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Thread: New format for Cubs

  1. #1
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    New format for Cubs

    Hey everyone,

    Hope you all had a good Christmas.

    For many many years in Cubs we have had the same basic format:

    Cubs arrive
    Grand Howl
    Inspection
    Games
    Activity
    Games
    Leave

    However I think having a game (which some leaders say burns energy) actually causes mayhem and really starts behavioural issues.

    So I'm thinking of taking the first games period away, start with badge work straight away and use the games at the end as a sort of carrot.

    What are people's thoughts on this?

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    Senior Member BalooNav's Avatar
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    That would then be pretty much our usual night.

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    GSL & AESL shiftypete's Avatar
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    Well your list seems to be pretty much how most Cub Packs operate and there is probably a good reason for that. No harm in trying to go straight into the main activity and see if it works but I suspect you will have more problems not less as kids will have pent up energy and excitement (especially on wet days when they have not been allowed to play out at school).

    In recent years we have tried a few variations of running with our Scout Troop, we even tried having the first game session before anything else to prevent late arrivals mucking up our timings and also so they missed something fun rather than flag break and inspection. In the end though we are nearly back to how we started except we now run tuckshop at the end and if they run out of time then we simply don; have it.

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    I normally try to do an arrival game (rather than the Cubs playing tag or anything) - mostly to minimise injuries, but it also means that we can then go straight through inspection, grand howl and flagbreak (which I'm trying to complete in three minutes flat from the moment I say Cubs to your corners to the point where I invite them to sit down while I explain the plan for the evening.

    In fact, writing this I have just found my NY resolution - 3 minute target and get it all flowing smoothly.

    By saving the rest of the games to the end we usually manage the main activities fairly smoothly.

    Also, try and have a purpose for each game - are the Cubs practicing listening, teamwork, agility etc. That reduces the pent-up excitement.

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    As has been discussed recently here, there ARE quiet games that don't make kids hyper. That is apparently taught to young leaders but doesn't seem to figure in Adult training any more. It used to be mainstream training to learn how to select the right game to punctuate the meeting properly.
    We play submarine net (kids have to creep through gaps between blindfolded kids without being touched), sleeping pirate (get the keys or whistle without being pointed at by blindfold "pirate") and several others that actually calm kids down

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    Senior Member bernwood's Avatar
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    I run my pack along the arrive, flag break, game, game, juice break, activity, leave format, sometimes swapping game 2 at the end. A juice break is a good 10 minute cool down before the main badge activity, and seems to work to bring the tempo down a bit from some of the more hectic games, also try to theme games to the badge if possible.

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    Senior Member recneps's Avatar
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    We don't have a set "format" for an evening. It starts and ends with flag break and grand howl, (or just grand howl if we're out of the hut).

    Typically we will start with a game, then a main activity and then end on a game. But some weeks the activity takes the whole time, sometimes it might be two different activities, etc.

    We don't do a juice break (all kids are told to bring a water bottle)
    We don;'t do inspection either (although I am contemplating it!)

    It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves

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    The hut is open for arrival up to 15 mins before start time. They can play an active game (hockey, footy, wallie, relays) before falling in for flag, grand howl & inspection. Usually a six game follows before settling down to activities. If there is time (ie no mucking about) they get to choose a short game (their current fave is rope jump) before falling back in for closing. They know that messing around means they get no game at the end, so the older ones usually help the younger ones keep focus!

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    Senior Member Matt Donnelly's Avatar
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    I personally dislike the distinction between 'badge work' (I loathe that phrase) and games. We run a programme which involves using different techniques to provide a balanced programme of activities (where a section's individual balance lies is another matter). I plan meetings to meet the objective of what we're doing rather than to a standard format.

    I also dislike using games as a carrot - especially as an open threat of 'do badge work or you can't play games' - it's not a very positive way to deal with challenging behaviour. And again games should be an integral part of your programme as appropriate, not simply filler exercises (that's not to say filler exercises aren't useful though).
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    a quiver full of barbs merryweather's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Donnelly View Post
    I personally dislike the distinction between 'badge work' (I loathe that phrase) and games. We run a programme which involves using different techniques to provide a balanced programme of activities (where a section's individual balance lies is another matter). I plan meetings to meet the objective of what we're doing rather than to a standard format.

    I also dislike using games as a carrot - especially as an open threat of 'do badge work or you can't play games' - it's not a very positive way to deal with challenging behaviour. And again games should be an integral part of your programme as appropriate, not simply filler exercises (that's not to say filler exercises aren't useful though).
    i wholeheartedly agree! let's not forget that scouting itself is a game.

    as a casual observation i'd say that near 100% of my beaver programme, 80% of my cub programme, and 60% of my scout programme is games. (the rest of the time is more formal instruction and/or ceremonies and such like.)

    what games do we play?

    we very rarely play games that are run around shouting and screaming with little or no purpose (though sometimes these are useful if just to 'let off steam')

    we play strategy games, team games, locative games, puzzles, quizzes, educational/learning games, skill games, guessing games, creative games, performing games, &c.

    we do not hand a cub scout a sheet of paper with 20 map symbols and simply say: learn these! instead we'll play sorting card games, quiz type games, relay games, mix and match games, or creative games, &c. so that the yp learn through 'active play' not by 'passive rote'.

    sometimes i've spent all night with a troop just playing the game 'prisoner'. at the start they simply keep pelting the balls at each other in dodgeball style, however, while it has this physical element the games is actually one of strategy based on judging which strategy (attack or defend, leave in jail or break out of jail, &c) to use and when. by the end of the evening they soon learn that winning requires thought and strategy. these are core skills which you can then translate into other activities, e.g. when to go the extra km on a challenge hike and when not, &c.

    time for people to play more games!

    regards, TM

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    Senior Member recneps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt Donnelly View Post
    I personally dislike the distinction between 'badge work' (I loathe that phrase) and games. We run a programme which involves using different techniques to provide a balanced programme of activities (where a section's individual balance lies is another matter). I plan meetings to meet the objective of what we're doing rather than to a standard format.

    I also dislike using games as a carrot - especially as an open threat of 'do badge work or you can't play games' - it's not a very positive way to deal with challenging behaviour. And again games should be an integral part of your programme as appropriate, not simply filler exercises (that's not to say filler exercises aren't useful though).
    I also dislike the phrase badgework... and also don't like using the threat of "do badgework or you can't play games. I prefer "if you're not quiet, we won't get all the activities done" as the activities are hopefully enjoyable. Many of our activities are "games" - as Tarquin says, many of the skills they need to learn can be taught via games.

    We do usually do at least one "letting off steam" game at the beginning, which may or may not be part of the core "theme" of the evening.

    It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves

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