Don’t Panic!

WELCOME TO PACK 1714

“THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU WILL READ ABOUT SCOUTING EVER AGAIN…”

Or

“10 THINGS WE NEED TO KNOW FOR A SUCCESSFUL START IN SCOUTING”

Sounds a little overdone, doesn’t it?  However, first impressions being what they are, we want you to know that Scouting is about having fun with a purpose in teaching character to your son or daughter, learning responsibility, citizenship and leadership along the way. Of course, we will learn some outdoor skills, visit interesting places, and have lots of experiences that are hard to find outside of the Scouting program, but ultimately what we are about is providing Cub Scouts opportunities to grow by broadening horizons, setting goals and achieving them. Ranks, badges, and pins really are just outward symbols that help remind your child that they can achieve much through the application of perseverance and commitment toward an achievable goal. That is more than just a Scouting skill – it’s a life skill.

Your participation, guidance and encouragement as a parent is a key ingredient for success. If you asked our Pack parents about why they like Scouting, you will receive a variety of answers, yet the common thread uniting them is participation in a program that helps their kids grow in to successful young adults. The Scouting experience can often be just as rewarding for the parents as it is for the Scouts. So, with this in mind, we offer this short list of things you need to know to get started:

  • Everything You Need To Know Is In Writing Somewhere. Whether it’s your Scout’s handbook, or Pack program materials, or this website, odds are that if you can ask the question, someone has asked it before and there is an answer that has been published. If you can’t find the answer to your Scouting question, please don’t hesitate to fire off an email or make a telephone call. Your Pack leadership is here to support you as well as your Scout. We are your resources for helping your Scout meet their goals.
  • Read The Book. Both of You (You And Your Scout). The handbook for each level of Cub Scouting is age and grade level appropriate. You can purchase the handbook at the Scout Shop (See No. 7 below for location). To earn rank or badges, there will be requirements, which are in the book. Better than that, where the requirements are knowledge based, the book will tell you what you need to know. The test and the answers are indeed in the same place. We will do many of the activities in our den meetings, but there are a few requirements that your Scout will have to do on their own outside of the meeting, with your help. Make sure that you Scout reads whatever section he is working on, or read it together, or read it to him – the point is that your Scout should be actively involved in their own growth. Which brings us to point 3…
  • Let Your Scout Do The Work To Earn The Advancements. We will make stuff- crafts, wood work, pinewood derby cars, etc. We will do stuff- play games, tie knots, and go places. Whatever it is, it doesn’t have to be perfect, or even pretty – let the activities be discovery learning experiences. Resist the urge to say “just let me do it”, no matter how tempting it is. Rather say, “let’s do it together first, then you try on your own. I’ll help you when you need it”. 
  • There Will Be Conflicts Between Scouting And Your Other Activities. It happens, and they are often unavoidable. However, Scouting encourages youth to be well rounded through diverse activities. While good attendance is good for the group and our activities work better in the Den meeting and Pack meeting settings, there is no perfect attendance award. Your Scout can successfully do both sports and other activities and still be a successful Cub Scout and earn their badges. In general, there will be one or two Den meetings per month and one Pack Meeting (all Dens), normally on a Thursday evening at 6:30 at the school. The venue will be determined by the activities occurring at the meeting.
  • We Need Your Help, Always. There are always opportunities for you to pitch in, whether it is putting on a Scout Leader’s uniform or helping out on a Pack activity. We understand that time is limited, but we also cannot function as a group without parent volunteers. Our first year Tiger parents will experience this more intensely, as they are required to attend and participate at every meeting with their Tiger Scouts.
  • Youth Protection Is No Joke. The safety of our Scouts is of primary importance. Your first duty as a parent is to read the Safe Scouting manual in the front of your Scout’s handbook. It may make you uncomfortable reading or discussing with your Scout, but it must be done. We also encourage you to take Youth Protection Training  by watching the videos at www.MyScouting.org.
  • Uniforms Are Cool. Scout uniforms are almost universally recognizable in the Americas and show that our boys are part of a century old organization and tradition of duty to God, country, and others. They will be in good company, as  Scouting uniforms have been worn over the years by astronauts, military heroes, congressmen, judges, educators, and leaders of the arts, industry, and society from all walks of life (including a former Presidents of the United States). Encourage your Scout to take care of their uniform and wear it with pride. Your Scout’s uniform can be purchased at the Atlanta Area Council Scout Shop (https://atlantabsa.doubleknot.com/scout-shop/6364), at 1800 Circle 75 Pkwy SE, Atlanta, GA 30339. The staff there can help your Scout get properly outfitted for their Scouting Experience. The Pack also maintains a uniform closet for Scouts in need, with arrangements being made through the Cubmaster or Committee Chair. Please try to have your Scout’s uniform ready by the September Pack meeting. 
  • Cub Scouting Is A Family Activity. We encourage the involvement of the family in our Scouting activities. While some events may have age restrictions for safety reasons, in general younger siblings are welcome at Pack and Den functions. Moms are welcomed in leadership positions just as much as Dad’s are (See number above!).
  • Activities Require Funds. Our Pack, our District, our Council, and the national organization need funds to operate. Funds are collected through a combination of fund raisers and Pack dues. Cub Scouting’s annual fund raiser, pop-corn sales, are the primary way that we raise funds needed for the coming year, and the proceeds from those sales allow us to keep pack dues low and not charge extra fees. Encourage your Scout to participate in the fund raisers. Our Pack dues of $125.00 covers the national annual registration, your child’s Scout Life subscription, and their first pack t-shirt, with the rest going to our general fund, which is used to pay for many items including facilities use, pack equipment, adult leader registration and advancements, events, crafts, to name a few. We will occasionally ask for fees for an event where the destination venue is charging the fees to the Pack such as going to Space Camp or sleeping on an aircraft carrier.
  • ScoutBook Is Your Friend. Our Pack uses ScoutBook to communicate and track advancements (http://www.scoutbook.com/). Once you have registered online at my.scouting.org, you will use the same login for ScoutBook view your Scout’s progress and where your Den’s policy requires it, “sign off” that your Scout has completed requirements.   

I hope you have found this helpful; if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call or email. We are going to have a great time together!

Yours in Scouting,
Richard Carter
cubmaster – at – pack1714.com
678-908-4151