Make a Calendar of Fun Activities - Your Pack Program

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See this Video for a Ideas and Resources about How to Plan Your Best Year Ever in Cub Scouting – the program includes:

  • Key Guidance on Activities (Like: It’s Why Families Join and Stay!)
  • Planning Methods – Surveys and Sharing
  • Ways to Help Your Den Leaders
  • Budget, Awards and Other Tools
  • Resources for All of the Above are here.

What Sounds Better: “Meetings” or “Adventures”?

Cub Scouting is Fun, Family and Friends.

  • Cub Scout Handbooks are full of “Adventures”.
  • Your Den and Pack should be full of adventures too.
  • Families want to be Active and have Fun with Other Families.

If it’s Fun for Kids, Fun for Families, and Safe -- it’s Cub Scouting! That’s the essence of Cub Scouting activities.

What can your Den and Pack Do to build an adventure calendar? Here’s some ideas:

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A Possible Activity Calendar

  • If You Build it, They Will Come. If you build a calendar of fun activities, Scouts and families will come. Great program plans are built around going places and doing things, like this month by month outline of an ideal program year – pick the activities you like:
    • May: Starting in the Spring, close out the School Year and start the Summer with a “graduation” picnic party, maybe a cookout or field day with games, as Scouts “graduate” to a new Handbook for the coming year and you welcome new families and friends to your Dens and Pack. Have fun events like Rain Gutter Regattas, Bike Rides, Kite Flying, Fishing, Rocket Launches, Game Days, STEM activities and more.
    • June: Many Day and Twilight Camps are available for Dens, Packs and families – while it’s more fun to do with your Den, a Scout can attend on their own. This is a great time to join Scouting, so bring a friend. Also: everyone into the pool! Picnics! Cookouts! More fun events!
    • July: Locally, Dens might participate in 4th of July festivities or other summer fun events, plus Dens and Packs or individual families can attend Cub Scout Summer Camp overnights.
    • August: Back to School, and “Back to the Pack” with some final summer fun like swimming, boating, biking and more.
    • September: The start of a Cub Scout program year is often a time to apply the Six Cub Scout essentials for hiking – and your Den or Family Hike might be a walk around a local park or recreation center or be a longer and more adventurous hike like one of these.
    • October: If you’ve started outdoor activities with hiking, you can take it up a step with the program found at Cub Scout Family Camping Weekends at Bert Adams Scout Camp.
    • November: A great time for Veteran’s Day events or service projects to help your school or church or community – for fun, maybe Den or Pack bike riding, maybe even District events like shooting sports or rocket launching.
    • December: The holidays are busy, and a time for celebration, and many Dens and Packs try to schedule events that share the season and connect with family traditions. Maybe also a service project to help those in need at the holidays?
    • January: Many Packs pick a winter weekend for a “big trip” like overnights at places like the Patriot’s Point Aircraft Carrier in Charleston, Zoo or Museum overnight events, maybe Space Camp in Huntsville Alabama, or cave camping in Tennessee. Often this is the start of Pinewood Derby season and car building.
    • February: Many Pinewood Derby races are run, plus Dens and Packs can celebrate the birthday of Scouting, perhaps with a service project like Scouting for Food, perhaps with a Blue & Gold Banquet. (Note: if you plan to recognize Rank and other awards at your Blue & Gold Banquet, you can make it easier for all to have that event later in the school year – you can still celebrate Scouting then – your Arrow of Light Scouts can be recognized early so that they cross over to Scouts BSA Troops.)
    • March: Warmer weather will bring your Den and Pack families outside for more hiking, kiting, biking, games and Scouting out new places you haven’t been before. Getting outside and doing things is a great way for new families to join you.
    • April: More options for Spring Family Camping during Cub Scout Family Camping Weekends or on your own – maybe fishing or rockets or more.
    • May: And the year wraps around to another graduation to another rank and another spring and summer of Cub Scouting. Invite old and new families to fun events!
  • Those are just one set of ideas – substitute your ideas in what you’d like to do – change up the order of events as you like for fun with your Den and Pack Families. See the attached Word Document flyer that you can revise as you like with your activities and pictures of your families.
  • Share Your Plan! After you make a Calendar of Fun Activities, let people know by sharing your plan, using multiple media methods. See Step Two of Sustainable Recruiting: Let People Know: Promote Your Pack.

