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Nothing Stirring? Try these ideas to build—not lose—momentum during the holidays.

IT HAPPENS EVERY YEAR. Just about the time new den leaders figure out how to lead a den and pack program- ming falls into a comfortable rhythm, Thanksgiving Day arrives. And not far behind it come Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and New Year’s Day. By the time school resumes in January, many Cub Scouters feel as if they’re starting from scratch. But you don’t have to lose momen-

tum between the end of November and the beginning of January. With careful planning, you can use the winter holidays to accelerate your program, not slow it down. Here’s how.

Don’t Tilt at Windmills First, acknowledge that non-Scouting commitments will take precedence in December, says Tom Yuschok, a longtime Cub Scouter who’s now vice president of district operations in the Central Florida Council. “You have to accept that there’s a time when every- body’s going to be with family and on break,” he says. “There’s not going to be a lot of activity. Let that happen.”

If You Can’t Beat ’Em … That doesn’t mean you should wave a flag of surrender or become a Cub Scout Scrooge. Michelle Gee, who has been a Cub Scout leader in Omaha for more than two decades, recom- mends adding holiday flair to your December pack meeting. “Make it a Hawaiian night and have the kids wear their flip-flops,” she says. “Have Santa come in a Hawaiian shirt. Do something fun. It gets them excited.” When Gee served as Cubmaster,

she held some December pack meet- ings at a local assisted-living facility.


“We would bring goodies and make some punch there so the facility didn’t have to do anything,” she says. “We’d just hang out with the elderly people, and they just loved that.” Also, your pack can participate in

a communitywide event like a parade. That’s what Yuschok’s pack, Pack 74 in Ormond Beach, Fla., does every couple of years. They decorate a float the morning of the city’s parade and ride in the parade that evening. “We tried to do the holiday parade every year, and we had a couple of years where we didn’t have a lot of participation,” he says. “If we do it every other year, there’s some excitement around that.”

Connect the Dates Whatever you do in December, make a connection to what’s planned for

January. Many packs hand out pine- wood derby car kits as holiday gifts at their December pack meetings. Yuschok’s pack goes a step farther. It holds an early January pack meeting where boys can get their pinewood derby cars roughed out. “We have a couple of parents who

bring in band saws,” Yuschok says. “If the boys have planned out the general shape of their car, they can come in and get them cut. We get almost every- body in the pack at that meeting.”

Coordinate and Communicate Scheduling special activities, changing dates, and moving meetings requires

SHARE YOUR TIPS for maintaining momentum during the holidays at


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