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Baloo's Bugle

May 2005 Cub Scout Roundtable Issue

Volume 11, Issue 10
June 2005 Theme

Theme: Destination Parks
Webelos: Traveler & Artist
  Tiger Cub


Taking It Outdoors

San Gabriel Valley, Long Beach & Verdugo Hills Councils

Some of the greatest Scouting ceremonies are held in the outdoors. The great outdoors is an important element of the Scouting program. Be sure to include an opening, closing, and, of course, advancement – remember instant recognition!

Here are a few tips that I have either come across or experienced as a participant.

  • If you use candles, always have a backup plan as they don’t always stay lit and remember safety first.
  • Outdoor noises can make it a challenge to conduct your ceremony and to have yourself heard, so don’t spread out too far.
  • Always, always handle the flag with the greatest respect. If you cannot secure the flag on its own, have the boys present the colors and continue holding it during the ceremony, retreating with it when finished.
  • Clear the area of any debris that may cause anyone to stumble.
  • Observe the rules of fire safety!
  • If you are in the cold, keep the ceremony short.
  • Nature is a magnificent backdrop. Use it to full advantage to tie in with your theme for the evening.

Planning a Summer of Fun!

Kommissioner Karl

Although many consider Cub Scouts to be a 9 month program – the secret is that the most successful Pack programs usually have some type of summer program.  These can be loosely organized outings for the whole family.  Or, you can continue your program of pack meetings and events in the summer as well.  National recognizes this extra effort with the National Summertime Pack Award.

The National Summertime Award

Incentive for summer planning is the National Summertime Pack Award, an attractive, full-color certificate, and the National Summertime Pack Award streamer for the pack flag.   These can be earned by packs that conduct three summer pack activities - one each month during June, July and August.

Dens with at least 50 percent of their members at the three summertime activities receive a den participation ribbon.  Individual Cub Scouts who attend all three activities can be recognized by their pack with the National Summertime Award pin.

The Cubmaster or pack committee secretary should keep a record of all summer pack activities on the chart in the National Summertime Pack Award Planning Guide.  Submit the application section of the record sheet for approval by the camping and activities or Cub Scout committee of the local council.  Make arrangements for the den, pack and individual Cub Scout awards to be presented at an early fall pack meeting.

If your pack has not already planned some activities this summer, DO IT NOW!  Go fishing or hiking in June, day camps and Webelos Resident Camp are in July, and have an ice cream social, family picnic or family camping overnight in August.  Remember, you will need to promote and remind parents of your events to make sure they remember to attend!

Where to go – What to do?

Summer program is very important to northern climate areas.  By not having an outdoor program for Cubs, you are missing out on the best three months of weather you get!  Outings can be den, pack or family oriented.  Here are just a few ideas:

  • Family Overnight campout at an approved Cub Scout facility.  These should have flush toilets for the convenience of younger boys and family members less comfortable with camping.  Be sure your destination is approved by calling the Council office and seeing if the facilities have been approved – per the Guide To Safe Scouting.
  • Amusement Parks – almost everyone has an amusement or water park someone close.  Call the park and see if they offer special discount to groups or scouts.  Many have special days with very low rates just for scouts and their families.
  • Family Picnic – a bring a dish, softball/volleyball/ scavenger hunt can be great fun, with very little work.  There are a number of facilities to go to in the area, including pavilions for sunny or wet days.  Check with the park department to see if you reserve a pavilion – or if it is first come first serve.  You may need to send someone there early to make sure you get your spot.
  • Day Hike and campfire – have them brush up on all the skits you taught them from Roundtable and come out for a big campfire.  Plan a short walking hike to areas of interest ahead of time.  Many County and State parks (For you Ohioans - like Fort Laurens in Zoar, and the Towpath trail) are great places to take short hikes – before settling in for a campfire or picnic.
  • Parent-Son baseball game – nothing caps off the baseball season like a parent- son baseball game.  You can divide up the teams – with a parent going to one side and the son to other team.  This usually keeps things calm for those that are overcompetive.  You can play parents against the boys (usually great fun) but Dads have to play opposite handed.  They have to bat and throw with there non-preferred hand.  Its ok to catch the ball with the preferred hand.  If you have a Mom that was a state softball champion, you may have to have her bat opposite handed as well.
  • County and state parks often have ample facilities for a pack, a great nature lodge, and fishing.  Usually there is a great  picnic area.  Call your park for more information.
  • A pack fishing derby is enormous fun.  A few trophies is all it takes.  Make sure to give out prizes for the biggest and most fish.  Don’t know how to do this?  Find a local fishing derby and have your pack go and participate with everyone else in the community.
  • Derby Days – hold a raingutter regatta, space derby – and second pinewood derby race – for no prizes.  Have a Dad’s division so they can build their own car and leave Jr.’s alone next year.
  • Look for District or Council summertime events to take part in as a pack.  Day camps, resident camps, Parent-Child campouts.  These count toward your award, and make planning a whole lot easier.
  • Minor league Ball games – Most minor league ball teams hold a scout night with a sleepover in the outfield.  Check out your local team!!  And the cost is usually very reasonable.  The Wilmington Blue Rocks are about $6 a ticket.  Or if not a sleepover – catch a fireworks night!!

Program is only limited by your imagination.  Take the time and add summertime program to your calendar.  This is especially important if you are doing any kind of spring recruiting.  You need a summertime program to remind the new parents and boys why they joined Scouting.

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