Scouting is designed with both the boy and his family in mind, especially at the younger Cub Scout levels. Parents participate in the weekly meetings, organize and help run pack special events and even go camping with the boys. Whether for a day or weekend campout or a week-long summer camp, parents and families can join their Cub Scouts in the fun and activity of living, playing and working outdoors.
Set up your pack's campgrounds as a miniature Olympic competition site. Let the Cub Scout dens -- including family members -- compete against one another in kid-friendly contests of skill and endurance, including relay races, rope or tree climbing and swimming. Turn typical Scout skills such as building fires, putting up tents and knot tying into speed contests between the dens, or for a different twist on the fun, pit the parents against the kids. The Scouts can make the medals as part of campout craft activity and then hand them out as prizes for the various games and contests.
Nature Lovers' Scavenger Hunt
Scavenger hunts can be fun in almost any setting, and the great outdoors is no exception. Before going to camp, develop hunt lists for each family to use. Lists can be made with pictures for very young campers, as a straight listing of items to be found, or as a sequence of riddles to be solved to lead the hunting families to the desired items. For a more eco-friendly hunt, participants can take pictures of the listed items in lieu of removing them from their natural habitats. Include local flora and fauna, animal tracks, cloud formations and even constellations.
Family campouts designed around water sports are a perfect choice for those hot summer days. Reserve campsites at a facility that offers a range of water-related activities, including fishing, boating and swimming. Divide the day into designated periods, some for the Scouts to earn various patches and pins tied to water safety and swimming and others for the families to go on boating outings, play water ball games, catch fish for the evening meal or just enjoy a relaxing swim in the lake at the end of the day. Include a service project, such as cleaning up the shoreline or repainting the boat house.
Day Camp Options
Sleepover camp is the norm for older Scouts, but even the youngest Cubs can attend day camp. In either case, parents and families typically are invited to attend a late afternoon and evening session at the camp. The Scouts plan a traditional program, including singing, skits, a meal cooked over the campfire and a meaningful closing flag ceremony. Family members join in the festivities, help prepare the meal and and even come up with their own skits. For a fun alternative, play flashlight tag, or tell ghost stores around the campfire.
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