By Darryl Alder
Jul 21, 2015

A Pioneer Day Pack Meeting

Cub Scouting has a rich heritage around Kipling’s Jungle Book, but you will find just as many Native American and Pioneer traditions. With Pioneer Day in Utah this week, it seemed appropriate to share a sample pack meeting with our readers.

Cub Scout pack meetings include the following parts:

  1. Before the Meeting. Adult leaders in the pack gather to be sure the meeting place is prepared: the room is set up, exhibits and displays are prepared, equipment is ready, and the agenda is distributed.
  2. Gathering. A gathering time provides interesting things for boy and families to do while waiting for everyone else to arrive.
  3. Opening. A brief ceremony marks the beginning of the meeting. Pack ceremonies often consist of a flag presentation, a brief prayer, or a song. The Cub master also welcomes and introduces new members and special guests.
  4. Program. The program section of the meeting may include presentations and performances by the dens that demonstrate things the boys learned during the month, activities that involve the entire audience, or a featured event.
  5. Recognition and Rank Advancement. An important part of the pack meeting is formal recognition given to the Cub Scouts who have earned badges, adventure loops, pins or other awards, and the leaders who have earned training awards, religious emblems, or other community awards.
  6. Closing. The closing begins with announcements about special events, coming activities, the theme for the next month, and the date of the next pack meeting, followed by a closing ceremony.
  7. After the Meeting. After the pack meeting, many packs provide refreshments for an informal fellowship session, and the leaders and boys help to put the meeting space back in order.

Pioneer Pack Meeting Agenda:

Cub Scouts love to imagine they are adventuresome souls from the past. Why not treat them this month with a Pioneer Day Pack Meeting like this:

Before the Meeting. Have each den set up their den display tables.

Cub Scouts can color and label these for each den

Cub Scouts can color and label these for each den

Have a Conestoga wagon made out of poster board with each den’s name on it, either attached to the table or behind the table so that guests can easily identify the table of each den. Make sure the flags are ready for presentation. Ensure you have all of the supplies for the skit and advancement ceremony, as well as awards ready for presentation. Don’t forget the Cubmaster’s and assistant Cubmaster’s stick horses and cowboy hats, copies of the word search, and pencils.

Gathering. Make PIONEER ICE CREAM ( this can be a group or family activity)

Ice Cream in a Can1 cup milk
½ cup sugar
1 cup whipping cream
½ tsp. vanilla (can use chocolate syrup)

Place all the ingredients into a 1-pound can and seal with a lid. Place this into a 3-pound can along with crushed ice and 1 cup of rock salt and seal with a lid. Roll the cans back and forth for 10 minutes. Stir the contents of the smaller can, replace lid, and roll again until ice cream is firm.

Variation: Use bags instead of cans! A sandwich size bag for all the ingredients and a gallon size zip lock bag to put the ice cream into with ice and salt. Shake and smash with hands.

Set these aside for treats at the end of the meeting.

Opening:  Cubmaster on a stick horse

The Cubmaster enters riding a stick horse and ties up the stick horse to a post or the back of a chair. He asks a parent or leader to do their “First Duty” and pray or have one of the Scouts read this:

Please help each of us to always stick with the tasks we try, even when they are difficult, just like the pioneers who traveled west and settled our frontiers. Amen

Then the Cubmaster asks the preassigned den  to do their “Second Duty” to present the colors. When the flags reach the front of the room, the Cub Scout who calls the flag ceremony states:

“Our frontier forefathers helped start our great land, With courage and bravery they took their true stand. Let‘s pause a moment to pay them tribute today, Grim hardships and setbacks they had in their way. Remembering how they were put to the test, In history books ’tis said, they always DID THEIR BEST. May we ever be thankful for their perseverance so grand, So we can proudly salute the great flag of our land. Please stand and join us in the Pledge of Allegiance.”

One of the den chiefs leads the entire group in the Scout Oath and Law.


