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  • Over-the-top pack meeting ideas!

    Hi all,

    I became cubmaster of our 45 scout pack last March, and the 1st thing I did was the reorganize our pack meetings so that they were more of a show vs a meeting. I now include a "build something cool" period and a game period during each meeting and the boys and parents have reacted very positively to the changes.

    For example, at our last pack meeting in Pack meeting in June, the boys built small rockets out of old film canisters(using alka seltzer for propellant) and then the game was to take them outside an launch them at a target area.

    Now September is comng an I'm looking for some similar cool ideas from those of you with more experience. Any past or present cubmasters who care to share an idea for a pack meeting with me that was a really over-the-top and memorable? I've toured the standard web sites and have a few ideas, but being that this is the first meeting of the new year and we are bound to have new scouts there, I want to go above the norm if I can.

    Bob Trabucchi
    Cubmaster Pack 253 Nashua NH



  • #2
    Last winter, the Webelo's went to the Winter Experience (Klondike Derby) where they brought a sled.

    They modified my old Flexible Flyer sled to look like a dog sled with sides, grips and a leader rope for the Dog Scouts to pull. For our next pack meeting, I decided that we would have a Scoutitarod sled race.

    I cable tied the sled to a mechanics creeper with rubber tires, set up a check point using a real Iditarod drop bag (It's a canvas bag Sled Dog racers use to pre-stage food and supplies at check points), broke the souct s up into teams and they had to negotiate the course. The check point had a bag of crackers which the musher had to feed his dogs before feeding himself. It was all for time.

    We raised the bar too high and it became hard for future pack meetings.

    Comment


    • #3
      I'm the new CM for our pack too and past experience with Pack meetings is that they are BORING and I agree. I've got to do something to make it alot more fun, especially since the 30+ new scouts I recruited last night will have the 9/1/09 meeting as their first scouting experience.

      HELP!

      Comment


      • #4
        Dan,

        Luckily, I was able to recruit two asst. cubmasters and this 3-person team works together to bring our pack meetings together. First thing we did to change the meetings was to refocus the meetings on being for the scouts, not the parents. This means adding games, transitional songs, den sharing times, and actually having a written meeting agenda that we follow to prevent the meeting from never ending. I've included a sample agenda from last year. It also means communicating more with parents before the meeting so they don't need to pack meeting anymore as a meeting for them -- get them to come to a montly PARENTS meeting.

        I also introduced a bead reward system to reward the kids who always show up on time, are sitting when the meeting begins (easy if you have a gathering activity going on) and wear a complete uniform. I also handed out beads at pack events for those who attended. At the first pack meeting I ran, each boy got a 4"X5" cloth bag that I called a "medicine bag". They decorated the bags as an activity at the first meeting. Like native american boys, the medicine bags would be used to collect special items of significance to them: namely beads that I handed out at each meeting for positive behavior. They were responsible for keeping track of their bags for 4 months. At the June crossover, I handed out special awards to those who turned in their bags and who had the most beads. Important: I didn't pass out the beads during the meeting. The den leaders each carry a bag of beads and as I announce who gets what, they pass them out while I continue the show!

        Good luck and remember....be prepared!

        Bob

        Pack 253 April Pack Sample Meeting Agenda

        6:30 p.m. Meeting Setup (Den 1) setup seating, flag stand, flags etc.
        6:35 p.m. Gathering Activity Recyclable / Non-recyclable Quiz
        6:45 p.m. All Scouts/Den leaders seated and awarded for on-time attendance
        6:46 p.m. Mr. Bob's Pack Event Bead Awards (den leaders passout beads)
        6:48 p.m. Flag Ceremony (Den 1)
        6:50 p.m. Opening Ceremony (Den 1)
        6:54 p.m. Thank Opening Den with Stamp of Approval or Seal of Approval
        6:55 p.m. Optional Individual Den Sharing Time
        - Den 8
        7:00 p.m. MC (Mr. Bob) Introduces Activity period
        7:02 p.m. Fun Activity period -- Advancement Clothespins
        7:10 p.m. Announcement closes the Activity period (warning: 2 minute to play in the period)
        7:11 p.m. Run on Advancement Time Gag
        7:12 p.m. Advancement Ceremony (Janet and Tina)
        7:21 p.m. Invited Boy Scouts teach show-us-your-chicken song
        7:22 p.m. MC (Mr. Bob) Introduces Game period
        7:24 p.m. Game period -- Balloon Stampede
        7:47 p.m. Song introduces Announcements
        7:48 p.m. Announcements
        - USS Salem
        - Good Turn
        7:55 p.m. Cubmaster Minute
        7:56 p.m. Closing Ceremony (Den 2)
        8:00 p.m. Meeting Cleanup (Den 2)

