Make a Calendar of Fun Activities
What sounds more exciting and appealing: “meetings” or “adventures”?
- Cub Scout Handbooks are full of “Adventures” and your Pack should have adventures too
- Families want to be Active and have Fun and have Fun with Other Families
What can your Pack Do?
- Some great ideas for a program year are found in the Program Planning Guide for the Atlanta Area Council posted here.
How can your Pack Make a Calendar of Fun Activities?
Use your resources, starting with your current registered leaders but invite the participation of all parents.
Meet to Make a Calendar of Activities
Meet with all Pack Leadership to prepare your plan including; Cubmasters, Den Leaders and Assistants and anyone of the Pack Committee need to be part of the planning process.
- Invite all parents to participate.
- This might mean an increase in involvement, possibly getting new leaders
Don’t put off planning because you can’t get everyone to meet at the same time. Do Your Best! get as many involved as possible – but don’t put off planning.
- How you meet is up to your Pack – in person is the best, but some meetings can be done over the phone or “virtually” by email and sharing documents.
Activity Planning – What do Parents Want to Do?
A brilliant idea from one Atlanta Pack is: set your “weekend fun activity” calendar by asking “What do the Dads and Moms like to do?”
- The Pack knew that most dads and moms didn’t want to be “leaders”, but lots like to do things or used to do things.
- They found that some dads liked tailgating BBQ, some liked fishing, some liked bowling, some liked golf – some moms liked running, some liked skiing, some biking, some swimming
- When the Pack found out what dads and moms liked to do, they built a fun activity program around it:
- The “tailgating BBQ” dads were asked to lead an Iron Chef contest between families at campouts
- The “fishing” dads were the leaders of fishing trips
- The “bowling” dads led bowling outings,
- The “golfing” dads did mini-golf and driving range and then 9 and 18 holes.
- By asking what the parents wanted to do other parent program ideas followed
- When you engage the "Tailgaters", "Fishermen", "Bowlers", "Golfers", "Skiers", "Swimmers", "Bikers" and more, the Pack got a core group of adults to organize those events, once those parents succeed at those, they were more inclined to participate in other leadership roles.
Keep the “Outing” in “Scouting”
The Cub Scout program is much more outdoor, active and hands-on than it once was. Den “meetings” should be more active.
- Den Adventures Outside. Almost every Handbook Adventure is more fun and memorable if done outside, whether on weekdays or weekends, events like campouts or day hikes ending with an evening campfire or field trips.
- Cub Scouting is not Cub Schooling ... den meetings in a classroom or around a table can be sad, not fun.
- To have more fun, and get more family participation, Dens and Packs might do more weekend activities (invite others ... they might join you!).
- If you’re only “meeting”, you’re not “Scouting” to the fullest.
- Pack “Meetings” or Pack “Activities”? Did you know you don’t need monthly pack meetings? The BSA Pack Meeting Resources page says: “Packs meet several times during the year – there is no required number. Some packs meet monthly, others less often.” Most Packs do “meet” monthly, but for activities, like camping or Pinewood Derby.
- If you are gathering your Pack in a room, call it a “Pack Party”, aim for fun, not work.
- Have lots of “hands-on” Pack Activities where you go to fun places and do fun things.
- Don’t worry about calling it a “Party” or “Fun”: between Opening and Closing Ceremonies, Leader Minutes, Recognitions and more – even at a field trip event – you’ll have plenty of opportunities to build character and promote the values of Scouting.
Spring Family Joining Events
Have one or more “end of School Year” pack fun events like a Pack Party to welcome new Lions and Tigers and classmates and friends and “graduate” your Scouts into their next rank level.
- Promote easy summer events like Day and Twilight Camp and Cub Scout Summer Camp even if you can’t attend.
- These events are easy for “first-time” parents to attend with their children.
- Invite friends and families to fun events like Pack Pinewood Derbies, Raingutter Regattas, Pack Parties even if you’ve had one already, plan another, Just For Fun!
Repeat this idea over the summer, and back to school, and in the fall as you become a full summertime pack. When you recruit families to attend Day and Twilight Camp and Cub Scout Summer Camp or Fun Fall Events, those families will have a good time, be “sold” on Scouting, and might be new leaders or assistants or New Member Coordinators.