- Went to the Scout Shop to get awards for this week’s pack meeting.
- Started looking through Shakespeare’s plays to find a scene the Webelos can do next week at the Drama den meeting for Showman
- Updated the pack’s budget information
- Caught up on 100 Days of Scouting blogs
- Listened to the two recent episodes of An Hour a Week
You can tell it is post-Blue & Gold; not much to award this month but a couple of belt loops. With the second year Webelos crossed over to Boy Scouts, the first year Webelos (having already earned their Webelos badge) are continuing toward the Super Achiever award and plowing through more activity badges. As I’ve mentioned here and here, we have been working on Showman. With help from the Den and Pack Resource guide, I have found that two meetings per activity badge has been a good pace and fits in perfectly with our two meetings per month format. We meet on the first and third Tuesdays (generally) and our pack meetings are the third Friday of the month (generally). So we can work the requirements in our two den meetings and the boys are able to receive the pin in the same month at the pack meeting. Thus far, the only exception to this format has been Citizen (we took four meetings to cover everything) and Geologist (where we went to the museum program and completed it all in one December day). However, with three distinct sections in Showman (Puppetry, Music and Drama), it made sense to do each section in its own meeting. That means that for March, the Webelos will not be awarded anything. They’ll be back on track in April and get the Showman Pin and then Outdoorsman in May at our pack campout wrapping up our “Webelos” meeting plans (as defined in the Den and Pack Resource guide). Staring in June and working through the summer, it’s on to the “Arrow of Light” plans. We’ll start with Scientist as a den in meetings and Family Member as individuals at home with their families. If all goes well and the boys stay motivated, they’ll be awarded both of those at our August Kickoff Cookout pack meeting.
Now for a recap and some commentary of our Scouting for Food drive. This is the third year our pack has participated in the event. For whatever reason, our council promotes it in the spring; usually in April but somehow we got word that this year it would be March 19 or at least that is what our committee chair heard (or thought she heard at the February Roundtable). In the Dan Beard council, we do Scouting for Food a little differently than what appears to be the traditional go door-to-door with bags and door hangers one week and go back and pick up food the next week. In the past, the Council has made a coordinated effort with a significant number of local grocery stores to allow Cub Scout Packs and Boy Scout Troops to “man the store front” and solicit donations from customers as they enter and/or exit (in the same fashion as we do our popcorn Show-N-Sell days). We usually get a list of stores willing to participate and it becomes “first come, first served.” The unit who contacts their local store first gets the time on the designated Saturday. Any food or money collected then goes to the food bank or pantry of the collecting unit’s choice. Our Committee Chair the next day contacted the grocery store closest to our meeting location and was able to book us for the entire day.
The first year we just had scouts standing at the door with an informational poster asking for food donations. We got some, but it was really not effective. Based on the success of collecting food during the holidays when we handed out a half sheet flyer with specific food needs for our annual Holiday meal drive, we decided to modify that flyer to hand out for Scouting for Food. We have found that if a person has something in their hand with specific items as they shop, they are more likely to pick up a few items on the list to donate. We’ll take any food donated, but the list helps guide folks to a specific need of the pantry.
As we got closer to the collection date, we tried to track down the pack of info our council usually provides. We were told that nothing had been printed yet and even found out that no one apparently knew where the March 19 date came from as the council had not scheduled the collection day (and to this point, still has not officially scheduled the collection day). With our scouts signed up and ready to take part, we decided since we had a location booked, we’d go it alone. I then offered to create the food list flyers and also try to create some posters with Scouting for Food logos and other things I could pull from the Internet. Surprisingly, our council did not have any page or other information (even from last year’s drive) on Scouting for Food. What even surprised me more was that the national website, had absolutely NOTHING on Scouting for Food. Try it yourself. Open the website and do a search for “Scouting for Food.” Unless something has been added by the time you read this, you’ll get a whole bunch of pages that mention food and scouting, service project where “you can collect food” but nothing on the named event itself. However, by doing a Google search there were a number of other councils with some online resources that I was able to pull from.
Regardless of what resources are (were) available, the main point was for our Cubs to provide service. We collected quite a bit of food and the pantry is now well stocked. Overall it was a worthwhile effort.