Barry C Runnels (Barry_C_Runnels@MMACMAIL.JCCBI.GOV)
Wed, 7 May 1997 09:38:14 CST
There is several ways you can do to shorten the meeting without taking the
FUN out or degrading the ceremonies.
We only gave the more special awards during the ceremonies like the Bobcat,
Wolf, Bear and so on. We asked the Den leaders to give the belt loop type
awards during the Den Meetings.
Generally Scouts only talk when they think they won't miss anything Fun or
important. So keep them involved as much as possible.
Get everyone involved during ceremonies. One night we asked everyone to get
in a Big circle, when we called the recipients name, everyone would stamp
their feet then yell something like, Roar of Bear or Cry of the Wolf. Then
as I present the award, they would yell the Scouts name and award. Another
night we had one of our Native American (he prefers American Indian)
parents lead everyone in a dance after the awards were presented.
Spice up boring parts of the meeting. During announcements, we do the
announcements song. I can find it on the Web if you want. I had someone
else do the announcements so I could put on a wig or silly hat to represent
part of the announcements. During our roller Skating Party announcement, I
came out with roller blades and hammed it up.
We gave the Den leaders a copy of the agenda so they would have their
Scouts ready to do their song or skit at the right time. This reduces the
dead time. I also have some jokes ready just in case there was some dead
Another great trick is tell the Scouts if you hold your arms a certain way,
they have to stand up and yell at the top of their lungs. But if you hold
hands a different way, they should only clap. Change the signals at each
meeting. This works great during dead times like announcements. During a
Uniform Inspection by a local Troop, the natives where getting restless. So
I threw out a few hand signals to cheer the Scouts on and all went well
I saw Dave's idea to spread out the awards during the meeting, we also did
this and it works very well.
There is two things to keep in mind for each meeting: it is normal for
Scouts to get rowdy when they are bored. Its not their fault, it's yours.
The other is the meeting has to be FUN. Scouts love to yell and jump up and
down, so plan it in the meeting under your control.
Review each meeting and change the areas the Scouts didn't enjoy. All parts
of the meeting can and should be fun, even ceremonies and announcements.
When we started reviewing each meeting and changing the parts that weren't
fun, we shorten the meetings by 40 minutes without taking out any content.
The changes won't happen over night, but they will make a difference. Good
"Mighty" Pack 339
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City