        Comment


        • #5
          Trabucchi,

          You're a man after my own heart! I love the tight agenda, that's how I like to be! AND, you've got it right. The meeting needs to focus more on the kids. I'm having a pack parents meeting on the 2nd Thursday - they can come be bored there.

          Tell me more about the beads. So they make a medicine bag to keep their beads in. They earn beads for being on time, being in full uniform, or other positive behavior? Then at the end of the year the one with the most beads earns a prize? What kind of prize. Seems like it would need to be a really good prize to wait all year long. Do you just do the top three?

          We've historically given out door prizes for boys. AND a prize for the one who gets the gathering ceremony word search/crossword/quiz/etc. right. Think I should keep that up? Trick is you have to be in full uniform and pass inspection to get the prize.

          I like the format you've laid out there. Looks like you have an activity period and a game period. What do you typically do there? AND I have 120 boys in my pack so there's alot of waiting to take your turn to do something. It's suggestions for "fun" stuff that I need help with.

          Thanks,
          Danny


          Comment


          • #6
            Hi Dan,

            Your ideas are just as good as mine: you have to do whatever works for your pack. I like the door prize idea.

            The key here that I forgot to mention is getting the den leaders involved. I have them all arrive 15 minutes early now, so they are there ready to greet and control their dens (this means I have to arrive about 1/2 hour early). When they arrive, each checks a "mailbox" I setup for them, in which they find a packet of materials they will need to support me that night. It typically includes a pad of paper, pencils, a bag of beads, and all the materials their den will need to do the activity that night. When I begin verbally giving out beads, the den leaders actually hand them out to their dens while I continue the meeting. When the activity begins, each den leader takes his/her group off to a corner and do the craft in peace.

            And yes, at the first meeting, I pass out the cloth bags and as an activity, the kids decorate/personlize them with fabic markers. Once they are done with them, they hand them on their belts or keep them in their pockets. As they collect beads, they keep them in their bags, which they have to remember each week. I would suggest not running the program all year, but do it in 2 half year segments. As prizes last year, I made hiking sticks for 1-5 place and plexiglass neckerchief slides for the 5-10th place finishers. They loved them.

            Bob

            Comment


            • #7
              I've been giving this alot of thought and toss it out for opinions, and if well received, to share the ideas with others.

              I've almost decided that for the first pack meeting for a craft project, I will have each den make a "den flag." They can sign the flag, draw a picture that symbolizes their den, whatever they want. This will become my equivalent of the medicine bag. (I will have each den leader bring some type of pole, i.e shovel handle; and old sheet, and markers, art supplies, etc to the meeting. Should encourage dens to sit together, etc.

              At each meeting I will award spirit ribbons to dens for good behavior, den cheers, songs, skits, etc... I will assign each den to make spirit ribbons from the rest of the sheet and bring to the next pack meeting. They can tye dye them, or whatever. Makes a good den project. They could also make a flag holder as a den project.

              The den with the most ribbons at the end of the year gets a party of some type. Maybe a picnic, maybe rock wall climing, maybe bowling, etc.

