Blue and Gold Traditions
Blue and Gold banquet traditions are as diverse as they are fun. Since we first started hosting #CubChat on Twitter, we’ve read and seen many traditions, tips and ideas that many of you incorporate into your Blue and Gold banquets. We’ve compiled some of our favorite ideas we’ve seen from the Digital Pack into a handy list that you may want to include in your Blue and Gold banquet this year, or in years to come.
1. Invite Local Dignitaries
Blue and Gold is really a special event in the Scouting calendar. Not only is it the time we celebrate the anniversary of Scouting, but it’s a time of reflection, of excitement, or recognition and, for many, it signifies a time of transition into the Boy Scouts and a graduation out of Cub Scouts. Because of this sense of honor and occasion, many packs invite their local dignitaries to participate in the event. From mayors and city council members, prominent individuals in the community, local news personalities, school principles and religious clergy or faith leaders.
2. Feature a Slide Show
Again, because Blue and Gold can be a time of reflection, many packs show, as part of the banquet’s evening activities, a slide show with memorable moments captured throughout the previous Scouting year. If you or your Cub Scout invite someone who isn’t already a part of Scouting to your banquet, a slide show is a great way to show them what Scouting in your pack is like throughout the year, and it can be a great tool for recruitment! Regardless, having your Cub Scouts see their proudest, goofiest, most memorable and most hilarious memories on a slide show is really just a lot of fun.
3. Honor Advancement
For many packs, Blue and Gold is also a time to celebrate big advancements from one rank to another, or for when a Cub Scout crosses over into Boy Scouts. As a banquet event, Blue and Gold does seem to be a natural fit for honoring and recognizing advancing Cub Scouts and other achievements. Some packs include Arrow of Light, Rank patch advancements and Crossover ceremonies as part of the broader Blue and Gold event.
4. Offer Door Raffles and Prizes
One #CubChat attendee said that having the Cub Scouts manage the raffle and door prizes provides an opportunity to build confidence in speaking with adults in attendance. It’s this kind of astute observation from a seasoned leader that shows there is often more than one purpose in every activity, no matter how small. Having door prizes is also a great way for local businesses to participate by donating local goods and services to the raffle, supporting the community’s Scouting presence.
5. Hold a Silent Auction
Here’s another idea where local businesses can donate items to the pack, and the money earned from the auction can go toward funding Scouting events throughout the year. It’s also great to have prior to the meal as folks are milling around, waiting to eat. A silent auction offers something for the attendants to do, and it’s a clever way to fundraise.
6. Feature a Program with Scout Skits
It’s a hallmark of Scouting, and a perfect opportunity to practice showmanship. Scout Skits at Blue and Gold are guaranteed to put a smile on attendees’ faces. It’s bonafide Scouting entertainment, and your Cub Scouts will get both a laugh and great practice in confidently performing in front of adults.
7. Involve Cub Scouts in the Planning
One way to ensure that your Cub Scouts are excited to attend Blue and Gold is to involve them in the planning process. Enlist their help in making decorations in advance. This will get them excited to come and see their handy work as well as whatever surprises are in store for them for the night of the event.
8. Offer Scout Portraits
One activity many Packs have enjoyed is having a photographer come to Blue and Gold to take photos and portraits of the dens and the individual Scouts to keep as a memory or put in a photo album for your pack’s history. Others have set up a “photo booth” station via a smart phone or pad app, and let the participants take as many goofy and smiley “selfies” as they wish.
9. Remember to Delegate!
One tip that’s always important to remember when elbow-deep in planning, preparing and putting on a Blue and Gold banquet is to delegate, delegate, delegate. Involve parents, other leaders, and make sure that there is a component of collective effort. This is especially important for the clean up after the event as well. In Scouting, no one should do everything alone.
What do you think? Any great traditions that we missed? Let us know in the comments below, and if you’ve already held your Blue and Gold, great job! If you’re looking for last minute ideas, we hope this helped. Be sure to check our Pinterest page as well for loads of more Blue and Gold ideas, tips and tricks, and other fun resources.