It is that time of the year, for most, to gather up the Pack Committee and Den Leaders and find a spot for a whole day and figure out what’s going to happen the next Cub Scout Year. This year, our Pack will have its first real sit down meeting and flesh it all out. Last year I had a 4 hour one at my house at the end of summer which was good in the fact that we got a new Committee Chair out of it. The years before was just me plopping down a calendar and saying “Here we go!” and ran with it.
So, what information/tools do you need to plan for the upcoming year? Several things.
First: Review what the Pack did last year. Join Night, Pack Meetings, Pumpkin Races, Scouting for Food, Caroling at Retirement Home, Wreath Sales (Fundraising), Scouting for Food, Pinewood Derby, Rank Advancements, Arrow of Light, Pack Camping, Blue & Gold, Webelos Woods, Camporee, JOTT, Summertime Pack Events, Raingutter Regatta and others. Did we do well? What did we fall down on. How can we improve.
Second: What do we want to do for events in 2012-2013? (See above) What do we do differently.
Third: Get the calendar of the School District, Council & District. As well as any religious calendars needed. As a Pack work to join, work with, be mindful about the Jewish Holidays. Since I am not Jewish, it is very helpful to know that there are days/nights that are not the best for Pack Activities.
Fourth: Tools. By this I mean look for the documents,websites, spreadsheets, software that is provided by National and Council to help plan. These will include the Journey to Excellence (Pack), Summertime Pack Event, Budgets and other helpful items. This is our Council’s Pack Planning Guide.
Once these are collected and the pre-work is done. Oh, Pre-Work? What is that? To me, that is all the ideas of what you want to happen next year based off past experiences and new ones you learned about. Since I am the Cubmaster and in charge of the program, it’s up to me to formulate the ideas. I do take advice from everyone. Yes, this is a group process of what should, should not be included and what worked and didn’t.
This year there are several factors that I need to contend with. We have the normal Fall Join Night. This year Cascade Pacific Council is working a program to increase the Tigers & Wolves enrollment. We have a Council Wide Sept 19th Fall Join Night. There is going to be a media blitz about it. So, we need to reason that in.
I have a Spring Recruitment happening as well. This will lead into a Raingutter Regatta for the last June Pack Meeting. It’s also our Summertime Pack Event. There are a couple of other Pack events in June that will cover the Summertime Pack Event.
For the coming year, besides the normal Council/District events and Traditional Events, I want to include a Space Derby in October. I have never seen one, nor do I know when the last Pack Space Derby happen.
Training: This is always a big thing. However, this year, I need to get several Den Leaders and others to BALOO & OWLS. I am the only one in the Pack with BALOO & OWL training. I also need to insist upon the Committee/Den Leaders to go to Program & Training Conference on November 3rd. It’s our University of Scouting/Pow-wow.
With these tools, plans and ideas of what & how to put on a Cubscout Year, your Programming will help attract & keep Cub scouts and Parents to the Pack.
I do have to say that my Council, Cascade Pacific has really made a huge leap in making it easier this year. This year, they have put the Calendar for the Council and each District online that can be updated easier and also to be subscribed to via your computer’s Calendar and Smartphone. This way, I know what is happening and get updates to all training events (that are loaded into the system). So, thank you to those within the Council that made this happen. It makes me very happy. Both as a Cubmaster and District Training Chair!