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Unit Lifesaving and training

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I am looking for help in developing a program for cub scout units in trouble. What do you consider an important part of a "good" Pack meeting? How do you keep the pack meetings moving along and keep everyone involved? We are looking to set up a Pilot Training Program for running an effective Pack Meeting and I want to use all the ideas I can.

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Can't help with ideas for Pack, being out of it so long, I would be better with troop. My ideas will probably be the very basic ones everyone already knows..


But, I applaud your efforts..


Question though.. Why just the pack meeting? Units get in trouble for many other reasons then the Pack meeting..


The one I have is not keeping in touch with your new den leaders, and making sure they are not failing and falling off.. I am trying to go back to the pack to help out & relearn the pack. I went to a pack meeting. And the tiger den I was to start with the Tiger den leader was not there and only 3 of his tigers were there.. They emailed him & me to make a connection.. I added to the email stating that I was planning to help out as well as hopefully learn, and some of the things I could help out with.. It has been over a week and no response.. I am now re-emailing the Pack Trainer & CC to see what they can find out.. Seems like I would have been more helpful if I was able to offer the help a month or 2 ago..

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our district's staff. We have noticed that a lot of unit (Cub) don't know how to do a good Pack Meeting which then leads to es not showing up and eventual the units dropping scouts. We are trying to come up with solutions to what seems to be a common problem.

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I am not sure what "staff" this is, but helping units in trouble is the job of the District Commissioner, and his/her Unit Commissioners.


While a boring Pack meeting certainly will not help any Pack, if a Pack is failing, there are generally a lot more problems with it's program than simply boring Pack meetings.


I don't see any reason to reinvent the wheel with this Pack meeting "training". BSA already has a lot of help out there on how to run a good Pack meeting.


You can find information on how to put together and run a Pack meeting, including a Pack Meeting Planning Sheet, in the Cub Scout Leader Book, under Program Planning.


BSA has information on Pack meetings on it's National Web site.


The new BSA Den and Pack Meeting Resource Guide has step, by step, Pack meeting plans for every month. This Guide can be purchased at your local Scout Shop, or downloaded from the BSA National Web site.


If you still need more help, attend your monthly District Cub Scout Roundtable for hands-on Pack meeting help.



(This message has been edited by Scoutnut)

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I am a Cubmaster, and I agree that just using, actually using, the Den and Pack Meeting Resource Guide, pretty much lays everything out for a Cubmaster (or Den Leader, etc.). Combine that with various roundtable resources and Baloo's Bugle, and any pack really has all they need.


On the other side, though, is implementation. Just last month I was at our council's Cub Leaders Pow Wow, and attended a "Cubmastering" course and others, so there seems to be training already available. What will cause packs to fail more than anything else is if it is just boring. Events and activities have to be fun, in short pieces to keep the attention of boys this age. Through last year, I felt our pack meetings were getting boring, and a major factor in that was that there was no planning by the leadership team (the Cubmaster just did his own thing), and the dens weren't involved in what's going on. It seemed like we were getting 20 to 30 percent participation in most things.


This year that has changed drastically - we've had several big events with something like 80 to 90 percent participation, the boys never miss the Pack Events (we don't call them meetings any more - next month it is Pack Movie Night as we show camp promotion videos and eat popcorn). I challenge my den leaders to try to randomly throw me off during the program with run-ons or jokes, because the boys just don't know what to expect, and they have a blast. For tonight's Pack Event we're doing essentially a campfire (I built a simple plug in fire with LED Xmas lights and a fan), and each den is doing a skit, we'll have songs and cheers, and stories, and we'll flick on the lights for "formal introductions" as part of promoting the Good Manners beltloop(RESPECT). All this crammed into about 50 minutes of craziness, since we came up with the idea to close and then send them off with a game or activity with the Boy Scouts that help us out toward the end of our Pack Events. All this requires planning.

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Have to agree with drmbear: the guy running the meeting is the Key. He has to be able to organize a great meeting (or follow the plan) and cannot be afraid to make a fool out of himself. I am the ACM for our pack and designated clown. You need a cheer or a song to fill in somewhere? I'm your guy. . .just need more songs and cheers in my head. . .must learn more. . .

