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Baloo's Bugle

February 2002 Cub Scout Roundtable Issue

Volume 8, Issue 7
March Theme

Dollars & Sense
Webelos Athlete & Engineer



Leader Tips


Why Do We Have Outings And Field Trips?
National Capital Area Council

§         FUN – the main reason why boys are in Scouting.

§         Achievement – the boys have a natural opportunity to fulfill required achievements for their ranks.

§         Introduction to Outdoors – the outing can be the first introduction to learning about and enjoying the outdoors.

§         Fulfilling Aim/Purposes of BSA – the program activity should meet the purpose of Cub Scouting and provide opportunities for physical, spiritual mental and social growth.  These are lasting values.

§         Variety – Vary the activities used to achieve the purposes of Scouting.  Boys like to sample many different things.  It can also serve to teach a new skill or introduce the boys to a new subject for the first time.

§         Unity and Pride – Outings help to enrich and instill pack and/or den unity and pride as members all get to know one another and spend time working and playing together.

§         Action – Boys like to DO things…not just sit and watch or sit and listen!


Planning the Outing

In planning special outings, there are some general guidelines, which should be followed to help ensure their success:

Objective --  

Why are we having the activity?  Does it help to achieve the purposes of Cub Scouting?  Where do you want to go?  Who is going to go?  A den, the entire pack, ..the Webelos? Lead a discussion with your den to identify one den financial goal that must be saved for.  Discuss the goal in detail (for example: visiting a mint or a bank).


There should be adequate adult leadership to ensure safety and supervision.  Are you going to need separate committees formed?  For example—Transportation, Reservations, Publicity, etc?  This is a good time to involve adult family members of your pack.  Use common sense for the amount of leadership you’ll need.  If you are going to a nearby park to play with your den, then your two-deep leadership would be adequate.  If you are going to a ballpark holding 80,000 people, obviously, you are going to need more help to keep your group together.  A good guideline is the following: 2 Leaders for the first 6 Scouts, one additional leader for every 4 boys after that.


What type of facility, if any, is needed for your activity?  Can it be held in your normal meeting site?  Is it an outdoor facility?  Are reservations necessary?  Will there be a charge to use the facility?  Do you want to visit a bank or a Federal Mint?

Physical Arrangements

What type of seating arrangements will be needed, if any?  If outdoors, what is available for use and what else is needed?


Select a date.  Use your Council, District and Community Calendars to see if there are any activities already scheduled that could conflict with yours.  A written schedule, agenda or program will be helpful.  When will it be held?  What time does it begin?  Who does what and when?  What time does it end?  You need to plan!


Always, always plan for back-up leadership to fill in case of an emergency.  If you are having an outdoor activity, be sure to have a back up if the weather does not cooperate with you.


Be sure that all of your pack families are informed as to what is happening in the pack.  Use flyers, pack newsletter and your leaders to get the word out.

Judging and Awards

If your activity is competitive in nature, will each boy get something for participating?  Or will only the winner be recognized?  How and when?  What type of awards will be used?  Who will do the judging?  How?

Health and Safety

Make sure your activity is safe for the boys and their families.  Some precautions to consider include:

§         Use the Buddy System on your outings

§         Select (ahead of time) a well-identified gathering sire for your group if anyone becomes separated

§         Carry a first aid kit in all outings

§         If you activity includes any aquatics activity, you must have an adult who understands the Safe Swim Defense; for any boating activities, your leader must have completed the Safety Afloat course and be in possession of the Safety Afloat Certification Card.

§         Check the Guide to Safe Scouting to make sure your outing is an approved activity.

§         Materials and Equipment – Is there any special equipment or materials that are needed for you activity?  Who is going to bring them?

§         Finances – Will there be a cost involved with the activity?  Will the pack budget cover the cost?  If not, how will the costs be covered?  Prepare personal budgets or a spending plan to reach the goal of covering the costs of this outing.


Advance Preparations for the Outing: Let’s Talk Details

Publicity – the success of your outing may just depend on how well you do in getting the word out.  If your pack members don’t know about the activity, they can’t participate.  Make sure that you have all necessary information on your flyer-—activity, date, time, who can go, how much it will cost, location, a contact person for more information and registration, etc.  Reinforce this information in your pack newsletter and through your leaders.

Directions – Be sure that you also give a set of written instructions and/or map, if necessary, on how to get to your activity or you might wind up going by yourself!

Advance Reservations/Costs – If you are planning to go on an outing that involves tickets or fees to enter, you will want to take care of these items in advance.  Most places offer group rates, so, in your planning, you should have addressed these items.  Through your publicity and promotion of the activity, your parents should be aware of the costs involved…either with advance ticket purchases or by providing the boys with enough money on the day of the outing.

Traveling Activity

Tell the boys the following: “Our fabulously wealthy Cubmaster has offered each of you $1,000, on the condition that you spend it on a trip in the USA.  You are limited to two weeks and must spend at least $900 of your gift, but no more that the $1,000 given to you.”

Ask the boys where they would like to go and make a list of activities.  Take this list and assign a cost to each item, using a local travel guide, an AAA tourbook, or other resource.  Make sure to include some activities that are free! Enter the activities and costs on an itinerary sheet and expense sheet.

Use a map to determine the distances to each destination.  Fares for travel expenses, accommodations and food are given below.  Use this information to choose the mode of transportation and to calculate travel time and expenses.  Travel time must be taken into account.  For example, if you spend all day on the train going from Boston to Miami, you will not be able to plan any activities for that day.  If you spend the night on a train or bus, you do not have to pay for accommodations that night.  You may not drive all night or spend the night in your car and, for purposes of this game, there are no all-night airplane flights.  You must make arrangements to return to your starting point by the end of the last day of your trip.

You must make arrangements for sleeping accommodations every night, using the information below as a guide.  You must eat three meals a day on your trip.  A snack may be substituted for one meal per day and only once each week.  Calculate eating expenses and enter them on the expense sheet.

Total the daily expenses from the list you have compiled.  Add the daily totals to determine the cost of the entire trip.  After the trip is planned, have the boys make a list of clothes, equipment, etc that they will have to take with them

Example Expense Guidelines:


Travel Expenses:

Mode: Cost Per 100 Miles Time Per 100 Miles



15 minutes

Rental Car

$10.00 per day plus .10/mile

2 hours



1 ½ hours


$6.00 (or $200., 2 Week pass)

2 /1/2 hours


Food Expenses:

Formal restaurant $10.00

Inexpensive restaurant $ 2.00

Cooking while camping $ 1.50

Snack  $  .75


Accommodations (per night)

Hotel  $25.00

Inexpensive motel $10.00

Camping $ 5.00



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