A Scout is helpful. A Scout cares about other people. He helps others without expecting payment or reward. He fulfills his duties to his family by helping at home.
Cubs in Action—by its nature, that theme is quite an understatement since this age group is so active, but this month’s pack meeting is an opportunity to direct their activity into helping others.
On page 14 of the 2010 Cub Scout Leader Book this list of character objectives helps us relate to a Cub Scout’s helpfulness:
- Be friendly. Smile. Be interested in and sensitive to the feelings of others.
- Show kindness. Be kind to those less-fortunate than yourself.
- Help those in need.
- Consider the feelings and needs of others when playing, talking, or working together.
- Help someone who is being treated unfairly.
- Look for ways to include others in the group.
- Be willing to forgive others.
A noble list of actions for sure, but from its outset in 1907 in England, Scouting has promoted being helpful to others as a major tenet—today it is the Boy Scout Slogan.
One of the best ways to help Cub Scouts learn character, is through stories, so let me take you back to 1909. The Boy Scout Association (BSA) was just two years old when William D. Boyce, a traveling newspaper mogul from Chicago, experienced a helpful Boy Scout one foggy night in London. In the thick fog, Boyce had become lost, when that Scout helped him find his way. Boyce was so impressed that the Scout helped him and refused a reward that he returned to the USA to help build and incorporate the Scouting program in 1910.
When a Cub Scouts helps others in their neighborhood or otherwise spreads the goodwill of Scouting, he is living the Scout slogan to Do a Good Turn Daily. He is keeping the third point of the Scout Law—A Scout is helpful—and that is the focus of this month’s Pack meeting.
CUBS IN ACTION—HELPFUL
◆ Before the Meeting:
NOTE TO cubmaster: Pack meetings are best when they are no more than an hour and a half in length. Pack meeting plans like this one are guides and can be adjusted to fit the needs of your pack. Consider setting up tables or areas for each den to display pictures and items made during this month’s adventure.
This month, Webelos Scouts working on their Arrow of Light rank could set up an exhibit to share information about the World Friendship Fund, which meets requirement 10b in their Building a Better World adventure.
Including the time spent on the service project, try to keep the meeting length the same as usual.
- Set up tables or areas for den displays
- American and pack flags for the opening ceremony
- Recognition for advancements, etc.
- Materials for the service project: tools and equipment for outdoor projects, other items for care or thank-you package projects
- Make certain that BSA national policies, as well as your local council policies, are followed if you are leaving your usual meeting place.
- Printed materials for the gathering activity
- Large posters with the words of the Outdoor Code
- With the assistance of the pack committee, den leaders, and parents, decide on a service project that can be performed during this pack meeting. Depending on the weather, you may have an outside service project like a neighborhood cleanup, recycling project, or Good Turn for your Ward house. You could also choose an indoor project such as preparing care packages for needy families, or thank-you packages for soldiers and local firefighters and police officers. Make certain the project is age-appropriate for the Cub Scouts.
- Option 1: Exhibit on World Friendship Fund by the Arrow of Light den
- Option 2: “Just One Word” Trick
You’ll really have them at a loss for words with this one! Cut out the following letters from magazine or newspaper headlines (or draw black letters on paper and cut them out,)
J N O O R S T U W
Place the letters in any order on the floor or table (or any flat surface), Ask the players to rearrange the letters to spell “just one word”. If they give up, rearrange the letters to spell the three words, “Just One Word.”
- Option 3: Good Will Word Search
◆ Opening Ceremony:
The Cubmaster asks a preassigned den to present the colors. Have the group recite the Pledge of Allegiance. If your service project is outdoors, you may also recite the Outdoor Code. (Knowing the Outdoor Code is part of each age group’s Adventures, so don’t neglect this code, but just recite the parts bolded)
As an American, I will do my best to:
- Be clean in my outdoor manners. I will treat the outdoors as a heritage. I will take care of it for myself and others. I will keep my trash and garbage out of lakes, streams, fields, woods, and roadways.
- Be careful with fire. I will prevent wildfire. I will build my fires only where they are appropriate. When I have finished using a fire, I will make sure it is cold out. I will leave a clean fire ring, or remove all evidence of my fire.
- Be considerate in the outdoors. I will treat public and private property with respect. I will use low-impact methods of hiking and camping.
- Be conservation minded. I will learn how to practice good conservation of soil, water, forests, minerals, grasslands, wildlife, and energy. I will urge others to do the same.
◆ Opening Prayer:
Ask a preassigned Cub Scout to offer an invocation or have him read “We are thankful that your light shines in us. We ask that we become more aware of those around us who are in need of our help and pray that our light may shine through their darkness.”
◆ Welcome and Introductions
The Cubmaster welcomes new families and any special guests, introduces them to the pack, and thanks those who helped with the service project preparations for this pack meeting. Introduce any special guests.
◆ Den Demonstrations
If there is a den that needs to do some type of activity at the pack meeting for the completion of an adventure, just insert it in the program here.
