Tall Tales

January 27, 2010

Come one, come all!  Join us on the Cub Scouts’ Bear Trail, in the Country group, as we tackle Achievement 4, Tall Tales.

“What we mean by ‘tall tales’ in the Bear Handbook are stories, customs, songs, and sayings from our American past…. American folklore is told in stories and songs, some true and some told in a way to make the story better.”

Requirement 4a: Tell in your own words what folklore is. List some folklore stories, folk songs, or historical legends from your own state or part of the country.  Play the Folklore Match Game on page 48.

Who wouldn’t want to read or hear or sing about Bigfoot and the Pony Express, Minnesota’s Paul Bunyan and New Mexico’s Pecos Bill?

How about Rip Van Winkle, Hiawatha, Charlie Parkhurst (who?), the Lost Dutchman mine, Johnny Appleseed, Daniel Boone, Davy Crockett, and John Henry?

What IS the story with Zorro and El Dorado?  Barbara Fitchie and Old Stormalong are new to me.  But I’ve heard many a tall tale starring Ichabod Crane, the Unsinkable Molly Brown, King Kamehameha, and Casey Jones.  Why, we’ve even got a trail here in Minnesota named after that brave engineer of the Old 638.

Requirement 4b: Name at least five stories about American folklore.  Point out on a United States map where they happened.

Requirement 4c: Read two folklore stories and tell your favorite one to your den.


After 100 years of Scouting, the founders of this great movement have also entered into the realm of folklore.  Scouting magazine this month has some great short profiles of Lord Robert Baden-Powell, Daniel Carter Beard, Ernest Thompson Seton, William D. Boyce, Green Bar Bill and more of the men who have made Scouting what it is.  I hope that in the next Centennial our own Scouts live on among the stories of their sons and daughters.

Have fun, folks!


Update: Fixed the map. This post still gets many hits off Google search. If anybody has ideas, feel free to comment!

10 Responses to “Tall Tales”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by JC the Americana Guy, John S.. John S. said: Tall Tales: Cub folklore « JohnScout 2.0 http://bit.ly/dxGTZF […]

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  4. cass Says:

    Thanks for the post. I will be using your map at my Bear Den meeting tonight.

  5. Neva Says:

    LOVE the post. My favorite is the map.

  6. Jiya Says:

    Thank you! Had a last minute scramble since original meeting plans fell through, now we can use this.

  7. BeckyP Says:

    I love the map but I couldn’t get it to shrink to an 8×11 paper. Having Windows 8 isn’t helping.

  8. […] John Scout has put together a very good map that shows American folklore, legends and literature.  Make sure you check out the funny alien for Roswell, Arizona! […]

  9. Your map is awesome! I linked to your post from my site: Cub Scout Ideas

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