It’s May, so summer is almost here, and many Cub Scout packs are wrapping up their school year meeting schedules with springtime events designed to cap off a year of fun with a lighter activity or a ceremony to mark the transition from one year to the next. Our pack combined a crossover-of-sorts from one rank to the next along with an ice cream social.
But there is no reason that the fun has to stop in May. Unlike school and almost every sport, Scouting is an all-year activity, and all year includes the summer months.
While it’s true that most families take a break from school-like activities in the summer, there’s no reason not to provide some kind of fun during the warmer months of the year. It doesn’t have to be a continued program of pack and den meetings with an aim toward advancement, however.
There are many ways to continue the fun of Cub Scouting for those boys and families that want to participate in some great activities within the framework and values of Scouting. Here are some ideas to keep Scouts engaged and having fun during the summer:
- Your pack, dens and Scouts can earn the National Summertime Award, which recognizes those that continue the fun of Cub Scouts during June, July and August. All that’s required is for the pack to organize an activity during each of those three months. It can be as involved as a field trip or overnighter at a museum or a trip to a ball game, or as simple as an afternoon of fishing or a family bike ride. Packs which do so can earn the award and receive a ribbon for their pack flag or totem. A Cub Scout who takes part in the pack’s activities each month earns the Summertime Award pin, which is worn on his uniform. And there’s a streamer for dens that have 50 percent participation in each of the three events.
- One great way to satisfy one month’s requirement is for the pack to attend Cub Scout Day Camp. This is, as the name implies, an event held for a number of days or evenings with no overnight camping, and is conducted by your council’s activities committee. Staffed by adult and Boy Scout volunteers, day camps provide Cub Scouts with opportunities like fishing, crafts, water games, archery and BB, and getting closer to nature. Check with your council or ask your unit commissioner for more details.
- In addition, most councils offer resident camp for Cub Scouts. There are programs for Webelos Scouts as well as for the younger ranks. Usually held at council camps, these can be from two to four nights and include activities unique to each camp or program. Again, your council or commissioner will have details.
- You can choose to put on your own activities as well. Our pack likes to have a family campout shortly after school gets out in June, where Scouts and their families camp overnight either in tents or cabins, enjoy outdoor activities, a campfire, cookout and other activities like waterfront, fishing or hiking. There is a training course called BALOO – Basic Adult Leader Outdoor Orientation – for pack leaders planning and conducting a pack overnight event, and there’s plenty of help available. You could even enlist the help of a Boy Scout troop to provide tents, camping equipment and camping expertise.
- It doesn’t have to be lengthy or complicated – simple activities like a bike ride, family picnic, or fishing outing take a minimum of planning and commitment and are just as much fun. Or you could add a Space Derby or Raingutter Regatta to add to the excitement.
- STEM events are quite popular with Cub Scouts, and many councils, as well as science and nature centers, offer activities for Cub Scouts and young people. Ask around, or find out more at Roundtable.
There’s no reason that Scouting fun has to take a summer vacation. Summer activities are a great way to keep not just your current Scouts engaged and interested, but also to give your spring recruits a fast start into the Cub Scout program. Plan and publicize your summer activities now to ensure a summer of fun for all!
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