Thursday, April 4, 2013

Kickball Tournament & Marshmallow Roast to Recruit/Engage Kindergarten Families

Patriots' Path Council vice president of membership/relations, Dr. Geoffrey Zoeller, notes that "next year's Tigers and Tiger Leaders are in our schools right now -- they are our Kindergarteners.  We need to make every effort to meaningfully engage families during the Kindergarten year.  Strategies for making connections with Kindergartners are crucial.  Also be sure to keep an eye out for which of their parents/guardians might make good adult leaders."

One great idea is to hold a Kickball Tournament and Marshmallow Roast.  It can be for just Kindergarteners, a combined event with your current Tiger Den, it can be a school-wide activity -- you decide what works best for you.

Learning kickball skills and chatting up Kindergarten parents can strengthen your unit!

The Kickball Belt Loop makes for a great hook.  Tigers can earn the belt loop and Kindergarteners wish they were already Scouts so they could get it too!

Be sure to award it then and there.  It is also an effective means of introducing prospective Scouting families to one aspect of the Cub Scouting awards program.

This belt loop is quite age-appropriate for Tigers and Kindergarteners, and the basic skills to earn the award are easily introduced, practiced, and mastered.

The three requirements are easy to achieve as part of the overall activity:
  1. Explain the rules of kickball to your leader or adult partner.
  2. Spend 30 minutes practicing the skills of kickball (pitching, kicking, base running, catching, throwing). This may be over two different practice periods.
  3. Play a game of kickball.
What great den meeting doesn't end with a tasty snack?  In this case, a Marshmallow Roast over an open fire can help get Kindergarten boys excited and allows them to see one of many activities they will be able to participate in if they start going on camping/outdoor activities with the pack.  A table with graham crackers and chocolate will allow families to make yummy s'mores (see:'more and

A small controlled fire is the best and will put parents at ease.
Long, thin dowels from Home Depot or Lowes make great roasting sticks.
Note the safety circle drawn on the ground and have safety equipment close by.

Be creative, but keep it fun.  Baden-Powell said it best when he spoke of "fun with a purpose".  Earning a belt loop, having fun, eating s'mores, and recruiting new families and leaders -- now that's a purpose we can all agree on!

For some other kickball resources, go to:

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