Ever wonder what programs happen throughout the year in a Cub Scout pack? Or have you been in the same pack for a few years and feel like the events just keep rotating? Whether you’re new to Cub Scouts or a veteran looking for some fresh annual activity ideas, you’ve come to the right place!
In a typical month as a Cub Scout, you’ll get a mix of crafts, games, activities, special guests, and outings. They combine fun along with some requirements needed to advance. (Although it is not an official Scouts BSA document, I used this guide to suggest activities connected to requirements throughout this piece!)
PS. This article is a guest post collaboration between Cub Scouting volunteer Jaci H and Cole 🙂
In this article, I’ll be sharing examples of typical pack activities during a Cub Scout calendar year, starting with January. I’ll include things from our Cub Scout pack, plus ideas from others across the country. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with repeating some events annually. If it’s fun and it works, keep it going!
It was quite a few years ago when my son joined Cub Scouts! He started in grade 1 and now is in his last year of high school. We never pushed him to stay in Scouting; it was always his choice. We are very happy he stuck with it. He has made many friends, learned a lot of silly games, gained life skills, and been taught good values.
Before I get into the months, Scouts BSA offers plans for monthly pack programs that focus on a different word of the Scout Law. I thought that was a really great idea since there are 12 items in the Scout Law and 12 months of the year. It’s a perfect match! Even more amazing, there are three different programs for each word. You could run the program without repeating activities for three whole years!
January Cub Scout Activities
January is a great time to set up a visit to a local police or fire station. There are several Bear and Wolf Duty to Country requirements you could connect to this activity. You could also take your Cub Scouts to a local historical site for another Bear rank requirement or take Arrow of Light (AOL) Scouts to meet with a government leader at City Hall.
In January, my son’s pack alternated between the Rain Gutter Regatta and a Space Derby. In these fun events, the kids make something ahead of time to race at a pack meeting. With the Space Derby, they get a rocket kit to construct, sand, and paint as they wish. Check out this video (9:26) to see a sample Space Derby:
With the Rain Gutter Regatta, I’ve seen it done two ways. One way is with a regatta kit, similar to the Space Derby. For the second method, the Scouts construct a boat out of recycled materials. In either case, the kids blow or use straws to race their boats. When made from recycled materials, it fulfills a requirement of Tiger: Floats & Boats! Check out this demonstration (5:12):
February Cub Scout Activities
During the month of February, Cub Scout packs should celebrate the “birthday” of Scouting with a Blue and Gold banquet! Some packs go all out with dinner and hired entertainment, while other packs host potlucks (or just dessert!) and have the Scouts present skits for entertainment. The choice on how to celebrate is yours!
Helpful Link: Check out our article about how to plan a great Blue and Gold ceremony while staying on budget!
Our pack included rank advancement at the ceremony and bridging for the AOL Scouts into Scouts BSA. It was a nostalgic event as it marked another year of growth for the kids! The birthday of the founder of Scouting, Robert Baden-Powell, also takes place in February if you want to add something into your Blue and Gold agendas to recognize it.
Not familiar with Baden-Powell’s story? This video (1:40) gives a quick recap of his life and times, and since it is so brief, it could be played at your event!
March Cub Scout Activities
March was a busy month for my son’s pack. First, we conducted our annual Pinewood Derby, which involves another kit with materials that are assembled by the Scouts with adult supervision. The cars in this race usually have very unique personalities and they will race multiple times!
There is a lot of planning involved in this event and even special software to run the race. It may seem like a hefty task, but it’s so worth it for the kids in the end! In this video (2:01), you will see some of the uniquely designed cars and how they race.
PS: Check out this awesome article on 6 Science-Backed Tips to Win A Pinewood Derby!
The other big event we hosted was a Bike Rodeo, which helps fulfill Tiger and Webelos requirements. An adult demonstrates how to check the brakes, chains, and tires on bikes, how to wear a helmet, and how to use hand signals. Then Scouts — and siblings — follow a course on their bikes, practicing everything they learned!
Some Scout groups use this fun, family-friendly event for recruiting new members. In this video (4:44), you can see how a Georgia pack ran its Bike Rodeo. Looks like it really drew a crowd!
April Cub Scout Activities
Most communities traditionally have one or more Easter egg hunts for the Easter holiday. Often a nonprofit group or the city hosts it. One group from Oregon had a clever strategy to help with the egg hunt. They contacted the host — the city, in this case — to ask if they could volunteer to stuff the eggs.
The response was extremely positive: “Our city was ecstatic we reached out…and supplied us with 200 eggs.” The pack went on to stuff a total of 400 eggs! 😉 The pack also asked if it could include some Scout-related items. They were able to include “Adventure Is Here” stickers, some candy, and a free prize voucher!
A Cub Scout parent in Maryland shared how they turned Easter into a hunt for dinosaur eggs. Each egg was stuffed with a part of a dinosaur puzzle and the Cubs had to find the matching pairs to complete it. This activity was shaped around the Wolf: Digging in the Past requirement, although it might fulfill a game activity in other ranks.
