Baloo's Bugle

October 2007 Cub Scout Roundtable Issue

Volume 14, Issue 3
November 2007 Theme

Theme: Indian Nations
Webelos: Craftsman & Readyman
Tiger Cub
Requirement 5

TRAINING TIP

HAVE FUN!!!

Bill Smith, the Roundtable Guy

Comment from CD –
I believe this article was inspired by a sad event in Bill’s life that he wrote me about this month.  His youngest grandson just dropped out of Cub Scouts.  It took him a year to work up enough nerve to tell Grandpa Bill that the meetings were dull and boring.  Apparently his youngest grandson’s Den Leader does not take Bill’s advice.  We lose boys when we do small things and don’t fire their imaginations.  When Scouts becomes like school.  Plan BIG and have fun.  Keep them moving and they will stay!!!  It is not easy, but it is FUN!!  Do silly stuff, lead songs with enthusiasm.  Make real things.

Ever since you were about ten years old, looking cool was probably one of your priorities. Certainly in high school and early adult life it was often an advantage to act the suave urbane winner. Would your spouse have been attracted to you is you were a klutz – a buffoon who wore weird clothes and who would suddenly break out singing nonsense songs? Of course not!

Now things are different. You are a parent of a Cub Scout and looking cool doesn’t always count much in the eyes of a seven year old.  It’s just not in the nature of boys this age to constantly take things seriously. They crave fun, adventure and revel in the unexpected. Now that you are the parent of one of these creatures, give him and his buddies all these things.

Cub Scouting has just got to be fun.  If it‘s not fun, no one will stick around long enough to get any benefit out of it

Be Nutty!

Lose your inhibitions and have uproarious FUN. Do all the zany songs, cheers, run-ons and stunts. Wear crazy costumes and play outrageous games. Do this a lot in Cub Scouts because as the boys get close to Boy Scout age they lose much of their appreciation of madcap humor – especially by their parents.

I recall a new Pack Chairman who came to one of our training sessions. He was a corporate lawyer, very proper, but certainly open to new ideas and immediately recognized the value of pure fun.  I can still, years later, vividly remember him in his three-piece business suit, leading a hilarious audience participation story in front of laughing, shouting Cub Scouts.

Cub Scout age boys have an extraordinary ability to instantly switch between the zany and the profound. They see no problem with the “Clown” who hands them an award in an inflated balloon one moment and the same person a few minutes later in a Scouter’s uniform delivering a serious Cubmaster’s minute.


 

 

Kids by age six are very clever.  I have found that they can pun, they utilize sarcasm, and drama in their everyday communications.  I have NO doubt that they 'get it' when I am goofing, and they 'get it' when I am serious.
Michael J. Seligsohn,
Cub Master Pack 117, Golden Empire Council,

Games, ceremonies and outings rule!

Everything else is boring and dull.  Gather a list of games, songs, sparklers, cheers, and all the other zany stuff that will work for you and your pack. Fill your ceremonies with cheers, drama, explosions, and such to make them exciting and memorable.  What's wrong?  Never been to a rock concert?  Punctuate your calendar with lots of outings and service projects.  Above all, don't hold meetings; they're boring!  Put on productions.

Sean Scott tells us in Cub-Scout-Talk:

The point is that you get the boys expecting something exciting, and they get pulled into the story.  It's more than the story of how the Indian brave climbed the mountain or whatever. There's a personal interest for the boy in the 'magic' ceremony.

For 'minor' awards I like things that have action. Scubas suits, Frisbees, cowboys, pirates, astronauts, athletes, catapults, radio controlled cars, balloon rockets, etc. are all excellent means of 'delivering' the awards to the boys. It has action and interest for the boys, and is something more than the baggie and handshake ceremony.

True, these require some advance planning. You don't just pull these off at the last minute, while the Program Helps is as easy as reading a passage, but aren't the boys worth the extra work? Don't they deserve some pizzazz and show for their efforts? Definitely!

Run-ons

Kriste Ryan had a wonderful description of what she calls quick, simple, easy Run-on Awards for Webelos Activity Badges on Cub-Scout-Talks on Yahoo Groups.  She relates what Jo did for some of the Webelos Activity Badges:

Aquanaut: I had on a swim vest, mask, and flippers and carried a big swim noodle. I had a whistle around my neck and I interrupted the meeting by coming in with the flippers on and whistling and yelling Everyone out of the pool!" and the Cubmaster, asked "What is going on here?". Then I said, "Well, there are some boys here tonight that have worked very hard on their Aquanaut badge, and I have them here in my pail. I pulled them out of a sand bucket and the Cubmaster announced their names, gave them the awards and a handshake while I told a 30-second commercial of what kinds of things go into an aquanaut badge. Then I pulled a water spray bottle out of my bucket and sprayed the boys hair. And then the entire pack gave them a cheer.

The meeting went on and soon I interrupted again.  This time I was a newspaper boy and I came in with a newspaper bag yelling "Extra! Extra! Read all about it! and I was throwing newspapers towards the various dens as I went. The Cubmaster demanded to know what I was doing again, and then we did the same sort of thing for the boys who earned their communicator badges. I had the badges inside the newspaper bag.

The meeting went on and for my final interruption; I was dressed as a tourist with a camera, a map, a visor and a roll-behind suitcase. As the Cubmaster was talking about popcorn sales, I was visiting a Wolf, Tiger or two with my map asking "Do you know how to get to Baltimore?" and things like that. By this time the kids were kind of yelling out to the Cubmaster "She's here again!". So finally, I award the Traveler badge from the suitcase.

What Kriste describes also shows preparation, A lot of the fun came when the Cubmaster, playing the straight man role, pretended to be irritated by the interruptions.

Songs

There is nothing that compares with a good rousing song fest. If your pack has anyone who can lead songs, you are in luck. Good Cub Scouts songs are lively, easy to learn, fun to sing and need not make much sense. The Cub Scouts of St. Mary’s 3rd Hayes Group near London England show how much fun there is in a good song.

Audience Participation

These are easy to do, plentiful, easily adapted to themes and lots of fun. Whether it’s a theme related story at a pack meeting or a ghost story at a camp fire, these are sure fire winners. A variation of the audience participation tale is the old Mad-Lib fun where Cub Scouts insert random words into a story. Sometimes, just mixing up the nouns in a normally serious story results in great comedy. I liked to print words on 3X5 index cards randomly distributed to Cub Scouts worked great.

Cheers

Every den needs at least one den cheer. Every pack meeting must provide dozens of reasons for dens (or parents) to cheer. And, of course, there are the yells and cheers in Group Meeting Sparklers that everyone joins in on. Beware of quiet meetings.

Here are some FUN Pack Photo Galleries:

·         Pack 23,  New Orleans

Does your pack have that much fun?

*  Also, be sure to visit Bill’s website

http://www.wtsmith.com/rt

to finds more ideas on everything Cub Scouting.

Have any Comments for Bill
just click right here!


 

 


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