that rolls
the farthest wins; the funniest roll wins.
Weigh all group members. Let
them stuff as many potatoes as possible into their pockets and clothing,
then weigh everyone again fully stuffed. Record the difference.
Collect a variety of items
to decorate the spuds. Include vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, radishes,
carrots) and non-food items like construction paper, beads, ribbon, string.
Let the Cubs and Scouts use toothpicks to stick things to the potatoes.
Allow group members about 15 minutes to make their own personalized creation.
All children love playing marbles.
Why not try it with potatoes?! Their irregular shape makes them roll an
unpredictable, outrageous path.
With chalk, draw a circle
on the floor. Players have to roll their potato 'marble' into the circle
and bump another players marble to win it.
Use your creativity to
dream up other games; the possibilities are endless.
Use the event to tell your
Scouts about the food value in potatoes. Did you know the lowly spud holds
almost all the minerals and vitamins a person needs to survive, including
vitamin A, B, C, and D?
Make a list of all the
ways we eat potatoes: baked, scalloped, mashed, fried, stuffed, boiled,
potato chips. Talk briefly about the need for good eating habits and nutrition.
When your night finishes,
donate undamaged potatoes to the local food bank, then start making plans
for a gourd night.
What a great event for
a winter camp, Cuboree, or just to recharge your program during mid-winter
blahs. Your kids will love the unexpected, comical twist.
-- Thanks to Scott Sinclair,
who serves as manager: programs and communications at Crieff Hills Community,