Cub Scout Pack 114

Goldenrod District, Mid-America Council


GATHERING ACTIVITIES

As presented at MAC Pow Wow 1996, 1997
by Barb & Mike Stephens

Before a den meeting officially starts, leaders have some den management tasks to complete and Scouts need organized activities to keep them occupied while others arrive and the leaders complete their tasks.

Gathering activities vary, but generally they include checking each Scout's book for advancement progress, collecting dues, taking attendance, and getting each boy in the Scouting frame of mind before harnessing his energy and attention to the tasks of the meeting. How is this accomplished?

The answer is with good planning, good help and a little luck!


Den Management

This is something over which you have some control. The den meeting has been planned in advance by the den leadership. Each person knows what will be covered, how it will be covered, and by whom. They know to arrive at least 10 minutes early.

Share your tasks with your helpers (assistant leader, parent, den chief, denner, assistant denner). To record dues, advancement checks, and attendance, use the BSA forms for rapid completion of paperwork. If you find those forms don't meet your needs, create your own form. The point is ... do what you can to make your job easier. You might even go so far as to teach the Scouts what is expected of them at gathering time and share the tasks with them. Why not let them put an "X" on a posterboard by their name for attendance, or pick out their own attendance bead?


Scout Direction

Cub Scout aged boys aren't usually self-directed. You need to help them select activities that are appropriate. This will vary depending on how much "free" time there is, where your meeting is being held, what resources are available, how many scouts are present, and how much help you have.

A den chief is an extremely valuable asset to your den. He is usually someone the boys will look up to and admire. He can collect dues, show or teach a simple magic trick, lead a simple game or administer the selected "fun page." Some of these activities can be conducted by your denner and assistant denner if you don't have a den chief. And don't hesitate to ask a parent to stay and help!


GOOD GATHERING ACTIVITIES:

  1. Are age appropriate
  2. Keep the boys' interest
  3. Are not complicated
  4. Are not mandatory
  5. Can be terminated at any point


RESOURCES:

  • Program Helps
  • Cub Scout Leaders How-To Boo
  • Cub Scout Magic
  • Pow Wow Books
  • Den Chief's Handbook
  • Children's magazines
  • Color Books
  • Public Library
  • Puzzle Books
  • School "Fun"sheets



GATHERING ACTIVITIES FOR SCOUTS

CRAFTS
TRICKS
FUN PAGES
GAMES

SAMPLE GATHERING ACTIVITIES

Memory Tray

Make up a Memory Tray with 12 simple items spaced out on a tray with a cloth to cover it all. As each scout arrives, give him a piece of paper and a pencil. Then uncover the tray for him (and him alone) for one full minute (be sure to time it). He has four minutes to write down what he can remember was on the tray. Talking is not allowed until ALL scouts have turned in their paper. Spelling is not an issue. Some suggested items: clothespin, pencil, button, fork, dime, key, postage stamp, nail, shoelace, ball, bottle cap, lipstick.


Jigsaw Puzzle Ads

Cut up full page color pictures from magazines. Have at least one puzzle per scout. As each scout arrives, hand him one to put together. If time permits, let the scouts exchange puzzles.


Who Am I?

Make up a "Who Am I" card for each scout. This card has the name of someone who is famous or well-known. Try to make them all fit a category - past presidents, actors, cartoons, etc. Tape one card on the back of each scout as they arrive (be sure the scout does not see the name). The scouts are allowed to ask each scout two questions which can only be answered with "Yes" or "No" as they try to guess "Who" they are. (The names don't have to be world-famous - use the name of the mayor, the school principal, Cub Scout leaders, etc.)


US Alphabet Soup

Place a large paper on the wall that lists the following:

  A=4    C=3    D=1    F=1    G=1    H=1    I=4    K=2    L=1    M=8
     N=8    O=3     P=1    R=1    S=2    T=2    U=1    V=2    W=4

Give each Scout a piece of paper and a pencil. Instruct them to write down the names of the states that begin with each of the letters. There are four states whose name begins with "A", three states whose name begins with "C" and so on.


Find the Leader

Have boys sit in a circle. Select one boy to be "It" and have him leave the room for a moment while you choose a "Leader." When "It" returns, he stands in the middle of the circle. The "Leader" starts some motion (winking, nodding his head, patting his knee). The others in the circle do what the "Leader" does. The motions are changed from time to time. "It" tries to guess who the "Leader" is. When "It" succeeds, the "Leader" is now "It."


Last updated November 8, 1996

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