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Baloo's Bugle

April 2006 Cub Scout Roundtable Issue

Volume 12, Issue 9
May 2006 Theme

Theme: Diggin' in the Dirt
Webelos: Outdoorsman and Handyman
Tiger Cub


Are You A Ziploc Pack???
Sean Scott, Council Marketing Chairman, Webmaster
California Inland Empire Council

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 earn?

(I, unfortunately, have seen even the Arrow of Light presented Baggie style with other badges in the bag – baseball loop, activity award, … and no ceremony.  That Cubmaster is now a RT regular and a great presenter.  CD)

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 program!

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 you started:

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 recognition!

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 effect.

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!

For the next several months the Pack Admin section will be featuring articles by Sean Scott.  Sean is the Cub Scout Roundtable Commissioner, Cub Scout Training Chairman and Cubmaster in the Tahquitz District, California Inland Empire Council.  He was one of the Scouters that stepped forward when www.usscouts.org had a major crash a few years ago and posted Baloo’s Bugle on the web for others.  Check his scouting website, http://scouting.argentive.com for great helps and his unique incites into improving Pack Operations.  His “Stop Having Pack Meetings,” Baptist Minister Style is one of my favorites for use at Pow Wow.

Leader Recognition

This is a great time of year to recognize all your leaders and committee people and others for their hard work all year.  Here are some suggestions for simple but meaningful recognitions.

Den Leader Tribute

Heart of America Council

  • For demonstrating the ability to cope with extraordinarily high decibel level of noise;
  • For maintaining a non-fatalistic attitude when being assigned 3 diagnosed and 5 suspected hypertensives;
  • For developing the ability to count noses with lightning speed while grabbing one by the ear, one by the sleeve and one by the belt;
  • For maintaining restraint when only whips and chains come to mind;
  • For developing in your family a taste for fast food den meeting days;
  • For learning that knowledge, creativity, and talent aren’t as important to your position as patience, patience, and patience;
  • For taking with great misgiving, a group of look-alike, nameless eager little boys and finding out how individual each really is, and how much you are growing with them.
  • For filling a special place in the lives of small boys by introducing them to the great movement known as Scouting;

We, the members of Pack _____, while realizing that recognition is not high on your list of priorities, still, offer you the Den Leader, our heartfelt thanks for all you do.

Leader Recognitions
Heart of America Council

Match Award: For the leader who may be getting burned out (2 matches, one lit and burned out.)  Both outside the cover so they stay together and mount saying “stick with it, don’t get burned out of Scouting”.

Pear Award: For a great “pair” (give a plastic pear) to the best husband and wife team.

Diamond on the Rough: Place a dime in the middle of a pot of sod.

Rope: Provide leader with a piece of rope with a note – “ To round up all the Cub Scouts for a meeting” or “for tying up all those loose ends”.

Raise In Pay: For the person who deserves a raise in pay – small box of raisins.

First Aid Award: For the person giving you aid when you need it (band-aid mounted).

Nuts About: Attach nuts to a plaque adding moveable eyes and smiles, for the leader who had to be “nuts” to take on a hard task.

A Leader’s Survival Kit
Baltimore Area Council

Everyone needs a survival kit, one to remind them of something beyond the everyday traps we fall into.  You can present one of these to your new leaders to let them know you care or to all leaders in a recognition ceremony.

A leader’s survival kit consists of”

  • A Toothpick
  • A Rubber Band
  • A Band-Aid A Pencil
  • An Eraser
  • Some Chewing Gum
  • Some Mints
  • Some Candy Kisses
  • A Tea Bag

Here’s why:

  • A toothpick to remind you to pick out the good qualities in others.
  • A rubber band to remind you to be flexible, things might not always go the way you want, but it will work out.
  • A band-aid to remind you to heal hurt feelings, yours or someone else’s.
  • A pencil to remind you to list your blessings everyday.
  • An eraser to remind you that everyone makes mistakes, and it’s okay.
  • Some chewing gum to remind you to stick with it and you can accomplish anything.
  • Some mints to remind you that you are worth a mint to your family, friends, and Scouts.
  • Some candy kisses to remind you that everyone needs a kiss or hug or kind word everyday.
  • A tea bag to remind you to relax daily and go over that list of your blessings.

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