Last night, our pack had the opportunity to visit our city building and police station. With November’s theme (Core Value) of Citizenship, we had planned for a “civic” outing of some sort. When a courthouse tour fell through, we were able to schedule something with the city and police (both of which are in the same building).
Since election day was close (the next night), we thought it would be fun to have the boys hold an election to “seat” the city council. We had a list of every boy in the pack and each boy needed to select 6 council members, the city clerk, city attorney and mayor. After the election, the boys took their seats in the actual council chambers and with the assistance of the current real city clerk (who was our guide) held a mock council meeting complete with agenda and “issues” to consider.
The boys as seated in council chambers.
There were three issues brought before the “council” for their consideration:
- Should Trick or Treating hours be extended or changed?
- Should owning a pit bull be illegal in the city limits?
- Should there be a restriction on the number of Silly Bandz a person can wear?
Each item was taken up separately. The “mayor” gave the floor to those boys on council who wanted to speak on the issue and provide their thoughts and ideas as to how council should vote. In the end the boys decided against extending Trick or Treating hours because more if there was more time to get candy, kids would have more and that may lead to unhealthy habits. They felt that pit bulls should not be illegal as long as the owners cared appropriately for the dogs and that there should be a limit as to how many Silly Bandz a person could wear since earing too many could cause injury or cut off circulation in the arms.
The took their ruling responsibility very seriously. It was amazing that I saw 9 boys from our pack sit still, pay attention and be respectful all together, in the same place without being reminded to behave as most boys need.
After the council meeting we had a tour of the rest of the city offices and even saw the mayor’s office. Incidentally, we have the mayor scheduled to come speak at our pack meeting later this month. When we informed the boys that the person who works in this office will be at our pack meeting one said, “How cool is that?”
After the tour of the city offices, we were then handed off to a police officer for a tour of the police station. He showed the boys typical police things and areas (interview rooms, the briefing room, the evidence room, the armory, the holding cell and his police cruiser). The boys liked the cop car the best — of course.
In a little over an hour, all of this was accomplished an Cubs in each rank now had a requirement (or two) ready to be signed off.
Tigers 2G: Visit a police station or fire station. Ask someone who works there how he or she helps people in your community.
Wolfs 4f: Visit an important place in your community, such as a historic or government location. Explain why it is important.
Bears 3d: Find out where places of historical interest are located in or near your town or city. Go and visit one of them with your family or den
Bears 7b: Visit your local sheriff’s office or police station or talk with a law enforcement officer visiting your den or pack to discuss crime prevention.
Webelos Citizen #10: With your Webelos den or your family, visit a community leader. Learn about the duties of the job or office and tell what you have learned.
If you have the ability to visit your local government offices and/or the police station, I highly recommend it. It can be a low stress outing especially if you have an accommodating host who can keep the boys attention. Our boys certainly enjoyed the visit and I think the actually learned a few things without even being aware they were learning something. Sometimes, those are the best learning opportunities.