Gathering Activities for Cub Scouts


The key to hopefully controlling or attempting to control Cub Scouts before a meeting, is to play a Game.
Where our Pack meets is at the school gym.  In that gym there is a door.  In that door is a room.  Within that room there are balls, scooters, hoops , hockey sticks and other things that bounce.  Every meeting, each Scout runs to that room and pulls out something and plays with it.  To me, it’s really not gym class and they are not in school so they should not be in there.  It also bothers me that the boys do not respect the School’s property and think that “we are not in school, so rules do not apply to us” type of thinking.

It’s one thing that I am going to bring up at the Annual Pack Planning Meeting.  Boys don’t go into the room.

Suffice to say, having a gathering activity is what is needed.  In the past, I have been somewhat successful.  paper airplane flying the farthest contests, throwing paper balls towards a mouse trap area and setting them off and other ideas .

I recently found a website that has a lot of ideas for Skits, Songs & Games.  I have picked the Ah Soh Gi game for maybe Join Night.  But, it’s now in the rotation.  I will also use the Ring of Fire game that was played at our Disc Golf Summertime Activity Event.  Ring of Fire is basically the boys standing in a circle around a Disc Golf Hole and trying to get their Disc’s into it.  Those who accomplish it, get to take a step or three back and try again.  This is repeated until the last Scout gets their Disc in.  They win.  It’s an elimination game.  It’s a skills game.

While Mike Rowe will tell you that he learned a lot from British Bulldog, we need to have safer games in general.  Many of the boys in the Pack do not like things flying towards them and others have a medical condition that if hit would cause serious injury.  Hence, my cause for worry.

Also, the boys like to play Tag a lot.  Usually it’s Toliet Tag or something not very Scouty.  I generally stop these because of the non-scouty part, but also I had one boy fall flat on his face and smack his teeth on the ground.  It resulted in a lot of pain and I thought he chipped a tooth.  He was fine afterwards, but it has stuck with me.

So, here is another game that is a game that they need to pay attention to, but is a lot of fun.   Ah Soh Gi Game.  There is a video on the website that shows how to play.

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Everyone sits in a circle, and learns the 3 commands and their movements.

1) Ah! – the person says “Ah” loudly, and puts their left or right hand across their forehead in a saluting motion, with fingers pointing at the person next to them.

2) So! – the person says “So” loudly, and puts their left or right hand across their chin in a saluting motion, with fingers pointing at the person next to them.

3) Gi!– the person puts both arms together in front of them in a clapping motion and points to someone else, anywhere in the circle.

The phrases must always go in that order, and each phrase needs its correct hand motion. You go when you are pointed at by someone next to you using “Ah” or “So,” or by someone across from you using “Gi.” When you are “Gi”ed at by someone you start the sequence over again.

When someone makes a mistake (ie, goes out of order, uses the wrong hand motion, hesitates in confusion for too long) they are out.

When someone gets out, each member of the group puts a hands in the middle with thumbs up, and calls “You’re outta here!” – like a baseball umpire.

That person leaves the circle and the group closes in the space. The person who was on right side of the exited person starts the sequence again, by saying “Ah!” and pointing to the left or right.

The game continues until there are two people left.

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8 thoughts on “Gathering Activities for Cub Scouts”

  1. Yep! Gathering period activities! Essential! I remember taking over a Pack that was not accustomed to doing anything at their meetings except have the Cubs and Webelos sit down auditorium-style and receive their badges. When I planned my inaugural Pack Meeting, I started it off with “Prisoner’s Escape” making sure as the Scouts arrived, they all got a 3′ cord with a hand loop on either side and were paired up and introduced to the challenge. After about 10 minutes of CONTROLLED fun and discovery, it was officially meeting time, and we commenced our opening ceremony. What was particularly funny, though, was towards the end of this gathering period activity, one of the parents of a second year Webelos asked me with incredulity, “Is this all we’re doing tonight?” He had never been to a Pack Meeting where the boys actually did fun stuff that was well-presented and planned!

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    1. Nice 😀 it’s a game with a purpose! Did somewhat of the same thing but had square knot tying races. One was a relay race where they had to tie the square knot and then take a step.

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  2. We had a similar issue in the gym. It took lots of firm but kind reminders, but eventually the boys just learned (some faster than others) that the gym stuff just wasn’t an option. Assigning an adult to stand guard by the fun stuff would be helpful.

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  3. You can borrow a basket and discs for Ring of Fire anytime. They key with kids that age is lots (and I mean LOTS) of adult supervision to keep it from becoming a free-for-all. A big safety talk before anyone gets handed a disc (don’t throw if someone is approaching the basket) is huge.

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  4. Adam, we went through a similar period last year when our meetings began to look like a prison riot. I made it a safety issue and referenced the Guide to Safe Scouting and said we were going to enforce the Youth Member Behavior Guidelines if my den was going to be in the pack. We e-mailed and passed out the Youth Member Behavior Guidelines to the parents and told the kids what areas are off-limits and our expectation that they act in accordance with the oath and law. I also made it clear that since it was a safety issue, and leaders are ultimately held responsible for safety, that each leader was expected to stop behavior that didn’t meet Youth Member Behavior Guidelines regardless of whose den the child was in. We also implemented Gathering Activities to reduce the free for all violence (I say the game should be called hit instead of tag). At our leader meetings I insist we talk about what went well and what didn’t at the last pack meeting so we improve and correct deficiencies. We try to anticipate dead times in pack meetings and have a plan to keep the boys entertained. If announcements are going to run long we have the adults stay in the gym and the boys go to the cafeteria for a game or songfest or some activity. Use the behavior guidelines to get people to commit to having the kind of meetings we all know we’re supposed to have.

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    1. Tom: Thanks for the note about how you dealt with it. I did a search on the GSS and found what you were talking about. I now plan to include both the printed and pdf versions of the GSS to each Committee/Leader within the Pack as well as putting a link to it on our website.

      In the Gym, the parents and Scouts are together. So, the Parents see everything. This includes the Den Meetings.

      Also, this year, I am putting each den on a rotation to supply a game/skit/song. This also includes Flag duties.

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  5. Geoff: Good for you for stepping up! You will love the time within Scouts with your son. Since your “new” I highly suggest going to all the Roundtable’s you can in your District. It will help you connect/network with others and get you information. I would also attend the University of Scouting/Pow-wow or whatever it’s called in your Council. It’s classes on how to create fun for Cub Scouts!

    Thanks to writing…;) YIS

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  6. Adam, this is a great article and very timely for me! My son and I have just signed up for Tiger Scouts and I will be the Assistant Den Leader, and as such, have volunteered to lead the Gatherings. Now I’m racking my brains trying to come up with some fun activities that are, as you say, “Scouty.” I’m still looking for good resources (official or unofficial) and would love some more suggestions. Thanks again!

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