This article is from the Scouting FAQ, by Bill Nelson firstname.lastname@example.org, Soaring Golden Eagle email@example.com and Alan Houser firstname.lastname@example.org with numerous contributions by others.
Date: 19 Apr 1995 (update)
From: (Peter Van Houten) <Peter_Van_Houten@SIMULACRUM.WV.TEK.com>
~From: email@example.com (Dave VanEss)
I know this has not been solicited, but here are some ideas for immediate
recognition for Cub Scout dens that have been working in my Pack, and others
that I have come in contact with.
1) Arrowhead Necklace --
Using Dough Art dough cut out arrowheads. Use a spoon to mark texture on
the face of the arrowhead. Bake until hard. Drill hole at top of arrowhead
for lace. Paint arrowhead using Glossy Black spray paint (comes out looking
like obsedian). Glue white/black feather to the back of the arrowhead, and
thread leather lace through hole.
You now have a recognition necklace the boys can wear and display how far
they are along on their Wolf or Bear trail. I had the boys make their own
necklaces, but they couldn't start wearing them until they've completed the
Bobcat. So the Arrowhead represents they've earned their Arrowhead. As
they progress along the Wolf trail they receive a White Wolf's tooth (also
made from Dough Art) for each of the 12 Wolf requirements. This can also be
used with Bear Claws for the Bear trail. To help separate the teeth, the
boy can earn beads to go on his necklace. A white bead for attending the
den meeting or pack meeting, a black bead for attending in uniform. When
done you'll have a very impressive necklace (as well as, by having the boys
make them you are doing one of the arrow point achievements for making
something with a feather).
2) Another tip for rewarding behavior, attendance, uniforming, etc. is to
have a grab box or treasure chest. In the treasure chest you accumulate all
sorts of trinkets (pencils, cards, key rings, etc.) that they boys can
choose from when they've met your criteria.
For example: All boys that show up in full uniform for a den meeting will
get to choose from the treasure chest. Or the boys that pay their dues on
time get to choose something. Maybe the boys have exemplified themselves
during the den meeting (your house isn't destroyed) and you want to reward
So where do you get the trinkets? Make friends first with every marketing
person you know (most of them are involved in scouting). Companys give away
tons of stuff to promote their products, most of which is cheap and fun
(things like sun glasses, small footballs, pencils/pens, key rings,
stickers, buttons, hats, etc.). Ask and ye shall receive. Also, check out
the discount stores for cheap items, such as pencils with different style
erassers on them. Check out garage sells for old souviners...these can be
very, very cheap.
I like to give out awards at the Court of Honor. For parents that helped
with the Reststop fund raiser (Coffees and coffee), a cookie spray painted
gold on a ribbon becomes "Order of the Cookie". If you have a wood worker
in the Unit Plaques become real cheap. (I can make walnut 5" by 7" for
about $1.50 each) Everyone likes to be appreciatted.
It might seem corny put the people getting the awards reallyy do appreciate it.
Here are soem more things I have done.
Golden Hammers (plywood cutouts of hammers spraypainted gold on a ribbon)
Given to Adults that helped build paper recycle boxes.
Lemon Heads on a plaque (One parent suppling transportation got
stopped by the Highway Patrol and asked to have his passengerd not to
throw lemon heads (hard candy) out the windows of moving cars.
Committee Patch on a Plaque.
Order of the Ugly Red Forklift For the guy that ran our newspaper
recycling program. (He moved the paper box around with said forklift). Award
was a plaque with a "Matchbox" forklift glued on it.
Anyway, the ideas are endless. If their is some kind of in joke in between
the participents, so much the better. (Example if on a 50 miler you find
that you are running low on toliet paper, a plaque for the leaders that
went along could have an empty paper roll)
Bottom line is that immediate recognition for achievement and behavior is
necessary to support future achievements and success. KISMIF -- Keep it
Simple, Make it Fun!