Some more fun ideas for stuffing Easter eggs might include:
- Each of the 12 words of Scout Law
- Phrases from the Outdoor Code
- Fun facts about the history of Scouting
- Pictures, words, or treats related to whatever your Cubs are working on!
As far as activities go for an Easter pack meeting, the “egg and spoon” race was popular. Have the Scouts form as many lines as you want. The first Scouts in each line have a spoon with a plastic egg. They have to race to the other side without dropping the egg. They then return to the line and then the next group of Cubs races!
Another great way to get the most out of Easter egg activities is to incorporate crafts. I came across an adorable craft turning a traced hand into a bunny! Learn how to do it in this video (1:44):
To tie into outdoor activities like Bear: Fur, Feathers, Ferns, have the Cub Scouts plant a small garden in the springtime. An herb garden can be fairly simple — and being so close to Mother’s Day, this activity could even be turned into a gift for Mom! This video (4:27) provides great tips for planting vegetables with kids.
May Cub Scout Activities
For Memorial Day, Scouts could invite veterans to their May meeting to share their experiences or partake in an activity together. A lot of Cub Scout packs across the country place flags on the graves of veterans. It gives the kids a sense of patriotism, shows appreciation for those who fought for our country’s freedom, and works toward rank requirements such as the Wolf: Duty to Country and Hometown Heroes.
In our community, hundreds of Cub Scouts, Scouts BSA, and Girl Scouts (and other groups) place flags at the gravesites of veterans. The Scouts are given maps and work in groups to find the right tombstones. Often, it is tricky and difficult to find the correct markers, but by the end of the event, everyone feels pretty great about the vast number of flags throughout the cemetery. It is always an amazing sight! 😀
June Cub Scout Activities
Since there is mostly no school in June, July, and August, there is more time for Cub Scout fun! I came across the National Summertime Pack Award, which looked fairly simple to earn. This mom took the time to investigate the requirements of this award and shared it in her blog! Packs and dens can earn a certificate, streamer, ribbon, and pin just for getting Scouts together for at least one activity each in June, July, and August.
Summer is also a great time to engage in water activities to help further multiple rank requirements, such as Wolf: Spirit of Water; Bear: Salmon Run; and the Webelos Aquanaut elective. There are many Cub Scout requirements and electives related to swimming, water safety, and water sports. Take advantage of the ability to travel a bit further and fulfill some of the requirements to improve water safety for all Scouts!
Scouting Tip: Summer is a great time for adults to learn, too! The leaders of our pack participated in BALOO training in the summertime to learn more about outdoor events and overnight camping. This required leader training also included components about identifying child abuse, Youth Protection Training, aquatics, gear selection, nature and hiking, cooking tips, campfire planning, knots, and fire safety.
July Cub Scout Activities
In July, many packs reported participating in a 4th of July parade. Some created floats for the parade. Some marched. Others decorated a vehicle for the parade or walked it, handing out Cub Scout flyers to kids! In this video (0:55), you can see Scouts riding in a decorated vehicle for the 4th.
There are several Cub Scout requirements connected to participating in a parade. They include Wolf: Hometown Heroes and Bear: Paws for Action. Before participating in the parade, look at the other requirements to see what else you can connect to this activity to further advance the rank!
Bright Ideas: Responses to a poll about 4th of July plans on a Scout Shop blog included marching in the city parade, attending a Webelos residence camp, campfire cooking and swimming, putting out flags, going on a bike ride, and running a fundraiser!
Our Cub Scout pack combined a biking outing with a sleepover stay at the zoo and an educational program in the month of July. There was a lot packed into that trip, including some requirements for Tigers and Bears — the kids even got to feed a giraffe! Scouts could also visit art museums or conduct experiments to meet other rank requirements.
August Cub Scout Activities
The summer months are also a good time to take more hikes with your group, perhaps in the early or late parts of the day if you live in an area with extreme heat. There are many rank requirements related to hiking: guessing the presence of animals based on clues, identifying animals, practicing Leave No Trace, reciting the Outdoor Code, and participating in a cleanup. 😛
Just a few of the requirements that you could potentially fulfill in this area include:
- Tiger: Tigers in the Wild
- Wolf: Call of the Wild
- Wolf: Paws on the Path
- Bear: Paws for Action
- Bear: Fur, Feathers, Ferns
- Webelos: Walkabout
- AOL: Outdoorsman
As we’ve seen so far, there are a lot of creative ways to have fun while fulfilling requirements. Always look at how you could expand an outdoor activity to achieve more! In this video (8:13), a leader prepares some Bears to look for animals and learn about them:
September Cub Scout Activities
As a person who worked for years in the nonprofit world, I’d suggest adding a service project in September or even earlier in the year. Nonprofits receive so much attention at the end of the year with the holiday spirit, but they often get so little attention the rest of the year. Some ideas include:
- Doing a community cleanup
- Performing a skit for seniors in a nursing home
- Packing meals for the homeless (Cub Scouts in Kettering, Ohio, do this!)
