This Cook Book of Ideas has been developed to help Scouters of all sections including Group Committee members to build better linkages between their sections.
It is not intended to be the definitive “be all and end all“ but rather a collection of ideas contributed by many Scouters that can used in program and group planning.
Ideas that have been documented under one area of linking can be modified or adapted for use between other sections. All one has to do is use one’s imagination.
Linking between Beavers and Cubs
Utilize a Cub as a Keeo
One of the best ways to build linkages between the Beavers and the Cubs is to have a senior Cub become a Keeo with the Colony. This permits Keeo to work with the Beavers in an ongoing way and to be a familiar face when the older Beavers swim-up to Cubs. Keeo can also talk about his or her experiences as a Cub to the older Beavers.
Invite an Older Cub to Talk to the Beavers
If the Colony is in the position of not having a Keeo one alternative is to arrange with the Akela to have a senior Cub to attend a Colony meeting for the specific purpose of talking to the older Beavers about his or her experiences as a Cub.
White Tails to Attend Cub Meetings
As part of their preparation for swimming up to the Cub Pack, the White Tail Beavers should attend a number of Cub meetings. It is important that this is discussed with the Pack leaders. It provides an opportunity for the Beavers to observe the Pack and to participate in their activities prior to joining them.
Hold Joint Hikes
An ideal way for the Beavers and Cubs to become familiar with each other is to have joint hikes. This will allow the youth to mix and to better know each other.
Hold Joint Events
Having joint events such as bowling parties gives the leaders an opportunity to mix teams of Beavers with Cubs. They spend time being part of the team. This is a very relaxed setting and the pressure of formality does not exist. The Christmas party is another time to bring the Beavers into the Cub meeting. Sharing and giving is demonstrated in a different light. The Beavers could assist with the preparation by helping wrap gifts for needy families.
White Tail Linkage Camp
The idea is to learn what Cubs is about. Beavers were divided into Sixes with a Cub assigned to each Six as a junior leader. Each Six also had two leaders assigned to them for the weekend. Although they were assigned to Sixes in the daytime, at night the Beavers slept with their Colony.
The program was based on Cubs. Sessions lasted approximately 30 minutes. The Beavers learned about the Grand Howl; the story of Baden-Powell, the Promise, Law, and Motto and Cub badges. They did most of the requirements for their hiking badge, some on the handicraft badge, cooking badge and some star requirements. They were taught three knots. The craft was making a knot board on which they placed the three knots they learned.
Several leaders from Pack and Troop came in and did sessions with the Beavers throughout the weekend. As a special treat for the Cubs that were attending, they were able to spend some time with the Troop Scouter and learn a little bit about the Scout program.
For supper everyone, including the Beavers, made their own tin foil dinners, which were cooked on a bed of charcoal. Everyone enjoyed his or her meals.
After supper, more sessions on Cubs and then campfire, which was held indoors, due to conditions, followed by mug up and bedtime.
Sunday morning after breakfast there were more sessions on Cubs and another hike. A Scouts’ Own was held outdoors, then lunch and Pack to go home. At closing the Beavers received a book with all they learned during the weekend, including the badge and star requirements accomplished, a rope to continue practicing the knots and a crest for their campfire blankets. Some Beavers waiting to be picked up were already practicing knots.
It was started to get the White Tails thinking about Cubs and to give the Pack leaders a head start on why linkage is necessary.
Linking between Cubs and Scouts
Utilize a Scout as a Kim
One of the best ways to build linkages between the Cubs and the Scouts is to have a senior Scout become a Kim with the Pack. This permits Kim to work the Cubs in an ongoing way and to be a familiar face when the older Cubs move up to Scouts. Kim can also talk about his or her experiences as a Scout to the older Cubs.
Invite an Older Scout to Talk to the Cubs
If the Pack is in the position of not having a Kim one alternative is to arrange with the Troop Scouter to have a senior Scout to attend a Pack meeting for the specific purpose of talking to the older Cubs about his or her experiences as a Scout.
Talk about Operation Alert and Jamborees
An aspect of the Scout program that normally generates a high level of interest for the youth is their experiences at operation Alert and Jamborees. Therefore why not invite an older Scout who has participated in these events to attend a Pack meeting to share their experiences.
Another idea is to arrange an evening to display mementoes and videos of these events. Arrange the evening in an informal setting, maybe have popcorn and other refreshments. Scouts could then tell stories of their adventures and experiences.
Earning Link Badge
Cubs have to earn their link badge by meeting certain minimum requirements. Therefore the Pack leaders should discuss this with the Troop leaders and make appropriate arrangements for this to happen.
Overnight Camp with the Scouts
Scouts host an over night camp with the Cubs. The Scouts run the activities and sleep in shelters and the Cubs sleep in the cabin. An ideal time to do this is in the spring or summer with the third year Cubs. It is recommended that the 3rd years visit the Troop in the spring (May) and plan the camping trip together with the Scouts. The Cub leaders must attend the few joint visits (linking) with the youth. The basics are covered, i.e. flag break, opening/closing, inspection, law/promise/motto (as required to be taught by the senior Scouts), etc. After the basics are taught to the Cubs, camp planning is started. This starts with proper Packing, food groups/menu planning, duty rosters, related games (knot relay, compass, parts of a canoe, etc). After three or four “linking meetings” the Cubs and Cub leaders are better prepared to attend the camp.
