The National Summertime Pack Award is given to packs that have at least one activity each month during the summer. It’s intended to help keep packs active during those months when they might not otherwise meet.
A few years ago, our pack decided that we wanted to be active during the summer, but we didn’t want to have formal meetings. The plan was to host something fun that didn’t take lots of planning and preparation.
Our summer activities are held on the third Thursday which is our normal pack meeting night. We encourage our Cub Scouts to invite their friends. You can read more about how the activities are used for recruiting new members.
Sometimes we get into a rut and keep having the same events over and over. While there’s nothing wrong with that if it’s an activity the boys like, you may discover something they like even more.
There aren’t any specific guidelines for the National Summertime Pack Award activities. The application simply says that your pack qualifies by conducting a pack activity each month.
Note: The application is a little confusing. Some people thought that you must have a minimum percentage attendance in order to earn the award, but you don’t. Read this post to see an email I received from BSA when I checked with them.
The pack activities can be as simple or as elaborate as you want. Since people are busy during the summer, we try to keep them simple, but we’ll occasionally add something to “spice” it up. For example, one of our leaders is a youth minister at a church that owns a snow cone machine, so we used it at one of our events.
Here are a few tips:
- Ask your local Boy Scout troop for volunteers to help.
- If your event is outside, make sure you have plenty of water to keep the boys from getting dehydrated.
- Two words. Freeze Pops. They’re inexpensive and cold, so they’re perfect for kids on a hot summer evening. When you’re freezing these, open up the box or bag and lay them out in your freezer. They may not be totally frozen otherwise even if they’ve been in the freezer for several days.
True story. I found out that the pack’s freeze pops weren’t frozen when my son and his friends (unbeknownst to me) started a little business selling said freeze pops in the neighborhood. They put a cooler full of them on my son’s scooter and went door to door. Although I was annoyed about having to make another trip to the store, I was very glad to discover they weren’t frozen before the day of the event.
Here are 75 activity ideas your pack can do during the summer months.
I’m including links for your convenience. Some of them are my affiliate links which means if you click on them and make a purchase, I’ll make a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thanks for supporting Cub Scout Ideas!
1. Meet at a park and just let the boys play – Our Cub Scouts often don’t get to just hang out and play. Give them that opportunity.
2. Go on a pack camp out – A classic!
3. Have a pack picnic – You can grill out, bring sandwiches or even order pizza.
4. Go for a hike – Even if it’s just around your meeting place’s neighborhood.
5. Go for a bike ride – Have everyone meet at a park with your bikes.
6. Host a bicycle rodeo – Find links to helpful resources here.
7. Go on a scavenger hunt – Here are some great ideas for scavenger hunts.
8. Play baseball – What says summer more than baseball?
9. Go orienteering – This site has fun orienteering games.
10. Have a campfire complete with s’mores, of course!
11. Pick up trash as a service project (local park, creek, etc.) – You can make it a scavenger hunt.
13. Visit a cave – Are there any caves near you that your pack can explore?
14. Play badminton – Have a few families bring their sets so that you can have several games going at once.
15. Attend a local sporting event like a minor league baseball game – Call to find out if they’ll give Scouts a discount. Some may even have patches they’ll give you.
16. Hold a basketball tournament – Find a park with several basketball courts if you expect a lot of boys to attend.
17. Go bowling – Did you know that kids can bowl free at select centers? Or plan a bowling party with the center. When we did this, we got a tour of the center including a behind-the-scenes look at the machinery.
19. Go to a local festival or outdoor concert as a group – Find out if the event needs some extra hands. Picking up trash after it’s over is a great service project.
20. Go roller skating – Find out if there is a center near you where kids can skate free.
21. Hold a Raingutter Regatta – Instead of making boats from the kits, make it a recycled regatta where the boys construct their boats out of recycled items.
22. Have an old fashioned field day – Be sure that you include 3 legged races, sack races, a tug of war, a hula hoop competition and water balloon tosses.
23. Visit an amusement park or water park – These often offer discounts for Scout groups.
24. Wade in a creek or stream – We have a creek hike and pick up trash along the way.
26. Catch fireflies (or lightning bugs, as we call them) – Find out the proper way to catch them.
27. Make birdfeeders – Try one of these three designs.
28. Take a free kids’ workshops at a store such as Home Depot or Lowes – Check with your local store. They may be willing to host a special time just for your pack.