              So, that's my over-the-top-idea for my first pack meeting. The tentative agenda so far is:

              6:10 Meeting Setup
              6:15 Gathering Activity
              6:30 Signs Up Refresher
              6:35 Flag/Opening Ceremony
              6:40 Thanks/Breif Intro
              6:41 Welcoming of New Cubs Marching in to Rocky Theme
              6:45 Present New Cubs with Neckerchiefs, Slids and Handbooks - Introduce New Leaders
              7:00 Song - "I said a Broom Chicka Broom"
              7:05 Day Campers March in 2x2 with cadence - Advancements - Outdoor Activity Award
              7:10 Other Advancements from Previous Years
              7:15 Make Flags
              7:30

              Uh oh.... I was trying to keep my meeting to an hour and didn't event get to kick off popcorn, do the raffel, do a skit, talk about the flags/spirit ribbons, reclycling project, cubmaster's minute or retire the colors.

              Advice?(This message has been edited by AlabamaDan)

              Comment


              • #8
                Although parents will love the idea of an hour, I have found that about 90 minutes is a more realistic timeframe for most Pack Meetings.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Not real active here is it? I've decided not to do the craft in the Pack meeting. Feedback from other leaders is to keep it to an hour. So, I'm gonna rework and shoot for 60 mins. I'll talk about flags and make it a den assignment.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Here's what I've come up with, but there's no game.

                    September 1, 2009 Pack Meeting Plan

                    5:50 Meeting Setup --- Dont underestimate the time it takes to set-up for your first meeting.
                    6:15 Gathering Activity Den 3
                    6:30 Welcome / Signs Up Refresher / Brief Intro
                    6:32 Flag/Opening Ceremony Den 7
                    6:37 Welcoming of New Cubs Marching in to Rocky Theme --- Have them line up in Den order at the front as they walk in instead of going to their seats. Hand out Neckerchiefs, Slides, handbooks, and introduce leaders. (Quick and Simple)
                    6:47 Finish Welcoming Everyone Preview of Packs Fall (ONLY) Calendar on Projector
                    6:50 Ask Skit people to go get set up
                    6:50 Boom Chicka Broom Song
                    6:53 Ask Day Campers to exit room
                    6:53 Skit Den 11
                    6:55 Skit Den 7
                    6:56 Introduction about Day Camps this Summer
                    6:57 Day Campers March in 2x2 with cadence - Outdoor Activity Award Presented
                    7:00 Den Flags, Spirit Ribbons and their Usage
                    7:03 Summertime Activity Award Presentations
                    7:06 Advancements from Previous Years
                    7:10 New Annoucements Song Den 4
                    7:11 Annoucements
                    7:12 Popcorn Kick Off John Rhodes
                    7:20 Raffle a few items
                    7:23 Cubmasters Minute
                    7:24 Retiring of the Colors Den 7
                    7:25 Thanks for coming out!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Eight minutes for the popcorn kickoff seems a little short to me. In my opinion, you want to really do it right for a successful sale. You need to get the Scouts excited about what they and the pack can earn/win/do with the proceeds. You need to get the parents' support. You need to explain how it all works. It is also a good idea to do some roleplaying and show new Scouts how to approach customers.

                      We usually divide our September pack meeting into two parts. The first 45 minutes is for handing out awards and the second 45 minutes is for the popcorn kickoff. It's tough to fit in all the awards and do a decent popcorn presentation in only an hour and a half and make it entertaining too, but it always works out OK.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Our popcorn kick offs haven't traditionally been a huge hurrah, just throw a pie in the CM's face and say if you get to fill up a sheet you can do the same thing! On a more serious note, the guys said 10 mins was more than enough so I took their word for it. I've got a guy running popcorn.

                        Everything else good?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          You better have a plan B and C, and have some flexibility.

                          While you might have the evening planned out to the second, the families in your Pack will not.

                          Have some songs, jokes, audience participation, games, etc, ready to pull out if needed.

                          Hopefully you planned this evening in conjunction with your den leaders and committee members and not just folks on the internet.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I know plan plan plan, but be flexible. I'll do my best. And yes I have been in contact with all those committee members and den leaders involved. That's a great point.

                            BTW, I post this here not just for my help (which I thank y'all for) but also to help others sometime who search forums for ideas.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Last night went great! Thanks Trabucchi, raisinemright, ScoutNut and everyone for the help.(This message has been edited by AlabamaDan)

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