March - April 2003
How packs can boost attendance during the summer
Edited by Robert Peterson
When pack treasurer J.S. asked for ways to stimulate participation in summertime pack and den activities, reader suggestions included focusing on family involvement and "thinking big" when planning special events.
Our pack maintains a good summer attendance rate with a blend of fun and exciting events for Cub Scouts and their families. One of the events is our first-rate district day camp. For other events, we focus more on interest and less on instruction.
Think big, and your summer program will be big. In June, our pack is sponsoring Cub Scout Night at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles for all Cub Scouts in southern California. For July, we have a family excursion to Yosemite National Park and in August, another family camping activity.
Packs are in competition with family vacations and other summer activities, so make sure your program is planned early so parents can put it on their schedule.
Two fundamentals of Cub Scouting are families and fun. Include families in your program and do something fun.
Last summer our pack held a fishing derby and picnic and signed up a bunch of new members. We gave derby certificates to everybody, including one for "most patience, least luck" to the only Cub Scout who didn't catch a fish.
One of our Webelos Scout dens went mountain biking in a state forest. Another den visited a local pizzeria and made their own minipizzas. A third den visited a crane service and its members were invited to see how to pick up a weight with a 100-ton crane.
We visited a fire station and practiced "stop, drop, and roll." We inspected an ambulance and checked our own heartbeat. We played softball in the town park.
Local amateur (ham) radio operators let the Cub Scouts talk to others all over the world. The boys rode horses at a stable and riding arena, and visited municipal court, a dentist's office, and a TV station.
We ask our pack's parents to think of people they know who would let us visit their workplace and see what they do. Once we have a contact person, it usually only takes a phone call or two to set up a fantastic den meeting. If your hosts are aware of Cub Scout advancement requirements, they are happy to tailor their presentation to fit your pack's needs.
Our pack had some fun activities last summer, including a water carnival with water balloon volleyball and swimming races.
We had a day working on wildlife conservation with stations for making birdhouses, taking a nature hike, and studying trees and animal tracks. We also had a weekend of family camping, and we held a raingutter regatta.
EDITOR'S NOTE: By planning and conducting a pack activity in June, July, and August, a Cub Scout unit can qualify for the National Summertime Pack Award certificate (BSA No. 33731A) and streamer (No. 17808).
Dens with an average attendance of at least half their members at the three summer pack events are eligible for a den participation ribbon (No. 17806). Individual boys who attend all three activities can receive the National Summertime Pack Award pin (No. 00464).
A sample National Summertime Pack Award planning guide (No. 33748A), which includes an application and activities tracking sheet, can be found on page 34-33 in the Cub Scout Leader Book (No. 33221B). For additional help in planning, see also Age-Appropriate Guidelines for Scouting Activities (No. 18-260) and Guide to Safe Scouting (No. 34416C).
March-April 2003 Table of Contents
Copyright © 2003 by the Boy Scouts of America. All rights thereunder reserved; anything appearing in Scouting magazine or on its Web site may not be reprinted either wholly or in part without written permission. Because of freedom given authors, opinions may not reflect official concurrence.