Archive for the ‘Cub Scout’ Category


img_1049The Bears Den of Melrose Cub Scout Pack 68 had fun last weekend. They had their first overnight camping trip. It was held a couple miles south of Melrose in the backyard of one of the families. With a nice big backyard, and hiking trails nearby, it was a good spot for this fun activity. Eight of the ten Bear Scouts were able to attend the outing. I believe they each had a parent in attendance.

The Bears were kept busy with several activities. They assisted in setting up the tents and laying out their gear. They took a hike to a nearby gravel pit, watching for animal tracks along the way to complete an award requirement. They learned about pocket knife safety as they earned their Whittling Chip badge. And, of course they played games. It is amazing how much noise eight third grade boys can make when they are having fun together. After it got dark, it suddenly grew very quiet, like someone had turned off the volume switch. It did not take long to discover the boys had decided to play a game of hide and seek. After that game was done the noise level rose again.

I did not stay for the overnight. I did attend for a few hours, enough time to have supper with the den, chat with the parents in attendance, and have a little fun with the boys. My true reason for being there was to tell a story around the campfire before they turned in for the night. The story I chose? The Purple Gorilla story. It is a good story for that age group. Even the adults enjoyed it. As the story’s suspense reached its peak toward the end of the tale, I had everyone’s full attention. In fact, at one point I think everyone one of the boys jumped, and maybe even a couple adults. As I finished the tale with its interesting twist, the Scouts laughed and the adults smiled.

It may have been a quite suspenseful story, but it really is not a scary story. In fact, one of the fathers told me the next day that the Scouts fell asleep very quickly once the turned in for the night. No nightmares were to be had. Let’s face it, the boys were worn out. The night did get a bit chilly though. It temperature dropped into the upper thirties Sunday morning. The young Scouts did not seem to mind very much. It was just another part of their weekend adventure!

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    cublogoAs the annual School Night To Join Scouting approached I told the current Cub Scouts that we should try to double the size of our pack, which is currently at 17 members. I explained that they are our best recruiters and that they should talk to their friends and bring them to the event. The boys were excited and thought we could do that. In fact, one Webelos Scout said that we could triple our size. I told them to go for it. Meanwhile, our new district executive was doing his part by talking to boys in the local elementary schools and passing out flyers.

    Unfortunately, within our community we really did not do much more to promote School Night other than having a table set up at the school open houses, and placing a couple signs around town. Looking back on things, we should have had something in the local newspaper and contacted the banks and credit union to post the event on their exterior marquees. It is too late to try to promote it any more. The meeting was last night, Thursday, September 22.

    I arrived at the school about twenty minutes early. We were supposed to have our meeting in the high school cafeteria. As we walked in we noticed the cafeteria was already being used. A sports team was having a meal/meeting. This was not going to work for us. Matt, one of our committee members, quickly found a custodian and asked if we could used the high school library. They said yes, so we moved into a new room and posted people by the school entrance to let them know about the room change. Not off to a good start for the evening.

    Several committee members members, parents, and Cub Scouts were on hand to set things up. Future Cub Scouts and their parents began arriving 15 minutes early. And kept arriving. They were still coming in at 7:00, the start time of the meeting. And they keep coming. Soon, the tables were filled and there was standing room only. The committee members and I were shocked. We never expected a crowd like this. I had been hoping that we could maybe get 12 more boys to join Scouting. As I looked around the room I counted over 30 boys and their parents waiting to hear about the Cub Scout program.

    I began the meeting a few minutes late as people got settled and moved things along quite rapidly. The pack leadership introduced themselves and then I hit the main points: meeting times, parent commitments, uniforms, awards, and so forth. Committee members jumped in when they had something to add, and our popcorn chairpersons talked quickly about the annual fundraiser. We did not waste much time, which I think made the parents happy.

    As the meeting came to a close we had 25 new Cub Scout registrations. We went from a pack of 17 members to a pack with 42 members. We exceeded our goal! And it sounds like there may be a few more registration forms coming in at next week’s pack meeting.

    I drove down to St. Cloud that evening to turn in the applications. As I sat in the Scout Office waiting to give them to our district executive, I counted how many boys we would be adding to each den: 2 new Lion Cubs, 8 new Tiger Cubs, 9 new Wolf Scouts, 5 new Bear Scouts, and 1 new Webelos Scout. This is going to be an interesting first pack meeting on Tuesday.

    I think the pack committee is in shock, and maybe a bit concerned. Can we handle this many boys? Where will we get the funds for all the awards and activity costs? Will we find enough leadership as we move forward? What are we going to do with a pack this large?

