Anyone can hold a Den meeting, go through the crafts and
activities and send the kids home. Anyone can hold a Pack meeting, give out
the awards and advancement, and send the kid's home. BORING!
keeps them coming back. It’s the songs, skits, stories, run-ons, and cheers
that bring on the laughter, the sparkle in the eyes, the excitement. It’s the
impressive ceremonies when the kids are recognized for achievement, that they
will remember for years to come. Here are a few helpful hints -
Become a Song Leader
Why songs? Remember the great times singing those
songs in school or that song that rumbled the rafters at church? The feeling
after these songs really lifted the spirits. Singing is fun! Songs can create
enthusiasm or set a mood.
To be a successful song leader, all that is required are
a few tips about how to lead songs. Voice? Don't worry about it! A voice like
that of a crooner or an operatic star is not necessary. Never apologize. It's
easy and it's fun to lead songs. Just follow these hints to be a song leader!
A song leader must break the ice, particularly with a new group. Do things
that will break down the reserve and get everyone into the group spirit. At
the beginning of the first song period, announce that the group will do things
together. Ask a Cub Scout to stand in front of the group and throw his
neckerchief into the air and then catch it. Have him do this several times.
Tell the group that they can yell as long as the neckerchief is in the air,
but must stop instantly when the neckerchief is caught. Suggest such words as
"yip-pee, wahoo, Akela, Wolf, Bear, Webelos" etc. Everyone should yell
Song Leading Tips
Begin with a song that
everyone knows. Announce the name and the tune (if it isn't an original song).
Sing the first few bars, or
sing the entire song. This will give the pitch and the proper tempo. If there
is a piano and a pianist or a recording of the song, use them to teach the
Then start the song. How?
Tell the group to begin singing after the first few words, then signal, such
as a simple down motion with the hands is given.
What about hand motions?
Start with simple up and down motions. Then use these motions to keep time
with the rhythm and the syllables of the words as they are sung. The movement
of the hands should indicate those notes that are to be prolonged or
quickened. In the same way, raise or lower the hands to regulate the volume.
Get into the proper swing and rhythm. Put some personality and pep into it.
Put the entire body into song leading.
It has been my experience that this is the most difficult part of song
leading to get someone to do – to move their arms in rhythm to the music. It
is probably an inner fear from who knows where. Anyway, an older Scout Exec
told me a secret once – give them a pair of special song leader’s gloves
(Day-Glo orange, preferably) and most people lose their fear and move their
arms. Commissioner Dave
Insist on quality, not
volume. Expect everyone to sing.
Use songs that fit the
occasion. Start with lively songs and end the program with something
Songs should be taught in
the weekly den meeting, using songbooks only until the words are learned.
Everybody should be ready for some real singing at the monthly pack
If the first song doesn't
measure up to expectations, "kid" the group along. Don't reprimand! For
instance, try some competition. Put dens one and two against dens three and
four... or boys against parents. Or moms against dads. Use a short song to get
everyone into the proper spirit.
In small groups, someone can often begin a song and
everyone joins in naturally without formal leadership.
Cheers and Applause's
Applause stunts are a great
way to recognize a person or den in a pack meeting for some accomplishment
they have performed. Be sure before you start that everyone knows and
understands the applause stunt and how to do it. Applause stunts serve more
than one purpose -- they not only provide recognition but also help liven up a
meeting. Applause stunts need to be fun. Strive for quality of performance in
Another important side effect of Applause stunts is they provide” wiggle
time” for all the Scouts and siblings during the ceremonies so they sit still
during the serious moments. It is a lot easier and a lot less stressful to
lead a cheer and have fun than to be constantly reminding the Scouts to sit
Here’s a fun idea for you.
Gather up all the cheers and applause's you can find, print them on card
stock, cut each one out of the card stock page, and drop the whole bunch into
a Cheer detergent box ~ empty of course. This is your “Cheer Box” for your
Pack meetings. After skits or songs at the Pack Meetings, have a Scout come
up, take a Cheer out of the Cheers Box, and lead it.
Why Den Yells??
- Gives every boy a chance to participate at the Pack
- Builds Den spirit and morale.
- Gives the boys a chance to let off steam in an
- If Den yells are worked out by the Dens, affords a
chance for cooperative effort.
Sample Den Yells
A good den yell can be a great morale booster. It
can start competition between dens and get the pack meeting off to a great
East or West
Is the Best!
Show us some
Show us some
All for Den
Stand up and bark.
United we stand
Divided we fall
Den_____is the best of all
We've done fine!
We've done well
Now for an ear
Run-ons are a terrific way
to add some pizzazz to a Pack meeting. For best results, arrange them ahead
of time, without the Cubmaster, or whoever is running the Pack meeting,
knowing about it. That way they look more spontaneous, and the Cubmaster can
easily become part of the joke.
Here are a few classics:
A frantic figure runs on-stage.
a. It’s all around me! It’s
all around me!!
b. What's all around you?
a. My belt!
A desperate figure runs on-stage.
a. They're after me! They're
b. Who's after you?
a. The squirrels - they think I'm nuts!
A man (or lady) enters singing
a. Soap, Soap, Soap, …..
b. What are you doing?
a. Just singing a few bars!
Two people enter stage together (Or have one enter and
ask the Cubmaster).
a. Have you seen my new pet
b. No, what’s his name?
a. Ball point
b. Is that his real name?
a. No, it’s his pen name
hints on song leading and lots more stunts and applauses – Get a copy of
“Creative Campfires” by Douglas Bowen. I own about five copies of this book
because I am always loaning it out to other Scouters. Also, good are BSA’s
“Group Meeting Sparklers,” and the Cub Scout Songbook. Recently I have seen
quite a few books on cheers. Commissioner Dave