Put Pizzazz in Pack Meetings



When scouts have fun, they want to keep coming back.

Wow! That was fun!!

To succeed, remember this simple rule:

"Keep It Short & Simple - Make It Fun" (KISSMIF)

and use VARIETY." To achieve this goal, advance planning is critical. As you plan your pack meeting, consider the following:

arrowpt.gif - 0.9 K Plan your meetings well in advance using themes or special activities as focal points.
arrowpt.gif - 0.9 K Confirm the time and place of the meeting. Reserve meeting places well in advance.
arrowpt.gif - 0.9 K Make sure that someone is responsible for opening the meeting place ahead of time.
arrowpt.gif - 0.9 K Assign den responsibilities in advance; e.g. set-up, opening, skits, songs, stunts, closing, clean-up.
arrowpt.gif - 0.9 K Make sure that arrangements are made for transporting displays, props, special equipment, etc.
arrowpt.gif - 0.9 K Make sure that awards, badges, pins, etc. are ready for presentation before the meeting.
arrowpt.gif - 0.9 K Try to have displays set up before the meeting.
arrowpt.gif - 0.9 K Have a gathering activity planned and use it when scouts arrive.
arrowpt.gif - 0.9 K Conduct an Opening Ceremony that is serious and impressive.
arrowpt.gif - 0.9 K While you have the scene set, transition to introductions and inductions.
They are ready - are you?
arrowpt.gif - 0.9 K Build spirit with den cheers, den reports, rousing songs and group activities.
arrowpt.gif - 0.9 K Entertain with skits, stunts, songs, and games.
Ham it Up!
arrowpt.gif - 0.9 K Take time to recognize pack and den accomplishments.
arrowpt.gif - 0.9 K Have a Webelos Den demonstrate something related to an activity badge.Boys Like Recognition
arrowpt.gif - 0.9 K Use a song, story, or other device to transition the group to a serious setting.
arrowpt.gif - 0.9 K Present awards and recognitions with an impressive ceremony.
Make Memories that Last a Lifetime
arrowpt.gif - 0.9 K Give special recognition to special accomplishments.
arrowpt.gif - 0.9 K Recognize adult contributions - thank yous and special awards.
arrowpt.gif - 0.9 K Give a very few words on coming events (give details in handouts, newsletters)
arrowpt.gif - 0.9 K Have a scouter's minute - leave the scouts with something to ponder
arrowpt.gif - 0.9 K Conduct a closing ceremony.
arrowpt.gif - 0.9 K Serve refreshments (optional).
arrowpt.gif - 0.9 K Clean-up the meeting site and leave it as good as or better than you found it.
arrowpt.gif - 0.9 K Evaluate and plan an even better meeting next time.

Short is better!





Date: Tue, 18 Nov 1997 08:48:32 -0700
From: Kelly Parker
Subject: Re: Boring Pack Meetings

Thanks to Mike Bowman for really laying out the format for a top-notch Pack Meeting. For Jim and Terry, you aren't the only ones with this problem. I had to improvise for our Cub Leader breakout at RT last week, and we ended up talking about just this: what goes into a Pack meeting. Great discussion, and the leaders felt it was one of the best sessions ever. (Warm fuzzies for me!) Probably the most important job that a good Pack meeting does is that it gets everyone excited about the NEXT event. Den Leaders who have just had the "meeting from the dark side" gain new energy when their boys pull together on a silly stunt at the last minute. Parents see the fun--and want to help make it happen. Boys laugh at skits, listen to the Cubmaster minute, and love the attention--and want MORE.

My guess would be that 99% of the people on the list are here because of the support--and the Pack Meeting is one link in the chain of support which includes RT, PowWow, Training, Wood Badge, and the folks at the Council Service center. You may end up being the Cubmaster. It is not a bad job for an old ham like myself, and there are a million Scouters with broad shoulders to help hold you up. Start slow--add a song, get dens to show off, do skits, start traditions. Get TRAINED! Go to Roundtable! Then KISSMIF. It'll be great.

YiS-- Kelly Parker
CM, Pack 43 MC,Troop 110 MC, GSUSA Junior/Brownie Troop 2026
Firebird District Camelback Neighborhood,
Cactus-Pine Council
Grand Canyon Council "I used to be an eagleI"
Phoenix, AZ W-CS-41

Date: Tue, 18 Nov 1997 08:07:29 -0500
From: William Deady
Subject: Re: Cub Problem

Hello all,

This is my first post in many months, but had to jump on this one. Our pack is going thru the same thing right now.

