Baloo's Bugle

May 2008 Cub Scout Roundtable Issue

Volume 14, Issue 10
June 2008 Theme

Theme: Go For The Gold
Webelos: Traveler & Handyman
Tiger Cub Activities


Annual Program Planning
Circle Ten Council
Year Round Program


Program planning is a simple but critical part of your pack's success. Throughout the process remember your goal is to deliver a high quality program to each boy and his family. It should be fun, exciting and focused on the purposes of Cub Scouting.

Setting an annual program plan provides direction and sense of satisfaction and a feeling of accomplishment in a job well done. Planning also makes the best possible use of your valuable volunteer time.

Planning Steps:

One of the most important responsibilities of the pack committee is to keep the pack operating with a first-rate, year-round program. The quality of the program will depend largely on the pack committee giving the Cubmaster, the Cub Scout den leaders and Webelos den leaders the help they need.

Cub Scout program planning includes four steps, dependent upon one another, which usually guarantee a strong pack program. The steps are:

Annual Pack Program Planning Conference

Monthly Pack Leader's Meetings

Monthly Den Leader Meetings

Monthly meetings of each den leader with the den chief

Steps to having a great
Annual Program Planning Meeting

SET A DATE TO MEET - Set a date in August with the committee, including the Den Leaders and Webelos Leaders.

CHECK MEETING DATES - Before this time check with your chartering organization and school calendar to find available dates for pack meetings. They should be at the same time and date each month.

REVIEW LAST YEAR'S PROGRAM - Which activities worked and which did not? Decide what activities and special meetings you would like to do again. Also determine whether or not your budget was adequate for them.

SET NEW MEETING DATES - Review the available pack meeting dates with the pack committee and set dates for the coming year. Write pack meeting dates in your council calendar (extra copies are available through the Service Center for your committee members and den leaders). Be careful to avoid holidays and school breaks.

SET COUNCIL AND DISTRICT DATES - Review the council and district calendar and mark dates on your program schedule for district and council activities: Webelos Woods, Pinewood Derby, training sessions, and important meetings like roundtable.

SET SPECIAL PACK DATES - Set the dates for special activities your pack will be doing during the year and put them in your program calendar. These may include:

  • PackFundraiser (Product Sale)
  • Blue and Gold Banquet
  • Pinewood Derby
  • Friends of Scouting
  • Summertime Activities
  • Webelos and Tiger Graduation

Since June 1, 2003, adults giving leadership to a pack campout MUST complete the Basic Adult Leader Outdoor Orientation (BALOO). Please check council calendar for upcoming BALOO training sessions. (This is not required for council-run programs)

SCHEDULE YOUR MONTHLY COMMITTEE MEETING - Select dates for and schedule monthly meetings of your committee to meet and plan out the next month's activities and meetings (i.e. in September you should be planning for October). You should have a committee meeting every month.

SELECT A MONTHLY THEME - Select monthly themes from the Program Helps or choose your own. Write them in your annual calendar so everyone knows what the month's theme is for both Cubs and Webelos.

SET A BUDGET - Based on the meetings and activities you have planned for the year, number of boys who are likely to advance, and the number of youth and adult members of the pack, figure out what your approximate yearly expenses will be. You will need to plan enough fund raising activities to cover these expenses.  The Budget Planning Worksheet will help you calculate and plan your annual expenses and income to create a budget.

DISTRIBUTE THE PLAN - Cub Scouts and their families will better participate in meetings and activities if they have a copy of the calendar. Every family should receive a copy of the annual calendar so they can plan accordingly.

These are the basic steps your committee will need to follow to have a complete annual program plan and calendar. This calendar will help insure that everyone in the pack knows exactly what is happening from month to month during the year. More important, it will help you plan in advance and avoid being caught off guard by rapidly approaching deadlines.

Remember that September brings *** Join Scouting Night and the start of a full year of activities. When you go to Join Scouting Night, if you have a well thought-out plan and distribute it to your members, new and old, you will find it is easier to recruit not only boys but also adult leaders.

