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About KISMIF_Works

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  1. We have always done group meals at Pack campouts. We just did a campout last weekend with 70 people. I believe the keys are a simple menu and proper cooking equipment. For meals we use two double-burner propane cook stoves and one big griddle top that completely covers one of the cook stoves. We traditionally make dutch oven fruit cobbler one night, and used four ovens this time. Typically breakfast is pancakes and sausage or scrambled eggs and bacon, with cold cereal available as well. We use uncooked sausage but pre-cooked bacon. Lunch or dinner meals are usually soup and san
  2. The typical feedback we get from parents for boys that aren't returning is "sports" and/or "lost interest". Our local youth football program has practices 4 nights a week plus a game on the weekend, and includes grades 1 - 6! We have a local soccer club accepting kids in grades 1 - 6, that includes a travel component. I am constantly stressing that we are flexible and understand that boys will miss some meetings due to other interests, but the sports programs don't necessarily reciprocate. Miss practice and you may miss out on playing. Another sense I get from some parents is that joi
  3. This is a Pack prize, right? If so then it sounds similar to what we have done for the past couple years. We give back $20 when the scout reaches his sales goal, $40 if his sales are twice his goal, and so on. The money can be spent towards any Pack expense - so this means campouts, day camp, annual Pack dues. It can't be applied towards uniform or camping gear stuff (stuff outside of the Pack), it can't be carried over from one year to the next, and it can't be transferred outside of the Pack. We did a parent survey the year before we started the program and the year after we started
  4. Andee741 wrote: "I didn't know there are schools with more than 1 Pack. Are large Elementary Schools? Are they rural schools with students spreadout?" Welcome to the forums, Andee741! We are in a metro suburb, but in our school district each grade is located at a single school rather than distributed across a few schools as is common for the elementary grades in many school districts. For this reason when the town has had more than one Pack, the Packs had to share the schools.
  5. sasha wrote: "I think there is a learning curve when it comes to cub scout activities. I see new leaders, male and female, choosing projects that are too complicated or hazardous for the age group and the time allotted." Completely agree. I always complete a craft or construction project myself at home before the meeting, and time how long it takes. I believe this has a few benefits. First, it provides the scouts/parents with a sample of the finished project to help them visualize what we are doing. Next, it helps me determine how much time to budget for the project (adjusting my time
  6. Next Thursday will be the third year of our group conducting a recruiting night with a formal agenda along the lines of what fauxc and jc2008 describe. The couple years before that were "learning opportunities" for our leadership, where the event was very chaotic. Our signup night is scheduled for about two weeks after the school open houses. We arranged to set up a table at the open houses in order to promote the program, with a posterboard display, cars and boats, and a digital photo fram running a slideshow. We passed out flyers promoting the signup night, and had a contact form for
  7. Hi webelonewbie, Welcome to the forums and congratulations on your new leadership position! I was den leader for my older son from Wolf through Webelos, and have been den leader for my younger son from Tiger to present (Bear), and really enjoyed the Webelos years the best. To answer your most recent question, Webelos scouts are allowed to start (safe, controlled) fires. Doing so is a requirement for the Outdoorsman activity badge. Many great suggestions in this thread already, but I'll add a couple more: - The Trax spreadsheets are great for tracking advancements and for
  8. For events where we need to know attendance in advance, we use the event sign-up feature of our Pack website (we use the myPack service). This is usually a good indicator of attendance, and I'll plan for maybe 10% more to account for anybody extra who might show up at the last minute. We also use an automated phone call system (CallingPost), which is a HUGE timesaver for getting out an announcement to the Pack at times where the weekly email blast or sending a mass email just aren't appropriate (e.g., last-minute stuff). There have been times where the sign-up for an event just didn't f
  9. We flat ran out of time to generate it this year, but did a parent survey each of the past two years before. I found it to be very useful to get the pulse of Pack. I made up a hardcopy version both years, and used Zoomerang the first year for an online version. Zoomerang worked well but shortly after that they placed limitations on the "free" version that were so severe that we couldn't use it the next year. Our survey is set up like a "year-in-review", with questions about the fun and value of the events we had as well as questions about ideas for future events. If you are interested
  10. I am CM for our Pack and also act as DL for my son's den. I enjoy the program and the opportunity to interact with the boys, and we have made some great family friends through our involvement in scouts. I put a lot of effort into planning and executing the program and am proud of where the Pack is currently. However, having said all of that I am a volunteer and my involvement in the program is contingent upon the continued enjoyment of the experience for my family. As far as the ex-leader who is running his own show and making negative comments, my advice is to stick to the high ro
  11. Our schools start before Labor Day, so we are fortunate in that we have an extra week or two to get the ball rolling before we need to kick off popcorn sales. We are also fortunate in that our schools allow us to set up a table at the open houses to promote Cub Scouts. We haven't formalized the schedule yet but it will surely look something like this: - Last week of August: promote our recruiting night at the school open houses. - 1st week of September (Labor Day week): hold our recruiting night. - 2nd week of September: Den meetings. - 3rd week of September: Pack mee
  12. I promote our Pack as a "camping Pack", and can point to at least 1 opportunity each quarter to camp with our Pack: - Fall (Pack-run) - Winter (Pack-run in a heated cabin) - Spring (some type of camp-in program at a Zoo, Science Center, etc.) - Summer (overnight program run by the local minor league baseball team) - Summer (Pack-run) - Summer (Council-run Day Camp) In addition to these Pack campouts I got the ball rolling on Webelos den camping, so that Webelos are typically camping once or twice a year. If I was in a council with a policy on Family Campouts l
  13. In my opinion, in the interest of transparency/full disclosure, the Treasurer should definitely be registered as an adult leader. I was surprised to learn recently that there is no formal "Treasurer" position and that our Treasurer is simply a Committee Member. It's a position that's as important as Cubmaster and Committee Chair in my opinion. We have budget updates at each (mostly) monthly Leaders/Committee meeting where each deposit and expenditure is reported. I like to ensure that we look legit should a parent ever question where funds are going, and having our Treasurer registered
  14. That's funny because we've never done the stomp rockets. Always something new to learn about and try... For our alka-seltzer rockets we use a 35mm film canister, alka-seltzer tablets and water. There is a resource on the web where I found some paper templates to decorate the film canister like a rocket with a nose and fins. We found that process to be too time-consuming last year (even with the parts pre-cut), so this year we just did the nose. But basically you fill the canister with some water, drop in part of an alka-seltzer tablet, quickly put on the cap and set the canister o
  15. A very cheap and very simple break-out activity we've done at our recruiting night the past couple years now is the alka-seltzer rocket launch. A few of our adult leaders go off with the boys to launch the rockets while I go over the program with the parents. The rockets really seem to keep the boys engrossed - both years now we've finished up our parent discussion and have a snack ready and waiting, but not a boy around. I have to go tell the boys to wrap it up and come back for snack! It's the kind of activity that would be fun for you to incorporate into your Pack meeting regard
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