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exciting pack meetings

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Wanted to get some ideas on some inovative ways that different packs are making their meetings exciting. I know we all do cheers and skits, but what are some really unique ideas on pack meets?

 

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I'm in Nevada the Reno area. During the month that the Reno Air races are held.Our CM at the Pack Meeting had all the Cubs with Dad make paper airplanes.At the end of the meeting the Boys had a contest who's plane would fly the farthest.The winners from each Den got a ribbon. All that made a plane got a balsa wood plane to take home. A great find at the dollar store.Take ideas from what's going on in your town.The boys will like something as simple as paper airplanes.

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Games, games, games. My husband, our CM, started incorporating games into our pack meetings last year. It was an instant HIT!! We try to come up with games that fit the theme of the month. Some months we do 1 sometimes 2. They are simple but fun. One of our biggest hits was we made foam blocks, glued on pics of the rank badges and had the boys play "Cub Scout Yahtzee". For the theme of water ways we made fishing poles and magnets. We played a game where boys had to roll up newspapers and throw them at the target (the theme was Get the word out). I could go on and on but I bet you get the idea. It really has spiced up our Pack meetings. We still do all the other things as well.

 

Hope that helps.

 

Good Scouting Wishes,

Carol

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Games work well for me too. To add on to that, have a Travelling Trophey, or the like, for the winner. Each Pack meeting, the current holder of the trophey returns it back to you and you and you award it to the winner of that meeting's game. Make sure all Dens win at least once throughout the year.

 

Also, hold a Pack meeting outdoors at a park or an overnight Family Camp. Make the camp close enough for those to attend who don't want to camp.

 

Jerry

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What we did included:

 

1. Really good rank award programs. We based ours on the Tribe of Webelos story and had Native American regalia, face painting, multiple parts- almost skit-like. We got the DLs and parents involved and had a great time. Invest in cool props (fake fire pit, interesting lighting or candle rack, etc.) to really help set the mood. Add music and other effects as well- pull out the stops!

 

2. Contests almost every meeting. It might be a game, it might be a cake auction, etc. but we tried hard to make sure we could involve EVERYONE who came- moms and dads and sisters, etc.!

 

3. Games are great! We did odd things like Potato Night- each Scout gets a spud and has a time to decorate it. Then each den sponsored a spud-based activity, like spud toss, spud bowling, etc. that the Cubs and audience did, moving station to station. We also did a Hot Wheels night (we bought the cars for the Scouts as Holiday presents, then let them race and play with them in various ways.)

 

4. Keep the boring stuff to a bare minimum, or find better ways to do it. Opening and closings can become routine, so shake them up. Use a newsletter and forbid announcing anything that shows up in it. If you HAVE to talk to the parents, do it while the Cubs are doing something else.

 

5. Recognition is a two-edged sword. None of us enjoy sitting though long recognition programs, but recognition is a key to success. Find ways to keep these interesting and moving along. Big awards and recognitions get Big Play (rank, knots, World Conservation Award, etc.) Small stuff gets done in groups more quickly (most pins, loops, and beads). Break up a long recogniiton program- small stuff, do something else, adult recognition, do something else, etc.

 

6. One HUGE trick I learned was 'Energy Management'. You can build energy up, you can calm energy down... but energy has a certain inertia and momentum. You cannot turn it on or off instantly- at least not too often.

- Consider: most of us at some point in the meeting do something to make big energy- a fast song or hopping game. All to often, we then slam on the brakes- asking for quiet or holding up The Sign. Then, we try to rev things up again- and slam to another stop.

- Instead, try to organize things more like a novel so you can build energy, then slide it down a bit, then build it BIG, then cool it off, hold it at a simmer, then calm down for the closing.

- The big lesson for the CM here is that sometimes it is better to tolerate some noise and restlessness and keep the energy moving than to shut it off and get irritated when that does not work.

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As Carol statd this last year we added games, and boy has this worked out great. This coming year I plan on adding cheers and possibly soem fun awards to be given out.

 

I usually break up the meeting using the games and skits. Each month the opening and closing ceremonies rotate through the dens. Each den is also responsible for a skit each month. Some dens sing a song others make up a skit or put on a demonstration. This last year the Webelos put on a mini majic show and also told jokes on night.

 

We give out a door prize each month that relates to the theme. I get a younger brother or sister to pull the name out of the hat.

 

I use elaborate ceremonies for the rank advancements, and will be adding props to them this year. For the other awards I give an explination and present them.

 

Don't forget the drinks and snacks.

 

This works for us and I am always looking for ways to make it better.

