U. S. Scouting Service Project at http://www.usscouts.org



Volume 5 Issue 2
September 1998

SCHOOL NIGHT FOR SCOUTING

Recently in my district of Chicasaw, Greater Alabama Council I was one of the trainers who worked up a presentation on School Night for Scouting. Derrick, my District Director, gave me a School Night for Scouting booklet (syllabus!)to follow. I then took a page from a flip chart and had the word "PROMOTE" all over it in different fonts (only visual aid I could come up with.) I hung it on the podium in front of me. I started my presentation with the words "If you build it, they will come." I'm glad I saw the movie "Field of Dreams

A Baloo's Bugle Feature Story Training Tip
A Baloo's Bugle Feature Story Tiger Scouts
A Baloo's Bugle Feature Story Pre-Opening Activities
A Baloo's Bugle Feature Story Opening Ceremonies
A Baloo's Bugle Feature Story Leader Ideas
A Baloo's Bugle Feature Story Songs
A Baloo's Bugle Feature Story Slides
A Baloo's Bugle Feature Story Audience Participation
A Baloo's Bugle Feature Story Advancement
A Baloo's Bugle Feature Story Games
A Baloo's Bugle Feature Story Fun Foods
A Baloo's Bugle Feature Story Stunts
A Baloo's Bugle Feature Story Skits
A Baloo's Bugle Feature Story Closing Ceremony
A Baloo's Bugle Feature Story Webelos Showman
A Baloo's Bugle Feature Story Webelos Scientish
A Baloo's Bugle Feature Story Web Links
What follows is the what I used to present this promotion.

Each unit should sit down in Aug. or earlier ( Annual Pack Planning Conference) and plan out the entire year's program based on the twelve monthly themes, set up your budget and determine the objectives for the year. Advance preparation ensures a well-rounded program of fun, variety, action, and purpose. Incoming families will like seeing what the pack program is about. Having a calendar of pack activities to give to your parents will show that your pack is well run and will be an asset in the development of their son's growth. Also, at the pack planning conference choose a school night coordinator for your School Rally. The School Night Coordinator and Rallymasters are short term jobs that should be included in list of positions that need to be filled on a yearly basis to "help the pack grow."

As a coordinator you will be in charge of these duties:
Boy Talks at schools
School Night for Scouting fliers get sent out on time.
Posters in school, businesses, churches, etc.
Boys wear uniforms day of school rally.
Parents who are leaders have lunch with their son on day of rally wearing leader uniform.
Have messages put on the marquees at schools and businesses, subdivision.
If your pack has a web site announce it there and put the URL on your fliers.
Pack set up pinewood derby, pushmobile or some kind of activity after school during the week prior to School Night.
Cubs do the school or PTA flag ceremony prior to School Night
PA announcement in school on day of rally.
Articles in local newspapers, subdivisions newsletters, as well as school and church newsletters.
Spots on local radio stations-Derrick and I worked on this. We are trying to take full advantage of all the free publicity we can get as should your pack. Set up a display in you local school, community center, bank, store or church. Plaster information around town about your program. Get your sign up night date out to all that you can.
Shoe polish messages on Pack family cars when they drop off and pick up their kids at school. Leave answering machine messages. Boys in den meeting make yard signs and then place them out in their own yard.
Chalk messages on sidewalk. There are links for recipes for sidewalk chalk in my Web Sites area.
Mayoral proclamation in your town.
Fliers in or messages on grocery bags.
Banners or portable sign on well traveled roads.

Rallymaster

A rallymaster is a parent or two or even three that will go into the classrooms and talk to the boys about their packs. No one can do it as well as they can since they know their pack best. If you want more boys in your pack, the enthusiasm of the Rallymasters is going to make the difference. If your rallymasters don't show that Cub Scout spirit, the kids and parents will be looking somewhere else. You will spend about 5 - 7 minutes in each classroom getting the boys excited about the pack program. The time you spend in each classroom shouldn't be long it just has to be enthusiastic. You need to let them know some of the activities done by your dens, pack, district and council.

The Big Night Has Arrived - School Night

Set up your sign up night with different items for the boys and their families to see what Cub Scouting offers. Items such as: pack calendar, pictures, pinewood derby cars, patches boys have earned, the American, pack and den flags, crafts the Cubs have done, possibly a mock camp site set up. Any items that tell what your pack is about. What follows are some ideas that were compiled from Stephanie, a Cub Scout RT member in Maryland.. She got all this great information from Scouters who are on Scouts-L.

SCHOOL NIGHT FOR SCOUTING IDEAS
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Set up about 6 "Olympics" stations (frisbee throw, toss dice into pan, etc.). Make lots of medals ahead of time, and make sure each boy gets one. Ask a few Boy Scouts to come (in uniform, of course) to help with the games and to talk to the kids about their experiences in scouts. (This would also give the boy scouts a sample of what being a Den Chief would be like and possibly get them interested in participating in that program.) If you have enough helpers, you can offer both active and non-active games and let the children choose which they want to do. We usually brought a pinewood derby track and several cars and let the boys race them. It always worked. One year one of the den chiefs was wearing his patch vest and many boys spent the entire time listening to him describe the activities that went with the patches. Have the boys put on a play. I used to like "The World's Ugliest Man." Very funny play. Rehearse them, and then have them stage it for the parents. Agent X is a lot of fun, too. A good gathering activity. The "turtle" races, with a wooden cutout of a turtle on a string (from the Cub Scout Leader's How-To Book) are always very popular. Another idea is to bring in some big cardboard boxes, provide plenty of tape, coloring or paint, and an adult to cut doors and such with a box-cutter or utility knife: let the kids go to town on making a fort, castle, maze, or whatever. After that, they can get inside and play tank. For the last several years my troop has assisted our local cub pack with their back-to school night. The pack has a opening ceremony which is then followed by the new cubs leaving the hall and going into another hall/school gym. We have some boy scouts who set up 4-5 round robin stations. We split the kids up, and they get about 6-10 minutes at each station. By splitting the kids up into smaller groups, it makes things easier to control. Stations can be basic first aid, simple knots, fun games, etc. -- basic skills that the kids have to join in and do. This gives the pack leaders some quiet time to talk turkey with the parents. The pack leaders like it, and the kids (scouts & cubs) think it's great.

