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  • Pack Activity or Pack Meeting

    I wonder if we are doing this wrong in my pack. Sometimes we have a pack activity AND a pack meeting. Sometimes we have a pack activity INSTEAD of a pack meeting. When we have the pack activity instead, I don't really miss the chance to do a flag ceremony, sing a song or perform a skit, but I do miss the chance to pass out awards and advancements. I don't like it when the boys have to wait longer to receive those. What do you do?

  • #2
    Always have a Pack Meeting where advancement is handed out. A Pack Activity is seperate from the Meeting. Meaning if there is a Hockey Night, Pack Overnight, Crossover, Hike or snow day that are on the weekends.

    As for Summertime Pack Awards, those are activities.

    So, yes, in my estimation your Pack is doing it wrong.

    Try looking at this for help.


    • #3
      We combine most of of our pack meetings/activities. We always do flag ceremonies/skits/awards/announcments/etc and have some sort of activity there as well.

      We've had the zoo come with animals, the reptile farm, a firetruck, police helicopter, coast guard boats, Mad Science, 501st Squadron, a magician, Santa, etc.


      • #4
        Do what works well for your program, would be my advice.

        It might be possible to have a portion of your activity as a meeting to recognize Scouts and give them awards they have earned.

        Any activity, meeting or outing should be a QUALITY activity or don't do it. Recognition is a separate program and the general rule there is to recognize boys promptly after they have earned an award.

        Combine those two general aims and I see good reason to recognize boys during an outing if there is a reasonable opportunity to do so.


        • #5
          Hand out the awards at den meeting and recognize the scouts at pack meetings by handing out their cards. Don't need to interrupt roller skating night with a boring awards ceremony.



          • #6
            The core of our pack calendar is weekly den meetings and monthly pack meetings. Other pack activities supplement, not replace, the core. If we can't do advancements at the monthly pack meeting for some reason (ex. cancelled meeting), we will give them to the den leaders to do at their meetings or we bring them to the pack activity to hand out in a very brief ceremony.

            I am a firm believer that advancements need to be awarded regularly and in a timely fashion, and that a consistent, predictable meeting schedule helps busy parents and increases attendance. Both are part of having a well-run, well-organized pack!


            • #7
              The only time we have a Pack activity instead of a Pack meeting is during the summer months of June/July/August. Those are simply fun activities, not formal meetings.

              Every other month we have a Pack meeting, complete with opening flag ceremony, where any awards earned the previous month are given out. Any Pack activities done during a particular month are separate events, done on a different day from the Pack meeting. These would include haunted house, sports games, hikes, service, etc.

              That is not to say that Pack meetings are only award ceremonies. We often include fun activities, such as Pinewood Derby, pot luck dinner, cardboard vehicle relay race, special presenters, etc, as part of our monthly Pack meeting.


              • #8
                Depending on your size you can do awards at a pack activity. The secret is to announce that it will happen. Often this will increase attendance. Highly successful for us was on the last night of cub camp between the dinner and campfire.

                We have also handed out participation patches (scouting for food as an example) at the event. Also good.

                -- AK


                • #9
                  I guess my question is, what do you do during a Pack Meeting? This is besides: Flag/Announcements (A horrible way to die) /Awards?
                  Do you have a theme? A Game? A Skit? A Song?


                  • #10
                    Yes, our pack meeting usually includes a flag ceremony, a song, a skit, an awards presentation and a game. We do not usually have a theme. I really caught the spirit of the outdoors this summer and I suggested that we have our pack meetings outside for September and October while the weather here in the Pacific Northwest is still good. We are planning a game of kickball for the September pack meeting, and we are planning a visit to the pumpkin patch for the October pack meeting. I just don't think we are going to have the opportunity for an awards ceremony at the pumpkin patch, and this mostly worries me because my new scouts will be ready to receive their bobcat badges and we usually do a face painting ceremony for that. The boys really like it. I would hate for them to have to wait until November. I guess I should just bring up these concerns at the next planning meeting.


                    • #11
                      Howarthe: I would seriously look into the Pack Meeting plans that I gave very early on in the thread. They came out in 2010 and I used them as a guideline as to what I could offer. I don't use them verbatim, but the ideas are good.

                      This is my last year, after four years being Cubmaster. I have pretty much had an idea of what each Pack Meeting would be about. Leave No Trace, First Aid, Cooperation....something with "A Game with a Purpose" to it. So, when I say THEME, that is what I mean.

                      This year, I am working the 12 Core Values into each Month. The first is Cooperation.

                      Just having a game is not good enough. That's called recess. Going to a Pumpkin Patch is fine, we have done that too. But, that's outside of a Pack Meeting. That's a Pack Outing/Activity. We changed up the Pumpkin Patch event since everyone does it. We started a Pumpkin Cart Race, which had boys paint their pumpkins and race them down the School Drive way. If they were not demolished then, we had a Launcher we shot them out of afterwards. Think "ANGRY BIRDS" with Pumpkins. We are doing that again in Oct, but I am going to talk about STEM. Plus, I am hooking up the Cubmaster Pumpkin with a GoPro!

                      So, those are Activities. Not a Pack Meeting.

                      You need to have a PACK MEETING that is where you hand out awards and perform ceremonies. I love that you want to do it outdoors. Being from Portland, I get the weather issue. I push our Pack Meetings out in the Spring since the weather is way nicer.

                      Also, the Bobcat award is the first Rank that any Cubscout will get. It's just as important as the Arrow of Light. Do a ceremony for them. Making it special for them will keep them in.

                      So, every month has a Pack Meeting. Every month can have an Activity/Outing. They are separate.


                      • #12
                        Your way is not "right" or "wrong".

                        As you have noticed, there are issues with whatever way you do things.

                        Does the Pumpkin Patch have a picnic area? You might consider having everyone meet there first. Do a Cub Scout Promise with the Sign, go over any rules for the day, and then do a face painting ceremony for any Bobcats. The boys might like showing "the world" their face paint!


                        • #13
                          When my son was a little fellow, we started out in a pack that had "meetings." They were boring. He loved his den, but hated pack meetings and begged to skip them.

                          His whole den moved to a pack that had "activities." They were fun! Nobody wanted to miss them.

                          Do what works for your pack. Hand out awards at the activities, or in the dens, if you find it works better for you.


                          • #14
                            I'd probably do like what was mentioned, meet at a picnic area near the corn maze, or set up the back of someone's pick up truck as a stage, call each boy up as they get their bobcats, paint their faces give them their bobcat and welcome them to the pack. you could give everyone glow sticks or something like that as you put them back down into the group from the tailgate. new meaning to the idea of a tailgate party. but the kids would remember it. that's the point of the ceremony. that it's something to remember besides here is your bobcat award in this fancy ziplock bag. could even do something about how bobcat is the first step on your way, the guiding light toward your career as a cub scout and give them a little flashlight or glow sticks as you give it to them. glow in the dark face paint or just a strip of yellow and blue to go with the cub scout colors.

                            We do a mix of pack meetings and activities for just about every month. you get your flag ceremony and awards, you get a song, skit, repeat after me, cheers and a fun activity to go with it, order changes depending on where and what we are doin but somehow it all works out.


                            • #15
                              We do both. Some months, our pack activity is our meeting. Like our rocket launch is sometimes our pack meeting. We have an opening flags before launching and awards after.
                              In December it's just a skating party. We find that if don't combine some meetings and activities, it's too much and people don't want to go. Can't have a Sunday activity, then a Tuesday pack meeting and then a Thursday den meeting for the same scout. It gets too crazy and drives people away. At least that's our experience. Not to mention the leaders who then also go to leaders meetings and roundtable meetings.