Your Pack has been challenged! (the challenge is open to all Scouting units, but specifically geared towards packs). With a year of COVID-19 restricting what Scouts are able to do, we are challenging your pack to take advantage of the great outdoors and warm weather to have active pack programming!
The challenge is simple, plan at least two Scouting events in each of the summer months (June, July, and August), have FUN, be SAFE, and complete your National Summertime Pack Award (more information on this below). Attending Cub or Webelos Resident Camp or Day or Twilight Adventure Camp can count as one of the activities.
Unit’s that take the Active Pack challenge will be posted on our Active Summer Packs Wall of Fame and will get shoutouts of social media once you’ve made your commitment. We also invite units to share photos of the summer activities with us so that we can recognize your strides to completing the challenge all summer long!
What does it mean to be an Active Pack?
Being an active pack does not need to be complicated. The challenge IS NOT to just keep running regular Scouting meetings through the summer. The challenge DOES NOT mean that every activity has to have an advancement element.
An Active Pack is just what it sounds like, a pack that stays active throughout the summer. This could range from simple activities such as a kickball game in a park or a hike at a local favorite spot all the way to an outdoor pinewood derby or rain gutter regatta.
The goal is to keep Scouts and families engaged in the Scouting program through the summer and re-energize all of our Scouts, families, and volunteers as we start to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Why an Active Summer Pack Challenge?
In prior years, there are many packs that start to shut down in the late spring as other activities start up (i.e. baseball, soccer). This year, we recognize that many of those organizations may still be struggling to start and that many of our Scouts have had to participate in modified Scouting programs, many of them with a virtual element.
Committing to being an Active Pack during the summer does the following:
- Delivers on the promise of an outdoor Scouting Program – whether a hike in the park or a session of Resident or Adventure Camp, Scouts join Scouting to be outside and have FUN. By having these adventures, packs can deliver on this outdoor promise especially after having so many restrictions for meeting inside.
- Helps to recharge the pack to get ready for the 2021-22 Scouting year – we know it has been tough for all units not getting to do Scouting the way they want to. We know it has been hard on parents and unit leaders to keep Scouting fun and engaging. Getting the chance to be active, work together, and have fun in a safe way, we hope will help to reset our leaders and Scouting families for the adventures ahead. The 2021-22 Scouting year looks promising. We believe through this summer interaction packs will also be able to solidify their leadership so that the 2021-22 Scouting year is ready to go as soon as schools restart.
- Shows new families that your pack is active and a good fit – in the fall, new families want to join packs that are going to deliver on the promises of the Scouting program. What better way to show them that you are committed to those promises than to be able to share all of the things that your Scouts were able to do safely over the summer months.
- Provides recognition for Scouts – the National Summertime Pack award is a simple but fun award that recognizes units and Scouts for participating in Scouting activities over the summer. It is a great feeling for Scouts to be recognized right out of the gate of the new Scouting year!
What is the National Summertime Pack Award
Cub Scout Packs stay active during the summer by planning and conducting one activity per month in June, July, and August.
Who Can Earn this Award?
There is an individual recognition for Scouts.
The pack can qualify for the certificate and streamer (provided by the council) by planning and conducting three pack activities–one each in June, July, and August.
Dens with average attendance of at least half their members at the three summer pack events are eligible for a colorful den participation ribbon (available for purchase).
Scouts who participate in all three pack events are eligible to receive the National Summertime Pack Award pin (available for purchase by the pack), which they can wear on the right pocket flap of their uniform.
What kind of activities should my pack plan?
The types of activities that your pack plans are entirely up to you. We suggest you start the planning process now so that before the end of the school year, you can provide your families with a calendar of events and ask parents and other leaders to volunteer to help run activities.
Activities can be simple such as:
- Games: kickball, whiffle ball, basketball, soccer, baseball, softball
- Bike ride
- Meet at the local pool
- Meet at the local ice cream shop
- Mini golf
- Fishing Day
Activities can be more complex such as:
- Pinewood Derby
- Raingutter Regatta
- Space Derby
- Advancement Day
- Campfire and sign along
If you are looking for even more ideas of programs to do check out this great resource.
We are not encouraging units to plan all of their summer activities around advancement, but that doesn’t mean your unit can’t do advancement. The National Council changed its policy on working on advancements through the summer. In the past, Scouts “rolled over” to the next grade in June and would start working on their next rank at that point. For 2021, that is not the case and packs can decide when they “roll over.” This is also a great advantage for Scouts joining in the Spring. First graders joining in the spring would have all summer to earn their Tiger Badge if they choose and then start their Wolf Rank requirements in the fall.
This is the excerpt from the National Council’s Page on COVID-19. You can find all of the COVID-19 FAQs from the National Council here.
Q: If my den is behind in advancement due to COVID-19, can my Cub Scout continue to work on advancement through the summer?
Yes. Cub Scouts may continue to work on their current den’s advancement. During this pandemic period, it is at the discretion of the den to decide the best course of action for how long to extend continuation of advancement. We want to ensure that the pandemic does not create an obstacle to youth advancement, that Cub Scouts families continue to have a positive experience, and that the standard for Cub Scout Advancement continues to be “Do Your Best.” We will continue to monitor the situation and communicate when this temporary measure expires and there is a return to the standard rules for Cub Scout advancement.
How do I know the best way to keep my Scouts and units safe from COVID-19?
Guidelines for COVID-19 safety continue to change as the understanding of COVID-19 increases and vaccines continue to grow in availability. The New Birth of Freedom Council is committed to maintaining a page that gives the most recent updates on COVID-19 policies and how these policies impact Scouting programs. You can find these updates posted on the Council website at https://newbirthoffreedom.org.
If you have specific questions that are not addressed there, please contact your District Commissioner or District Executive for assistance.