Ah, pumpkins. Has there ever been a more fruitful fruit?
Pumpkins offer a cornucopia of uses, most of which make great meeting or campout activities for Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and Venturers.
Carve them, paint them, roast them, eat them or spice them. Just don’t fling them through the air.
Perfect for fall, here are some pumpkin-related ideas for packs, troops, teams, posts, ships and crews. I’m also using the occasion to remind you of one pumpkin-related activity you shouldn’t try at a Scouting event because it can be dangerous. It’s pumpkin chunking.
Here are three pumpkin do’s and one pumpkin don’t.
Do carve pumpkins
Ready to carve the perfect pumpkin? Boys’ Life has you covered with these tips from “Farmer Mike, World-Class Pumpkin Carver.” You can also watch this BL video below.
Want more inspiration? Check out these Cub Scouting-themed decorations.
Do roast pumpkin seeds
What to do with all those pumpkin innards you remove when carving? Roast the seeds, of course.
Try this recipe and watch those pumpkin seeds disappear faster than you can spell Halloween.
Do make some pumpkin spice pancakes
Anyone can make pumpkin pie.
Scouts make pumpkin spice pancakes, using this recipe from Scouting Wire.
Don’t try pumpkin chunking
Pumpkin chunking — sometimes shortened to pumpkin chunkin’ — doesn’t really meet the BSA’s mission of maintaining a safe space for participants.
It’s not part of any BSA program, and it can be unsafe. The catapult can misfire, causing these 20-pound spheres to fly straight into the air — or even backwards. Not good.
Moreover, the pumpkin itself doesn’t fit the BSA’s definition of appropriate ammunition.
Scroll to page 100 of the Shooting Sports Manual for the official reference. The page is part of the chapter covering slingshots, catapults and alternative types of shooting sports.
Here’s the relevant section, “ammunition.” I added the bold.
When using a catapult or other shooting device, use a soft object no larger than the opening of a small juice can. The use of pumpkins is not approved.
Many councils use catapults at council events, and that’s fine. But the objects catapulted should be soft and small — like a tennis ball or racquetball.
That means let’s save the pumpkins for other fun — and delicious — uses.