◆ Audience Participation
Complete the service project†. Everyone can help—Cub Scouts, families, guests and other members of your church.
O,r if the service project is on another day, use several of these audience participation activities:
Sung to: “Are you sleeping”
Turkey Dinner, Turkey Dinner
Over the Freeway
Over the freeway and through the smog
Over the freeway and through the smog
Cheers and Yells
|Good Turn Daily Cheer
Directions: Say, “Do a good turn daily!” while turning around once.
The Legend of Timpanogos
Background: Forming part of the Wasatch Range of mountains in Utah, Mount Timpanogos stands in majestic grandeur, as though to symbolize and protect the tranquility and beauty of the surrounding countryside.
Some say Timpanogos is an Indian word meaning sleeping or reclining maiden. Centuries ago, before the coming of the white man, this section of earth was inhabited by a group of North American Indians. The particular tribe of which I speak was a peace-loving people, believing in God and recognizing His presence here upon the earth as being in the form of the Great Spirit of the universe, possessing the power to create life and to administer death to every living thing.
As the following story is read, have the audience say the words associated with the key words in CAPITAL LETTERS. Be sure to pause for a moment to give the audience time to react.
|FOREST||Throw arms in air and say: Tall Trees|
|WILD ANIMALS||Give a wolf howl “Aroooooo”|
|SPARKLING STREAMS||Wave arms and say: “Gurgle, gurgle”|
|TIMPANOGOS||Tuck hands against head and say: “Sleeping maiden”|
|MOUNTAIN||Hand to forehead and say: “What a view!”|
Many moons ago, a peaceful Indian tribe lived near a lush, green FOREST on the side of a high MOUNTAIN. Many WILD ANIMALS lived there, which the Indians used for food and clothing. In the FOREST, many SPARKLING STREAMS ran, bringing water to the Indians and the WILD ANIMALS who lived on the MOUNTAIN.
After a time, a great drought came to the earth. The rain ceased and the SPARKLING STREAMS dried up. The plants in the FOREST turned brown and withered. The WILD ANIMALS left, and the Indians began to starve.
In desperation, the Indian Chief called his one and only daughter, TIMPANOGOS, to his side. TIMPANOGOS was young and very beautiful. The Chief told her to go into the FOREST and ascend to the highest peak of the MOUNTAIN. When she arrived, TIMPANOGOS prayed for days and days.
Finally, her prayers were heard and answered by the Great Spirit. Rain fell again and ran down the MOUNTAIN into the SPARKLING STREAMS, which brought life-giving water to the plants in the FOREST. The WILD ANIMALS returned to the MOUNTAIN and the Indians were again at peace.
As a symbol of gratitude, TIMPANOGOS offered herself in sacrifice, and was transformed into an Indian goddess of pure white and gray quartzite. Today, the MOUNTAIN named after TIMPANOGOS supports the outline of her beautiful figure upon its topmost crest, twelve thousand feet above the sea. There, with a smile of gratitude upon her face, as though in communion with the Great Spirit Himself, she lies, gazing straight into the blue of heaven.
Submission Credit: Legend by W. Bert Robinson, adapted by Julia Oldroyd
◆ Recognition and Rank Advancement: A Scout is Helpful
Personnel: Cubmaster and Den Leaders
Equipment: Awards for boys Adventure Loops and Pins: (Note: Adventure loops and pins can be presented at a meeting or as immediate recognition in the den.)
(Bobcat awards on a smiley face, Wolf awards on a helping hand, Bear awards on a “T”, and Webelos awards on a greeting card)
By den, call the names of those Cub Scouts who have completed the month’s adventure to come forward. Have the den leader pass out the awards to the boys as they receive a Cub Scout handshake from the Cubmaster.
If time allows, invite the den leader or den chief of the den to speak about the adventure work done for that month and have the den stand and be recognized. • Use a positive cheer to recognize their accomplishments.
- Have the den stand and be recognized or come forward to receive certificates for the adventure they have completed. This option would be appropriate for a den that has already received the adventure loop or pin.
- Adapt this part of the ceremony for the month into an adventure loop presentation if no rank badges are being presented.
CUBMASTER: I ask myself: “What do the virtues Faith, Hope and Charity have to do with Cub Scouting?” Well, as I repeat the Scout Oath or Promise – the phrase “to help other people at all times” sticks in my mind. Next I repeat the Scout Law and the words “a Scout is helpful” comes to mind. Helping other people and giving service is what Cub Scouts do and they lead to the three virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity.
One small way to start this is to share a smile and be cheerful to others. A smile is the first step to spreading goodwill. And tonight we have some boys who are taking their first steps along the Cub Scout trail. (Call forward the boys who are to receive their Bobcat award and their parents. Present the badge.)
After a smile, the next step is to lend a helping hand. This helping hand might be to carry in groceries for someone or set the table for dinner or wash the dishes after dinner—and all done with a cheerful smile. By offering this helping hand and cheerful smile we take the next step in living the virtues of faith, hope and charity. Tonight we have some boys who have taken the next step in Cub Scouting. (Call forward the boys who are to receive their Wolf award and their parents. Present the badge.)
