Teaching Cub Scouts the New Motto at Halloween

This year, the Cub Scout motto changed to match the Boy Scout motto. It is now:

“A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.”

That’s a lot of adjectives for a kid to remember!

My husband Bob is a Cub Scout leader and he volunteered to lead the Halloween pack meeting. He was asked to tell a scary story. He decided to write a story that would help the Cub Scouts learn their new motto. He used a technique called a “Memory Palace,” which is a mnemonic device that you can use to remember random items. Here’s how it works – you imagine a palace or a house and you put items in each room that start with the same letter or have another similar quality as the list of items you need to remember.

Below is the story Bob acted out at the meeting. For each monster, he looked for a Cub Scout who was wearing a Halloween costume that was somewhat on theme, which worked in most cases! And he had the Cub Scout hold up the first letter of the word they represented. At the end, it was amazing how well the Cub Scouts knew the answers.

Another technique that Bob used to engage the scouts was by printing out a lot of Halloween-themed jokes and having volunteers read them out. They were pretty awful jokes, but the boys loved reading them.


A scout approaches the door of a haunted house and steps inside.

  1. Trustworthy Troll – Once in the front door, he stands on a ledge high above a fog. He is afraid to go forward because he could fall to his death. But a troll tells him that there is a swimming pool just a few feet below him and he should trust him. So the scout steps off the ledge and lands in the water.
  2. Loyal Loch Ness Monster – The scout sees a big sea creature beside him as he swims. It is the Loch Ness Monster. It is still foggy so the scout has to swim in lots of directions to find the edge.  The Loch Ness Monster always stays beside him and helps when he gets tired.  The boy makes it safely to the edge and thanks the loyal monster.
  3. Helpful Headless Horseman – The scout sees a window ten feet above him but can’t reach it or climb to it. Suddenly he hears a horse’s neigh and galloping towards him.  The rider of the horse has no head!  It is the headless horseman. He reaches his hand closer and closer to the scout… and picks him up and puts him on his shoulders.  The boy can climb through the window and he thanks the helpful headless horseman.
  4. Friendly Frankenstein – The boys climbs into a dark room.  He feels along the wall for a light switch and finds it.  But when he switches it on, sparks and lightning bolts shoot all around the room and connect to a table with a big green man on it.  The green man has bolts on his neck and he says “Uugh! I really needed that! Way better than coffee.” The Frankenstein is very friendly. We should go see a movie sometime. I’m going to introduce you to all the monsters in this haunted house.”  The friendly Frankenstein introduces the scout to…
  5. Courteous Cyclops – A Giant with only one eye! “EYE am very pleased to meet you!” says the cyclops. “EYE thank you for joining us today. Please let me know if EYE can do anything for you and I will say EYE EYE sir!” The scout shook hands with the courteous cyclops.
  6. Kind Kraken – Suddenly all these tentacles surrounded the scout.  The tentacles were coming from a giant squid-like creature called the Kraken. The tentacles had suction cups at the ends and some carried combs, brushes and a hairdryer.  The tentacles blew-dry the scouts still wet hair, combed his hair and brushed off his uniform. “I hope you feel better now” said the kind kraken.  The scout thanked the kind kraken.
  7. Obedient Ogre – Frankenstein called to an Ogre. The ogre creeped up to them. Frankenstein said “Mr Ogre, please show our guest around and then please do your ogre homework before bed. For a snack, you can have some ogre yogurt.” Yes said the ogre. The Ogre led the scout down a dark hallway.  Sounds of laughter started getting louder and louder as they walked until they were in front of a doorway. The scout said “I would like to check out this laughing.”  The ogre said “You are welcome to, but I need to finish my homework because I was asked to.”  So the scout said good-bye to the obedient Ogre.
  8. Cheerful Chupacabra – The scout opened the door to find a large beast that looked like a hairless wolf or hyena.  It was the mythical Chupacabra, and he was rolling around in laughter.  He giggled and giggled and finally said, “Hello, hello, hello! That is hilarious!”  The scout thought that is a very cheerful Chupacabra.  The chupacabra was rolling around so much, he knocked plastic forks and knives on the floor.
  9. Thrifty Triceratops – The scout was going to through the plastic cutlery in the trash when he was nudged by something, and then another something and then a third. He turned around to see he was being nudged by the three horns of a Triceratops!  The triceratops said you know, you could just wash those instead of throwing them away.  You’ll save money and you will be wasting less.  The scout said, “That’s very thrifty of you Triceratops!”
  10. Brave Bigfoot – The scout thought someone was watching him. He looked at the door and saw a face peeking at him.  The face was covered with hair.  Then the scout saw Bigfoot run past the door!  The scout followed into a room with a chair in it. He could see a big hairy guy hiding behind the chair.  “Don’t be afraid” said the scout.  Bigfoot stood up and said, “Yeah, you’re right.  I’m always hiding and avoiding photos.  I should be more brave.”  “That’s right, be brave” said the scout.  Bigfoot said, “I’m going to show you the scariest room in the house. I’m so creeped out by it, but I’m going to be brave.
  11. Clean Cockroach – Bigfoot led the scout to a door and opened it.  Inside was a giant cockroach! The cockroach skittled right up to the open door and stopped inches from the scouts face! “Don’t come into the room!” it said “I just mopped the floor, vacuumed the carpet and dusted everything!  If you are going to come in, you need to take off your shoes!”  It was the cleanest cockroach in the world.  “I didn’t think a cockroach could be clean” said the scout.
  12. Reverent Rat – Then a voice came from the near the scout’s feet. “People don’t think I can be clean either.”  The scout looked down and saw a rat!  The rat said, “Yeah, people think I’m dirty and I spread disease, but I don’t let that bother me. I like to ponder about the beauty of nature and all creatures.  I like to look up in the sky and think about my place in this wonderful world. I think about my faith and beliefs and respect those of others.”  “Wow” said the scout, “that is a very reverent rat.”

Our scout saw a lot of creatures in the haunted house.  Can you remember what they were and what were like?

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