Get your popcorn ready — here’s some fun ideas to do ahead of the Oscars

Nominations for the 90th Academy Awards were announced this morning, and if you’re a movie buff, that will probably put you in the mood to pop some popcorn and watch a film.

But you’re also a Scouter, so now could also be a good time to dive into some cinematic activities with your Scouts before the red carpet rolls out.

Cub Scouts

Webelos dens/patrols have 18 elective adventures to choose from on the trail to the Arrow of Light rank, one of which is Moviemaking. This adventure prompts Scouts to be creative and confident as they make a movie to share with others, which many will love to do. Here’s a fantastic and funny short produced by a patrol in Pack 451 in Durham, N.C.

Working on this adventure presents the perfect opportunity for a den outing, too, perhaps to a small film studio. Below are the adventure’s requirements:

1. Write a story outline describing a real or imaginary Scouting adventure. Create a pictured storyboard that shows your story.

2. Create either an animated or live action movie about yourself. Your movie should depict how you live by the Scout Oath and Scout Law.

3. Share your movie with your family, den or pack.

Boy Scouts and Venturers

Boy Scouts delve deeper into the film production process with the Moviemaking merit badge. Scouts learn about filming techniques, equipment and careers in moviemaking. Again, this is a chance for a Scout to be a producer as well as a showman in that he is required to prepare a treatment and storyboard before filming his project and showing the final product to a group.

As part of the merit badge, Scouts can visit a film set or television production studio and watch the magic from behind the cameras.

The Eagle-required Citizenship in the Community merit badge calls for Scouts to watch a movie that highlights how one’s actions can have a positive impact on the community. Some ideas that other Scouters have suggested are 12 Angry Men (1957), It’s A Wonderful Life (1946), We Are Marshall (2006) and Mr. Holland’s Opus (1995). Documentaries are also a great resource for this requirement.

Scouts who have reached the First Class rank and Venturers can work on a Supernova Award. One science-oriented activity topic involves researching and reporting on unbelievable aspects in space films. Using scientific principles, Scouts examine what is realistically plausible in the movie and what falls into the “science fiction” category.

Other fun ideas

This time of year could call for a “Movie Night”-themed pack meeting or court of honor. Roll out a red carpet, ask Scouts to escort their parents to their seats and serve some popcorn for the evening. Scouts could screen their films for the pack or troop.

You could also consider showing excerpts from Scouting-related movies. Check out Follow Me, Boys! (1966), Mister Scoutmaster (1953) and Tex Rides with the Boy Scouts (1937).

If you’re thinking of screening a film for youth, it’s a good idea to watch it first to make sure it’s appropriate and look at these resources on ratings and movie licensing.

About Michael Freeman 47 Articles
Michael Freeman, an Eagle Scout, is associate editor of Boys’ Life, Scouting and Eagles’ Call magazines.