Why have a Summertime Pack Program?

This weekend wrapped up Pack 221’s Summertime Pack Award for the 2012 Summer.   Which, is my last one with the Pack as I crossover with Elliot in 2013.  I did not realize this until the other day.  The 2009 Summer was my first with the Pack.  I realized that we were not doing Summertime Pack through my research due to my taking on the Cubmaster role.  I came across the Cubmaster Knot that could be earned.  (Since the Cubmaster Knot has been replaced by the Scouter’s Key, it’s still required to earn) I had to help the Pack earn the Summertime Pack Award just once.  We have now earned it four times.  The first year was an Ivy Pull, Bike Ride and a sleepover at the Ballpark.  The second year was Rain Gutter Regatta, Water Bottle Rockets and the Multnomah Days Parade. We also did the baseball park sleepover.  Last year was a Bike Rodeo, Multnomah Days Parade and Disc Golf.  This year was Rain Gutter Regatta, Bike Ride and Mud Cubs (Council Mud Day..;)  ).

It was a good Summer.  The 2010 June event was Rain Gutter Regatta.  Everyone totally loved it.  So, we brought it back again.  Again, a huge hit.  The July event was a Bike ride at Champoeg State Park.  I was not able to go, but I heard that it was a great time.  My now Wolf Den Leader planned it.  Finally, Council had an event called MUD CUBs.  It was a lot of fun.  Think MUD, Cubscouts and having them crawl through mud on their hands and knees.  It was a huge hit.  Included was two water slides.

I also included 3 out of 5 Cubmaster Hikes during the summer.  Meaning, if a Scout could not make an event, there was a second chance.  Not to many Scouts took me up on it.

Great….it’s done. Now what.  Time to fill out the form and answer the questions.

Did the Pack get The Summertime Pack Award? Yes.  Three events were offered. So, the Pack get the Streamer for the Flag.  In our Council we have a patch program that has a Summertime Pack patch.  I gave those out to anyone who came.  Since we earned the award as a Pack,

Summertime Pack Pins?  Yes, but only the Cubscouts who earned them.  One.  My Son.  There were several that went to TWO Events.   What I will say about this section is that in the past to encourage Scouts to keep with the program, I gave Pins to those who went to two event.  This, year that is not going to be the case. (I so want to hand these out.)

National Den Award: No.  No Den had 50% participation.  The other years we had enough to pass.  This year, we did not.

Please note, that the Summertime Pack Event only needs to have three events OFFERED.  It’s the National Den Award that requires the 50%.

So, why is the Summertime Pack Award important?  First and foremost, it keeps Scouting alive within the Youth and the Parents.  Most Packs stop for the summer outside of Summer Camp.   Summercamp does not generally count for inclusion for this award.  Yes, I said, generally.  Here’s is my reasoning.

In many Council’s Summercamp is put on by volunteers who have a whole week of DAY CAMP.  It will have TIGERS, WOLVES, BEARS & WEBELOS I & II all there.  That would be ONE whole event.  Other Council’s like mine, Cascade Pacific has a rank ascending Camp Program.  Meaning, Tigers go to a 5 day daycamp.  Wolves & Bears go to a 2 night resident camp.  Webelos go to a 3 day resident camp.  Webelos II go to a 5 night resident camp.

Since everyone goes to Summer Camp, it does not count.  It’s up to you on how you include or not.  Since I am the Akela and in charge of P221’s Program, it does not.

So, what happens if you put on Summertime Pack Events for three months and it’s just YOU and your SON and family.  The Pack has earned the award.  Your son got the pin, but not the Den Award.  The Pack has offered the program. It would have been great to had more.  Weird?  Maybe.  But, I got this solution from my now Wood Badge Scoutmaster when she was on staff at the 2009 Wood Badge.  First 30 minutes on being in camp, I was talking about how we did not get the award.  She asked what we did, I explained, she said we got it for the above reasons.  I really quizzed her about it.  Explained that “A Scout is Honest”.   She again explained the process.  Got it.

So, what else does Summertime Pack does for you besides keeping Scouting in front of the Scouts & Families.  It helps attract other families to your Pack.

Pack A does 9 months of programming and stops for the summer.  Pack B does the same, but provides a summer program.  It shows families having fun together.  It  also shows that the Pack works together to give fun.  If a Pack does not give a certain aspect that is important to you, what else do they NOT do?  Are they boring?  Do they just hand out awards in baggies?  Ceremonies for any rank advancement besides Arrow of Light?  If the Pack is boring, the kids won’t want to go.

So, having a Summertime Pack Event program will attract others to your program.  You want to get those new Scouts in the Pack.  You need parents to take over when your time is up.

Finally, Summertime Pack Events will greatly help you in using Journey to Excellence (JTE).  It goes back Pack Programming, Outdoor Activites, Building Cubscouting, Retention and Fitness.   Looking at all the areas within Journey to Excellence, you can knock out a lot of these with this program.  Does it matter if your Bronze? No. Silver? No. Gold? No?  Working with JTE will help you get to Bronze, Silver or Gold! It will also tell you where you need to improve.

Using the JTE will help improve the Pack Program.  Improving that, will help create fun.  Creating fun will help you with the game.  A game with a purpose.

So, put on the Summertime Pack Event program.
(ps: Don’t do it for the Knots.  Do it for the Scouts. That’s the real reward.)

About Adam R. Cox

Current Skyloo District Commissioner Current Skyloo District & Council Trainer Current Council Member at Large (Cascade Pacific Council) Former Tiger DL & CM of P221 in Pioneer District Former Skyloo District CS Roundtable Commissioner. Former Ast Council Commissioner for Commissioner Tools and Communication Former Pioneer District Training Chair WE1-492-09 Beaver W1-492-11 Bobwhite TG ASM Logistic W1-492-17-2
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2 Responses to Why have a Summertime Pack Program?

  1. scouteradam says:

    Glen: That is so awesome! It’s hard being the Akela! But, we DO OUR BEST and you did. I can say that the first two years I poured a lot of work into them. Last year was easy because I had two years under my belt. This year, I started to let go because I am leaving as I stated above. I did that because I wanted the other Den Leaders to step-up and see how it was to plan and make it happen.

    You can put out the event calendar and see who comes. I was happy with who came,because it was about them. Yes, Vacation and Life got into the mix. But, family is more important. Scouting will always be there.

    Overall, Good for you!
    Cubmaster Pack 221
    Beaver Patrol W1-492-09
    Bobwhite Troop Guide W1-492-11
    (One of my Bobwhites is the Troop Guide as the Bear TG. Though, my Troop Guide is a Bear…We are all related!)


  2. Glenn says:

    Hi Adam,

    I am the Cubmaster for Pack 650 and just wrapped up and filled out the forms for our National Summertime Award. A lot of work went into the two events per month and we had a minimal turnout. Fortunately, we did a couple of them with two of out sister packs.

    So, how did we do? The pack received the award, not a single den earned the award and only six scouts earned the the pin. What happened? Well, life and vacations and family stuff and friends from out of town, ect. It does not matter because I did my best to do my duty to God and my country, to help other people and to obey the law of the pack.

    Thanks for your dedication and hard work,
    Cubmaster Pack 650
    Bear Patrol W4-45-11-2


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