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WDL Mom

Spicing up Pack Meetings

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Hi,

 

I am looking for ideas to spice up Pack meetings so they are less like "meetings", and more FUN!

What are your favorite things you have done? How do you hand out awards so that the other dens don't fall asleep? How do you get the parents involved in the fun and not just spectating?

 

Lets see how many ideas we can get before the start of the school year!

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Here are some things our boys seem to like:

 

1. Boy skits

2. Gray squirrel song

3. If I were not a Cub scout ... sung by the leaders

4. Decorating the Cubmaster with splints, bandages, sunscreen etc. for an upcoming campout

5. Shooting paper stomp rockets - siblings love it too

 

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Ours like "Cheers & Applauses" -- can be done for each den that gets awards. Also, they like audience participation stories -- make a certain noise whenever the reader says a certain word. Run-ons are fun too -- they never know when these will happen. We try to have a special activity at each Pack Meeting, too -- maybe donor awareness or a bicycle rodeo for example.

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The Program Helps will give you lots of ideas.

 

Songs / Skits / Run-ons

Games

Demonstrations

Special programs (first aid by fire dept, wildlife center, police dogs, etc)

 

Getting the parents involved is simple - just do it. All activities, including games, songs & skits, are for EVERYBODY, parents & sibs too. If you need someone to be in charge of something, go up to a likely looking parent & ask them to do it. Have dens responsible for (host) each Pack meeting.

 

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You can do this once, maybe twice a year. Neat stunt>>>

 

Start your meeting as usual, but when you get to the Cub leading the Pack in the Cub Promise, the Cub Master runs up and says...

"Now hold on ,Johnny. I know all you Cubs know the Cub Promise and do your best to follow it. But I want to know if the PARENTS know the Cub Promise... ((here, the CM holds up a paper bag and rattles it. Inside are folded 3x5 cards, each with one word from the Cub Promise on it)) "I want each parent to take a card out... There you go... yeah, you too, Fred... and then WITHOUT TALKING, line up your cards in the right order to spell out the Cub Promise... Think they can do it? Let's see..."

 

This stunt will take about 10 minutes or so, and the Cubs will love it ((embarrass the parents?? oooo...). Some of the parents will take charge from the ones that don't quite know it. Good chance to see who's involved and who might not be, if you didn't know before.

 

Obviously, you can ((AND SHOULD)) do it also with the Law of the Pack and include the Slogan ("Do Your Best").

 

Have fun... YiS.

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You can do this once, maybe twice a year...

 

Begin with your standard opening and when you get to the Cub who leads the reciting of the Cub Promise, the Cub master runs in and says " now hold on Johnny, I know all the Cubs know the Promise , right? But I'd like to know if the PARENTS have been paying attention" Here, he holds up a paper bag, in which has been placed folded 3x5 cards, on each is written one word of the Cub Promise.

"Now I want each parent to pick out a card ((shake the bag to make it rattle)), then I want you folks to line yourselves up in the proper order ((walk around and get the adults to pick out a card)), to spell out the Cub Promise. Without talking!!!

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I come from a pack where pack meetings were tremendous snooze fests, and have been completely turned around! We have assigned each den a responsibility to perform each and EVERY pack meeting. Song, Skit, Flags, Activity, etc. We try and break up advancements/awards between each one. Usually after the den has done their "duty" for the evening is a good time to hand out their awards (less "up and down" from their seats)and the other dens don't get as bored.

 

I also have to say our pack owes a HUGE "thank you" to our Asst. CubMaster. He has been known to show up as "Woody the cowboy" for Cub Scout Round UP (last year's September theme) and as a Chicken (a Bird theme...can't remember which month) and a Magician with a lovely assistant that amazingly called him "Dad". He has a way of disguising information that needs to be given to the parents as a conversation with the boys that keeps them interested! One of the other great and huge contributions he has made to our pack is giving us each an agenda for the evening, which has so much time designated for each thing, and he keeps us on schedule! The meetings have yet to go past the intended schedule, thus we know we will always have everyone out on time. We have also brought our pack into the 21st century with the use of technology, again thanks to his bright ideas, and a little scrounging of parents who could help make it work with equipment we are able to borrow. We use the pull down screen each meeting, and have a laptop hooked up to a projector, and we are able to project photographs and clip art etc. (talk about the advantages at pinewood derby time as well...we have a camera at the finish line, able to project standings etc...use the imagination!)

 

Our only regrets with all of this....(1) Each meeting we successfully complete we think to ourselves "how are we going to top that one???"...but we always manage to come up with another

successful one. (2) The pack is sorely going to miss our Asst. Cubmaster when his youngest son crosses over in February....(we don't really know someone else who is willing to dress up like a chicken yet! ;-)

 

Other things our boys really, really like to do during pack meetings...(1)Relay Races, (2)Stations (each den is responsible for conducting a "hands on" type of station that the boys run from one to the next to see what the other dens have come up with that fits into the theme for the evening) (3) Believe it or not...they LOVE to make and fly paper air planes! (This year we are going to try and have them make origami boats instead since we have done the air planes the last 2 years) (4) Our boys really enjoy doing service projects...which is a great activity that doesn't really cost the pack anything, and it acclimates the boys to being helpful and thinking of others besides themselves, and I believe helps prepare them for being Boy Scouts.

 

I hope these suggestions help...good luck in the upcoming scouting year!

Jens3sons

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I like the sounds of your asst cubmaster - he must be my twin.

