Have you ever had the horrible experience of discovering the refrigerator empty after inviting a house full of guests for the evening? Or have you ever been out where the big ones are jumping and found you’ve forgotten your bait? Frustrating, wasn’t it? If you should ever find yourself in this predicament, facing wild Indians up a creek without a paddle; a situation like this spells trouble. You’d make sure beforehand that everyone had a paddle, so that they could be busy and helpful. That’s just common sense and foresight.
If that’s true, then you’ll agree that planning is quite important in the Cub Scout program. Planning is simply foresight and you have quite a few "wild Indians" to keep constructively busy over quite a period of time. Don’t just have the same thing over and over again. Variety is the spice of any program, and Cub Scouting’s answer to this is the use of the theme or Webelos activity badge area in the program planning. The monthly theme is an idea around which the program for any month of activity is planned. It was developed to ensure a Cub Scout program that has variety, action and purpose.
HOW TO PADDLE YOUR OWN CANOE
- Insist on attention while speaking - use the Cub Scout sign.
- Do not create impossible goals for your Cub Scouts.
- Give boys responsibility and expect them to meet it.
- Always plan your den meeting in advance.
- Keep den meeting going at a fast pace.
- Be fair and consistent with discipline.
- Teach boys self-respect for other.
- Praise in public; criticize in private.
- Never discipline when angry.
- Be firm in a friendly manner.
- Always mean what you say.
- Get everyone in uniform.
- Get to know each boy.
Successful program planning involves good leadership and exciting program activities. Throughout the program planning process leaders should remember that their prime objective is to provide a high quality program to each boy. It must achieve the purposes of Cub Scouting while being fun and exciting for the boys.
Program planning provides direction for the program, a sense of satisfaction for those participating, and a feeling of accomplishment in seeing boys grow in knowledge, skills and expanded interests. Planning also helps make the best use of time and resources available.
A "GOOD MEETING"
A good meeting doesn’t just happen, it requires careful planning and execution of that plan. A "good meeting" achieves the purposes of Cub Scouting.
FOUR STEPS IN PLANNING
Cub Scouting has a proven plan and procedure that brings success. The four steps in this planning process are:
- Annual Planning Conference - A long range look at all program possibilities for the year. Held in July or August.
- Monthly Pack Leaders’ Meeting (Pack Committee) - to outline general plans and assign responsibilities.
- Den Leader Coach/Den Leaders’ Meeting - to help plan the den meetings.
- Den Chiefs’ Meeting - prepares them to assist Den Leaders with their den meetings Webelos Den Chiefs meet with Webelos Den Leader.
- Cub Scouting is a year round program.
- Cub Scouting must meet the needs and desires of any boy, any place.
- The Cub Scout program is built around the monthly theme.
- Webelos dens use activity badge areas for their monthly program.
- The Cub Scout program should have VARIETY, ACTION, and PURPOSE.
- The program just be FUN for all.
PLANNING THE PACK MEETING
Follow these guidelines to plan your monthly pack meetings.
- Plan ahead: Use the Program Helps and ask Den Leaders for advice and help.
- Notify People involved: Give them time to prepare; follow-up with a reminder.
- Use an agenda: To prevent overlooking something of importance, write down agenda items.
- Supply a copy to all pack leaders. Review the agenda before closing the pack meeting.
- Start and stop on time: Be consistent and participants will learn to arrive on time. The boys and parents will enjoy a short active meeting.
- Involve adults: The Cubmaster should delegate tasks, having stunts and puzzles ready. Urge adults to join in the activities by singing songs and participating in the cheers.
- Have every den involved in something: Such as the opening, closing, skits and demonstrations.
- Have FUN: Play games, sing songs, have skits and stunts, alternate the fun and serious events, but most of all have FUN and SHOW IT.
- Use ceremonies: Keep your ceremonies simple and easy to do. Use them for all advancements and change the format occasionally.
- Utilize Webelos Scouts: They provide good models for the younger boys. They can give service for the rest of the pack. Have their dens demonstrate their activity badge work.
- Recognize people for their work: Recognition should be immediate and should be public. Remember to recognize parents too, not just the Scouting volunteers.
SEVEN PARTS OF A MEETING
- BEFORE THE MEETING STARTS - Take care of any last-minute details, make sure that everything is ready before the boys arrive.
- WHILE THE CUB SCOUTS GATHER - As soon as the boys begin arriving, give them something to do. If you don’t, they will find something on their own.
- OPENING - The signal the meeting is starting.
- BUSINESS ITEMS - Keep this short. Cover important information about upcoming dates.
- ACTIVITIES - At den meetings this is the time for games, crafts, the FUN stuff.
- CLOSING - Serious and quiet. The meeting is over.
- AFTER THE MEETING - The den leaders and den chief evaluate the meeting and go over plans for the next one.