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Baloo's Bugle


August 2004 Cub Scout Roundtable Issue

Volume 11, Issue 1
September 2004 Theme

Theme: Time in a Capsule
Webelos: Citizen and Communicator
  Tiger Cub:
Program & Activities




Monthly Themes

Santa Clara County Council

The Cub Scout program is organized by monthly themes. Themes are a collection of related activities of high “boy interest” for each month, and encompass the Den activities and Pack meeting.  Themes add variety to Den and Pack meetings, and makes planning of an integrated Pack meeting possible.  Your Pack’s yearly calendar can be organized around the monthly themes. Themes also allow dens to share resources for activities and field trips, by working on similar projects.

Your Pack may decide to use the themes that are published by the BSA, or you can use your own themes.  Theme-related ideas for Den and Pack activities are available in the Cub Scout Program Helps, and the Cub Scout Roundtable Guide.

A typical Pack meeting agenda may have some or all of the following and all these items can  incorporate the monthly theme:

·         Pre-opening or gathering activity

·         Opening ceremony

·         Den demonstration (song, skit, show-and-tell)

·         Recognition (advancement ceremony, adult recognitions)

·         Guest Speaker

·         Game or Theme activity (quick craft, or gift wrapping)

·         Announcements

·         Closing ceremony

A typical Den meeting may have some or all of the following (the monthly theme can be incorporated in these activities):

·         A pre-opening or gathering activity

·         An opening ceremony

·         Den business (collect dues, plan for Pack meeting: practice song/skit)

·         Theme activity (craft, field trip)

·         Closing ceremony

The biggest benefit from using the published monthly themes is that many of the ideas for the Den and Pack meetings are provided in various publications and activities such as

·         Cub Scout Program Helps, in this book are theme related ideas for all parts of den and pack meetings

·         Monthly Roundtables bring you additional ideas for theme related activities

·         Baloo’s Bugle, of course, each month is devoted to ideas for the next, month’s theme

·         Pow Wow Books are often arranged by themes or have theme ideas within the various sections

·         Boys’ Life supplements the themes with stories and activities.

·         Other resources on the web.  Check out the Websites listed in Baloo each month for ideas.

And remember, don’t limit yourself to using a theme idea only for that specific month – some ideas may work any time of the year or for many themes with just a little change.  (e.g. a ring toss game – have the rings look like doughnuts for a food theme, wreaths at holiday time, life preservers for a water theme, tires for a travel theme, …)


Cubmaster Bruce

Santa Clara County Council

·         FUN

Above all else, have fun.  You are contagious.  Do not worry about your peers, your job is to connect with the Tiger Cubs.

The kids want to have fun and the parents want to see their kids doing something.  I figured if the kids enjoyed it and wanted to come back, then they would be active and get exposure at the pack meeting.  Boy fun is loud and gross – I planned around that concept.


Use your den leaders as they have a pulse on the pack.  They often have great suggestions.  Work with your Committee Chair and take advantage of the leader meeting.

·         THEMES

Use themes for your Pinewood derbies and give prizes (recognition) to those cars that decorate to the theme.  Allow all the scouts to vote on the best theme design.  We allowed each scout to vote for the top three and compile aggregate points.  First try to use the monthly scouting theme, but know that a properly chosen theme will confound the Super Dad that must win.  For example, the ‘Pokemon’ theme was a huge success since no one over the age of 17 knew what these creatures were.  We’ve also used ‘Circus’ and ‘Cartoons’.

·         ACTIVITIES

Outside activities is one of the greatest enrichments to this program.  We called them family outings.  At first we had an outings coordinator, but if no one steps up, you can try to have each den sponsor one outing a year.  Check the Pow Wow manual for places to go.  I fondly remember a tour of the San Jose Arena, the Monarch Butterflies at Twin Bridges, roller skating, ice skating, cub camping at Uvas Meadows, etc.  There are a ton of local things to do and see.  There may not be a huge turnout, sometimes five families would be considered successful, but it really adds to the pack program.  Have sign-ups at the pack meeting and announce well in advance so people can prepare.

One organized activity is to have a Cubannapolis race on a weekend.  Scouts have to ‘wear’ a cardboard vehicle and race it around a large, park area sized track.  We did about three laps, with each lap requiring the ‘driver’ to get out of his vehicle and re-fuel with some Kool-Aid or other drink.  There were also track obstacles, such as falling rocks (plastic bags filled with wadded newspaper), a water hazard (large squirt guns), and even a Frisbee throw.  Make it fun!  And again, use a theme for the vehicles.

·         PACK PRIDE

Develop some pack pride - have a pack T-Shirt design contest, with the winning design going on a number of shirts to be sold to the pack.  The winner gets a free shirt!

·         PLANNING

Plan your pack meeting.  I always carried my clipboard.  It had the agenda, which applauses I would use, and some spare stuff to fill empty moments.  People thought I could improvise so well – it was all on the clipboard.

The December pack meeting was a low turnout, so we made it shorter and less structured.  Each den sponsored a Christmas song and led the rest of us.  We also had a dessert auction to raise money.  The boys love an auction!  Sell poker chips, 4/$1, set a limit.

Early arrivers would have to ‘Guess the Stuff’.  Keeps them focused to the end of the meeting when the winner was announced.




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