This is the month
that most units kick off their new year. Why is it that some units seem so
much more successful than others? What is their key to success? Let me give
you some ideas.
First off, get
organized-----this doesn’t start in September. Your unit needs an annual
planning conference, preferably in June, to plan the upcoming year. Look at
the monthly themes., discuss which ones your unit will do and set dates for
yearly events such as Blue & Gold and Pinewood Derby. Look at the council
calendar. Know when your Webelos may be camping and take advantage of Cub
Programs offered to supplement your unit’s program.
recruitment night fun---- Remember, when the boy goes home telling his mom and
dad what a good time he had, it has a favorable impression on those who are
just thinking of joining scouts. Have activities for children to do while
parents are getting their required information of the cub program. Play games,
sing songs, make a simple neckerchief slide (I don’t know of any cub scout who
hasn’t lost at least one of his slides). Keep your information session simple
and have handouts for parents. Make sure they have a name and number of
someone within your unit to contact should they have questions or just want to
National has put out a totally new training package for all new leaders. It
is loaded with excellent videos and lots of useful information. Every adult
volunteer within the scout program needs to take the appropriate “Fast Start
Training” for their position (not new, but still a great first step. New
Leader Essentials answers most of those ‘how do I get started questions’ about
boy Scouts of America and then Cub Leader Specific Training gets into the
information specific for each position. As always, Youth Protection should be
taken every 2-3 years as recommended by national. And don’t forget
Roundtables---these monthly training sessions offer program ideas a month in
advance using the monthly themes for cubs.
Get to know your
support people and their role. Who is your Chartered Organization Rep? Did
you know your district provides you with a commissioner? Who is your District
Executive and when can you contact him for questions and problems? Understand
that you don’t have to do this job all by yourself. There are ones out there
in the scouting community that can help, offer advice and sometimes even just
Are you on the
Internet? Get connected! I could spend a whole page of just listing websites
supporting the scouting program and offering ideas.
Sometimes the best laid plans will go awry. It is truly not the end of the
world. Laugh it off and go on to something else.
Have fun! If we
look like we are having fun, then others will have fun also.