Den Demonstrations:  Ask each den in turn to talk about their adventures during the last month. Call each to the front to do so. After each den gives its presentation, have the pack give the den a cheer or applause led by the Cubmaster

Chuck Wagon Cheer  “Come and get it!”
Horse Applause Gallop in place, saying, “Clippety clop! Clippety clop!”
Bandanna Applause Throw a bandanna into the air. Everyone applauds until the bandanna reaches the floor. Repeat, catching the bandanna at different points during the drop.
Wagon Train Cheer Make a circle with one arm above your head and say, “Head ’em up!” Point straight ahead and say, “Move ’em out!”
Coyote Applause Lift up your head, as if howling at the moon, and say, “Aw Woo, Aw Woo, Aw Woo, Woo!”
Westward Ho Cheer The Cubmaster says “Westward” and the audience answers, “Ho!

Activities and Games:
Covered Wagon Derby Have the boys make covered wagons and race to the finish. Other activity ideas can be found in the Cub Scout Leader How To Book on pages 6-23 to 6-26 (Western Rodeo Round-up and Pioneer Day).
Stick-horse-anapolis Make stick horses and have the boys race them. They could do western-style activities at each pit stop (lasso a chair, yodel, play a rubber-band banjo, tie a knot, etc.)

Audience Participation
Have the audience say the associated expression when the tickler phrases below are read by the narrator. These instances are indicated in bold in the story.

Wagon Train
Chuck Wagon
“Head ’em up!”
“Circle the wagons!”
“Keep trying!”
“Come and get it!”
“Clippety clop! Clippety clop!”

Once there was a young man who wanted to go west to the frontier lands. This man knew there would be Challenges along the way, but he was prepared to Persevere. So he bought a Horse and joined a Wagon Train. Now this was a very special Wagon Train because it had seven Chuck Wagons, each with a team of seven Horses. Each Chuck Wagon had a cook named Cookie, and each Horse was named Perseverance.

Now the young man knew to expect Challenges as he traveled with the Wagon Train, but he was stumped as to why all of the Horses for the Chuck Wagons were named Perseverance.

So he asked the man in charge of the Wagon Train, “Why are all of the Chuck Wagon Horses named Perseverance?”

The man in charge of the Wagon Train replied, “Well, on this Wagon Train the biggest Challenge most people face is the food from the Chuck Wagon. But we all know we must eat to keep up our strength, so we named the Horses Perseverance to remind us that even when we face the most difficult Challenges we must stick with it and not give up. Just as with any other Challenge we face, we must Persevere to succeed.”

Skit:  THE MARKED TRAIL (Santa Clara County Council PowWow Book May 2001)Scene: All are approaching a mountain trail for a day hike.

Den Chief: This sure is a good day for a hike.
Cub #1: Sure is.
Cub #2: Just right for walking in the woods.
Cub #3: (Speaking to lagging Cub Scouts) Hurry up or you’ll get lost.
Cub #4: We don’t want to miss a thing.
Cub #5: I’m glad our Den Chief knows the trail.
Cub #6: Why, do you think we could get lost?
Cub #7: No, the trail is marked. Saturday hikers always mark the trail.
Cub #8: Just like the pioneers and Indians, right?
Den Chief: Not exactly. They drop candy wrappers, tissues, bandages and soda cans. (pick up some along the way, but turn up your nose as you say it)

Pioneers loved to play in the outdoors.  Try some of these fun activities and games:

“Americans and English,” this is a tug of war played without a rope. The object is to get all of the opposing team over the line.  Two players hold onto each other’s hands and the remaining team members line up behind each other, each putting their arms around the chest of the man in front of him, like a hug from behind. Then they pull until the other team is over the line. It’s even more fun when they all have to be pulled over the line


Blind Man’s Bluff.  One player is blindfolded and put in the middle of everyone else.  When the blind man catches someone, he must try to identify who it is by a quick feel of the head and shoulders.  If he gets it right the caught player becomes the blind man, if not, play resumes.  Sometimes the players spin the blind man before he starts trying to catch them.

