One of our grandchildren is working his way through the first year of Cub Scouts. All forms of scouting, at least in the U.S., have a set progression of ranks, or levels. First year Cub Scouts usually see two ranks: the Bobcat and the Tiger Cub. Part of the Cub Scout uniform is a neckerchief, which is held in place not by a tied knot, but by a slide. One of the only areas of a scout’s uniform where there is latitude for personal expression is the neckerchief slide. Here’s where Grandpa steps in and does some woodcarving.
My woodcarving interest so far, has been caricature carving, and not so much animal carvings. However, these scouting symbols are not much different than caricatures. They are simplified representations of the various animals: bobcat, tiger cub, wolf Â and bear.
Carving these has been a multifaceted learning experience. Part of the learning was getting an actual neckerchief and determining what size hole works well (answer 3/4″). Next was making patterns from a combination of the official emblems and from lots of reference photos scavenged from the internet.
One of the discussion forums I frequent often has requests from people saying “Where can I find a pattern for such and such?” My answer to those sorts of questions (which I don’t actually post) is “Doh! find some pictures and make your own patterns. It’s easy!”Â Then again, “Engineering Graphics” was one of the best college courses I took some 40+ years ago … and had the most expensive textbook I’ve ever bought. IÂ thoroughlyÂ enjoyed that course and use many aspects of it to this day.
1. A carnivore’s eyes are located midway between the tip of the nose and the base of the ears. Get this right and the rest of the head is not too difficult. As a minor point, youngsters such as the tiger cub are generally softer and rounder than adults.
2. Coloring and distinctive markings are as important, maybe more, than actual shape. So, painting is “the cat’s meow.”
This grandson is pleased with the results. His slightly younger cousin will also be pleased to learn that Grandpa is learning how to carve eyes.