We take pride in having "phun" training events in our district, especially
so that ours are more phun than the other districts in our council. I would
even say that ours are more phun than neighboring councils, but there are
people here from those self-same councils, so I don't want to upset no-one!
We use a theme for our trainings, and even incorporate it into our training
flyers. I think there are a couple examples in the files section. A theme
means more than just a couple of jokes or a song along those lines--if you
can't dress up appropriately, you're not having enough phun!
I think though that the most fun you can put into training is in the
promotion. If you stand there at RT and monotonously announce training,
that's what people will expect to receive. If your flyers are dull, that's
what people will expect from the course.
A few months ago, we announced our next two BALOO courses in our district by
(my wife and I) showing up in Hawaiian Scouting shirts. We took a couple
cheap and incredibly obnoxious Hawaiian shirts and sewed all our patches on
them, even putting on epaulettes and loops and "Boy Scouts of America"
strips from an old uniform. Supplement with some flower leis from Oriental
Trading, and inflatable palm tree and coconut/pineapple table decorations,
and nobody will forget your training...
To carry the theme, at the actual BALOO event, people will get leis in
various colors to match their training dens. The flyer advertises BALOO's
Hawaiian Getaway. Our campfire, plus all the skits and run-ons, the slides
and presentations, will all have a South Pacific feel.
Last year our basic training theme was Cub Scout magic. We demonstrated a
lot of simple magic tricks that leaders could take back to their boys to
Like others, we do run-ons, skits and songs that match the theme for basic
training, too. We've found in our area that run-ons are the biggest hit.
Most packs seem to have never heard of them, or didn't know how to use them.
We put them right in the middle of the longer topics to "break the monotony"
of one of the drier subjects (like Rules of the Road, which always
degenerated to a tour permit discussion.) A well placed groaner works
wonders to keep people going.
We do an icebreaker. Usually, it's the "Guessing Game" where we put an index
card with the name of someone famous on everyone's back. They have to guess
who they are by asking yes/no questions. We try to match people to names
that don't fit, so the 6'6" 300lb guy gets Minnie Mouse, the quiet young mom
ends up as Elvis, etc. Training Team gets the cards, too, so we're part of
the gathering game. Once you guess who you are, you put the card on your
front and that's who you are the rest of the day...
The biggest hit of our training is always the candy. We toss candy to people
that participate. Instant recognition at work. After 30 minutes or so, we
point out that we're using the instant recognition concept. People really
get to understand the things that work...
We try to do a lot of participant participation, breaking people into dens
and having them work on projects that give them some practical application
of the topic.
We do an example ceremony for the leaders as part of the class, whatever it
may be, and make a big deal out of giving them their trained cards.
Cub Scout Roundtable Commissioner
Day Camp Director, Tahquitz District
WM-45-2-00 - "I used to be a Buffalo..."