 

I've been doing something similar in Minnesota. Over the last couple of years, I've been raiding my costume trunks and closets to come up with various costumes to fit the theme too. I haven't dressed up as a chicken, but I would if I had the suit. I've been a ringmaster, rented cowboy chaps, and worn a kilt. My favorite is what I wear for pinewood derby - a replica race car driver's suit. I made it in cub scout colors and have Pinewood Derby and cub scout patches placed on it. I was able to acquire a helmet, gloves and boots as well. (In fact, the suit has traveled to other packs for their pinewood derbies and was worn at the district races).

 

What I've discovered is this: Each person who becomes cubmaster / asst cubmaster will bring their own vision and bit of craziness. During my first year, I tried to do exactly what the person before me did. It worked, but to me it felt flat. The next couple of years I put more of myself into the position and the meetings became more fun.

 

The biggest things I did were change the room arrangement (just a bit, not a lot), develop a definate order to the meetings, start on time, and keep the meetings to one hour. Not big things in and of themselves, but they created an atmosphere of fun and order.

 

About every other month, we try to have a guest. We've had programs from the local zoo, Dept. of ATF dog, magician, the youth circus, and other various visitors that relate to the theme.

 

Our meetings are basic, but the boys enjoy them. They get a chance to do things, see the adults doing silly stuff, and everyone is happy.

 

We assign a den to be responsible for the flag ceremonies each month. Our meeting order is this:

 

Gathering activity (something to keep the boys from just running around the room)

Flag ceremony

Announcements

Songs

Den Minutes (I put in a two minute break so final planning can be done)

Activity (be a game, guest visitor, etc)

Awards

Final Announcements

Flag retirement.

 

If we don't have any ideas for an activity, we have a snowball fight. With one had, crumple a newspaper sheet into a ball, and throw it across the room. It's inexpensive, fun, and easy to clean up.

 

I'm going to have to remember the paper airplanes. I bet that would be a hit too.

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HI all. I'm an Asst Cubmaster, and I'm new at the adult leader role. How long should a pack meeting last? My Cubmaster refuses to go over 1 hour. Is this normal? I seem to remember them being longer (and a lot more fun) when I was a kid.

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Our regular Pack meetings run between 1 and 1.5 hours with about another 1/2 hour for clean up after that.

 

Special Pack meetings that include dinner usually go about another 45 min to 1 hr longer.

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Our Pack meetings are scheduled for one hour. Spicing up the meetings? Delegate portions of the Pack meeting to the Dens and let them participate and have responsibilities in the meeting. Every den has a job to do and they take an ownership and interest in the Pack meeting. Our Pack meeting assignments typically look like this:

 

Set-up chairs: Den 1

Game or Activity: Den 2

Flag ceremony: Den 3

Skit, Songs, or Jokes: Den 4

Awards: Den Leaders and/or Cubmaster

Clean-up: Den 5

Refreshments: Den 6

 

Every month we rotate responsibilities. We dont hold to the monthly program theme if it does not work for us.

 

Falling asleep during the awards? If there are many awards to give out, spread out the awards during the course of the meeting and not all at once.

 

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Our pack meetings are 1.5 hours, and we try to keep them moving. We do many of the things that Jens3sons' pack does - we have an overhead with photos/clip art, we get all the dens to have a turn up in front doing something, and we break up the awards. We'll often have a guest speaker - park ranger, policeman, heart transplant recipient, etc. We usually have a game, although since my boys didn't like relay races, I usually aimed for games where more people could participate at once. Cheers, applause, having the Cubmaster act goofy, getting some adults up front to make them perform, you can let your creative side have free reign. Run-ons, acting like pirates, having the boys all participate in things like stories, or Scout sign practice ("everyone scream as loud as you can until I put up the sign") can all be fun. We usually threw in some brief announcements/reminders, but I always told people to talk to the boys, not to the parents. And I was always able to jump in and say "if you have any more questions about XXX, see Mr. Schwindenhammer after the meeting."

 

Oak Tree

 

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>>My Cubmaster refuses to go over 1 hour. Is this normal? I seem to remember them being longer (and a lot more fun) when I was a kid.

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Yep, Cheers and songs, especially Cheers. Try these two:

 

**Bus Driver Cheer::: Okay, I think that deserves a cheer,Okay? How many of you or your folks ride the bus around town or to work,ummm? I'm gonna make you all BUS DRIVERS!! First, I'm gonna split you into two groups ((encourage "Chopping" sound SHHHHUUNNK!! as you karate chop the group into two sections)) Now, this group will say "Watch Your Step!!" (point and lead group one) AWWW , you can do better than That!! Let's hear it!! ((again))

Okay, now THIS group will say "Have A NICE DAY!!" ((lead second group again)) ((make it LOUD!!)) Point to each group in turn, Repeat as long as you deem necessary...Watch your step, Have a nice day...

 

**Scout Slogan::: Same as above. Divide group into THREE sections. ((SSSHHHUUUNNNKKK!! twice...)) Practice each section a couple of times...""DO"" ""YOUR"" ""BEST"" until you think you 'got them'.

Then go thru the usual DO... YOUR... BEST...a couple of times. then have some fun by varying the routine. As Conductor, vary the order ((""Wait for it"")) DO...DO...YOUR...YOUR...DO...DO...BEST...BEST...BEST...YOUR..DO (etc) Vary the tempo, the glissando ""DOOOOOOO... YOOOUURRR...BEEEEEEEST""

etc.

 

If you see smiles and giggles, you know you're doing something right.

 

KiS MiF

 

 

 

 

(This message has been edited by SSScout)

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I really don't know why the user Jens3sons has any right to give advice for cub scouts. Let's just say this person needs a much needed lesson in morality.

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