Although Scouting is a year-round activity, many troop and pack committees don’t hold regular meetings during the summer months. There’s either just not enough business to make holding a meeting worthwhile, or there aren’t enough committee members around to be able to get anything done.
If your unit committee follows this pattern, there are a few things you should consider before you adjourn for the summer. Now is a good time to think about putting them on the agenda for your next committee meeting.
- Summer camp final preparations – Scouts will be heading off to summer camp before you know it. Make sure monies are collected, deposits are paid and merit badges are signed up for. Hold your parent meeting to explain what to expect, as many parents new to Boy Scouting aren’t familiar with our brand of summer camping. Cub Scout packs should have some sort of family camp outing planned and inform all the families of the plans. Make sure someone who is attending the campout has taken Beginning Adult Leader Outdoor Orientation (BALOO) training, since it is a must for Cub Scout family camping.
- Other summer activities – For troops, regular troop meetings will continue. Outings possibly including short- or long-term high adventure, whether it’s a weekend hike or a two-week trip to Philmont. Packs can make sure there’s a pack activity scheduled each month during the summer – June, July and August. Doing so will earn the National Summertime Pack Award for your pack, regardless of how many or how few Scouts and families take part.
- Fall recruiting plans – Now is the time to start thinking about your fall recruiting, especially for Cub Scout packs. You might just need to dust off last year’s plans and write in the new dates if your drive was successful last year. If you thought there were areas where you could improve, now’s the time to discuss them with your committee.
- Popcorn or other fundraising – Your council annual product sale will be starting just when you’re thinking about recruiting and getting your fall program underway. Make sure you have a volunteer whose only job is to handle the unit’s part, including registering with the council, placing orders, arranging for delivery and distribution, and accounting for the sales. It is a big job, and the sooner you get started, the more successful your sale will be.
- Register for fall council events – Your council or district may be holding a camporee or similar event in the fall. Registration usually opens quite early – probably now, in fact – and there may be discounts for early registration. Sign your unit up (for troops, make sure this is something your patrol leaders’ council decided to do) and pay your deposits to ensure your space.
- Calendar for the coming year – It may be too soon to fill in all the blanks, especially if you don’t have your school calendar yet, but you should at least do an outline for the first few months, if not the entire year. For packs, start planning your pack meeting events, arrange for outside participation (nature centers, entertainers, etc.) if you decide to go that route, and assign responsibility to key individuals. Troops will need to plan around the outcome of the annual program planning conference and other decisions by the patrol leaders’ council, but you can make room reservations for weekly troop meetings, pencil in some campout dates and put out a tentative calendar.
Leave a comment if there’s anything else you can think of that should be done before the summer recess begins.