This year will be my first “Join Night” on my own. Last year the former Cubmaster aka Committee Chair handled it. It was also my first Pack Meeting as Cubmaster. Was I scared….yup. With a year under my belt and a better idea of what “Scouting” is all about and two full year calendar years of Scout Events, I think I am more equipped. This is the first impression that the new boys and parents will have of the Pack, Den Leaders, current Cub scouts and ME. No, it’s not about ME, but as Cubmaster I am the focal point. They guy with all the answers…….
So, how do I do it…what’s my plan. I need to present something fun to get the boys into coming back… What I do not want to do is to lecture them into what they will do. I need to tell the Scouting journey and invite them to come along with me. Here is how I envision it:
After the parents/boys are in the gym and settled down as much as possible and a quick intro from the Committee Chair/Den Leaders, I will come hiking in with my backpack, campfire and dutch oven. I will set everything down, looking around for a good campsite. During this I will start talking about all the hiking that I have done and where I am. (Will work this up…). I will start to pitch my tent and get my campfire going and setting up the dutch oven (I will have a cobbler already to go for snack).
I will then realize that there are boys at the campsite and invite them around the campfire (logs and flashlights version) and ask them what they are doing here. I will then begin to tell them of BP, Brownsea and Akela’s Cubs. I will ask them to come along with me and the Pack for a journey. I will explain that they start this journey as Bobcats and that they can become Bobcats at the next meeting if they learn the oath, promise and motto….
After all of this, I will have them play several games that the other Den Leaders will supervise along with Scout Parents.
This is where the new/old parents come with the Committee and myself to explain what to expect. You know all the boring stuff. Dues, Meetings, Forms..blah blah blah. However, I still have sell Scouting to the parents. This is where I explain the new 2010 Den/Pack Meeting Plans . It is also where our new Parent Guide gets handed out along with a firmed up Pack Calendar. I will talk about the Adult Scouter Training, what we as a Pack are planning to do and what we want to accomplish. I will explain that this year we are going to follow with some modification the Den/Pack Plans so if they miss one the boys will have a guide on what they can work on.
My goal this year is to get 7-10 Tigers and 7-10 Wolves. (We have three returning Wolves so 4-7) Bears & Webelos I are 8 & 10 boys in that order. The Webelos II have three. One is very close to the Arrow of Light. The other two on schedule for a March Crossover. So, we will have to work that out. Hopefully we get a couple of Webelos II and a Den Leader.
Now, as I slip away letting the Pack Committee deal with all the boring forms and junk, I come back to the Gym and get the boys to settle down and talk about the Bobcat patch. I am hoping to have them recite some of it that night.
After all this, we will scoop out dessert from the Dutch Oven and ship them off to their parents.
Our first regular Pack Meeting will be the next following week with a Popcorn Kick-Off and Bobcat Ceremony. This is when we will start helping the new cubscouts learn about how a Pack functions. Flag, Skits, Songs, Den Chiefs, Cubmaster Minutes, Denners……. Our Den Meetings will then start after that week. I plan to have a couple of outings (one should be a visit to Adventure Base100 in the Seattle Area on Sept 17th).
I have a plan and a vision…….let’s see how the first impression will turn out…..