For more information click on

Annual Pack Program Planning , for a very by thought out worksheet for the seasoned pro and newbie scout leader.  Many thanks to .Jamie, Cub Scout Roundtable Commissioner, 3 Rivers District, Northern Star Council

I, also, encourage leaders to take a look at Bill Smith’s Pack Admin section,


And while you are planning your year, don’t forget to be safe.  Follow the Sweet 16 of Safety from the BSA!! CD

The Sweet 16 of BSA Safety

Commissioner Charlie B, Old Colony District, SNJC

These 16 safety points, which embody good judgment and common sense, are applicable to all activities:

  • Qualified Supervision.
    Every BSA activity should be supervised by a conscientious adult who understands and knowingly accepts responsibility for the well being and safety of the children and youth in his or her care. The supervisor should be sufficiently trained, experienced, and skilled in the activity to be confident of his or her ability to lead and teach the necessary skills and to respond effectively in the event of an emergency. Field knowledge of all applicable BSA standards and a commitment to implement and follow BSA policy and procedures are essential parts of the supervisor's qualifications.
  • Physical Fitness.
    For youth participants in any potentially strenuous activity, the supervisor should receive a complete health history from a health-care professional, parent, or guardian. Adult participants and youth involved in higher-risk activities (e.g., scuba diving) may have to undergo professional evaluation in addition to completing the health history. The supervisor should adjust all supervision, discipline, and protection to anticipate potential risks associated with individual health conditions. Neither youth nor adults should participate in activities for which they are unfit. To do so would place both the individual and others at risk.
  • Buddy System.
    The long history of the "buddy system" in Scouting has shown that it is always best to have at least one other person with you and aware at all times of your circumstances and what you are doing in any outdoor or strenuous activity.
  • Safe Area or Course.
    A key part of the supervisors' responsibility is to know the area or course for the activity and to determine that it is well suited and free of hazards.
  • Equipment Selection and Maintenance.
    Most activity requires some specialized equipment. The equipment should be selected to suit the participants and the activity and to include appropriate safety and program features. The supervisor should also check equipment to determine whether it is in good condition for the activity and make sure it is kept properly maintained while in use.
  • Personal Safety Equipment.
    The supervisor must assure that every participant has and uses the appropriate personal safety equipment. For example, activity afloat requires that each participant properly wear a personal flotation device (PFD); bikers, horseback riders, and whitewater kayakers need helmets for certain activities; skaters need protective gear; and all need to be dressed for warmth and utility as the circumstances require.
  • Safety Procedures and Policies.
    For most activities, common-sense procedures and standards can greatly reduce any risk. These should be known and appreciated by all participants, and the supervisor must assure compliance.
  • Skill Level Limits.
    Every activity has a minimum skill level, and the supervisor must identify and recognize this level and be sure that participants are not put at risk by attempting any activity beyond their abilities. A good example of skill levels in Scouting is the swim test, which defines conditions for safe swimming on the basis of individual ability.
  • Weather Check.
    The risks of many outdoor activities vary substantially with weather conditions. Potential weather hazards and the appropriate responses should be understood and anticipated.
  • Planning.
    Safe activity follows a plan that has been conscientiously developed by the experienced supervisor or other competent source. Good planning minimizes risks and also anticipates contingencies that may require an emergency response or a change of plan.
  • Communications.
    The supervisor needs to be able to communicate effectively with participants as needed during the activity. Emergency communications also need to be considered in advance for any foreseeable contingencies.
  • Permits and Notices.
    BSA tour permits, council office registration, government or landowner authorization, and any similar formalities are the supervisor's responsibility when such are required. Appropriate notification should be directed to parents, enforcement authorities, landowners, and others as needed, before and after the activity.
  • First-Aid Resources.
    The supervisor should determine what first-aid supplies to include among the activity equipment. The level of first-aid training and skill appropriate for the activity should also be considered. An extended trek over remote terrain obviously may require more first-aid resources and capabilities than an afternoon activity in a local community. Whatever is determined to be needed should be available.
  • Applicable Laws.
    BSA safety policies generally parallel or go beyond legal mandates, but the supervisor should confirm and assure compliance with all applicable regulations or statutes.
  • CPR Resource.
    Any strenuous activity or remote trek could present a cardiac emergency. Aquatic programs may involve cardiopulmonary emergencies. BSA strongly recommends that a person (preferably an adult) trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) be part of the leadership for any BSA program. This person should be available for strenuous outdoor activity.
  • Discipline.
    No supervisor is effective if he or she cannot control the activity and individual participants. Youth must respect their leaders and follow their directions.

Reference: The Sweet 16 of BSA Safety, No. 19-130