Whenever a Cub Scout meeting reaches what we like to call “maximum fidget,” seasoned leaders know it’s time for a game, song or cheer.
As we enter day 15,000 of the pandemic, you’re no doubt looking for new games that might enliven your next virtual Cub Scout den or pack meeting.
Here are five ideas to try.
1. Scouting Scavenger Hunt
Over their months and years in the program, Cub Scouts acquire a bunch of “stuff” — patches, adventure loops, crafts and more.
But can your Cub Scouts find those items in their homes? And if so, how quickly can they locate them?
To play Scouting Scavenger Hunt, create a list of five things every Cub Scout in your pack or den should have. We’ve included a sample list below.
Then announce each item one at a time and give your Cub Scouts 30 seconds to locate it. Tell your Scouts to hustle (but not run), and ask them to return after 30 seconds even if they can’t locate the object in question.
So what’s being scavenged? You could ask your Cub Scouts to find stuff like:
- Their Pinewood Derby car
- Something that would help on a hike in the woods
- Their favorite adventure loop
- At least one item from the Cub Scout Six Essentials
- Something they’d need on a camping trip
- Their proudest possession (Scouting-related or otherwise)
- A family photo
- A healthy snack
- A recent copy of Boys’ Life magazine
2. Make ’em Laugh
In-person pack and den meetings work best when they’re equal parts silly and serious. Continue that tradition online with a game called Make ’em Laugh.
You can probably guess the rules: Someone gets the mike and tells jokes — perhaps choosing from the 4,300-plus available on the Boys’ Life website or the dozens found in the back of each issue of BL.
For an extra twist, each Cub Scout could take turns on “stage,” but instead of having the Cub Scout appear, they could find a favorite stuffed animal, doll or action figure and have that character tell the jokes.
Make ’em Laugh could be pure fun with nobody keeping score, or you could inject a little competition. Ask your Cub Scouts to unmute themselves and try not to laugh as another Cub Scout tells jokes. The first Cub Scout who can’t contain their chuckle takes the next turn.
When everybody’s laughing, everybody wins.
- If you’re having trouble deciding who goes next in this game (or any other), use the free online tool called Wheel of Names. Input your Cub Scouts’ first names, spin the wheel and let the computer do the picking.
- Want to skip right to the best jokes Boys’ Life has to offer? These are the top 100, as voted on by actual BL readers.
3. Kim’s Game 2.0
When Scouting founder Robert Baden-Powell invented Kim’s Game in 1910, HD videoconferencing was still the stuff of science fiction.
But it turns out that this fun activity, first published in B-P’s book Scouting Games, makes the move to Zoom quite nicely.
The original game goes like this: An adult gathers, in B-P’s words, “a number of articles — knives, spoons, pencil, pen, stones, book and so on — not more than about fifteen.” The adult leader then places those items on a tray and covers everything with a cloth.
The cloth is removed, and the Scouts have one minute to memorize what’s on the tray. When the cloth returns to conceal the collection, the Scouts try to remember as many of the items as they can.
For Kim’s Game 2.0, you can follow this same process. I recommend choosing fun, Scouting-themed items and throwing in something silly. Fifteen things might be too many for your Cub Scouts to memorize, so choose a quantity that will be challenging but not impossible.
- Instead of trying to awkwardly tilt the collection toward a laptop webcam, the Kim’s Game host should access Zoom from a smartphone or tablet, so they can aim the camera directly above the items.
- For a simpler variation on the game that might work well with younger Cub Scouts, show the collection twice: once with everything and again with one item removed. Ask your Cub Scouts to name which item is missing.
- After you’ve played this once or twice, assign the job of creating the game to a Cub Scout in your pack or den. They’ll enjoy hosting the game — and the opportunity to share some of their favorite “stuff” from around the house.
4. Who Said It?
This one takes some advance preparation, but trust us when we say it’s worth it.
About a week before the meeting where you plan to play Who Said It?, contact your pack or den parents to tell them the plan: You’ll be sending them a short questionnaire to complete with their Cub Scout. Be sure to include a due date.
The questions should yield responses that hint at the respondent’s identity. Avoid questions that are likely to yield the same or similar answers from multiple Cub Scouts.
- What’s your favorite thing to do while camping?
- Who is your favorite superhero, and why?
- What’s the funniest thing that ever happened at a Cub Scout meeting?
- What’s your favorite hobby?
- What superpower would you like to have?
- What do you like to do for fun?
- What’s your favorite book?
- What color was your most recent Pinewood Derby car?
- What’s your favorite movie?
- For Webelos: What are you most looking forward to about being in a Scout troop?
You won’t have time to get to every response, so curate the list by selecting the ones that best identify the answerer — but still provide a bit of a fun challenge. When making your list for Who Said It?, double-check that every Cub Scout has at least one answer included.
As a bonus, this questionnaire will help your Cub Scouts get to know one another. It might even help them realize that there are other Cub Scouts in their den or pack who share their interests.
- Use Google Forms to make the questionnaire process faster and easier. Parents can input their Cub Scouts’ answers right on the form, and Google will give you a sortable list of which Cub Scout said what.
- If you want to get really fancy, you could even use the free online learning tools at Kahoot! to quiz your Cub Scouts in real time. Instead of asking Cub Scouts to guess Who Said It? aloud, Kahoot! would allow every Cub Scout to vote on every answer.
5. We’re Going on a Camping Trip
Who says packing for a Cub Scout camping trip has to be a parent’s sole responsibility?
In We’re Going on a Camping Trip, the Cub Scouts get in on the fun. It goes like this: One Cub Scout (selected using that Wheel of Names, perhaps?) starts by saying “We’re going on a camping trip, and I’m bringing a sleeping bag” — or whatever item they might want to pack.
The next Cub Scout continues the list: “We’re going on a camping trip, and I’m bringing a sleeping bag and a flashlight.” The third adds on their own piece of gear: “We’re going on a camping trip, and I’m bringing a sleeping bag, flashlight and water bottle.”
This continues with each Cub Scout adding on an item until the list gets so long that one Cub Scout forgets something.
- If your Cub Scouts enjoy the game and want to try a second (or seventh) round, try changing the trip destination. Now you’re going on a camping trip to Antarctica, the desert, the jungle or Mars. Get creative!
- You could also switch things up by starting the prompt with “We’re going on a camping trip, and we’re not bringing …” — this time encouraging your Cub Scouts to come up with ridiculous things they wouldn’t (or couldn’t) take camping.
Other favorite Zoom games?
Heads Up, Charades, Simon Says, Pictionary and countless other party games can easily be adapted for a Cub Scout meeting.
Have you had success with any virtual Cub Scout games while meeting remotely? Share your tips with your fellow Scouters below.