    As cubmaster, I am not too worried. I think enough parents will step forward to fill the leadership roles needed. We already have a great committee. The new Scouts can still get in on the popcorn sales so I am hoping for a nice boost for the treasury from that. As for the program? We already had a schedule made out for the year. All we have to do is follow it with maybe a few adaptions needed. I think we will be alright. My main concern is to make sure we offer the boys the fun and excitement that Scouting has to offer. It may be a bit of a challenge though to try to keep 42 elementary aged boys attention long enough for a pack meeting. I will take that challenge.

    As we were getting ready to leave the library after the event, one of the committee members came up to me and commented that with all the new Cub Scouts, the pack may need me to stick around for another year. You see, I have stated that this is to be my third and final program year as the cubmaster. I plan to hand over the pack to a new cubmaster next summer. For some reason I have a feeling the committee is going to try to change my mind as  go through the 2016-2017 program year.

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      slingshotThis is my second summer as the cubmaster of Pack 68. I have had a good time and have agreed to a third year in the position. The pack does not have meetings during the summer months but we do have a pack activity each month. I had the Cub Scouts come out to my family cabin which is located on Kings Lake for their July activity. Eleven of the 17 Cub Scouts attended the event.

      The activity was held on a Monday night. It started at 6:30 in the evening and lasted until 8:30. We did not plan any swimming activities, but that does not mean the Cub Scouts did not get wet. One of the events had the Scouts filling water balloons and trying to hit a target using my water balloon sling shot (shown in the picture.) Some of the balloons busted while in the slingshot, spraying nearby Scouts with water. Some of the balloons became air bound without using the slingshot. The Cub Scouts did not mind. They were having fun.

      The second activity was a disc golf putting contest. The pack was divided into two teams. Each team had several discs and tried to putt as many discs into the disc golf basket as they could. I started the Scouts a bit too far from the basket so after each round I moved them a little closer until the discs began landing in the basket. Some of the boys were asking what the winning team would receive. Another Scout stated correctly that they get bragging rights. Once again, the boys had a good time.

      The last activity of the evening was to get out the marshmallows, chocolate bars, and graham crackers. We had worked up an appetite and it was time to make s’mores. I think this may have been the Scouts favorite activity. It did not take long for sticky fingers and mouths to be found around the campfire.

      I want to thank the many parents for helping with the event. They assisted the boys as they filled water balloons, manned the slingshot, and helped the Scouts prepare the s’mores. Everyone stayed safe and had a great time. I bet they would all come back out next year if we do it again.

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        IMG_0148This year marked the eighth year that the Boy Scouts of Melrose Troop 68 have handed out 4″ x 6″ United States flags before the Riverfest parade in Melrose. Once again the Scouts walked along the parade route and gave away 1250 flags, curtesy of the Melrose American Legion. People love receiving them, from the youngest toddler to the oldest senior citizen. And they are better for you than all the Tootsie Rolls that are thrown out during the parade, don’t you agree?

        Last year we had a shortage of Boy Scouts attend the service project so this year we invited the Cub Scout to help out, hoping we would get enough Scouts to break up into four teams. The plan was to have two teams start on each end of the parade route, each team taking one side of the street, and meet up somewhere in the middle. Hopefully, by the time we would meet, we would be out of flags.

        We ended up with plenty of Scouts. Six Cub Scouts and five Boy Scouts showed up for the project, in addition to five parents and Scout leaders. About 30 minutes before the parade was scheduled to begin, we split up and began handing out the flags. My team consisted of three Cub Scout brothers who were excited to participate in such a project. They were all smiles as they handed out the flags one by one, receiving smiles in return from the people who accepted them.

        My team was starting to run low on flags by the time we met up with the Scouts who had started at the other end of the route. They still had a few hundred flags due to many people not being seated yet for the parade as they walked by. I had noticed a lot of people coming in after we had walked by a our route so my team took the extra flags and started retracing our steps, handing out flags to people who had recently arrived along the parade route. We even had a couple kids run across the street to get flags from us.

        By the time we got to the spot were the Cub Scout’s parents were sitting for watching the parade, we had handed out all the flags. And just in time. The honor guard that was leading the parade was marching only a few blocks away from us. The parade had started. The only thing the Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, and leadership had left to do was to sit back and enjoy the parade. And eat the Tootsie Rolls thrown to us, of course.

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          CubScoutComicsI have just finished my second year as the cubmaster for Melrose Pack 68. It was fun and I enjoyed it. The Cubs have such a different view of life then Boy Scouts. I am still getting used to working with them. I must be doing a decent job because the committee wants me to stick around for another year.