 

Fred

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Madlibs are fun too. You can buy books of ideas and use them once or twice a year. Assign each item to a den. Let them shout it out when it's there turn. (I would just point to them on cue). They had a blast with them!

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It depends on how big your pack is. For smaller packs, lots of games (steal the bacon ...), contests (relays ...), and even great arts and crafts (paper airplane contests ...). These are more of den's activities for us since our pack is about 90 - 120 boys strong.

 

For a large size pack, we could not afford to have organized games or arts and crafts and still get awards in every month. So we elected to have awards and a pack events. These are some of our past events:

 

- Dens talent show (about 20-30 minutes long ... each den gets 2-3 minutes to sing, dance, perform ...

 

- Mad Scientist. We invite parents who are chemists or the local chemical plant chemists to come in and show the boys some chemistry magics. Usually, there are groups of chemists who have these show readily available!

 

- Do's and Don'ts with Electricity. We invite the local power company to coming and talk to the boys about electricity. Great hit, since the last gentleman brought his electric board!

 

- Do's and Don'ts with Weather. We happen to have one of the local weather personalities live in our neighborhood. We invite him to give the spill about the weather and what to do during emergency! Believe it or not ... the boys loved it!

 

- Sheriff's K-9 Units. We invite the local sheriff with his K-9 in every year. These bloodhounds are great with the boys! The sheriff talked to them about what to do if they do get lost and other emergency information.

 

- Magic Show. Each den put on a magic trick. It's a blast!

 

- Pool party (with appropriat Safe Swim Defense in place) with the Pack's picking up the tab for pizza.

 

- Water blast. We have an all out watergun fight where every boy, man, woman, and child defend him/herself with a watergun! The Pack picks up the tab for pizza. Usually right after recruiting ... to welcome in our new cubs and parents.

 

- Pinewood Derby. Always our favorite show!

 

- Cake auction/competition. It's both a fundraiser and a competition for best of show.

 

- Blue and Gold Banquet.

 

- Snakes, spiders and more. We invite the local State Park ranger to bring in his collection of pets!

 

- Stupid pet tricks! Yes ... to mimic the tv idea! By den only.

 

- Firetruck and the smokehouse. We invite the local firehouse to come down to talk to the boys about fire safety. They usually bring their smokehouse to let the boys go through the simulation of a smoke-filled room, this is probably the longest running pack meeting.

 

- Heroes among us. We ask parents or grandparents who are service men/women or firemen or policemen to come up to be recognized and talk about their heroes. Should see some of the boys' faces when their parents were up there.

 

- Olympics. One of our dads happened to carry the Olympic torch. We asked him to bring it and showed it to the boys and talked about his experience.

 

Along this line, we are trying to see if we can get the Tae-kwon-do gold medalist, Steven Lopez, to come to talk to the boys. This will be difficult since he is out and about constantly.

 

There are other events that we have done. We try to do different things so that they won't get bored.

 

The awards are always spiced up with a "run-on" or two or even three. Cheers are incorporated as part of our gratitude to our presenters.

 

Every one of events is kept under 30 minutes, with awards taking up 20 minutes, we have about 5-10 minutes worth of songs, cheers,skit, and news! One hour every month! We assigned each den the following tasks:

- setup

- colors

- teardown/cleanup

- skit

- song

- run-on

 

It very busy during our pack meeting that it was over before they know it.

 

Bottom line, keep the fun, cheers, and laughters going for 1 hour!

 

One tip, to keep the pack hopping, get an agenda together and share it with all leaders. It serves two purposes, to keep the action going on a timely manner and to let someone step up in case you are not available, namely the Assistant Cubmaster! Second tip, work out the time slot with the performers/leaders and stand in the back of the room to signal to the performers (leaders) how many minutes they have left! Leave to their own devices, their show will go on for a while!

 

Oh yeah ... forgot ... we also keep to the monthly theme as much as possible. Our Holidays pack meeting are geared towards the Holiday theme.

 

- Holidays around the World. One year, each den pick out a country and sing a holiday song from that country.

 

- Silly Holiday Songs (with parental permission ... those boys who do not want to participate are free to sit out). Each den picks out a wacky crazy scouting song that is theme with a holiday song ... plenty out there, but if nothing else Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer or Yellow Snow is always a hit.

 

We also collect toys for the local Women's Shelter. We have visit from Santa (to date ... no objections yet) who brings them cheap trinkets from "Oriental Trading" company! Cheap toys but cheap!

 

Good luck,

 

1Hour

 

ps: just put yourself in their shoes, what do they want to do or see for fun? Better yet, get a list together and ask them ... or just ask them!(This message has been edited by OneHour)

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