29. Go to a farmers’ market and learn about healthy foods – Some local markets offer a program for kids.
30. Go to the zoo – Many zoos have Cub Scout programs that fulfill adventure requirements.
31. Make ice cream in a bag – Here are the directions.
32. Make armpit fudge – Yes, it sounds gross, but the boys love it! And it’s surprisingly yummy.
33. Watch Independence Day fireworks together – Don’t forget to pack a picnic!
34. Go on a 1 Foot Hike – There are several ways to conduct this hike to make it fun for the entire pack.
35. Play kickball
36. Visit a nature center – Many of them have programs that will help your Cub Scouts complete adventures.
37. Build an obstacle course – Have the boys come up with their own ideas for a course. If you need to give them a little inspiration, here’s an article with some cool suggestions.
38. Visit the fire or police department – Turn this into a service project by having the boys write thank you notes or put together treat bags for the police officers and firefighters before you go.
39. Have a Cub Scout theater night – Have the boys bring costumes and props to the event. Give them a little time to create and practice an original skit with their den. Then have all the dens perform. Find skit ideas here.
40. Play human foosball – We built a human foosball court like this one.
41. Have an ice cream sundae party – Tip: Pre-scoop the ice cream!
42. Visit a local factory – This website lists factories that give tours. Even if your local factory isn’t on the list, call and ask them anyway. If it’s a factory that uses robots, your Bears can mark off that requirement for the Robotics adventure.
43. Play frisbee golf – Don’t have a frisbee golf course close by? Then make your own!
44. Have an outdoor movie night – I’ll bet someone in your pack works for a company that has a projector you can borrow. Get more ideas here.
45. Organize a bingo event at a local nursing home – Read this story for some inspiration.
46. Participate in a National Park Service Junior Ranger program – Find out more about the program here.
48. Have a kite derby – We used these directions to make kites at Cub Scout day camp a couple of years ago.
49. Play giant marbles – If you have a big group, make more than one marble ring.
50. Go orienteering in a box – This was another super fun day camp activity. Our camp was a Star Wars theme, but you can decorate your boxes any way you want.
51. Organize a geocaching event – Read about two options for a geocaching event.
52. Host a recycling event – Although America Recycles Day isn’t until November 15th, you can use some of these activities to help raise awareness of the importance of recycling.
53. Make pizza box ovens – Have English muffin pizzas and s’mores for dessert and cook them both in the pizza box oven.
54. Have a knot-tying class – Ask Boy Scouts to come and teach the Cub Scouts how to tie knots. Use these resources to study up before the meeting!
55. Go on a rock hunt – This older website shares how one family finds and identifies rocks in their neighborhood. You can use it for ideas on where to conduct your rock hunt. And Webelos and Arrows of Light can count this toward the Earth Rocks! adventure.
56. Host backyard Olympics – My friend Liz from Hoosier Homemade shows you how to make some easy Olympics-style games.
57. Go to Cub Scout day camp – Is your son signed up? If not, stop and do it now! (Some packs think going to Cub Scout camp doesn’t count toward this award. But I believe if the pack plans to attend the same camp, it does. You’ll need to make your own decision about this.)
58. Go to Cub Scout or Webelos resident camp – See number 57.
59. Go fishing – The Take Me Fishing website has some good information for getting started.
60. Hold a rocket academy – Here’s what my pack did.
64. Play capture the flag – Find directions here.
65. Make it more fun and play glow in the dark capture the flag. – Details can be found here.
67. Play clothespin tag – Read about how one pack plays. (You may need to scroll down the page to see the post.)
68. Host a lemonade stand to raise money for charity – Here are 10 tips to help your Cub Scouts be successful.
69. Have a treasure hunt – The boys will love looking for treasure that you’ve hidden. Check out this guide to learn how to plan it.
70. Play putt-putt golf – Call your local facility to find out about group rates.
71. Minute to win it games – These are popular with our pack, but we’ve only played indoors. Here are some ideas for outdoor minute to win it games.
72. Play beach ball volleyball – Just like regular volleyball, but with a beach ball.
73. Have a lumberjack competition – This is one of the coolest things I’ve seen!
74. Build and race Cubmobiles – This post shares the plans and rules for a Cubmobile race.
75. Play glow in the dark wiffle ball – I love wiffle ball, and playing in the dark looks super cool!