          As the cubmaster, I try to talk to, and listen to, each of the boys when they come to me during a meeting. I try to give each of them at least a couple minutes of my time, which I fell is quite important. A year ago, I caught a quick comment by one Cub Scout who mentioned that he has never had a comic book. I collect comic books so the next time I went to the nearest comic book store I asked the owner if he could give me a good deal on some comic books I could give to the Cubs at the next pack meeting. He gave me enough for the pack free of charge, of a few varieties. The Cub Scouts thought they were great.

          I decided to do it again this year at the end of the May pack meeting and graduations. The first Saturday in May is free comic book day. I went back to the store a few days later and talked to the owner about doing the same thing again this year with the Cub Scouts. He still hand some comic books left over from Saturday. We went through which ones would be appropriate for the age group, and once again he gave me enough to hand out to the Cub Scouts. The Cub Scouts were quite excited to pick out their choice of five different books I had brought to the meeting, which included SpongeBob, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Captain America.

          What kind of extra little things have you done in your pack to make things more fun and special for your Cub Scouts? Leave a comment and let us know about them.

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            PackBridgeI am constantly amazed by Cub Scouts and the way they look at life. I love the way everything seems to bring a sense of wonderment and excitement to them. The are full of energy and fun, always looking for a good time. And they seem to have a hard time standing still for more then 15 seconds.

            A month ago, I talked to one of the Cub Scout fathers about building a small bridge for the May graduation ceremony. We took a quick look through Pinterest for a few ideas before settling on a nice simple clean design (seen in the picture.) The rail boards for the rope railing store inside the bottom of the bridge when not in use. We left it unfinished for now because we have an idea for later. He was able to finish building it in time for the pack meeting. The cost of materials was only about $40.00.

            When they Cub Scouts arrived at the May meeting it did not take them long to notice the bridge. In fact, they all wanted to walk across the new bridge. I had to tell them that no one crosses the bridge until the graduation ceremony. You could just see the anticipation build in their eyes.

            When the time came for each to cross the bridge all 17 Cub Scouts seemed excited. Yes, they were graduating into their next level of Cub Scouting, but they also were able to walk across this new construction which had not been part of previous graduations. The boys were grinning ear to ear as our committee chairperson removed their old neckerchiefs, turned to me (who was standing on the other side of the stage), and walked across the bridge for the first time to receive their next neckerchief . It may have been a small bridge, but it was a big thing to these Cub Scouts as they moved on to the next phase of their Scouting careers.

            Next fall we plan to remove 12 of the 14 floorboards of the bridge. Each den will receive two boards, along with two points of the Scout Law. The dens will decorate their boards based on their two points of the Law and return them next April in time to be added back to the bridge frame. I know we are going to end up with a very unique bridge design. And the best part is that the Cub Scouts will have a stake in the final design, making the bridge truly theirs.

            Does your Pack use a bridge in its graduation ceremonies? Leave a comment and let us know if it adds to their excitement like our bridge did for the Cub Scouts of Pack 68.

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              CubScoutDrapeAs I stated in the last post to A Scoutmaster’s Blog, Boy Scout Troop 68 owns a Boy Scout drape that it has used for many years. When I became the Pack 68 cubmaster I noticed very quickly that the pack did not own a flag or anything decorative for its pack meetings. It did not take long for the pack committee to approve the purchase of a Cub Scout flag. I had an extra U.S.A. flag in my house and two old flag poles. The Cub Scout dens love taking turns at being the honor guard and presenting the flags at the beginning of the pack meeting.

              The flags added a little color to the meetings but I wanted more to decorate the ceremonies. I recently talked to the commander of the Melrose American Legion, the sponsor of the Cub Scout Pack, and asked him if it might be possible for the Legion to buy an eight foot long Cub Scout drape for the pack meetings. He liked the idea and told me to write a letter requesting the purchase. I need to do that one of these nights.

              I really wanted to have this drape for this month’s graduation ceremony, so even though the Legion will probably pay for the drape after they approve it, I already went out and bought one. Yeah, I know I may have bought it a bit early, but I really did not want to wait until next month. If the Legion decides not to reimburse me for it, well, I just hope they do.

              Does your Cub Scout Pack use one of these for its pack meetings? How do you display it?

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                cardisplayThe Cub Scouts of Melrose Pack 68 recently had fun making a project during the March 21st pack meeting. They boys constructed display stands for their Pinewood Derby cars. Each stand is able to display five cars, enough from 1st Grade Tiger Cubs through 5th grade Webelos Scouts. With their parents help, the Cub Scouts completed their stand during the meeting. They will be bringing them back to the April pack meeting to show how they decorated them.
                The pack would like to give a special shout out to committee member Matt H. who cut the pieces and prepped them ahead of the pack meeting.
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