What can we do to continue to help others and do a “Good Turn.” A good turn is to do a job without being asked to do it. This good turn might include cleaning our rooms, taking out the trash or shoveling snow without being asked. This good turn is a special step to bringing faith, hope and charity to others. Tonight there are some boys who have worked harder to take the next step along the Cub Scout trail. (Call forward the boys who are to receive their Bear award and their parents. Present the badge.)
To spread more joy, we can go even further to make a gift for a friend. We can make a special card or a small present or a treat for someone without expecting anything in return. With the giving of this special gift to a friend, we can continue to share our faith, hope and charity. We have some boys who are ready to advance along the Cub Scout trail and receive a gift. (Call forward the boys who are to receive their Webelos badge and their parents. Present the badge and any activity badges can be presented as well.)
Tonight we have seen how we as Cub Scouts and we as parents can remember to spread the faith, hope and charity. And by doing so, we will make the world a better place
◆ Cubmaster’s Minute:
At Thanksgiving we always think of everything we are thankful for—things like friends, family, freedom, churches, schools, plenty of food, activities we can do, places we have been. It’s great that we can have things that we can be thankful for. Not everyone gets everything they want, but everyone should be thankful for what they have.
Thankfulness is not having what you want, but wanting what you have. Another part of Thanksgiving is the giving part. Not everyone can give money, but everyone can give time. You can give by doing a Good Turn every day. To do a Good Turn, you can’t expect to be rewarded (or paid). Maybe you can help shovel a neighbor’s sidewalk, offer to get groceries for an elderly person, or just do a favor for someone. It can be as simple as holding a door for someone. Whatever kind of Good Turn you do, don’t take more than a thank-you for doing it. Now is a good time for you as a Cub Scout to begin being a good Scout and follow the Scout slogan, “Do a Good Turn Daily.”
Taken from the The Scoutmaster’s Minute
A preassigned den retires the flags and one of the Cubs offers a benediction or reads this Prayer of Thanksgiving, taken and adapted from US Scouting Service Project:
As Cub Scouts we are grateful for
the many gifts and talents given to the members of our Pack,
and to each of us as Cub Scouts
The freedom we have to join together and as a Pack
accomplish more than any of us could alone;
The opportunity to be of service to other people,
parents, and our community;
Our joy at seeing so many Cub Scouts excited
as they grow and are able to meet challenges;
Being reminded by their ceremonies and legends
that he who serves his fellows, is of his fellows greatest;
And most importantly we are thankful for the gift
of knowing that our prayers are heard.
We each in own way take this moment to silently
add our own thanksgivings . . . (pause)
With thanks in our hearts we offer our prayers
and ask that You, the Great Scoutmaster of All Scouts,
be with each of us until we meet again.
- Adopt a street, park, vacant lot or elderly persons home. Keep the are neat and clean through the winter
- Promote recycling in your city if available, otherwise do some recycling in the neighborhood by collecting items and taking them to the nearest recycling center.
- Rake leaves or shovel snow for elderly folks in your area.
- Visit the local library (school or city) to dust and straighten books.
- Read or play board games with folks that are in a care center or better have each Cub Scout adopt a grandpa or grandma for regular visits—let them talk and tell about their lives.
- Make puppets and visit your nearest children’s ward or hospital to do a puppet show.
- Make wreaths for every door in a nearby nursing home.
- Help promote the get out to vote in your community
- Clean and repair toys in your church’s nursery
- Collect good used magazines for a nursing home or care center
- Clean your church’s chairs and pews
- Volunteer to be the dishwashing team at your next church function
- Tend gardens at your nearby school or church
- Volunteer to help your Parks and Recreation Department to put away the fences and gear after baseball, soccer and football seasons
- Check with the forest service to plants trees, clean trails or do conservation projects
- Make a Cub Scout Welcome Wagon to greet any new boys in your area—invite them to a pack meeting
- Take fresh pine boughs with ribbon and a card to shut-ins
- Offer and end of winter car wash to get the salt and muck off neighbors’ cars.
- Go pack caroling in your neighborhood or at a rest home to spread holiday cheer.
- Collect old eyeglasses for third world countries.
- Repair and paint fences for the elderly in your neighborhood
- Send letter and or packages to service men and women.
- Visit the Sexton at the nearest cemetery to see if you can trim around and clean headstones.
- If your town has rodeo grounds, volunteer to paint fences, bleacher, or pick up trash.
- Check with the Council Camping Directors to see if you can do service at camp
What other service ideas can you suggest?
Author: Darryl Alder | Director of Strategic Initiatives, Utah National Parks Council, BSA. As a cubmaster he worked with Provo Parks and Recreation each year at Ream’s Wilderness Park in Provo to spread city mulch as a service project for Pack 59, chartered by the Lakeside 1st Ward.