Scouting is an association of boys, young men and women, and of volunteer leaders like yourself. The purpose of Scouting is to help boys grow, by involvement in many experiences, to be responsible, resourceful members of their communities, their country, and the world. As a leader, you help them to achieve this goal.
There may be any number of reasons why you decided to join Scouting. Your son may be involved, and you offered to help with a special project and became interested. Perhaps, because of some hobby or talent, you were asked to work with the den for a short period of time, found that you liked it, and wanted to continue. You may have volunteered because you like boys, because you have some reason that caused you to think seriously about becoming a registered adult leader, we welcome you to Cub Scouting and urge you to make use of all the resources available.
Like everything else of a volunteer nature, you can devote as little or as much time as you wish, but being a Cub Scout leader is not just an hour a week at den meetings or an hour a month at pack meetings. The den and pack programs must be planned and detailed preparations made so that they will run smoothly. The amount of time you invest in Cub Scouting will depend on your enthusiasm, dedication, and personal involvement. Usually the more time spent, the better program the boys receive.
Throw yourself wholeheartedly into your Cub Scout responsibilities. Go out and ring the bell; dont give up and wring your hands. Be optimistic. Think about how high your kite will fly, not about how soon it will fall. PLAN YOUR WORK, THEN WORK YOUR PLAN. As a leader you have made a commitment of time, effort, and knowledge. It is a commitment to a way of life, to being a living example for boys, and to lending a helping hand to fellow Scouters.
Activities are the spark, that is something extra, that makes a den and pack really special and the envy of all others. The extra effort involved is well worth the investment as the groups enthusiasm grows. Recruiting becomes easier when a Cub Scout tells his friends all the neat things his Cub Scout pack is doing. Parents will want to be involved when the activities are planned that are fun and exciting.
A successful activities program depends on all den and pack leaders and families working together. The single most important word for a smoothly-run program is PLANNING. Careful planning of pack and den activities will generate enthusiasm for unit leaders, parents and boys; an important factor for all the people "who make the pack go".
The secret for Cub Scout den activities is the wise use of the monthly theme. The theme is simply an idea or emphasis around which den and pack leaders plan activities for the Cub Scout dens to do from one pack meeting to the next.
The theme simplifies the planning den and pack meetings. It gives each den a focus for its work and play during the month and brings them all together at the monthly meeting with skit, stunts, and handicrafts all related to a single theme. If the dens are active during the month, an interesting and entertaining pack meeting is the natural result.
Cub Scout families are eager to see what other dens have done with the theme. A friendly rivalry usually results, and quite often den spirit is developed, even among parents. Many packs present a Parent Participation Ribbon to the den or dens who have the most parents at the monthly pack meeting.
Webelos dens do not use the packs monthly them. Instead their emphasis is on one of the activity badge areas. Often the Cub Scout theme and activity badge area are compatible, such as "Cub Scout Circus" and "Showman" or "Going Places" and "Traveler".
Packs are not obligated to use the recommended themes, although there are benefits to be gained by using them. These themes are selected and planned to appeal to boys and to offer opportunities to achieve the Purposes of Cub Scouting. They are subjects on which the most program material will be available.
Remember the Cub Scout program is flexible, and if another theme is better suited for you pack, you may wish to make an exception. These things should be kept in mind:
It must have strong appeal for Cub Scout-age boys.
It should be a wide subject that provides variety so that each boy can do the things he likes to do.
It should instill the deeper, more lasting values of Cub Scouting.
Cub Scouting has a nonsense word that expresses the idea very neatly. This should be your watchword as you plan year-round fun for your pack or den. The word is KIS-MIF. It stands for
"KEEP IT SIMPLE, MAKE IT FUN"
Scouting means doing. Everything in the Cub Scouting program is designed to have the boys doing thins. CUB SCOUTING IS A YEAR-ROUND PROGRAM. Remember to include the summer months in your activities. This not only helps keep the pack together, but it also provides opportunities for some of the easiest and funniest activities that can happen during the year. A quality pack has two elements...fun and exciting activities for the boys, and it achieves the Purposes of Cub Scouting.