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Start Planning Your Summertime Program March 12, 2009

Posted by thetrainerscorner in Uncategorized.
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Hello fellow Scouters,

By now, most of you are past your Blue and Gold banquets summertimepackand Pinewood Derby races. You’ve worked hard up to this point, and this is the time of year that we often begin to coast. But don’t forget one important item. If you haven’t already, you should start planning your summertime program.

Many packs shut down in the summer, with no den or pack meetings. For those that shut down, a summertime program is vital to keep some level of Scouting activity going on. This helps with retention by keeping people connected to Scouting and your pack.

National has three awards for summertime activity. The first is the Summertime Pack Award.  To qualify for the Summertime Pack Award, you need to offer 3 summertime events. For this you get a long banner to put on your pack flag. The second award National has is for den participation. If you have 50% of a den attend 3 summertime events, that den gets a ribbon to put on your den flag.

The final award is for individual Scout participation. If a Scout attends 3 summertime events, he gets the National Summertime Award, which is a pin that goes on the right pocket flap. These used tosummertimescout be all gold-colored pins, but beginning last fall they’ve changed and now each rank has a pin, color-coded for that rank.

One thing to note is that it is important to schedule more than three outings. If you only schedule 3 outings, and a scout misses one due to vacations, finances, etc. then he loses the ability to earn the individual Scout award.

It is also important to have a variety of outings. Our pack goes to baseball games (major and minor leagues), participates in parades, has park or beach days, bike rides, campouts, and even Olympics with neighboring packs. We’ve had rain gutter regattas (where we’ve raced the boats then lined the rain gutters with tin foil and had large ice cream sundaes), and belt loop days where we’ve gathered at a park or the beach and worked on a belt loop (like volleyball or ultimate). Being in coastal southern California, our summers are very pleasant, and we have more outdoor options than other climates, so you might not be able to do many outdoor activities.

Another thing to note is that it is also good to have affordable outings, especially during these economic times. As I mentioned above, our pack participates in a 4th of July parade, which costs nothing. Our park/beach sports belt loop days were also at no charge. Some of the items do cost some money (like the professional baseball games) but families have enough options in our summer program that they can skip these and still earn their individual award. There are many other ways to get together and not spend a lot of money. You can have an indoor game night, a marbles tournament, a box car race, an ice cream social, or even have your own parade! You can make it fun without spending a lot of money.

Finally, make sure that you take attendance at these events, so you can track your various summertime awards. In our pack, the Outdoors Chair is given a current roster and we make sure that everyone who attends an event checks in with him when they get there. (In your pack it might be someone different, which is fine, as long as someone has this task).

So as you begin to wind down your Scouting year, make sure you have a fun summer program waiting to go!

If you have any ideas for summertime events, especially inexpensive ones, please feel free to leave them in the comments.

In Scouting,

-Scouter Jeff <><

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