- Gathering needed supplies for a shelter
- Making care kits
These suggestions are only the beginning — there are so many worthy organizations with service opportunities for Scouts. I even found a nonprofit online that asks for cheerful drawings to distribute to seniors and troops! Be sure to check out how to use these activities as part of rank requirements for Tiger: Earning Your Stripes.
October Cub Scout Activities
October brings all different kinds of Halloween activities, including various versions of trick-or-treating. Many packs conduct a “trunk-or-treat” with decorated cars, while others host a campout with a “tent-or-treat”: the Scouts decorate the tents, then dress up and go from tent to tent!
Another Cub Scout group did a hike-and-treat. They earned their treats while hiking by going to different Scout parents and saying part of the Scout Oath or Scout Law, doing the handshake, demonstrating Leave No Trace, or just sharing anything they learned in Scouts over the past month.
Helpful Link: Check out this site for an even longer list of creative Halloween ideas!
BooFest camping proved to be a memorable outing for Cub Scouts in Southern California. At this special event, kids learned to prepare their own pizza, which was then cooked in a pizza oven. They all loved to eat their own creations and helped do the dishes after! The night ended with s’mores and trick-or-treating.
Many packs hosted a pumpkin decorating contest using markers, tattoos, googly eyes, props, stickers, paint, or tape. One Scout volunteer even suggested incorporating unused hardware (washers, nails, screws, handles) from the garage! It’s amazing how many cute ways you can decorate a pumpkin without the challenge of carving it first. This video (1:45) has some simple no-carve pumpkin decorating ideas:
One California Cub Scout pack learned how to make scars and bruises from a special makeup artist. Parent Jennifer G. said, “Then we gored ourselves up!” Many packs hosted Halloween crafts, and games, and made fun food.
November Cub Scout Activities
November is a time to show gratitude. Veterans Day provides a perfect opportunity and a chance for the Wolf rank to work on their Hometown Heroes requirement. A pack in Bright, Indiana hosts a free Veterans Day dinner for all local veterans at the pack meeting date closest to November 11. Scout parents make a potluck meal and Scouts sit with the veterans and also make gifts for them.
Cub Scouts in Oregon invite veterans to their pack meeting for a special flag ceremony and activity. The guests are asked to share about their service and are then presented with a holiday stocking. The Cubs work with the veterans to decorate the stockings, which have been pre-filled with snacks, crafts, and homemade greeting cards.
If you need more inspiration, this awesome Scout mom has another sample pack agenda, along with a Thanksgiving prayer, song, and activity. She also has a link to a template thank you note. Part of your November meeting could include the Scouts writing a handwritten note to someone who has helped them recently!
December Cub Scout Activities
The month of December includes celebrations for many different beliefs: Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa, just to name a few. Organize a holiday lights–themed pack meeting with tidbits (songs, stories, activities) from different celebrations and the kids will learn some culture as well. 😉
Some packs organize a toy drive to collect toys for the needy in their community. Some take part in the 12 Days of Christmas with a Scout twist: doing a good turn for each of the 12 days! Some ideas include:
- Delivering care packages to police officers
- Writing letters to veterans in nursing homes
- Creating handmade holiday cards for seniors
- Placing wreaths on veterans’ graves
- Collecting canned goods for a food drive
For Christmas-specific activities, Cub Scouts participate in a city parade, have a cookie or Secret Santa exchange, and make ornaments. One pack made gingerbread Pinewood Derby cars! Another made a game out of the Pinewood Derby cars. Instead of just being handed out to the kids, the cars were put in shoeboxes for each den and wrapped. The Scouts had to try to open the boxes with oven mitts on!
Within this article, you received ideas from Scouts BSA for pack meetings that would last three years. In addition, I shared monthly ideas from our pack and other packs around the United States. I’m hoping the ideas you’ve read about have inspired you to help create an epic program for your pack!
Your meetings and events should have a purpose (requirements) and fun (always), and also build a sense of community (so that everyone feels like it is where they are supposed to be at that moment). My son’s pack did a great job of keeping the Scouts engaged, and I hope you can use this article to do the same for your Cubs! 🙂
Thanks so much for dropping by, and wishing you an amazing year of Cub Scouting ahead! If you enjoyed reading this, I’d highly recommend also checking out any of the following articles:
- Fun Cub Scout Games: 11 Epic Indoor and Outdoor Pack Activities
- How to Plan Cub Scout Meeting Activities (With 16+ Ideas)
- Cub Scouting Costs Explained: Uniforms, Fees, And More
- What To Expect At A Cub Scout Pack Meeting (To Be Prepared)
- The Biggest Benefits Of Cub Scouting (For My Child) (Also by Jaci H!)
I’m glad you took the time to read through this post! Cruise around ScoutSmarts for more helpful articles about Cub Scouts and Scouts BSA. There are hundreds of topics from which to choose. Keep learning and enjoy your journey in Scouting! 😀