Ideas for unit outings
At April’s Roundtable we focused on the importance of Big Dreams to Good Programming. Boys join scouts for the programming: camping, games, and fun. They don’t join for to sit in meetings or to sit in classes.
We discussed how to make programs that excite the boys.
Take a look at the video for a quick review of the discussion. We went longer than the video, but you can see the overall vision that we proposed.
Share this video with your unit so that you can all be on the same page.
We also referenced thre every good links on the BSA website which were:
I also recommend using the PowerPoints on these pages to lead off your planning. It shares many of the same points, but with a briefer format.
Since the Spring Camporee is tentatively scheduled to focus on rifle shooting and archery, we should probably start boning up on the rules of shooting sports in scouts.
First, some basic rules. Cubs can only do BB Guns and archery in very strictly controlled circumstances, such as a Council campsite. No rifles. Ever. Scouts can do much more, but must follow the scouting rules carefully.
So how do we know the scouting rules?
This is scouts. Of course there is a manual for that. You can download the whole thing from the BSA website along with many other new resources.
Second, why are we so picky about the rules? Remember strict adherence to the Guide for Safe Scouting in shooting sports is the only way to guarantee that the BSA insurance will cover you as a unit leader and your chartered organization when you do shooting sports. This is extremely important, especially adhering to the stricter rules for Cub Scouts.
Our first duty is to protect the boys. Our next duty is safety for other participants. Our final duty is to keep the chartered organizations happy and continuing to support scouting.
If you have questions, contact the District Commissioner or the District Executive.
As October drifts away and November arrives, it seems to early to think about summer activities. Yet, November is often the last push for the year to do much big in scouting until January. Once January hits, more units focus on summer camp and activities.
If you want to do something different, the November PLC is a great time to take a poll of your scouts or November Pack meeting a chance to poll your Cubs about where they would like to go to summer camp.
My home unit used to have a practice of going to some place out of council at least once every four years. One of our District’s bigger troops goes to Canada every other year. Both are great ideas for keeping scouting interesting for all your scouts.
Last year, Scouting Magazine ran a great article about wonderful Scout Reservations around the country. (Ransburg made this list!)
The Summit at Bechtel Scout Reservation is now running both high adventure and older scout summer camp opportunities.
In addition, your future troop youth leadership can attend White Stag, our local version of the National Youth Leadership Training. (Introduction to Leadership Skills for Troops/Crews is a prerequisite, which we may offer at Winter Camporee, if sufficient interest exists.) This one-week, Wood-Badge for youth course is well worth for future or past SPLs, patrol leaders, Troop Guides, etc. (Crossroads BSA website has not been updated for 2016 yet.)
Start the discussion in November, so information gathering can be planned and implemented. Then less pressure is on in January 2016 when real planning needs to begin.
Pack 358 has decided to pay for the entire costs of the wagons. That means that all other packs only need to pay $6.00 per car (out-of-county residents) or $5.00 (Marion County residents) and contribute a pitch-in dinner dish per family.
To RSVP, click here.
For more information and a flyer to distribute to your Pack, click here. Pitch in dinner dish requests are by age level, and are printed on the flyer.
The Children’s Museum’s Pirate’s Revenge Haunted House is now open! Oct. 10th through Halloween.
This makes a great scout outing for all ages. The Children’s Museum’s Haunted House has haunts with
- lights-on for Cub Scouts or other persons who scare easily
- Wednesdays–Saturdays 10 a.m.–3 p.m.;
- Wednesdays 3:30–8:30 p.m.;
- Sundays 11 a.m.–5 p.m.;
- Halloween: 10 a.m.–3 p.m.
- lights-out/frightening for Webelos and Tenderfoot scouts, or other persons who dare to be scared
- Thursdays–Saturdays 3:30–8:30 p.m.
- No Frightening Hours on Halloween
- Xtreme Scream, strongly recommended limited to teens and adults
- Oct. 23, 24, & 30: 8:30–11 p.m.
All Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts who visit the Children’s Museum Haunted House can earn a patch for free with their paid admission. Ask for the patch at the Bootique’s cashier (sign about patches hangs over her head).
Other special events that are especially appropriate for Cub Scouts, such as Feast with the Witches, is also available. See the Haunted House webpage for more information.
Look for some of your fellow scouts and District Commissioner staff, haunting at Xtreme Scream!
Sometimes our units are looking for service opportunities. Sometimes we seek service where scouts to gain entry for future unit placement. Scouts do well at schools and churches where they offer service to their current or future host chartered organizations.
We are seeking access back into Pike and Washington Townships.
Our District Executive just received this request for service from Pik High School. Please make sure you let your scouts how much they are needed for service and as ambassadors for scouting.
I am the event coordinator for Pike High School’s 2015 ISSMA Marching Band event being held on October 31st . It was suggested to me that the scouts may be able to help in our efforts to host this annual event. As a former scout, I know how scouts can make time for the community. (Trans Atlantic Council , Troop 1, Heidelberg, Germany) I understand some scouts may be needing community service requirements for Merit badges or other projects .
If this is something that would interest your troop, please let me know as soon as possible, as we are trying to fill as many spots as possible. I do have a “sign Up Genius “ set up that you could visit to see the type of positions available, anything from spectator parking to gate monitors , hospitality, admissions, hand stampers, water table monitor, and stand entrance monitors, We have two shifts available, or a person could volunteer the entire day, start times range from 9:30AM in the morning to 1:45 PM in the afternoon. All positions are over by 6PM.
