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Baloo's Bugle

June 2006 Cub Scout Roundtable Issue

Volume 12, Issue 11
July 2006 Theme

Theme: Red, White and Baloo
Webelos: Aquanaut & Geologist
Tiger Cub


Good Plans Make Strong Packs

Bill Smith, the Roundtable Guy

Packs are, or will be, planning their programs for the coming year. Program Helps are usually in stock at Scout Shops by May. Council Calendars are available at Roundtables. Get them and use them.
Get as many people as possible involved in the planning. Hold it on the day and time when most will attend. Consider a breakfast meeting or a weekend barbecue. Mail postcards, and phone or email everyone.

Good Plans Make Strong Packs
Here are some things to consider in your planning.

  • Keep your pack financially sound. Make sure you plan a budget at the same time. Ensure that you have a full financial team: your treasurer, money raising chair, pop-corn chair and Friends of Scouting representative. Encourage them to work as a team.
  • Plan your roundup. You will need a roundup chair, and probably a new Tiger Den Leader or two. Who will check with the schools or church where you recruit to set the dates for school visits and roundup nights. Assign several people to attend the District Roundup Kickoff ( usually in late August.) The more who attend, the better chances you will have to recruit the leaders you will need next fall.
  • Plan a special event for every month. A visit, a party, a service project . These maintain excitement from month to month and take a load off den leaders. Assign one or more parents (NOT den leaders) to head up each event. A successful method is to allow parents to choose the month and event on a first-come-first-served basis. Their jobs are to arrange the details, set up any transportation needed, process tour permits and lead the event. These are once-a-year jobs that shouldn't overtax most parents, but are very important to the success of your pack's program.
  • Don't let anyone leave until every boy has a parent doing something important for his pack. Every boy should have the chance to be proud of his mom or dad.
  • Invent jobs if you have to. Announce (with appropriate fanfare) all the names at your next pack meeting and print your schedule - with names - in your pack news letter or web site. If you don't have either, there is another job!

Save a few jobs for the parents you will recruit in September.

Planning for Success

What does success mean? What will make your pack successful in the eyes of you and your fellow leaders. I surely can’t tell you and neither can your Commissioner or your DE. Choosing your goals is totally up to you and your people.

What do you want for your pack this coming year? Do you want more advancement or more camping?  Maybe it’s better parent participation or more assistant leaders or Den Chiefs. Some packs may want exciting pack meetings or just more meaningful ceremonies. Others may want better retention or more Webelos going on to Boy Scouts. How about earning a Summertime Pack Award or becoming a Quality Unit? What will satisfy your gang?

Setting goals is important. If you all agree on where your pack is heading, it makes it a lot easier to get there.

Planning to Reach Success

What will it take to reach these goals? Start with resources: people, Program helps, Cub Scout How-To Book, Council and Chartered Organization calendars, Guide to Safe Scouting and any other favorite tools.

Here are some of the questions asked at the Root River District Roundtable in the Milwaukee County Council:

  • How do you develop & publish your annual plan?
  • What kind of outings can a Pack/Den do?
  • What are some resources for Den & Pack ceremonies?
  • What kind of service projects are appropriate for the Pack?
  • How can we encourage advancement?
  • What are some methods for dealing with behavior problems?
  • What type of activities are appropriate for Cub Scouts?

Selecting Pack Leadership

  • How can we recruit adult leaders?
    • Field Trips & Tour Permits
    • Advancement & Ceremonies
    • Religious Awards;
    • Preventing Leader Burnout
    • Cub Outdoor Activity Award;
    • BALOO Training
    • Blue & Gold Dinne
  • Do we need:
    • Advancement Chair
    • Secretary/Treasurer
    • Rechartering Coordinator
    • Special Events Coordinator
    • Outings Coordinator

Themes - How do they help?

Themes can make your pack and den programs easier and more fun. They can trigger ideas for ceremonies, skits, costumes, and activities.  A theme provides structure and continuity for an entire month’s program. A huge advantage of using the recommended themes is that you will find a lot of support in Program Helps, Boy’s Life, and your district Roundtable.

Remember themes are there to support your pack and den activities. If you feel that the theme is restricting the fun and excitement then that one isn’t working for you. Choose themes with care. Not all themes work for all packs in all months nor in all parts of the country. When I visited a Roundtable in Florida, I was surprised to learn that planning good summertime programs involved more discussion of air-conditioned bowling alleys that good outdoor locations. They preferred to camp in January and I could hardly blame them.  A good theme should excite the boys and stimulate lots of imaginative activities amongst the leaders. Don’t be afraid to juggle the schedule to fit your weather, your boys and your community.

And not every activity has to be theme oriented.  I am often disappointed by efforts to mess up a good fun Cub Scout song by rewriting the words to fit the current theme.


Good packs have lots of special activities: Service projects, tours and visits, hikes, and campouts. What are the good nearby places? I enjoy surfing pack websites and I am continually amazed at the variety and quality of the pack activities I see in their pack calendars and photo galleries. 

Remember for your new leaders – Fast Start training and Youth Protection training is available on-line -

Fast Start training: http://www.scouting.org/cubscouts/faststart/

Youth Protection Online: http://www.scouting.org/pubs/ypt/ypt.jsp


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