Cub Scout Program Planning
The most important responsibility that leaders have in Cub Scouting is program planning. The quality of the Cub Scout experience each boy receives will depend on how leaders schedule and carry out the essential planning procedures. Den Leaders spend the greatest amount of time directly with the boys. Pack leaders provide the material and help Den Leaders to make their job easier, more enjoyable, and meaningful.
- Pack Committee members should be familiar with the planning process, to know where they fit in, and what tools to use.
KEEP THESE IN MIND:
There are some basic ideas which you need to understand before you start planning:
- Cub Scouting is a year-round, 12 month program
- Cub Scouting has enough variables to meet the needs and desires of any boy, any place.
- The Cub Scout program is built around a monthly theme for Cub Scouts, a big idea for Tigers and Webelos Dens use an activity badge area for their monthly program.
- The Cub Scout program should have variety, action, and purpose.
- The program must be fun for both boys and their families.
Cub Scouting’s recommended planning system is based on themes, one for each month. Themes help to achieve Cub Scouting’s purposes; to keep all the dens active, vigorous, and working on meaningful projects during the month. They assure a well planned, more interesting pack meeting as the big climax of the month. A good monthly theme should have:
- Boy Appeal
- Boy Learning
- A Variety of Activities
Specific ideas for program planning can be found in the wide variety of Cub literature available to all pack leaders. The Pack Library is a useful source. Also refer to ideas received at Roundtables, Pow Wows and training courses.
FOUR STEPS IN PLANNING:
There is a proven plan and procedure which brings success. The process consists of the following four steps:
- Annual Planning Conference — long range look at all program possibilities. Held as soon as Program Helps become available, usually in April or May, to make general plans for the next 12 months.
- Monthly Pack Leader’s Meeting (or Committee Meeting) — to firm up plans for this month’s pack meeting and make specific plans for the pack meeting next month.
- Den Leader Coach/Den Leader Meeting — a monthly meeting to help plan den meetings.
- Den Chief’s Meeting — a monthly meeting with Cubmaster or Assistant, to help prepare them to assist the Den Leaders. Webelos Den Chiefs meet with their own Webelos Leader.
Take advantage of special events like Scouting for Food, Good Turn for America, Trail of Tears Service Projects, local parades, Scout Nights at the Ball Game, hockey or basketball game. Plan several tours or pack field trips throughout the year and at least one pack camping trip.
SIGNS OF WEAK PACK PROGRAM PLANNING
- Excessive Den Leader “turnover’“.
- Programs not related to a theme
- Pack meetings built around “outside” entertainment
- Small pack committee
- Month-to-month planning
- Pack meetings with delays, indecision, weak leadership
- Poor parent attendance at pack meetings
- Rapid turnover of Cub Scouts or transfer from den to den
- Boys and leaders not in uniform
- Lack of communication between leaders, parents, and Cub Scouts