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Marty_Doyle

Pack Planning for 2004-2005

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Our Pack "year" runs from September 1 to August 31, based on the "way it has always been done".

 

So, that means it is time for me, as CM, to start thinking about what next year's calendar should look like (I need to get a request in to the public school facilities department soon to secure dates for Pack events run at the school - our CO is the school PTA).

 

This year's calendar had a Pack Night every month, usually on the last Friday of each month, at least one Pack event each month, participation in the Council's Popcorn sales and as many district and council events as we know of in advance, and a leader's meeting each month, usually the Wednesday nine days before the Pack Night. The other monthly Pack events included the following:

September: two recruiting nights and one parent's orientation night for returning Scouts, and a themed Pack Night that included a pot-luck dinner to "Welcome Aboard and Welcome Back", plus participation in the Council's Scouting for Food drive

October: participation in the Council's "Thunderbird Games", a day long event for all the Council's Tiger, Cub and Webelos Scouts, with Boy Scout and Venturer help, including JOTA, JOTI, and an overnight family camp out, march in the town's Columbus Day parade and a service project at the school

November: first of three family swim nights at the Council Aquatic Center and particpation in the local Marine Corps League Toys for Tots drive

December: first of two family skating afternoons at town skating rink, service project visting local nursing home, and themed Pack Night with Holiday party with Parent-Son cake bake and finish of Toys for Tots drive

January: second family swim and Pinewood Derby, on a Saturday (not part of monthly Pack Night)

February: second family skate, Blue and Gold on a Saturday, pot-luck style (separate from the Pack Night), and participation in the Council Bowl-a-ree for Special Needs Scouting

March: march in the town's St. Patrick's Day parade, camp-in on Battleship Massachusetts

April: third family swim, particpation in district PWD championships, Earth Day clean up at town park May: second pack nature hike, in conjunction with Jamboree on the Trail, second service project to clean-up at school grounds, march in town's Memorial Day parade,and participate in Council's Akela Campout, which includes family camping at council campgrounds, all day crafts for all levels of Cub Scouts and a Tiger cross-over

June: Pack Picnic with "graduation" ceremony

July: attend local minor league baseball game, with tailgate party beforehand

August: Raingutter Regatta and other events one Saturday at school

 

Depending on how the Webelos II are doing, the March or April Pack Night would be mainly devoted to an Arrow of Light and Bridging ceremony.

 

This is something new that I pushed, and the April 30th Pack Night this year has four of the five Webelos IIs getting their AoL and crossing into a troop. First time we have awarded the AoL or crossed any boy to a troop in two years.

 

This was my first year as CM. Some "failures" in the calendar: Columbus Day parade was cancelled by town, attendance at second and third swim nights dropped dramatically (due to Council announcing sale of facility after first one?), skating events poorly attended (conflict with holidays in December?).

 

Most other events were big hits with kids.

 

I made one change to the above - in June we are going to a minor league baseball game, since the team allows Scouts to camp out in the outfielfd after the game. The Picnic will be in July.

 

I will essentially follow the same format for next year, replacing the Battleship event with a lock- in at a local aquarium (sleeping with the sharks). After discussion with parents and pack leaders, I will be dropping two swim nights (there will not be a Council facility next year except the local YMCA, which will cost more that $25), one nature hike, and one skate afternoon. I will move the Cake Bake to be part of B&G, and try to squeeze in another Pack camping event.

 

Any ideas on what new events to add or general suggetsions?

Thanks

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I'm worn out just reading it!!

Sounds like the Lads in White Plains, New York are going to be busy and have a lot of fun.

Thanks for everything that you are doing and the luck of the Irish.

Eamonn

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My first thought was, wow what a full schedule! My second thought confirmed my first thought.

 

I would suggest doing sometime in the public safety sector like Police, Fire or Ambulance Department activity. Maybe your local police department does a Police Week activity.

 

With a pack schedule that is so full, I have to wonder about the participation levels at your den meetings. We live not far from each other and Im sure our kids are all involved with the same amount of other activities. We are a pack of 65 or so, I would expect many of these events to be very poorly attended, to the point of canceling some of them before they even got off the ground.

 

And Marty, did you ever get the generic Cub Scout Cap?

 

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This was the first year of leadership for all but the Webelos II den leaders, so the new leaders were not ready at the start of the year to think too much about den outings.

So, as a Pack, we decided to plan a number of events that all dens could participate in. Most events, excluding the few I listed, had around 15 Scouts attending - the Pack is currently at 28 boys, so I considered that a decent attendance rate. (Also, my first Pack calendar only had a few more events that the two previous Cubmaster's versions, so the Cubs kind of expect a full calendar - I have copies going back 10 years. I added a summertime event in August, 3 service projects, split out the Derby and B&G, and added 2 hikes).

 

By January, the "fear" of den outings had changed. The Webelos I's went on a tour of Yankee Stadium (initially as a den), visited the mayor and town court, and attended a high school football game. The Wolves went to West Point, visited the police and firehouse, and did a den service project at a school for the deaf. The Tigers tagged along on a couple of the Wolf outings, coordinated by the leaders. (We currently have no Bears).

The Webelos II's did a number of events with the three Scout troops in town.

So far, we have not cancelled anything but the Columbus Day parade - which was the City, not us.

I think next year there will be a growth in den outings, and Pack outings should be scaled back somewhat. Only so many weekends available.

 

I am thinking of adding some kind of bike safety event with the local police when the county closes the Hutchinson Parkway to cars during the spring and summer.

 

I went with the expedition hat. I was tempted to go with the DI hat, but the Mrs. felt that the expedition hat went best with the red shirt-jac she got me from Northern Tier for Christmas. Couldn't locate an adult generic CS hat.

(This message has been edited by Marty_Doyle)(This message has been edited by Marty_Doyle)

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Here is something my Committee Chairman and I did 30 years ago in different Packs up Montana council and which weve started here. Its called a Chariot race. The Dens get a cardboard box big enough to hold a boy (i.e. TV box), hook ropes with knots tied into it and the dens take turns racing around a track. One boy riding and the rest are the horses. Weve done it both inside and outside (add carpet to the bottom for outside) and the boys love it. We even have tri-pack races now with two other local packs.

 

Again great job and have a great year!

 

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Herms - That sounds like a fun alternative to our Cardboard Boxcar Derby! Do the boys take turns riding?

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Herms - That sounds like a fun alternative to our Cardboard Boxcar Derby! Do the boys take turns riding? How do you run the race? Is it a straight race or a relay of some sort? How do you pick the riders?

 

Thanks for the info and the idea!

 

OK - This cutting off of posts is really annoying!!!!

 

 

 

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I would like more info about this race too. I didn't get a clear picture from your description.

Do you have any pics you could point us to? TIA!!

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I'll try to find the instructions for building one and get them out. Building one is really easy, inexpensive, and can be done in one (maybe two) den meetings. The boys probably have the most fun decorating them. If we do it indoors we do races of two dens at a time, outdoors we have done as many as 4. We try to do enough races so that each boy gets to ride a least once. We require the rider to wear a helmet (usually a bike helmet). At our races, which we held along with our scout festival (tri-pack), a den of Tigers won the most races beating several of the Webelos dens! Ill dig through my stuff and find those instructions.

 

Being from Albuquerque, home of the hot air balloon, another thing we do about every other year is having a hot air balloon race. The dens make small hot air balloons out of tissue paper, we use a big heater to fill them up and see which one goes the farthest. One year the wind caught one of the balloons and it went 11 miles!

(This message has been edited by Herms)

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