Hoop Rolling  (Hula hoops work these days, but barrel rungs and wagon well rings were used back then) are set into motion and the person runs alongside it, keeping it rolling with a stick.  Hoop-rolling contests can be held to see who can roll their hoop for the longest amount of time or who can roll it the farthest.

Feather Dance Players form a circle and must keep some downy feather afloat within the circle without touching it.  They may blow or wave their hands to create a breeze.

These games are taken from the Pioneer Experience; there are more Pioneer Games here:

Recognition and Rank Advancement.
Both the Cubmaster and the assistant Cubmaster are at the front of the room, wearing cowboy hats and holding stick horses like they are riding them.

CUBMASTER: “Well, (say the assistant Cubmaster’s name), I understand we have a passel of awards to give the Cub Scouts tonight. If you hand them over, we can start the presentation.”
ASSISTANT CUBMASTER: “Oh, no! We left the awards on the chuck wagon that stayed behind to fix its axle. What shall we do?”
CUBMASTER: “There is only one solution for this; you need to go fetch them.”
ASSISTANT CUBMASTER: “OK, anything for the Cub Scouts.” The assistant Cubmaster then rides off on a stick horse to “fetch” the awards.
CUBMASTER: The Cubmaster dismounts and ties the “horse” to a chair or pole. “Cub Scouts, there is no need to worry. Mr./Ms. _________________ is on the job to get the awards. He/she never gives up, even when facing big challenges. Hey, that sounds a lot like you guys.”
ASSISTANT CUBMASTER: (Rides in on a stick horse carrying a Dutch oven filled with the awards.) “Here are the awards, fresh off the fire. You would not believe what I had to face to get them. I even ran into a big bear that thought they were his dinner. But never fear, just like the Cub Scouts this month persevered when faced with the challenges of earning these awards, I also never gave up when faced with challenges to retrieve them.”
CUBMASTER: “That’s great. Thank you so much. Now let’s get these awards in the hands of the Cub Scouts who earned them.”

The Cubmaster then calls each Cub Scout and his parent or guardian to the front of the room to receive his award. The Cubmaster should be sure to call the Cub Scout by name and say a little about what the Cub Scout did to earn the award.
(Note: It is easiest if the awards are separated into envelopes by den in the Dutch oven and labeled with their contents.)

After all awards have been presented, have the pack give the “cowpoke applause.” Cowpoke applause: Raise one hand in the air, as if waving a hat, and say “Whoopee!”

Closing: HAPPY TRAILS (Heart of America Council, Baloo’s Bugle April 2001)

Personnel: 4 Cubs and a narrator

Narrator: Our pioneer forefathers found and followed many trails. The Native Americans explored the country first. European settlers followed. With each new person came new experiences and new challenges.
Cub 1: Our trail is the Cubbing trail!
Cub 2: Our experience is the fun and adventure of Cub Scouting.
Cub 3: Our challenge is to be good Scouts, friends and neighbors.
Cub 4: Our future is to explore the world around us, moving up the trail from Cubs to Webelos and then to Boy Scouts!
Narrator: Let’s join together in singing “Happy Trails to You”. (Music and Lyrics by Dale Evans-Rogers)
Some trails are happy ones,
Others are blue.
It’s the way you ride the trail that counts,
Here’s a happy one for you.
Happy trails to you until we meet again.
Happy trails to you, keep smilin’ until then.
Who cares about the clouds when we’re together?
Just sing a song and bring the sunny weather.
Happy trails to you ’till we meet again

Cubmaster Minute: Perseverance is defined as sticking with something and not giving up, even if it is difficult. As the pioneers headed west across this great country, they met many difficulties, yet they did not give up. Instead, they kept going, overcame the adversities they met, and helped to develop our wonderful country. Let’s all remember this, this week as we celebrate Pioneer Day!

After the Meeting. After the pack meeting, eat that ice cream and informal fellowship. Be sure the leaders and boys help to put the meeting space back in order.

We would love you to share your Pioneer Day Celebration ideas for Cub Scouts; just jot them in the comment section below.

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