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What always works for us is some physical activity. We usually have our bicycle rodeo then. Kids love it and see how much fun we have. From Ed Dunn's District Executive Survival Guide:
(1) Have a paper airplane contest.
(2) Make up a list of possible outings and activities, being sure to include things that the Pack (or dens) has done in the past. Give the list to the boys and ask them to circle the ones they would most like to do. (Some of the activities will have a cost associated with them, and should be marked accordingly: $, $$ or $$$; there should only be a few with multiple dollar signs.) This list will give the boys an idea of what Cub Scouts do, and can also be used to help recruit adult leaders by showing them concrete ideas for activities to organize (it's the unknown that scares most of them off).

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From Stephanie in the Four River Disticts, Maryland

Some of the games and activities we've done include:
Pass the hula hoop around the circle Supplies: hula hoops
Divide the kids into 2 or 3 equal groups; each group forms a circle holding hands, with one pair reaching through a hula hoop. On the signal, they must pass the hula hoop all the way around the circle without letting go. (The smaller kids get a kick out of this, because for once they have an *advantage* over the big kids because they fit through the hoop easier!)
Wrestling clothespins
Supplies: wooden clothespins (round ones are best); crayons or markers; sturdy rubber bands; shoe-box tops (optional) Have each child decorate a clothespin to look like a person, then find a partner to wrestle. Wrap a rubber band around the pair of clothespins once or twice, then twist one clothespin several times to wind the band up tight between them (be sure to count the twists so every match is equal). Carefully place the pins into the shoe-box-top "ring" and let go. They will twist and jump (to the players' delight); when they stop, the one on top is the winner. Repeat as many times as you have patience for! Circle knot (or whatever it's called)
Supplies: none.
Using 6-10 people, make a circle. Everyone puts their left hand into the circle (don't hold hands). Then reach in with your right hand and take the left hand of anybody *except* the people beside you. Now, without letting go, untangle the knot. (Have one or two adults or helpers to work with the children and be sure nobody gets too rambuctious.) You should end up back in the original circle (or maybe with two interlinked circles). Teaches cooperation and teamwork; can be done as a race, but I find it works better without the pressure of competition. Sing action songs, like "Kentucky Fried Chicken and a Pizza Hut"; "I Don't Care If I Go Crazy (1-2-3-4-5-6-Switch)"; "Head, Shoulders, Knees, & Toes", etc. The zanier the better! We have some of our second-year Webelos act as helpers. Have them wear full regalia (patch vest and everything) -- the younger kids are really impressed by all the stuff they have on their uniforms, plus it gives them something to talk about, explaining what each patch or award is for (which can be helpful as an ice breaker). (Be sure to select Webelos that are going to be *helpers* and not ones that would just contribute to the chaos!)
Our "Back to School Night" is generally the first meeting back after summer vacation to get all our kids involved in the pack again. Last year we had a carnival theme with several different games and relays. Most of them we took directly from the Cub Scout Leader How-To Book (Pack Activities, Rainy-Day Field Day) and the MacScouter's Big Book of Games. Here's a list of some of the things we did:
1) Bowling for Spuds (MacScouter's Big Book of Games)
Need 9" balloons, paper cups, beans or rice, tape & potatoes. Put some beans in the cup for weight, blow up the balloon & tape it to the cup. Bowl with the potato. Gotta watch to be sure they roll the potatoes and don't throw them.
2) Panty hose race (Cub Scout Leader How-To Book) Need several pairs of panty hose. Teams of 2 race to put on the pantyhose and then race across the room & back. We even had leaders doing this one!
3) Twenty-Foot Relay (Cub Scout Leader How-To Book) Need lemons & sticks. Relay teams use a stick to roll lemons down a course & back.
4) Fluff (Cub Scout Leader How-To Book)
Need paper plates & feathers A race carrying a plate of feathers a certain distance & back without dropping any. They must pick up any they drop before continuing.
5) Bean race (source unknown) Need beans, toothpicks, bottles. Boys place beans, one at a time in a bottle To top it all off, we had an ice cream booth where everyone who wanted it could have a scoop of ice cream. It was a big hit with most of the pack showing up and having a good time.
In 1994 we held a Carnival at the local school IN conjunction with School Night. Are You Kidding? you might say. Nay, would be the reply. FAMILIES join Cub Scouting, not just the boy. Moms will come with Johnny. I Want To Join, but if she is single Mom, or Dad is at the salt mines, who's going to watch or attend to siblings?? We smooth-talked the school into a "Welcome Back Carnival", split the costs 50-50, then got local business people to buy ads in the homemade "School Night Flyers" that were a thread off of the stuff National cranked out. While Johnny, et al were shrieking and laughing, we coffeed and cookied the Moms and Dads... out of 63 known families who were there, we ended up with 58, many of whom have recently graduated. The catch line for the Carnival..."If You Think THIS is Fun, Wait'll You Join Cub Scouts!"




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