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I just made up a "box of Cheer." Used it for the first time tonight, and it was a blast. Bought a big box of Cheer laundry detergent, dumped the detergent into an empty detergent bucket at home. Then collected up literally hundreds of cheers and loaded them on a Word Business Card template. I'll figure a way to make this available sometime soon. Printed them on card stock and cut them up with the paper trimmer. Piled them in the box so I can mix them good. Anytime in need of a cheer, we just grab the box, pull one out, and see what we get. If it's one we seem to like - when we are done we toss it back in the box. If it is one with too many groans, it goes into a ziplock baggie in the box, where it will stay until we start a new year. This thing is going with me to all major events - no shortage of fun when needed - and the boys seemed to love it. Even wanted to pull out some themselves.

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Yeah,I'll echo those above.


If a pack's attendance is getting worse as time goes by, then soimebody needs to light a fire under the leadership or replace them.


Anybody can read out of a Cub Scout book or off a piece of paper:


"Bueller?... Bueller?... Bueller?...."


What you need is somebody who isn't scared to stand up and take a chance of making a fool of himself. And truth be told....doing what you think may make you look like a fool - usually won't!


You want a plan for those packs and leaders? Tell them to stop acting their age. Tell them to start acting 8 or 9 years old.


I just started something new at our pack meetings: As I am walking in the sanctuary, I look around at the scouts. I pick one who is wearing the full uniform and possibly waiting for the meeting to start. I walk up to him, tell him to follow me to the front and hand him that $4.00 giant foam scout sign , and tell him to put it on and hold it up. I also hold up the scout sign.


Then the color guard does it's job.


Before we sing a song or do a cheer, I look and see which den is the most antsy orr full of energy, Then I bring that den up to help me lead the pack in the song or cheer...in front of everybody!


They love it!


Get them excited, make them laugh, keep it fun and interesting!


Oh yeah, I made a bet with our scouts at the last pack meeting:

If at least 70% of ALL dens make rank and stick around the whole year......I will lead the last pack meeting wearing a pink ballerina outfit complete with a tutu.


Crazy? Over the top? Unheard of? You betcha!


Did the boys laugh? Sure did!


Are they accepting that bet? You have no idea how excited they are to take that bet!


Am I gonna look stupid? ABSOLUTELY!

Will I be embarassed? Nope! Not if it make the boys laugh and have a good time....but most importantly, if 70% stick it out all the way through....then it's definantly worth it!



Want the boys to stick around, then make it fun and exciting.

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To answer a few questions that have been raised, yes it is the Commissioner Staff that is working on this problem. Also we don't have a course at our University of Scouting that pertains to running a good Pack Meeting. What we are finding out is that the Cub Masters and others within the Pack leadership only know how the Pack Meeting have been run in the past and continue making the same mistakes year after year. Most will not go to any supplemental training to learn how to do it better because they don't know it can be better. What we have in mind is making a DVD of a "staged" Pack Meeting, showing how to keep the audience engaged in the meeting and keep things moving at a good pace with everyone having fun. Also we want to show how to have memorable award ceremonies for the scouts, not the usual here is your patch now go sit down. We are making baby steps but hope to have great results soon. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

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Here's an idea..or at least a thought:


Instead of filming a staged pack meeting ( let's be honest, you probably don't have any GREAT actors), go to a pack meeting at one of the most successful packs in the ditrict/council. Tell the CC and Cm that you'd like to film it, but try to keep it hush hush to the majoritry of the crowd ( don't want anybody to ham it up for the camera only) so they act "normal" .


Take and edit the fil as necessary, but place some extra emphasis on the CM or whoever is running the meeting.


Then place emphasis on the DL's as they do their thing.


Place emphasis on the scouts as they are reacting to what the

CM ( or whoever is leading) and DL's are doing.



THis will by far be better than a staged meeting.


Maybe you could even insert some interviews with those leaders who could talk about what they do and how they get motivated to do it.

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First, I recommend looking at the district level first, before going to the units to model a pack meeting.


Cub Scout Roundtable is just that, a model pack meeting. If it's not being done that way, you're losing a valuable resource.


Second, look hard at your cub scout training. It too is a model pack meeting.


I have shyed away from using the term "pack meeting" anymore, I recommend "Pack party" when people ask me, only so that they understand that it's supposed to be tons of fun not just an awards presentation.


Making sure that every unit understands the "extras" of cub scouting such as the sports and academic program, crime prevention award, world conservation, etc... goes a long way to enhance a pack meeting, too, because you can shape a meeting around those awards.

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