I am often frustrated by Scout’s lack of knowledge about hand tools. It seems like they don’t know how to do anything useful like I did when I was growing up on a farm. (A step back and deeper consideration would reveal that they know how to use a GPS and set their cell phone up as a Mobile Hot Sport by the time they turn 8 – but such epiphany fails to serve my current purpose. 🙂
Scouts do learn to use basic tools like a hammer or shovel, at least to a degree. But they spend so little time around tools that they rarely can identify or use other tools like a speed square or a line level.
Post a request to parents to have them bring in the most rare or bizarre tool that they have. Make sure they know the common name of that tool and how to use it. Then set up a contest at the troop meeting to have scouts say the name of the tool and show how to use it. Old tools that have been replaced by battery powered ones are especially good.
As I was thinking about this, I started reminiscing about tools I used on the farm growing up. Some examples:
Wire stretcher used to tighten up long runs of barbed wire.
Cow de-horner. (Think toe nail clippers on a grand scale.)
Corn kernal remover for dried corn (then fed to chickens or ground into grain to feed cattle.
Used for castrating young male calves. (I think the picture explains itself.)