The pack is about 120 boys. (I know, too big, but that's another issue) At our first meeting we had a pretty good turn out. That meeting lasted all of 26 minutes. I think there was one skit and then some awards. Only a few boys who were getting their Bobcat badges were brought up front with their parents. All other awards, points, pins, loops, etc., were handed out to the boys in a small brown envelope (WHERE THEY SAT!!) while the pack advancement chair read who they were and what they got. NO! NO! NO!!!!

After that there were a few announcements and then the closing. At our next meeting we had about 45 out of 120 show up. And I don't blame the ones who didn't. That meeting was even worse, lasting about 22.5 minutes. You should have seen the looks on boys and parents and Scouters faces. We were all wondering why we came. I left that second meeting breathing fire. I called the CC and let him know what I thought of it and told him that I would step up as CM RIGHT NOW. That hasn't happened yet, but the CC is meeting with the CM and the two ACM's this week to hopefully improve things. We have people who are ready to go to other packs if things aren't inproved. Some are people who have been with the pack for 3-4 years. I am ready to go to another pack and this is our 4th year with this pack. The pack has new leadership, which is where the problem is.

There are so many things that can be done at pack meetings that will kee p the boys coming back for more. How about skits, songs, and silly stuff. You can start your pack meeting, after the flag ceremony, with a pack cheer. I don't know if you know the Boom Chicka Boom cheer, but the variations are limited only by your imagination. You can have various leaders interrupt the CM with some silly thing, the boys love it. How about some really awful scout jokes, the worse the joke, the more the boys love it. Have an adult leader come to your uniform inspection with the worst uniform you think of, shirt buttoned wrong, different color socks, neckerchief on backwards/sideways, different color epulets (did I spell that right?), you get the idea. The boys love it. Notice a theme here? That's right, "the boys love it". Isn't that why we do this?? If your meetings aren't fun, they won't come back.

Please keep us posted as to what happens. I will do the same.

Bill Deady
Assistant WEBELOS Den Leader
Daniel Webster Council Webmaster
visit our site at:

Date: Tue, 18 Nov 1997 08:50:32 -0500
From: "David F. Delman"
Subject: Cub Problem
To: Multiple recipients of list SCOUTS-L

Yes It happens.

Scouting at the Cub and the BoyScout Level is variable as heck and can change in a particular pack or troop in one year due to PEOPLE called adults who are just "winging" it. Just look at the fantastic information our Mr Mike B gave you in the flash of an internet MICROsecond.

Scouting has piles of stuff from books, to videos, meeting aids, organizational aids, songs, skits, training for adults, paid and volunteer scouters huffa huff!! It is the job of the adult leaders in the chartering organization and pack or troop to use the stuff where it fits to build a robust program. "Build It (a great program) and they will come (again and again)"

I have been in a Troop/Pack where each Monthly Cub Event was bursting at the seems with enthusiasm. It was hard to get the BoyScouts DenChiefs to go to their sitting Boy Scout meeting when the cubs were having such a blast. In another the grade school auditorium couldn't hold all the people and running cubs.

Both packs succeeded because of a few spirited adults who wanted to make meetings a blast, and they succeeded fantastically.

As an IDEA

Give a call to your DE (District Executive) and ask him for the location of a local humming cub pack. Go and visit it for one monthly meeting and you will think you were in the 50's or 90's.

Then go get a few of your adults, that want a blast, and visit together. Hey! if you want to copy them for awhile to reduce preparation time who is going to know other than you and that fun pack. Don't do it alone, and don't switch packs.

SECONDLY!! "I do so with some trepidation." Forget fear about asking or saying something stupid or smart unless you are a paid professional or breaking your council's policies in which case shivering is quite in order. Believe me if you or anyone says something unscoutsmanlike you or they will read it from the Lister Police i.e US and YOU.

YiS, IMHO, and may we each attempt to live the SO,SL,SS,SM

Mr Dave (Hawleyton, NY (Susquenango Council))

Date: Wed, 17 Sep 1997 15:57:26 -0500
From: James D Wellborn 325 795 2010
Subject: Asst. CM's &Presenting
To: Multiple recipients of list SCOUTS-L

WOW, 2 Asst. CM's and not just on paper..... Your CM needs to make sure to develop your experience and resource efficiently and effectively. Having at one time been CM and Awards for a Pack of 100+, letme see what the top of my head has (fewer hairs....)

The awards time was made easier by having all awards sorted by den and type (the more difficult the achievement the later on it was delivered with the rank awards being the last of the evening). The ONLY benefit of my being both was knowing what was coming ahead of that night and printing up an agenda for the order and who got what in that order.

One of your Asst. CM's could be the "point man" making sure the CM is handed the right award with the right name in an appropriate (whatever y'all determine) order. Laying it all out on a table, in order also helped.

