For a new Cub Scout family, nothing says “we’re glad you’re here” quite like a handcrafted kit containing some items you’ll need during your Scouting journey. Oh, and snacks help, too.
A Cub Scout pack in Michigan welcomes new members with cleverly designed bags — made by the pack’s current Cub Scouts — that include a few Scouting essentials and an invitation to the pack’s next hike.
- Makes new members feel welcome.
- Involves the pack’s existing Cub Scouts in the greeting process.
- Gives the pack’s new recruits a few items they’ll need for their hiking adventure the following week.
In other words, everybody benefits.
Meet Pack 3695
Cub Scout Pack 3695 is from Farwell, Mich., part of the BSA’s Michigan Crossroads Council.
As the pack grows and welcomes new members, the adults in Pack 3695 want a way to make these members feel right at home. They also see the welcome bags as a way to deliver bite-sized chunks of information.
The adjective is key here: bite-sized.
Few families have time to read a thick packet of information — at least not right after joining your pack. But they will appreciate information that’s succinct, timely and relevant.
The bags are created not by a bunch of adults but by the Cub Scouts themselves. They complete the project at what Pack 3695 calls its “back to pack” meeting in the fall. That’s the meeting immediately before they begin recruiting new Cub Scouts and hosting prospective Cub Scouts at their meetings.
What’s inside the welcome bags?
Pack 3695 starts with a white paper sack that the Cub Scouts decorate in crayon or marker.
Each bag contains:
- A handout explaining the Scout Oath, Scout Law and Scout handshake
- A whistle
- A zip-top bag containing first aid items:
- Antibiotic ointment
- Moleskin for blisters
- Antibacterial wipes
- A list of the Cub Scout Six Essentials
- A card containing the Outdoor Code
- An invitation to the pack hike scheduled for the following week
- A bag of trail mix
A note on the trail mix: If you plan to include peanuts in your trail mix, be sure to disclose that information both to current Cub Scouts who are creating the bags and to new Cub Scouts who will be receiving them. For more on allergies and anaphylaxis, read this BSA Safety Moment.
Other welcome bag items to consider
Depending on your pack budget and needs, you might consider including:
- Your pack’s uniform numerals
- A copy of the Cub Scout Handbook that corresponds to the new member’s age
- A neckerchief and/or neckerchief slide
- A flashlight
- Handmade treats, like cookies or a cupcake
- Supplies for a fun craft or STEM project they can complete at home with their family
- A fridge-door-ready information sheet containing your pack’s calendar and contact info for pack leaders
What’s in your welcome bag?
Does your pack, troop or crew welcome new members in a unique way? Leave a comment below and tell us all about it.
Also, if you were to create a welcome bag for new Scouts, what would go inside? Share those ideas below, as well.
Thanks to Christopher Hopkins of the Michigan Crossroads Council for the tip.