Activities and Events
Cub Scouting is an active program. Boys learn by doing, and there's no end to the fun things that Cub Scouts do in their dens, as a pack, and at special events. With activities held at every level—family, den, and pack—Cub Scouting provides a year-round program of fun and learning for boys and their families.
Cub Scout Camping
Camping takes you on exciting adventures into the natural world. You'll learn to live with others in the out-of-doors. You'll learn to be a good citizen of the outdoors.
Camping is fun, and it's good for your mind, body, and spirit. It helps you learn to rely on yourself—on your own skills and knowledge. When you go camping as a Cub Scout, you get skills you will learn and use more, later, as a Boy Scout.
Cub Scout camping has day camps, resident camps, Webelos den overnight campouts, family camps, and pack overnighters.
Day camp lasts for one day to five days. It's for Tigers, Wolves, Bears, and Webelos Scouts. Day camps are held during the day or early evening. Campers do not stay overnight.
At resident camps, Cub Scouts camp overnight. Every year, the resident camp has a different theme and different adventures. Examples of themes are Sea Adventure, Space Adventure, Athletes, Knights, Circus Big Top, American Indian Heritage, Folklore, and the World Around Us.
Webelos Den Overnight Campouts
Webelos dens go on overnight campouts. Each Webelos Scout camps with his parent or guardian. The campers learn the basics of Boy Scout camping, under the direction of the Webelos den leader. Sometimes, leaders from a Boy Scout troop may join you.
Webelos dens also have joint overnight campouts with a Boy Scout troop. Each Webelos Scout has a parent or guardian with him on these joint campouts, too.
Council-Organized Family Camps
Family camps are overnight camps for more than one Cub Scout pack. You may hear these events called "parent-pal weekends" or "adventure weekends." Each Cub Scout camps with a parent or guardian.
Packs on their own can hold overnight campouts for the families in the pack. Cub Scouts' brothers and sisters can go on these pack overnighters. In most cases, each Scout will camp with a parent or guardian. Every young camper is responsible to a specific adult.
Cub Scout Derbies
Racing in a Cub Scout derby is great fun. You'll get to design your racing vehicle, work with a parent to build it, and see it perform on race day. Win or lose, you'll take pride in having done your best. When you race in a Cub Scout derby, you learn craft skills, the rules of fair play, and good sportsmanship—things you will remember all your life.
Types of Derbies
The main types of derbies are the pinewood derby, raingutter regatta, space derby, and Cubmobile derby.
The pinewood derby is one of the most popular and successful family activities in Cub Scouting. Pinewood derby cars are small wooden models that Cub Scouts make with help from their families. Then they race the cars in competition. The cars are powered by gravity and run down a track. Most packs have a pinewood derby every year. It can be run indoors or outdoors. Every boy can design and build his own "grand prix" car to enter in the race.
In the raingutter regatta, boats race down a narrow channel. There are two versions. The wind-powered version uses sailboat designs, and the boats are blown down the channel. The propeller-powered version uses motorboats driven by propeller.
Another popular family-son project is the space derby. It's like the pinewood derby except the models are miniature rockets. The rockets "fly" along a heavy line that hangs in the air. They're driven by propellers powered by rubber bands.
Each den works together to build a "Cubmobile," a pint-sized racing vehicle. Each den has one racer, and each Cub Scout in the den races in the car once. Usually, a ramp helps start the cars, and they roll downhill to the finish line. The race is held on a smooth street that slopes downhill.
Kits and supplies for the pinewood derby, raingutter regatta, and space derby are available from the national Supply Division. See their Web site at www.scoutstuff.org.
Competition and Prizes
Each family that competes in a Cub Scout derby follows a set of simple, easy rules. The winners get prizes, and every boy is recognized for taking part. Always remember that in Cub Scouting, it's more important to "Do Your Best" than to come in first. The big thing about a derby isn't the competition or the prizes. It's the fun you and your family will have.
Outings and Field Trips
Excursions and field trips provide some of the most exciting parts of Scouting. Cub Scouts enjoy many outdoor experiences as they participate in the variety of activities that can be held outside, such as field trips, hikes, nature and conservation experiences, and outdoor games.
Boys enjoy visiting museums, business establishments, parks, and other attractions. Here are some suggestions:
- How Things Are Made - Visit manufacturing plants such as aircraft, automotive, appliance, or electronic firms; chemical, paper, plastic, paint, furniture, or toy plants; and handicrafts or other small-craft industries.
- How Your City Runs - Visit power, water, and sewage plants; a gas company; police and fire stations; city hall; municipal buildings; the county jail; a telephone company; the post office; the Red Cross; hospitals; newspaper plants; and radio, television, and weather stations.
- How Your City Is Fed - Visit truck and dairy farms, flour mills, and bakeries; food processing, canning, or bottling plants; stockyards and meat or poultry packing houses; a fish hatchery; beverage, candy, and ice-cream companies; markets; and food distributors.
- Learn About Your Heritage - Visit art galleries, museums, and memorials; celebrated old homes, monuments, and other historic sites; places of worship; civic centers; important local buildings; summer theaters and band concerts; and local historical celebrations.
When these field trips are coordinated with the required and elective adventures, they can help bring learning to life by allowing boys to experience firsthand the things they have been learning about. Most adventures will include opportunities for a den outing that may fulfill part of an advancement requirement.
