Scouting at Home Pack Meeting
Cub Scout Activities: How to Run a Virtual Pack Meeting
What Do I Do?
Plan Your Basics
After you choose the right online conferencing tool for your unit, break out those Pack plans you prepared this month and consider what can be converted into a graphic, PowerPoint Presentation, or other file that can be shared with your unit using that conferencing tool. For instance, I created a PowerPoint Presentation with an opening that asks all attendees logging in to mute their microphones, use the “Reactions” button to give me a thumbs up when they’re ready, and say hello to their friends using the chat feature. It also includes our opening ceremony – Pledge of Allegiance, Scout Oath, and Scout Law. I will share my desktop during our meeting and advance through the slides as needed. Keep it simple, make it fun!
Determine a Theme
Consider a quick theme for your digital materials. Our local neighborhoods are all sharing rainbows in their windows, drawn in chalk on their driveways, and hidden around their property so the kids can hunt them on their walks. I decided that rainbows would be the theme of my presentation for that reason, and because they are a beautiful reminder of the hope that comes after a storm. It’s fitting in my eyes, BUT there are a lot of themes that are appropriate right now. How about the Wolf adventure, Germs Alive, which is full of fun opportunities to reinforce that a Scout is Clean. Maybe you decide upon a specific point of the Scout Law each month and would prefer to use a one of the full meeting plans provided by Scouting.org (for us, March is obedient, which is a great opportunity to remind Scouts about listening to mom and dad).
Make It Interactive
A normal Pack meeting is boisterous and fun, so why wouldn’t a virtual meeting be? Zoom has tools available that make any meeting interactive, like the chat feature, reactions, and of course the ability to speak and be seen! There are a lot of great ideas at the Scouts.org/uk/activities site (793 to be exact) that can easily be converted into an interactive activity for your unit. How about a knot-tying challenge, use the chat function to have Scouts ask you 20 questions, play camp charades and have Scouts guess in the chat, demonstrate how to properly wash your hands, or go around and have Scouts each tell a joke using their microphone and webcam. Just like your Pack, ours is full of talent! Invite Scouts to share their gifts with the Pack. For instance, one of my AOLs is working on his Maestro adventure and will be serenading us with a guitar piece.
Give Credit Where It’s Due
You won’t have a traditional awards ceremony in a virtual meeting, but it’s still important to acknowledge the Scouts who have earned loops, pins, and special awards in the last month. Create slides in your PowerPoint Presentation for each den that prompts individual leaders to give a brief update to their Scouts, then another that notes who has earned what adventure. Advancement is, of course, one of the Methods and Aims of Scouting, and a Scout deserves to see that their efforts are noted and appreciated. Physical awards will have to wait until we’re able to meet again in person, but until then we’ll do our best!
Challenge Your Scouts
It’s more important than ever to keep our Scouts interested and engaged, and social distancing allows us an opportunity to show just how flexible this program is. Challenge your Scouts to complete requirements at home, let parents know that they can submit advancement for approval through ScoutBook, and offer prizes to Scouts who commit to making the most of their time at home. I created a rank-specific Cubmaster Challenge, offering 3 to 4 adventures for each rank, and including tips and resources to help them out along the way. My post Cub Scout Activities: Adventuring from Home Rank Challenges
has shared links to the FREE challenge docs as well as a running list of virtual resources that support the Scouting program.
Keep It Short and Sweet
A free Zoom membership allows up to 100 attendees, and 40 minutes of meeting time. Honestly, it’s hard enough getting Scouts to hang in there for a full hour in person… 40 minutes should be more than enough time to complete a virtual meeting.
Keep it positive; these kids are getting bombarded by heavy, upsetting information from all sides. This should be a safe place for upbeat conversation, celebration, and camaraderie. There’s absolutely nothing you can add to this global conversation in your Pack meeting that these families haven’t already heard a trillion times over. A Scout is Clean, so please feel free to share some hand-washing tips or to joke and see who’s brushing their teeth these days, but steer clear of pointing out how isolated we all are right now.
Make it about community and connection, and it will be a Pack meeting to remember!