Noisy parents and siblings became a problem more when I had fewer activities that involved them. When I did a sitting hearing activity and follow it with a moving (standing up & down or bending to a silly story) or an audiance participation story (as the ones in SPARKLERS) they had avenues to vent their restlessness. Admittedly, as the Pack got gargantuan and the meetings drew big crowds (B&G, Christmas desserts, graduation) crowd noice was a challenge and as you mentioned, usually from non-Scout attendees. When the Cubs are "Sign's Up" attending and it's the non Scouts disrupting, the nonScouts seemed to feel they had licence to be discouteous for all but their own child...(herumph, herumphhh) Maybe one of the Asst. CM wandering in the back "mentioning" sign's up and the importance of being courteous role models or something to that affect. As more Cubs were involved, the more time for awards and the less time for activity (bummer)

I'm now CC and WDL getting ready to crossover in January. The new CM was the CM long ago and has plans that sound great and very involving. We'll have our first Pack Meeting of the season in about 2 weeks. We'll meet at a school and use their sound system. The first one's always a biggee and then soccer season kicks in and attendance fluctuates.

Maybe during the nonpresenting times if the Asst. CM (CA ?) wander the edges and have part of the program (a story, a song, a something) and the CM bounces activity times back and forth for their part(s) (kind of a theater in the sur-round) it would help with the back rows audience area.

If the rest of the parents see that you two have managable jobs and are the bad guys, you might find more Asst. CM's when the time comes.

Take advantage of the exposure and experience you have available. Most of the time, when I was on the platform, I was only remotely aware of the ripples in the audience unless it was a planned part of the program. You Asst. CMs as wanderers may get a completely different perspective.

An asst. CM might set up a QUESTIONS AND MAYBE ANSWERS TABLE during the pre and post times, but not during presentations, skits, etc. One suggestion I found useful was to announce (if any of you are singing now QUIT IT ;-]) and point out 5x8 cards on a table by the stage area. Those having a question or request but not the desire or time to stand in line could write

the request down and leave it in my question box (w/ name and phone #) and I'd or the appropriate person would get back to them. Made that part easier on everyone.

I entered as the CM with my Tiger Cub son, wore several hats and a few nights ago assisted with 3 Board of Reviews wit the Troop he's/we's crossing over to. I've done the SMF but the information I've gleened off this list and assorted web sites have helped beyond imagination. I'm looking so forward to a strong Cub finish and an already fine Boy Scout start.

My thanks to all.

Jim Wellborn Gulf Ridge Council Crystal River, Florida

Date: Thu, 18 Sep 1997 08:44:14 CDT
From: Barry C Runnels
Subject: Asst. Cubmaster
To: Multiple recipients of list SCOUTS-L

>75 boys which most were quick active over the summer.This caused numerous >awards (2 Bobcat ranks, numerous Summertime Activity pins, Tiger Tracks, >Webelos pins, camp awards, etc.) to be presented which is good, but time >consuming.

Hi Dave. There is several ways to help this along. One of the things our Pack traditionally did during September was have a Bobcat Campfire a weekend after the first Pack Meeting. It gives us a chance to get the Pack going on a positive note, give the Bobcats their awards, listen to stories, sing, skits and camp out if possible.

Put a priority on your awards. Is there some awards like belt loops that could be given at the Den meetings then the CM could mention their names at the Pack meeting or in the news letter.

Break up the awards with skits. I had a rule never give more than two sets of awards without a skit or song to break them up. There is nothing wrong with starting the meeting with giving the Tigers their paws.

Have story or song to introduce the award. I once had an American Indian (he preferred that over Native American) father who started everyone in a Indian Celebration Dance during the Wolves awards. The parents are still talking about that one.

Get all the Scouts involved. Get them to say a cheer or the Scouts name when he and his parents are called up. "CRY OF THE WOLF, STRENGTH OF THE BEAR, WEBELOS"

Another thing I did at the beginning of the meeting is I told the Scouts when I hold my arms straight out, they were to clap, but if I held them up then the were to clap and cheer LOUDLY while stomping their feet. Then we practiced a little (actually a lot). When things like announcements, awards or uniform inspections got a little long, I would raise my arms. Keeps them on their toes and they get to do what the do best.

The important thing here is put yourself in their shoes, does this seem boring? then change it or get rid of it. This Scouting stuff has got to be FUN, FUN, FUN.

It takes a little practice but once you get the hang of it you will keep their attention most of the meeting and you will only need one leader up front. With that many ACMs, you all plan different parts of the meeting.

I think your doing a great job. You recognize there is a problem and your seeking solutions. That is 80% of the solution. Keep up the good work Dave.

Barry Runnels
"Mighty" Pack 339

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