‘How to’ Annoy Your Scout Master … and Maybe Save Your Life!

Hard to believe I got to the ripe old age of AHEM without learning this, but a belated thanks to a fellow Scout leader who taught me how to make a field whistle out of the detritus of the forest.  I’d guess it’s so apocryphal because, if widely known, a patrol of boys on a hike would drive their Scout leaders bonkers scavenging the trail for materials and blasting flora and fauna with a symphony of ear-splitting tweets.

I share the how-to with some hesitation, but do so in the belief that the trade off is that a boy lost in the woods might be able to alert a distant passer-by of his presence with a loud blast — or if he’s really good, with a Morse code message.

STEP 1: GATHER MATERIALS: ACORN CAPS (OR A SODA BOTTLE CAP): Acorn and soda caps useful for a whistle

STEP 2:  PUSH THUMBS TOGETHER AND PINCH THE CAP INTO THE GAP BETWEEN THEM AS SHOWN: Modeling how to hold the acorn cap to make it into a whistle

The key is alignment; the part of the acorn cap showing behind the thumbs should look like a slice of pie.  You can adjust up or down, and with a wide slice or a narrow slice, for effect.


Lips should be part-way open, with top lip over the knuckle and bottom lip under the knuckle.  Adjust how hard you blow for tone and volume.

Will you teach your Scouts this skill that could possibly save their lives (if you don’t strangle them first)?  What other found objects can be used to make a “field” whistle?  Does the “instrument” have any musical qualities, or is it just useful for making noise?


Copyright 2014

~ by Random Handyman on May 31, 2014.

One Response to “‘How to’ Annoy Your Scout Master … and Maybe Save Your Life!”

  1. I learned how to do this during a mission trip in Bulgaria.

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