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Blue & Gold Banquet

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Help! My son is a Tiger Cub and our Den Leader and I are trying to organize the Blue & Gold Dinner. Our understanding is that in the past, our Blue & Gold has not been too well organized or just one person has had the entire responsibility.

 

Is there anyone out there who can give us some ideas? We realize that setting up committees is probably a good place to start, but we need ideas for themes, centerpieces, how the awards work, etc.

 

We are going to discuss this with our pack leader, but we feel that we are pretty much going to be responsible for the whole thing. If you know of any websites (I couldn't find anything) or have any of your own ideas, it would be great.

 

Thanks to everyone who responds!

 

 

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Hi,

 

This is what my pack does-we have monthly den leaders meetings-this is where we start discusion about blue & gold. This is where we determine who is responsible for what. So there is no one individual who is responsible for everything. Do we want it catered? Do we want a pitch in? This choice is easily determined by our pack budget, how well we did with our popcorn sale. We decided this year to have a pitch in dinner. The pack will purchase the main course & drinks-scout families will provide a side dish & dessert. We are forunate that we are located near a BSA camp. We rent their banquet hall for blue & gold.

 

Regarding awards: We only give out rank advancement awards at the blue & gold banquet.

 

As far as a theme goes we use that months theme of the cub scout calendar. Then we instruct each Den to make a center piece or any other decorations for their table.

 

These links below have great ideas for blue & gold!

 

http://www.kidsdomain.com/craft/_bluegold.html

 

http://www.geocities.com/Yosemite/9152/blue-and-gold.html

 

http://www.craftideas.com/craftCommunity/121/

 

http://www.pack3782.com/blueandgold.php#DECORATION

 

http://members.tripod.com/CubBobwhite/themes/bluegold.htm

 

Hope this helps!

 

 

 

 

 

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There is a great deal of variation in how packs do Blue & Golds. Originally, B&Gs started as a "birthday party" for Scouting, celebrating the anniversary of Scouting. Some packs treat the B&G as a big party and just do fun, entertaining stuff.

 

Our pack uses the B&G as the graduation and crossover banquet for the Webelos IIs. Most of the WIIs receive their Arrow of Light awards, then we do the crossover ceremony with representatives of the Boy Scout Troop(s) participating. But it's also a regular pack meeting, so any boy who has earned an advancement receives it. (Although we cut out belt loops and other minor stuff to save time.)

 

The past few two years we've had a "modified potluck" banquet, where by the Pack provides the main course and the families bring side dishes or dessert. Each den is assigned either hot side dishes, cold side dishes or desserts, just to make sure we have enough of each. The pack also provides plates, utensils and drinks.

 

Planning and coordination for the B&G usually starts with the Pack Committee in December. The committee chairman (me) handles planning the ceremonies and coodinating with the Scout Troops (that should probably be the responisbility of the Cubmaster or Advancement chair, but I always handled it, since before I became committee chair.) The Cubmaster handles the normal pack meeting functions (skits, advancement, etc.) and we our Blue & Gold chairman is responsible for the banquet.

 

Each den has a parent banquet rep, who makes sure their den has their dish assignment and is also the person designated to help out with set up. The chariman and den representives form the B&G committee and they handle the details of the banquet. There is never a shortage of people who are willing to help out the night of the event with serving, clean up, etc. (You will find that happens a lot -- everyone is willing to pitch in at the last minute, but few are willing to take responsibility for planning and organizing.)

 

Something new we're trying this year is to have the B&G on a Friday night. With dinner, advancements and the crossover, it got to be too much for a school night. (We're got 100+ scout, so it can run long.)

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Twocubdad is correct, B&G, aside from being a celebration of the beginning of scouting, is also a regular Pack meeting. So you should include what you usually do at Pack meetings along with any "party" type stuff.

 

Some Packs go all out hog wild for B&G. They rent a hall and everything. We stay at our regular meeting place in our Parish Hall, but fancy it up. Our B&G is on a Saturday evening so there are no worries about school the next day. We issue special guest invitations to the head of our CO (Holy Name Society), our parish Pastor and priests, and our Troop's SM and ASM's.

 

It seems like the themes for February are mostly patriotic types. This is fine every once in a while, but we usually like to change around. If January's theme (strike up the bamd) sounds fun, we will usually go with that. Pinewood derby is our January theme!

 

Decorations are handled by everyone. The dens each make centerpieces based on the chosen theme. Sometimes we have them do posters as well, to hang on the walls. We have set-up the night before and anyone who can make it, comes by to help. Same for clean-up. Whoever can, stays to help. Needless to say, since we have awesome families, we always have plenty of help! We do not do committees. Each leader kind of parcels out the stuff assigned to their den to some (or all) of their families to coordinate. All decisions about B&G are made by our Pack Committee at our monthly meetings. That is where you should start.

 

For food we usually go with having it catered thru our local VFW. They have tasty food, tons of it, and at a price that you can't beat with a stick! Since we have a pot-luck dinner for December we like to give ourselves a break in February. We charge a minimal amount to help cover the cost of food and families bring dessert. Some years we do a Dad/Cub cake bake and that is our dessert!