Cubs were included in the patrols and participated in all activities. Everyone came together for breakfast and supper and shared the experiences of the day’s events.
Invite the Cubs to Visit a Scout Camp
During the visit the Scouts could teach knot tying to the Cubs (knots that the Cubs are not familiar with). The older Scouts could instruct the Cubs with map and compass. This event gives the Cubs an opportunity to get to know the Scouts on a more personal level. It also gives the Scouts an opportunity to be in a leadership role.
If the area or district operates an event similar to Operation Alert older Cubs could be invited to visit and participate in some of the events for the day.
Recruit Activity Leaders
Older Scouts can be recruited to become Activity Leaders (AL) with the Colony or Pack. Potential Activity Leaders can discuss with Colony and Pack leaders how they could assist with them in their programs. This gives the older youth an opportunity to work with younger members and it also gives the Beavers and Cubs the older “brother/sister” to discuss issues with. The AL can then relay this information to the leaders to assist them in better programming.
Linking between Scouts and Venturers
Scouts to Attend Venturer Meeting
Invite the older Scouts to attend meetings. This would be a formal meeting where they would observe only. They would understand they do not have any voting rights within this meeting. On to other business – they could assist in the planning of the three-day camp or canoe trip and also participate in these events.
A great way for the Scouts to understand this would be to have them visit a Company that is connected to such an organization - for example, Yarmouth Search and Rescue.
Have the Venturers describe the differences between participating as a Venturer rather than a Scout. They could explain that their project run throughout the night and tend to be more complex in nature.
Invite a Venturer to Attend a Scout Meeting
The Venturer could explain to the older Scouts how their program operates and the types of activities, events and undertakings that the company participates in. They could also describe their experiences as a Venturer.
Earning Link Badge
Scouts have to earn their link badge by meeting certain minimum requirements. Therefore the Troop leaders should discuss this with the Company leaders and make appropriate arrangements for this to happen.
Attend a Venturer Event
Another exciting way for the senior Scouts to better experience the potential of Venturers is to have them invited to attend a Venturer event. This would need to be arranged through your service team. It will probably not be appreciated if they just turn up!
Recruit Activity Leaders or Scouters-In-Training
Venturers can be recruited to become Activity Leaders (AL) or Scouters-In-Training. This gives the older youth an opportunity to work with younger members and provides the opportunity for the younger youth to learn about the older programs.
The Venturers could be asked to develop and operate a program for the younger youth sections. This could be at a regular meeting around a specific theme such as disabilities or it could be at a camp where the Venturers could have stations where the Scouts learn more on 1st aid, orienteering and participate in an 8 km hike.
Linking between all Sections
Hold a Joint Camp Fire
Hold an outdoor campfire, including refreshments. Make necessary arrangements with a local park if necessary. Older section (Scouts) to construct campfire (location to be approved by park officials). With supervision from leaders create a campfire program and inform sections of their responsibilities (song, skit and cheer). Invite parents and sponsor to the event. If they are cooperative, ask them to participate in the campfire. Refreshments: Beavers bring cookies, Cubs bring apple cider, and Scouts bring cups and napkins and stove/pots to warm up cider.
After this event is completed you could invite to younger sections to join in activity with flashlights – shine them in trees to identify the differences (day/night, winter/summer). Send thanks notes home to all for their participation in the success of the event follow up with story and photos to local newspaper.
Alternatively the camp fire could be held indoors.
Invite all sections to hold their moving up ceremonies jointly. This event requires a spacious area, community hall or outdoor area. Strike a committee to ensure smooth flow for youth to move-up. Send notices home to notify parents of things needed including refreshments.
Banquet or Picnic
Invite all sections to participate in a joint banquet or picnic. A committee will be required to plan and coordinate the event. Either have parents bring food dishes or set a fee and purchase the food. Ask each section to entertain the whole group by doing a song, skit, story, etc.
Hold a Joint Camp
Have all the sections plan and participate in a joint group camp. Participants should then have the opportunity to mix with the other sections and participate in activities.
Have Joint Kub Kar/Truck Races
Why not have the Cubs and the Scouts hold their races at the same location so that they can see what the other section does.
A group could develop information packages to give to parents and prospective youth members describing the older section. This could include leader names, sample program activities, section highlights, etc.
Make a Video
If the resources are available a good way for the youth to see what the other sections do is to make a video. This video could of special events, camps, programs, etc. and it could then be shown at either a regular meeting, a mall display or some on some other occasion.
BP Week Activities
BP Week is an ideal time to hold joint activities as we celebrate our Founder’s birthday. So why not include some of the above or develop new ideas to do this.
Parent Linking Activity
Christmas wreaths – selling Christmas wreaths as a “fun”d raiser either for Group Committee or CJ Committee. Youth do actual canvassing and the parents do the decorating. Wreaths arrive in a central location and the parents are encouraged to decorate the wreaths sold by their child. Christmas music and hot chocolate help create a festive atmosphere. Before long parents are discussing other ways to help the group raise funds or how they could help at camps etc. This is a great time to invite parents to visit other activities (Group Committee meeting).