You may have recently seen my poll asking if you would like a website that provides all the tools to plan an outdoor adventure. Listings would include campgrounds, hiking trails, attractions, geocahces, tours, lodging, restaurants, fishing spots, and much more. The site will be fully searchable by location. When you are viewing a campground for example you will also be able to easily find out about museums, amusement parks, stores, trails, restaurants, etc in the area. Listing will include seven day weather forcasts, possibly promotions / coupons, among other information. Yes, you will even be able to post comments. In a nut shell the idea is kind of like a virtual AAA or orbits type website but for those who camp and do road trips.
I have received some questions like why would Scouts be interested in restaurants and hotels. Well you wouldn't necessaryly be, but this site will be for anyone who likes to explore the great outdoors. I am just approaching Scouters to see what you all think of the idea.
If you have not already done so, please take the poll here http://twtpoll.com/r/5hahvb until June 16, 2009 when it closes.
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The Boy Scouts offer books and advice for sitratng new units, including step-by-step outlines of the first few meetings.However- my advice would be to find a partner or three who have kids. Between the three-four of you, plan on opening whatever unit their kids need- although all things being equal, Cubs is actually easier.One of you- the most emcee-like' person, the most personable and motivating- is the Cubmaster. The most organized is the Committee Chair. Find someone in the host organization that will be the Charter Organization Rep- the liason between you and the host. Now all you really need is a couple of Den Leaders and you have the management of the pack ready to go.Go through the Quick Start training and hook into the local monthly district training sessions. You'll get a lot of good ideas there, and get some networking done.Recruit. Advertise the heck out of this in the school, church, and neighborhood. Flyers, newsletters, etc. The question is- what to advertise? Yeah, it is a cub pack and all that, but what can you do special to attract people? Food is nice. Local celebs are good. Fire trucks, military stuff, all helpful. Freebies are great as well. Make it a party!First few meetings? Have a plan- spend as little time as possible in the meetings planning stuff or talking at all. I like this structure: do a meeting a week- the last meeting per month is a Pack Meeting of everyone. 2 meetings are den meetings, and one is a den activity away from the usual meeting place. If there are 5 meetings in a month, I like to do something special for the other meeting, like a group bowling night.Have a Pack Meeting to get started. Have a cool flag ceremony- Marines, Boy Scouts, someone cool. Introduce the program and leaders, then break into dens by grade levels. Do something in each den- discuss uniforming, talk about where/when the den meetings will be, then DO SOMETHING from the book- something quick, hands on, and interesting. I would make a neckerchief slide.Regroup as a pack and talk about next month's pack meeting- what the grand theme is and what each Cub should do for it. Among other things, you should aim for each Cub to earn the Bobcat Award by then if possible. Close, snacks, newsletter, go.Key Points:- Have a plan- overplan- plan for 2 hours of activities for every hour of meeting time.- Talk to the youth as little as possible. Them doing something is a million times better than them listening to you. They get lectures in school.- Treat your leaders like they are royalty. Build money into the dues to cover their training, patches, awards, etc. Provide good food at all meetings. Make the program as family friendly as possible.- Use the BSA whenever possible. Training, support meetings, commissioners, district and council activities, etc.- There are a lot of non-BSA resources as well- websites, books, etc.
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