PACK & DEN ADMIN HELPS
There are two items this month –
- Character Connections by Carol from American Elm
- A Blue & Gold Dinner Agenda from Sam Houston Area Council
Carol E. Little, CS RT Commissioner
American Elm District, Black Swamp Council
The Character Connection information in this article and on www.Cubroundtable.com , my website come from excerpts from friends interested in helping other Scouters get needed information about the new program. Jamie Dunn, Three Rivers District –Cub Training Chair; Blaine in Coon Rapids, MN; Sean Scott, Council Vice President, Public Relations, California Inland Empire Council and Sean’s Philmont Report with one of the authors of the new Character Connections, Dr. Matt Davidson. Thanks, for the help.
Character Connections involves 12 core character values, but the program does not assume there are only 12 values, if we can succeed in creating a strong character foundation with our scouts they will learn other values later. Also, although each achievement emphasizes one particular CC it doesn't mean that it is the only character value that can be focused on in that activity.
When the first Character Connections achievements came out in the new Tiger books, leaders were not used to teaching character building. The old BSA Ethics in Action program which attempted to make character an optional element of the program did not succeed. Character Connections, by being integrated into the books, achievements, materials, and so forth, we are building on a child's developmental ability.
CC also involves three dimensions that aren't separate or even separable-- to know, commit and practice. The boy needs to know the CC (head), commit to it (heart) and practice it in his daily life (hand).Character is both caught and taught. We see someone exhibiting character and follow their example in our community. We can also teach character by telling, discussion, experience and modeling. This is where the discussion points in the books come into play.
The end goal of CC is to establish a moral identity for our youth. Until a boy takes on Scouting's values as his or her own, it isn't a violation of a child's personal morals to break those values. Values are situational, too. In the context of a Scout meeting, a boy may quite comfortable reciting the pledge or discussing the importance of not littering. However, under pressure from his peers in a non-Scouting setting, the boy needs to have a sense of greater conviction to those same values to stand behind them as strongly when they may not be as popular for him or her to follow them.
CC can be integrated into achievements in the following manner:
- Say you're working on a conservation project or hike. You're out in nature, and you come across a pile of rubbish left by some campers or hikers. One of your boys makes a comment about how rude or careless littering is. Ask the boys why they think it's rude to litter. This is the KNOW component. They've seen an example of littering, and now they realize that it's not nice to toss your trash in the woods. Ask them how they felt when they came across the pile of trash. Did it distract them from everything else that was around them? Did it make them forget that they were looking for animal tracks, or a certain type of plant?
- This is the Commit phase, where these boys realize that they don't want to be thought of in the same way as they're thinking of whoever left the trash. Now that you've guided them to discover how they feel, they establish a personal set of values about littering. The important part here is that it is easy to break a rule we don't believe in or hold as a personal value. People speed because they don't think it's too wrong--they consider themselves good drivers and capable of handling a vehicle at a higher speed than the posted limit, or because the importance of being someplace sooner outweighs the importance of breaking the law. Speeding just doesn't violate most people's core values or beliefs. Most people, though, do have a value system that prevents them from shoplifting. Doing so would violate their personal values.
- Cultivation of a sense of community and the impact that values have on the boy's place in that community. we've helped the boys establish *for themselves* that littering is wrong, guided them to understand how they feel about the person that left the trash, and realize that they don't want to be thought of in the same way. Now we apply the last part of the program, Practice. where the values are broken into actual skills. Here it may help to script the steps toward the end goal so that difficult concepts can be better understood.. Help them make the decision to pick up the trash, and to not litter themselves. It's not until they have an opportunity to actually do/avoid something that the three parts come together and a character connection is made.
- Cool down, where discussion of what went well, what could have gone better, and what might come next can be discussed.
How to do a Character Connection activity:
- Reserve judgment—let them give their ideas
- Open ended questions—require scouts to think and give personal ideas.
- Feeling questions—what did they felt about the experience—that makes it personal to the scouts.
- Judgment questions— about their feelings
- Ask guiding questions and stay on track.
- Closing thoughts—Bring discussion to an end.
This isn't a classroom type of program. Rather, it's a method by which we as leaders can have an informal discussion with our youth and allow them to discover how they feel about something. As in all Scouting activities, Make it simple, make it FUN! Examples found in the 2005 Character Connections Packet are collected from 2002 to present so that future Leaders will have the resources we had from the beginning.
