Thinking Like a Cub Scout Leader--What exactly does the statement "Thinking like a Cub Scout Leader" mean? It is not only planning a weekly den meeting and having games and crafts with a bunch of 7 - 10 year olds. It is much more than that. To help you get started with this new way of thinking, you first need to build a foundation. Get the "Fast Start Tape" from your district/council or Unit Commissioner and watch it. Our district is offering a night that you can get together with trainers and other leaders to watch Fast Start at the Scout Office.|
So, what's next? Basic Cub Leader training is your next step in having a great program for your scouts. After learning the Aims, Purposes, Methods and expectations of how to run a successful den/pack, it's time to apply your new knowledge. Remember: Scouting is Fun with a purpose. You will remember from your training that one of the methods used is advancement. Suppose you are working on Achievement 8 in the Wolf Book. You can use a simple recipe like the pancake recipe found at the Fun Foods area of the Bugle. Provide your parents with the pancake recipe to allow their Cubs to make breakfast. After making the pancakes, and cleaning up after their breakfast, voila, requirement 8D is done. And go ahead and have your families plan and make a Chuckwagon dinner, Requirement 8E--Done!
Other fun ways to approach achievements are field trips. The United States Post Office offers many attractive, interesting stamps. Right now there is an American Bobcat stamp that costs $2.00. Call your local Postmaster or Station Manager and set up a tour of the facility for your Cubs. (Yay, field trip!!) Be sure to tell the person setting up the tour that you would like information from your guide on stamp collecting. Potentially, you are meeting Requirement 6A. Not all Cubs will be interested in collecting stamps, though, so be sure to offer opportunities for other items to collect.
When my boys were Bears, each month one was assigned various duties. These duties worked perfectly with certain requirements. For instance, each month a Bear needed to make and bring cookies for snack at our meeting--Requirement 9B. With the Blond Brownie recipe (see Fun Foods) Bears can make these and earn Requirement 9F. When our son worked on this one he used a box mix of brownies. The brownies turned out to be flat and hard, not even close to brownies. Remembering Requirement 17E, he wrote the company explaining that even though he followed the recipe (Mom was watching) the brownies were inedible. The company responded by sending him additional coupons with a letter as to what might have happened during his attempt at making brownies. Even though he was disappointed in his first brownie making attempt, the letter from that company excited him and made that baking experience positive; the coupons for the brownies excited me!
During Committee Meetings for your pack/unit, volunteer your den to do an opening flag ceremony, skit, song or closing. Going through the rank books, you will find different ways to meet achievements. Advancement is just one of the methods used in our program. Other equally important methods are learned through training.
Be sure to communicate to the families of your Cubs on ways to help their sons earn achievements. Being trained, using your resources i.e., Roundtable, Scouting Magazine and its program helps, the Wolf, Bear and Webelos rank books are all resources that should be used to learn How To Think Like A Cub Scout Leader. Being a little partial, I think Baloo's Bugle is a pretty good resource too.
Above all, remember when delivering the program to your Cub Scouts to KISMIF (Keep It Simple, Make It Fun).
Sorry!! I covered the wrong themes for the Webelos, and for this I apologize . For the next two issues, I will do the Citizen Activity Badge due to the fact the Scientist Activity Badge was covered in its monthly slots. Then I will "Do My Best" in getting the right themes when they are scheduled.
Materials found in Baloo's Bugle may be used by Scouters for Scouting activities provided that USSSP, Baloo's Bugle and the original contributors are cited as the source of the material.