- Exchanged email addresses with a “local” scouter (in the same council as us) I’ve “met” via Twitter
- Emailed our committee chair our council’s financial aid form for a family needing help with a uniform for their son
A little over two weeks into this exercise and things have slowed a bit in relation to our scouting activities. This portion of the program starts what could be seen by some as the “doldrums” of late winter/early spring for our pack. After observing the yearly life cycle of our pack’s activities over the past few years, I have identified some trends. Let me explain…
We just completed and pulled off another successful Blue & Gold banquet. As I explained in my Blue & Gold edition post of my 100 Days of Scouting, we have a meal, all the dens and leaders present a skit, we award the Arrow of Light to our second year Webelos and cross them over to a Boy Scout troop. Prior to this event/pack meeting, we run our Pinewood Derby in January. December carries the craziness of holidays and other activities. November back through September is consumed with (working backward) popcorn, Halloween, popcorn, fall camping & Cub-o-ree, popcorn, starting up new den activities for each new rank and popcorn. Did I mention popcorn?!? August is the start of school and recruiting season. We run pretty fast a furious as a pack from the middle of August when school starts and we have our August Kick off-Cook out pack meeting through the Blue & Gold banquet in February.
After the Blue & Gold, it is still generally too cold and many times too wet through March to be able to get outside as a pack. April brings baseball & soccer season occupying many of the boys’ time. So the pack meetings in these two months generally are less attended have “lighter fare” as far as activities. Our outings in these month’s also are generally less attended than others. You might be thinking, the less involved activities/outings may contribute to the reduction in attendance, but we’ve had years when we went all out with stuff in those months and the attendance was still down. Knowing that, we have backed off going “all out” yet still providing a quality program. We have found that for our leaders, it gives us a chance to ramp up planning for our spring family campout we hold in May. Starting with campout, things pick up again. June has the end of school, Twilight Camp and a pack activity. July is a pack activity and Resident camp. Meanwhile the leaders are busy planning for next year and preparing for recruiting season and the start of school in August.
My point in all this is that even though we run a year round program and run it “all out” in most months, we do have some down time every so often. This particular stretch is probably the longest of relative down time for our pack. We need to embrace these times to be able to reassess and recharge our “Scouting Spirit” batteries to be able to run “all out” the rest of the time.
Personally, I am looking forward to this year’s “down time.” This time during the past 3 years was spent eyeballs deep in planning for our district’s Twilight Camp (first year as Woodworking Director and the past two as Camp Director). Also having transitioned off the Committee Chair responsibilities, I can now embrace my upcoming new role as the Tiger Den Leader for our youngest as he and hopefully many others (with a good Tiger Round-up in April) join our pack in a few months.