 

For entertainment we will have the dens do short run-ons or jokes during the meeting portion of the night. At the end of the evening we splurge (we try to keep it as low as possible) on paid entertainment and the boys all gather on the floor in front of the stage and watch. A few years we used a young man (high school age) who was a wonderful magician. He brought boys up on stage and did great up close and personal stuff with them. Last year we did a birthday party theme and had a clown who did balloon animals all thru dinner. We will NOT be doing that again. It encouraged the kids to run around during dinner, there were long lines to wait for animals, we had balloon "sword" fights, and in general way too much chaos! It was decided to stick with a sit down, end of the night, type of thing.

 

We hand out the usual awards during the meeting portion. We also try to get everyone to reach their rank by B&G. We do larger/fancier presentations for rank. On the years we have OA do their Indian crossover ceremony, we reserve it for the end of the night entertainment spot. It is truly great! Costumes, props, lights, fires, mystery! We have some great budding actors in the group!

 

So, what your budget is, and how close to it you need to stay, will determine how fancy you can get. We usually end up in the red for the night. But that is OK because we try to keep the cost to the families as low as possible. After all, that is what they sold all of that popcorn for!

 

Remember, like everything in Scouting, B&G is for the boys and should be FUN!(This message has been edited by ScoutNut)

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Our B&G is NOT a regular pack meeting. We still have a pack meeting that month. We do B&G on Saturday evening starting at 6:00. Pack buys the main dish, den bring their own side dishes and a dish for the guest table. Dens bring their own drinks. Dessert is what was called "fellas cake", meaning the boy and an adult male makes the cake. Obviously we don't ask questions about who helped the boy because sometimes mom has to help. Encourage the boys to do as much of the cake decorating as possible. Everyone gets a ribbon for bringing a dessert. It's fun if you give them names like "most blue, most chocolate, tallest, shortest".

 

For entertainment we have had a magician and someone called "The Mad Scientist". The mad scientist is a franchise and the guy does cool science tricks.

 

We are done by about 8:00. Usually the Cubmaster does a little something to recognize the leaders. The guest may speak for a moment. Our guests have included the head of the CO, a past Cubmaster, the DE, Cub Scout Roundtable Commissioner, the minister of the church we meet at (not our CO).

 

Sing a few active songs. Maybe play one of those "get to know people" games where you have to find one person who has done something special. Everyone gets a list of things like "an eagle scout, been a fireman, has 5 kids" Then you find someone who meets the criteria. After awhile someone stands up and goes through the list, having those how meet the criteria raise their hand or stand up.

 

One pack near us does a B&G pancake breakfast on a Saturday morning. They find it works best for them.

 

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Oh, yeah, guess I blocked out that part. If you invite the DE be prepared for the FOS speech.

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The B&G is NOT a pack meeting? Say, that sounds great - a vast improvement over trying to squeeze four hours of stuff in two. Do you run into any crabby parent feedback about two nights in one month?

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Here's another variation: Our Blue and Gold dinner is not a regular pack meeting, AND we do NOT have a regular pack meeting at all that month. We also do not have a regular pack meeting the preceding month, which is the Pinewood Derby. I do not like this because it means that after the December pack meeting, we do not have a regular pack meeting until March. (This year due to room availability issues, we do have a regular meeting in January, Pinewood Derby in February, and Blue and Gold in late March, with a regular meeting in April. I am not particularly happy about B&G being in March, but that's the way it went.)

 

I have tried at scheduling times to get a meeting squeezed in between Pinewood and B&G, but nobody else wanted to do it. Nobody has ever been able to give me a good explanation of why we do it this way, beyond "tradition."

 

We generally only give out the rank advancements at the B&G; no belt loops, activity badges, etc. An effort is made to have everyone earn their ranks in time for the B&G. Usually there will be some leader/volunteer recognition as well. In previous years, we have NOT done crossover at the B&G; most years the crossover has not been done until May or June, which is not right. This year, my son is the only second-year Webelos, so I pretty much get to call it, and I have decided to do it at B&G so he can have a bit more time in whatever troop he joins, before the summer starts. Besides he's been 11 since October and I think it will be time for him to move along. (Also, with one boy the ceremony will be short, so there is not the issue of it dominating the event.)

 

As for food, we have done it different ways. Some years it has been potluck, some years "modified" potluck as someone described earlier (which is much better in my opinion.) Last year we had it catered, with a more coherent theme than we have had in the past. We also brought in some paid entertainment, two "wild-west" guys who demonstrate rope tricks and snap the bullwhip around the stage a few times. (To go with the "western" theme we used; it was not the theme of the month, but we used it anyway.) I think we paid the entertainers about $200. I think we charged $10 per family, which was not enough to cover everything, but that was on purpose because we had had a successful popcorn sale and wanted to give the families some benefit.

 

The centerpiece of the dinner is always the den skits. We generally do not have skits at our regular pack meetings, so the skits at the B&G are a big deal.

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Cubsrgr,

All our parents don't know any different so they don't complain about 2 meetings! Ha,ha, ha.

 

Having the B&G and the pinewood derby on Saturday evenings seems to work best for us. Our pack and den meetings are on Monday evening. Parents must stay at den meetings unless they have a private deal worked out with another parent or the den leader.

 

We have a pack meeting every month that school is in session. Some months we may only have one den meeting but we WILL have a pack meeting. We also tend to have one other activity every month -- PWD, B&G, community service, family camping, etc.

 

The B&G is a big party for 2 hours so people like to attend. No big speeches, no big ceremonies, no skits, etc. Home early enough for the little ones to get to bed. Late enough in the day that everyone has done their Saturday errands, shopping and basketball games.

 

It really works for us.

 

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