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The Pith Helmet and The Sombrero May 13, 2009

Posted by thetrainerscorner in Uncategorized.
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Hello fellow Scouters,

As a district trainer, I am accumulating a lot of training supplies (otherwise known as “Scouting clutter”). My training supplies include PithAndSombreroa pith helmet and a sombrero. Now I know that these are most definitely not official uniform pieces. But I have them to make a point: Cub Scouting should be an adventure, and it should be fun. (In fact, the last time I did Leader Specific training, I taught the Cubmaster portion and wore the sombrero the entire time).

The pith helmet represents adventure. We are not here to give the boys sit-down lectures – we are here to give them an adventure. We are here to take them and their families camping and hiking. God created a wonderful world and we get to help the boys get out and experience it. And we are here to teach them new skills and to start the process of teaching them to be leaders (which will be further developed in Boy Scouts).

And, of course, the sombrero is for fun. We absolutely have to make our program, whether at the den level or pack level, the most fun they boy will have in a week. If not, we will lose them to sports or other activities. And it is possible to compete with other activities, as I’ve blogged about before. At my spring den meetings, sometimes boys would come late, with their Scout uniform tops tucked into baseball pants, still wearing their cleats. If you have a fun program, the boys will be there, no matter how booked their schedule is.

So my challenge to all Cub leaders is have a program where you can wear a sombrero or pith helmet or any other crazy hat. (I know of Cubmasters that make a new hat for each pack meeting, based on the theme of the pack meeting, or just to have a crazy hat.) It’s hard to be serious or take yourself too serious when you are wearing a sombrero.

Here’s to an adventurous and fun Cub Scout program!

In Scouting,

 – Scouter Jeff <><


Open Up A Box of Cheer April 23, 2009

Posted by thetrainerscorner in Uncategorized.
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Hello fellow Scouters,

Is your pack meeting in need of some pep? Do you have downtime cheertransitioning between events? Are you looking for a way to spice things up? Then consider opening a box of cheer!

Cheers (and their cousin Run-On’s) are great ways to mix things up and keep the pace of the pack meeting going. The last thing you want to do is to have one long, drawn out program – you will generally lose the attention of the boys. Having short program segments and mixing in cheers and run-on’s between those segments are a great way to keep things fun.

There are many great resources for cheers, including:

Bill Smith’s New Roundtable site (link updated 8/22/09):


Baloo’s Bugle:




Merit Badge.org:


If you are looking for a place to keep these, consider a box of Cheer! I have an actual box of Cheer detergent that I store cheers. You can store them in small envelopes by subject, or just write some out, throw them in the box and pick one at random (or have a Scout pick one at random). In the end, you will be mixing things up at your pack meeting, and this will keep the attention of your boys.

And a note to Assistant Scoutmasters and other leaders: Please keep an eye on the room during the pack meeting. If you see a slow transition between events, and the Cubmaster is busy preparing for the next event and the boys are starting to get restless, just reach in the box and grab a cheer. This is a great way to help the Cubmaster keep the pack meeting fun. And fun pack meetings will keep the Scouts coming back.

Here’s to a fun, exciting pack meeting!

In Scouting,

 – Scouter Jeff <><