To learn more check out Character Connections
- The Purposes of Cub Scouting and Character Connections
- How Character Connections are used as part of the requirements.
- Character Connections Chart #13-323A Chart explaining Character Connections
- 2005 Character Connections Packet Examples of the different areas covered by Character Connections from past Program Helps (from 2002 to this year's 2005 - 2006), Roundtable Resource sheets, and the 2003 Cub Scout Books.
- Character Connections Data Some history behind the program.
- Character Connections Overview of all ranks on a chart.
- C Connections Outdoor Grid Ideas for outdoor activities.
“Cubs in the Future” Blue and Gold Banquet Agenda
Sam Houston Area Council
Agenda items not explained here, will be found in appropriate sections of Baloo’s Bugle (e.g. “Scouting Around the World” may be found in Opening Ceremonies)
- Hand-out Pack newsletters and Pack Meeting programs.
- Den Displays: Every month, dens should bring displays to show what they have done since the last pack meeting. Ideas for this month -
- 22nd Century Uniform and Costume Show
- Parade of 22nd Century transportation vehicles
- The Trail from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts Maze:
SCOUTING AROUND THE WORLD
Sam Houston Area Council
Baloo is a Cub leader who knows how to have fun, and likes to share that fun with others. Start THE Blue & Gold (as well as every pack meeting) with a fun participation song or activity for all Cubs and family members. This should be led by an energetic adult (or Den Chief or Webelos Scout) acting as Baloo for the Pack meeting. This encourages people to be at the pack meeting on-time and it gets the show rolling with a bang. Later in the Pack meeting, Baloo will also be the one leading cheers for songs, skits and awards.
- Baloo’s Profound Thought: When you're riding in a time machine going far into the future, don't stick your elbow out the window, or it'll turn into a fossil.
- Baloo Run-ons: Your Baloo should be ready with some Run-Ons so he/she can jump in when there is a lull in the action setting up for awards, prepping a skit, …
You should have some skits by the dens to show off their acting ability and at least one Audience Participation to get everyone involved.
This and That Narrative:
This has been in Baloo before but if you haven’t used it before, this story is always good. CD
Be sure to have some fun action songs to give the Cubs “wiggle time” as my Mother used to say, as well as, some more serious Scouting and Patriotic ones, too. Intersperse these as appropriate throughout the program. Have a really lively one right after the opening.
Make a list of the cheers you wish to use that night. Look over the awards list and pick appropriate cheers for the awards as well as a few to have on tap for skits, songs and when recognizing the Blue & Gold committee and all the pack leaders.
What’s coming up for your Pack in the near future?
The Birthday for Robert Lord Baden-Powell, founder of Scouting is February 22nd (The same as George Washington’s real birthday!! But a different year – BP – 1857, George Washington – 1732 (Which by the way are the digits used for the square root of 3 (Sq Rt of 3 = 1.732)).
Make special recognitions for your departing Webelos leaders and families.
Open the time capsule that the transitioning Webelos had assembled a few years before.
Provide some recognition for all of your leaders and committee members, your Chartered Org, and those who have helped you during the year. Keep them light, quick and creative. For Example -
YOU ARE OUT OF THIS WORLD AWARD
Baltimore Area Council
For the someone in your pack who has done an extra special job for the Pack or Den. Draw a rocket on a piece of cardboard, make a model rocket or present the person with a cheap rocket.
Have a label for the rocket with the person’s name, an explanation of the award, and why they earned it
22nd Century Awards
For this ceremony, build two cardboard transporter portals. If your venue doesn’t have a stage with a curtain, then you should also have an opaque sheet between the portals (perhaps a sheet of black plastic). In a school cafeteria with a stage, the entrance portal may be at ground level (with access to the side entrance to the stage) and the appearance portal can be in the middle of the stage so that the boys can walk quickly from one to the other unseen by the audience.
ADVANCEMENT – THE CUB IN THE FUTURE
ARROW OF LIGHT - THE LIFE STORY OF AKELA
Have an inspirational thought to close the meeting. Something for the parents and boys to leave with and think about. Not sure how to do this? If there is a Scoutmaster at your Blue and Gold, ask him in advance to be ready with one. Part of his job as Scoutmaster is to close every Troop Meeting with a Scoutmaster’s Minute.
CM Minute - Johnny Appleseed
And then finish it with a closing ceremony lead by one of the dens
I Made a Promise