Friday, September 30, 2011

Scouttrack.com

"Scouttrack.com is an internet-based service that makes it easy to manage Cub Scout Packs and Boy Scout Troops. It replaces the achievement tracking charts and trail records in the back of Scout books, as well as the spreadsheets, paper records and PC-based Pack/Troop management packages typically used by Den Leaders and Scoutmasters."
My Pack uses this, and it is FANTASTIC. Very user-friendly! The parent, Den Leader, Cubmaster, Committee Chair, and Advancement Chair can all record what's been passed off at home or Den Meeting. They all have the same information all at the same time about a boy's progress, and can access it any time they need.
The Cubmaster, Committee Chair, and Achievement Chair can print a report of what's been earned this month, ready for picking up awards. The Den Leader can do a quick entry about what's been done at Den Meeting and which cubs were in attendance, and each cub's record will be updated immediately. All leaders can set up a calendar which will send reminder emails to parents about upcoming events, or they can write a note and send it instantly to each cub all at the same time.
Here is a snapshot of one of the pages, just so you can visualize it. Better yet, get on the site to view all of the pages and read what it has to offer. Yes, it does have a cost - $45 a year, and it is soooo worth it! In our pack it took a few months to get everyone on board to want to try it, and about 10 minutes during two of our Monthly Pack Planning Meetings to get trained, but now it is the easiest recording ever, we all have the same records that don't get lost, and we all think it is so easy and an invaluable tool!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

October - Responsibility


I have a book that puts very nicely what responsibility is, but it has a copyright on it, and I'm a stickler for keeping copyrights, if I know about them. This link, Teaching Responsibility, has some wonderful things to read which will help leaders be better able to explain and guide children into understanding Responsibility.
Demonstrate the importance of doing your part with a 3-legged stool. While it is possible, with extra effort, to sit with only one or two legs, all legs are important for stability.
Activities could include a trust walk or playing a game where each team or person has a responsibility that only he is allowed to perform. For instance, teach the positions of soccer, basketball, baseball, or football. You could build something, but each team builds a part, and then it gets put together. Teach them to take pride in doing their best with the responsibility they have been given, and how good it feels to do one's part in a group.
Ask what's important to them. Peace? Winning a game? Getting their turn? A clean house? Explain that taking responsibility is doing what they can to make these goals come to pass. If they want a turn, they need to let others have a turn. if they want to win a game, they need to practice at home as well as at team practice.
Have everyone bring 3 pieces of small trash. Have them walk around a small yard and nonchalantly drop each piece of trash around the yard. When everyone's finished, have them look at the difference only 3 pieces of trash makes. Then clean up the yard and throw away the trash properly.
Take responsibility for your corner of a clean world. Have each boy weigh the trash in their house for one day, then times it by 356 for a year. Visit a local dump and recycling plant. Talk about how to recycle.
Talk about the responsibility of their teacher or mother or coach or milking a cow. Then discuss what would happen if they did not take their responsibility seriously. Talk about what responsibilities the boys have at school and at home. Talk about the effects of their being responsible or not responsible.

Getting to Know You Page (Wolf 6; Bear 8)

Have the boys fill this out and use the page/pages as: Getting to know you or Spotlights, All About Me book (Tiger), Start or add to an existing Den or Pack Scrapbook (which can pass off Bear 8c), or Start a Collection (Wolf 6b,c) Click HERE for a scrapbook page for the boys to fill out, that looks like this:

Monday, September 12, 2011

September - Cooperation

Cooperation is needed to play most games, particularly played in groups and pairs. Our job is to get the children to be aware it. Discuss what cooperation is, and how it might look when playing games they are familiar with like soccer or baseball, as well as what the game might look like without cooperation.

Here are two links (Link 1 and Link 2) to some short group games that demonstrate cooperation quite well. You might want to play these games, then have them assess how cooperation helped them reach their goal.

Two other popular games for scouts are Human Knot and Shrinking Island. Click on the Human Knot link above for instructions to play it.

For Shrinking Island, take a tarp, open it up and place it on the ground. The goal of the game is to get everybody on the island. When they have successfully completed their task, have everyone get off the island, fold the tarp in half, and have them see how many of them can now get on the island. Continue shrinking the island to see how small that island can get and still have everyone on it. You can do this talking or without talking. It's fun to watch the cooperation as they hold each other to all be safe on the island.