A well-planned den outing will benefit everyone involved, providing an opportunity for boys and adults to acquire new interests and knowledge; develop a deeper understanding of and respect for other people; reinforce their attitudes of good citizenship, such as courtesy and kindness; and have fun.
A hike is a journey on foot, usually with a purpose, a route, and a destination. Cub Scout dens will have several opportunities for taking hikes related to adventure requirements.
Here are some suggestions for different types of hikes:
- Homes Hike - Look for spider webs, nests, holes, and other homes in nature. Make a list.
- Stop, Look, and Listen Hike - Hike for a specified length of time or for a certain number of steps. Then stop and write down all that you see and hear. Make several stops.
- Puddle Hike - Hike in a gentle rain or just after a rain, with boys wearing appropriate rain gear. See how animals and insects take cover from the weather.
- Penny Hike - Flip a coin to see which direction you will go. Flip the coin at each intersection or fork in the road or trail.
- Color Hike - Look for objects of preselected colors. Make a list.
- Historical Hike - Hike to an historical spot. Know the history before going on the hike.
- City Hike - Look for scraps of nature between cracks in the sidewalk. Look at the buildings for various architectural details—carvings, cornices, etc. A vacant lot can provide a lot of interest; even one overturned rock can reveal surprises.
Games and Sports
Outdoor games and sports provide opportunities for teaching boys skills of good sportsmanship, including following rules, taking turns and sharing, gettingalong with others, and fair play. They provide the opportunity for every Cub Scout to learn the basic skills of a sport, game, or competition while learning good sportsmanship and habits of personal fitness in an environment where participation and doing one's best are more important than winning.
Doing service projects together is one way that Cub Scouts keep their promise "to help other people." While a Scout should do his best to help other people every day, a group service project is a bigger way to help people. While you're giving service, you're learning to work together with others to do something that's good for your community.
Service projects may help the natural world, the community, or the chartered organization. Here are some service activities Cub Scouts can do.
- Helping the natural world
- Pick up litter around your neighborhood.
- Clean up trash by a stream.
- Plant seedlings or flowers.
- Recycle glass, paper, aluminum, or plastic.
- Make bird feeders.
- Helping the community
- Give a flag ceremony for a school.
- Collect food for food banks.
- Make cards for a care center.
- Clean up a church parking lot.
- Shovel snow or rake leaves for seniors.
- Hand out voting reminders.
- Hand out emergency procedure brochures.
- Recycle family newspapers.
- Helping the chartered organization
- Do a cleanup project.
- Plant and care for trees.
- Conduct a flag ceremony.
- Help set up for a special event.
- Hand out programs or bulletins at a meeting of the organization.
These are only a few ideas for service projects. Can you think of others? Share your ideas with the members and leaders of your den.
Den and Pack Meetings
Boys in Cub Scouting meet regularly. Weekly den meetings are like stepping-stones: each week a boy progresses a little further toward the next rank, learning skills as he goes. The monthly pack meetings are like milestones that mark achievements along the Cub Scout trail and celebrate accomplishments along the way.
Each week, your son attends a den meeting with a small group of boys in his grade level. The meeting is conducted by a den leader and an assistant. The den may meet at the home of one of the leaders or at another suitable location. Tigers attend their den meetings with their adult partners; but Wolf, Bear, and Webelos Scouts attend den meetings on their own.
While the meetings include games and other activities that are fun for the boys, program delivery is the main goal. Boys participate in activities and work on projects that are related to an adventure and that help them learn the skills they need to progress in rank. The boys also prepare to do their part in the monthly pack meeting.
The monthly pack meeting brings together boys from every den, their leaders, and their families for a large-scale event that showcases all that the boys have learned and done in their individual den meetings. Such a gathering gives the boys a larger experience beyond their own den. It also helps them see how their individual activities fit into the bigger Cub Scout program.
A typical pack meeting begins with a formal opening ceremony. Next, in the program section of the meeting, dens may give presentations and performances that demonstrate what they learned during the month. The program section may also include activities that involve the entire audience, or a featured event.
Another important part of the pack meeting is the formal recognition given to the Scouts who have earned badges, adventure, loops, or other awards, and to leaders who have earned training awards, religious emblems, or other community awards. This is followed by some general announcements and a formal closing ceremony to end the meeting.
Besides bringing together the boys in the pack, Cub Scout pack meetings are family events. Parents or guardians, brothers, sisters, and other family members attend. The pack meeting is a social event for the community, bringing together the families of many boys.
Blue and Gold Banquets
Most Cub Scouts celebrate Scouting Anniversary Week in February with a "birthday party" called the blue and gold banquet. In nearly all packs, the blue and gold banquet is the highlight of the year. It brings families together for an evening of fun and cheer. It's often the pack meeting for February.
The purpose of the blue and gold banquet is to celebrate the pack's anniversary, thank pack leaders and other adults who have helped the pack, and inspire the leaders, Scouts, and parents. Packs often like to invite former members and other Scouting or community leaders to take part in their blue and gold banquet.
The banquet can be like a regular pack meeting, with songs, skits, stunts, and awards. Or it can be something different and a little more special. Your pack may decide to bring in an entertainer such as a magician or a storyteller. Or you could have a video or slide show of what the pack did over the past year.
A good banquet needs lots of planning. Most packs begin to plan at least two months ahead of time.