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Another advantage of planning ahead is that you can distribute calen- dars to pack families and prospective members before the school year ends. Current members can place pack dates on their family schedules before summer vacation, and new families can see that you offer a well- planned program.

People Pecora’s pack works to have all of its fall leadership positions filled by the end of May, while Bell’s shoots for filling them by the pack’s blue and gold banquet. “By graduation in May, we know who our den leaders are going to be,” Bell says. That’s important, because the dens in his pack meet all summer long. Pecora’s dens don’t meet on regular schedule during the summer, but they are encouraged to remain active. When he was a den leader, for example, Pecora had his boys work on their religious awards during their summer break. By recruiting leaders early, you

can get them trained in the spring and ensure they have the supplies they need before the new year begins. Moreover, people are more likely to volunteer for a job whose start date is weeks or months away rather than next Tuesday. Pecora and Bell don’t just recruit

leaders, though. They also recruit boys. “We’ll go into the classrooms and visit with the kindergarteners and encourage them to sign up for Scouting,” Pecora says. “We let them know that at the end of the month they’re eligible to start in Tiger Cubs.” And since the pack already has planned its calendar, new families know they can sign up for day camp and other summer events, starting their Scouting careers on a high note. Bell’s pack, meanwhile, partici- pates in a May field day at Freedom Elementary School, where it recruits members each fall. “We let all the kids

launch stomp rockets or air rockets; that’s always a hit,” he says. “It also encourages a lot of recruitment because the parents and kids get to know us.”

Programming Still, May isn’t all about the future. The May pack meeting is a great time to celebrate the end of the year and every- thing boys have accomplished. Pack 85’s chartered organization, St. Anne Catholic School, is located next to a park, so the

pack goes there for a Sunday afternoon picnic that replaces its May pack meeting. “We’ll grill hot dogs and hamburgers

and have it as a play day, with different activities for the kids to do,” Pecora says. “If there are any awards or anything they haven’t received, that they missed earlier in the year, we’ll give all that out.” The Cubmaster also hands out copies

of next year’s calendar—a year’s worth of fun activities that start as soon as the school year ends. ¿

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