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Pack Planning Tips

  • Meet to Make a Calendar of Activities. Use your resources, starting with your current registered leaders.
    • Invite all parents to participate.
    • Many of them will have ideas of places to go or things to do that you’ve never thought of before.
    • This might mean an increase in involvement, possibly getting new leaders.
  • Meeting Methods. 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.
    • Meet in person, but maybe do a “follow up” over Zoom for those who missed it.
      • Email sharing of surveys and documents is helpful too.
    • When you meet in person, make it fun and festive. Casual spring and summer events like cookouts or picnics are a great time for brainstorming with more parent participation.
      • Pack Parents will enjoy the process more if there is social time.
      • Which would parents rather attend: a “Pizza Party” or a “Planning Meeting”?
      • No need for uniforms – Cubmasters and Den Leaders dressed like parents make it more inviting for other parents to share ideas and help.
  • 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 of dads and moms like to do things -- or they used to do things that they want to take up again.
    • 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:
      • 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, first locally, then a big trip in the spring to fish in the Gulf of Mexico,
      • The “bowling” dads led bowling outings,
      • The “golfing” dads did mini-golf and driving range and then 9 and 18 holes.
    • 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.
  • Plan More. Put activities on the calendar even if you don’t know exactly who will lead each activity yet.
    • If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
    • If families really like the activity, they will have an incentive to step up and make it happen.

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Keep the Outing in Scouting! 

Get Out and Cub Scout! The Cub Scout program is outdoor, active, and hands-on. Den “meetings” should be “Adventures”, so make them adventurous.

  • Outdoors is Better! The 2021 Voice of the Scout survey tells us that the Number One driver of satisfaction was “we have great outdoor activities in our Scout Unit”.
    • That’s what kids want – that’s what Cub Scouting can give them and their families.
  • Den Adventures Outside. Almost every Handbook Adventure is more fun and memorable if done outside, whether on weekdays or weekends at 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 might be too much like school and not fun.
    • To have more fun and get more family participation, Dens and Packs might do more weekend activities (you can invite new families to join you!).
  • 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 many “meet” to do fun activities, like camping or Pinewood Derby or hiking or fishing or biking or bowling or field trips or what your families like to do.
      • A Pack activity like a field trip or hike will have plenty of opportunities to build character and promote the values of Scouting: you can have Opening and Closing Ceremonies, Leader Minutes, Recognitions and more anywhere, not just in a “meeting”.
      • Families have more fun if you go to fun places and do fun things.
  • For anyone worried about Pack Journey to Excellence scorecards and a requirement that to earn points for “Pack Meetings”, there is no longer a category for Pack Meetings!
    • There is a category for “activities”, including outdoor activities.
  • And if you do have a “classic” Pack gathering in a room, here’s a thought: don’t call it a Pack “Meeting” – aim higher.
    • Call it a “Pack Party”, and aim for fun, not work or agendas.
    • Plus some inspiration.

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Click to jump to other Recruiting Resources pages: Recruiting Resources (Home)Step One: Make a Calendar of Fun ActivitiesStep Two: Promote your Unit! (and BeAScout / Online Apps), Step Three: Recruiting LeadersStep Four: School and Community PresenceStep Five: Sign-Up EventsParent Orientation, and Scouts BSA Troop Recruiting

File Name Description
Activity list with Cub Recruiting Flyer Template | Word Document Edit with Your Activities | Replace Images With Ones From Your Pack Download
Plan Your Best Year Ever PowerPoint Tips for Planning Your Cub Scout Year Download