The sign up genius is set-up for Parents , but we realize the maturity level of scouts and we know we can count on their assistance.
I do appreciate your consideration, and if this is something that can help your scouts, then Pike and the North Star District both win!
Thank you ,
2015 ISSMA CLASS B MARCHING BAND COMPETITION
810-6262 (W), 297-7886 (H), 515-9805 (C)
Heather Brownell of the Heart & Soul Clinic in Westfield, Indiana has contacted volunteer organizations with the following plea for help:
The Heart and Soul Clinic is desperately in need of a group or organization to pull some weeds and cut back some bushes. Depending on the number of individuals that help, I am guessing this should only take at most 2 hours.
Heather can be contacted at (317) 804-5782. I am not going to post her direct email on the internet, but the information email for the clinic posted on their website is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you to Troop 56’s Bill Cherry for this lead on an article.
Two major programs are starting to encourage more youth visits to National Parks. First is the Open Outdoors for Youth.
The National Park Foundation’s Open Outdoors for Kids Initiative introduces and exposes kids — all kids — to experiential, outdoor experiences that promote physical and emotional health, civic engagement and long-term appreciation for nature. Using the spectacular and unparalleled resources of our nation’s more than 400 national parks, the program’s goal is to connect more children to their culture and heritage, enhance hands-on learning opportunities and deepen connections to the natural world.
Through focused programming in and out of parks, Open Outdoors for Kids addresses:
- ACCESS: Providing transportation, programming and free entry to the parks for children and teachers to experience hands-on, immersive learning.
- RELEVANCY: Connecting kids and families to the parks through programs that make people’s lives better. We establish emotional relevancy of the parks through cultural programs and encourage active, healthy lifestyles through recreational and restoration activities.
- EDUCATION: Establish “in-park” opportunities for children to learn in our national parks, the world’s largest outdoor classrooms. Unmatched as learning environments and living laboratories, national parks offer children, families and teachers a unique gateway to experience nature, history and culture, to learn about biodiversity and the environment, and to engage with each other in the great outdoors.
I was not appointed as the Committee’s secretary, so I did not take notes with an eye to that thoroughness. Nor was I a participant in each break-out session. With those warnings, I will highlight some of the discussions from the Committee Meeting.
Steve James, the District Chair, opened the meeting and emphasized that District needs to be focused on membership recruiting for August 27, 2015. He said, “We are in All-Hands-On-Deck mode. We need all Packs, Troops, and Crews to be part of the process.” Steve introduced our new District Executive Cornellius “Con” Sullivan. Con rapidly covered the points about our Council-wide Back to School Night that Darin Stendl, Con’s supervisor, had covered at the May Roundtable. Jump to the link for a detailed report. The most important part of the presentation for this report is that the marketing campaign’s call to action for the general public is “Sign up at your local elementary school.” This means that we need personnel at all of our District’s elementary schools.
During his presentation, Con emphasized that we have nearly 43 elementary schools to cover at sign-up night, while we only have 35 chartered units and 18 Cub Scout Packs. There is no way that the Packs can man all of the elementary schools. Con also underlined that there is a Recruiting Rally at Victory Field in downtown Indianapolis on the evening of July 16, 2015. (Literature about the campaign is available on the Council website, too.)
In Darin’s earlier presentation he had emphasized that the call to action does not emphasize Cub Scouts. It is a general call to join Scouting. This means that Troops and Crews could receive new members, too.
Con reported that North Star District’s Cub Packs are encouraged to participate in a District-wide Pack Overnight Campout on October 17-18, 2015 (I will need to review my notes to double check dates) at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Other weekends and campsites are available if Packs have fewer conflicts, but IMS is being pushed for North Star. IMS is close to home and exciting. Race cars and another race themed aspects will be emphasized through the weekend.
After Con’s presentation, there was a general open discussion of some of the logistics. One issue brought up is that customarily Packs collect the initial dues from new families on sign up night. Council then asks for a check from the Pack to Council to cover the new recruits’ BSA dues. This lead to some surprise and frustration. In addition, there was confusion about how much BSA dues the Pack should collect the first night to be considered a completely “registered scout.” Con did not have the answer at that time. These topics would be addressed in more depth later. For the duration of the meeting, the Committee agreed to take the issue under advisement and focus on the immediate mission of recruiting. At the meeting Con promised to clarify a few of these issues as quickly as possible.
This morning, he emailed me some clarifications. Read the rest of this entry »
One of my regular refrains about recruiting is borrowed. “Get ’em in a tent, and you got ’em.” Boys of all ages want to camp.
When I was a Cubmaster, the most common questions the Cubs asked me was “When is the next campout?!” This was not really a question, so much as a barely contained exclamation on bouncing toes. They were fairly ready to explode. When the answer was anything other than “tomorrow” they nearly burst like a balloon, looking completely deflated.
The same excitement exists at 11 years old. By the time they get to 15 or 16, they still love tents and campfires. Now the emphasis is less on being outside where they can run and now about time spent together around the campfire. Stories, gossip, favored games, personal challenges, and complaints of the day become a greater bonding experience.
Knowing that boys want to camp at all ages, even if the reasons for enjoyment change, what can we do to improve our recruitment?