August 2008 Cub Scout Roundtable Issue
September 2008 Theme
Citizen and Communicator
PACK ADMIN HELPS
Two Important Items this month
Are You a Ziploc Pack by Sean Scott
An idea for recruiting leaders as a follow up to Bill Smith's
Are You A Ziploc Pack???
Be sure to read Bill Smith's Training Topic on
Pack Meetings, too. The two articles together are great!! CD
Most leaders recognize that rank advancement ceremonies should be impressive and
representative of the amount of work the boy has put into earning the award. But
what about the belt loops, activity patches and other "smaller" awards your boys
Unfortunately, these awards are often given out
using the "Baggie and Handshake" ceremony. You know, a baggie with the boy’s
name, and a hearty handshake. No offense, but that’s not PHUN! And Scouting,
especially Cub Scouting, is supposed to be PHUN!
What many leaders don’t realize is that these
"minor" awards can be a blessing in disguise—a chance to really make your
meetings exciting, and get parents and boys alike pumped up about the Scouting
So how do you polish up your pack meeting to be
shiny and baggie free? Use your imagination! There’s no limit to what you can do
to present awards to your boys, parents and leaders. Here are some ideas to get
Shoot your awards in on balloons. Tie up a string with some cut
straws, tape the award to the balloon, the balloon to the straws, and fill the
balloon with air. When you release the air from the balloon, it will propel the
award/balloon rocket down the string. Take on the role of "mission control" and
with a little help from some willing parents you have a space themed
Tape awards to the undersides of Frisbees and throw them out to
boys standing in the back of the room. Have them throw them back to you, and let
an assistant reload the Frisbees. Or mount them on paper airplanes for similar
Pot a dead tree or branch and put paper leaves on it with the
awards stuck to the leaves for a conservation and nature themed ceremony.
Place the awards in a piñata and let the boys go at it with a
stick, one or two hits each. While they’re taking their swings you can announce
who got what.
Hide the awards around the room and give each boy a treasure map
that leads them to their award. Tell everyone what they received while they’re
looking. Or hide ‘coins’ that the boys can use to ‘buy’ their award from the
Cubmaster, er, I mean Pirate King at the front of the room.
Have them pan for gold nuggets and exchange them at the bank for
their awards. You could make a speech about them being more precious than gold
while you’re at it.
Dish them out of a pot dressed as a chef. Or make cupcakes or a
cake and stick them in the icing on top.
Have someone dressed as a delivery person "hand deliver" important
packages to the boys during the meeting. Or have them dress as a military
courier or paratrooper, with open parachute dragging behind them. (I’d make sure
they took as lengthy a route through the room as possible in order to catch and
twist the ‘chute around as many things as possible. Ham it up!)
Fire them from catapults your Webelos made. Make castle walls from
refrigerator boxes and shoot from inside the castle (or outside, depending on
where you want to be...)
Give them out as carnival prizes, with each boy performing some
simple, fun skill. (Don’t make it so hard that your Tigers can’t do whatever it
is, and just get something handed to them.)
Find someone who’s good at magic or sleight of hand to conjure
them out of the boys ears, from under their hats or neckerchiefs, etc.
Put them inside Whiffle balls or balloons and hit them out to the
boys with a big plastic bat. Let them "field" the award.
One month my assistant Cubmaster and I dressed
as cowboys. We took the roles of Wells and Fargo, and were distributing the
dividends of a successful summer of mining operations to our "employees" from a
cardboard safe. Each boy got a small cloth bag marked "Gold—Property of:" with
their name on it. Halfway through the ceremony, another leader appeared to rob
the bank. We wrapped him with a Mylar emergency blanket we had hidden behind the
safe and pulled him out of the room as he shouted, "Drat! Foiled again!"
Another month, we dressed as pirates and
distributed awards from a treasure chest, while punctuating the ceremony with a
variety of pirate jokes.
It doesn’t need to be elaborate, just fun and
memorable. Use costumes, props and your imagination. Anything that requires
throwing, catching, hitting, running, jumping, breaking, popping, bouncing,
stomping, rolling, crawling, climbing, swinging or dropping is bound to bring a
smile to the face of a nine-year-old.
Don’t be afraid to explore and write your own
ceremonies! And make it PHUN!
Sean Scott is the Cub Scout
Roundtable Commissioner, Cub Scout Training Chairman and Cubmaster in the
Tahquitz District, California Inland Empire Council
The Cubmaster is the center of
the skit. He or she goes to center stage while another adult "runs the show."
This adult begins by introducing the Cubmaster and explaining the important role
he/she plays. This is emphasized by handling over a dozen eggs—fragile, young
Then the fun begins. The talker continues to explain that
the Cubmaster also has other responsibilities, especially as there isn't enough
adult support to make things happen. Depending on the open positions and just
how much you want to drive home the point, either use only the open positions or
use a bunch of different positions. For each "job," the talker hands over a
symbol of the task described. Some examples that are fun.
Pack Trainer - Ace Bandage
Treasurer - Cash box
Secretary - Paper & pencil
Ride Coordinator - Large Toy car
Advancement - Large badges on cardboard
PR person - Camera
I think you get the picture.
Anyway, after overflowing the Cubmaster with all sorts of jobs, the talker stops
and says "Unless you help, he's going to drop those eggs." Then he/she starts
taking the symbols from the Cubmaster and hands them out to the people in the
You could do this with hats or
packs with labels for the positions, too.
The person who submitted
this told us -
The last time we did this, the people who had been given the symbols
came up after the meeting expecting and accepting that they had been given these
new jobs! I tell you, this works!
Materials found in Baloo's Bugle may be used by Scouters for Scouting activities provided that Baloo's Bugle and the original contributors are cited as the source of the material.