Tuesday Talkback: What will your Cub Scout pack do this summer?

Photo of a Cub Scout swimming

Summer is here, which means parents and students alike are getting a much-needed break from school.

Cub Scouting, on the other hand, is meant to be a year-round program.

That doesn’t mean your dens have to meet every week, or even that your pack has to meet once a month. It means only that you should offer at least a couple of official Cub Scout activities during the months your Scouts are out of school.

Which brings us to the most important question: What will you do?

You’ve got options.

Summertime Fun Adventure

The new Summertime Fun elective Adventure is part of the Cub Scout program updates that went into effect last week.

It replaces the National Summertime Pack award and may be one of the simplest Adventures. It has just one requirement: participate in a total of three Cub Scout activities anytime during May through August.

The new Summertime Fun elective Adventure is available for Tiger through Arrow of Light Cub Scout ranks. Lions do not begin Cub Scouting until they are attending kindergarten in the fall, so there are no summertime activities for Lions.

Cub Scout day camp

Cub Scout day camps are operated by local councils and volunteers. They are nationally certified by Scouting America, which means you know you’re going to get fun Cub Scout-appropriate activities.

Back when I was a Cubmaster, summer day camp was one of the highlights of the year. Our Cub Scouts participated in target sports, built items such as bird feeders and chess sets by hand, and enjoyed visiting with spokespersons from local zoos, wildlife refuges and animal sanctuaries.

It’s pool party time!

One of the most fun and easiest events to organize is a pool party.

You can offer an official Cub Scout pool party at a public pool or at someone’s backyard pool as long as you keep a few things in mind:

  • Since this is an official Cub Scout event, you’ll need all adults to focus on keeping the kids safe. That means no alcohol, and at least one adult who is capable of going into the water and responding to a struggling swimmer. This is true regardless of whether or not the pool where you’re swimming provides lifeguards.
  • It is strongly recommended that all units have at least one adult (or an older youth member from a nearby Scouts BSA troop, Venturing crew or Sea Scout ship) currently trained in BSA Aquatics Supervision: Swimming and Water Rescue or BSA Lifeguard to assist in planning and conducting all swimming activities. Contact your local council for training opportunities near you.
  • All aspects of Safe Swim Defense apply. I can’t stress this enough: The presence of lifeguards at a public pool or aquatics park doesn’t replace the responsibility of all adults in Cub Scouting to keep kids safe.

It’s cookout time!

A morning or afternoon at the park has never NOT been fun for Cub Scout-aged children. Throw in an adult who knows their way around a grill? I’m getting hungry just writing about it.

Keep in mind that the primary job of the adults in attendance will be to monitor the kids. The same person can’t supervise the kids and cook burgers on the grill at the same time.

Make sure this division of tasks is clear from the beginning.

Begin exploring the rest of the updated Cub Scout program

The advantages to working on a Cub Scout Adventure is that you know you’re participating in an authorized Cub Scout activity. The updated program is designed to be fun, simple and easy. That applies to Cub Scouts, their parents and Scout leaders.

One thing I want to emphasize: The new Cub Scout program is designed to give all dens plenty of time to complete the requirements before the end of the school year. That means you shouldn’t feel the need to “get ahead” by working on these requirements during the summer.

Having said that, if working on Cub Scout Adventures during the summer is the best option for your den’s families, then go for it!

During any hot-weather activity, remember to encourage everyone to wear sunscreen and stay hydrated. Refer to Scouting America’s library of Safety Moments for information on safely leading a wide variety of activities.

What will your pack do this summer? Let us know in the comments!

About Aaron Derr 467 Articles
Aaron Derr is the senior editor of Scout Life and Scouting magazines, and also a former Cubmaster and Scouts BSA volunteer.