February 8th is the Boy Scouts of America's (BSA) anniversary because on that day in 1910, William D. Boyce incorporated BSA in the District of Columbia. There are several types of celebrations during Scouting's anniversary month, but the most popular celebration is the Cub Scout Blue and Gold banquet.
Cub Scouts are elementary school-aged boys, so a birthday party for Scouting is the perfect celebration for them.
The Blue and Gold banquet is a family event, and extended family members such as grandparents often attend. Community leaders may be invited too.
The banquet usually has a theme, and just about any subject that's interesting to a young boy can be turned into a Blue and Gold theme. Some of the popular ones are:
- Outer Space/Rockets
- Jungle Animals
- Mad Scientist
- Native American
- Under the Sea
- Noah's Ark
- Fire Station
- Board game (Monopoly, Life, Candy Land)
- Angry Birds
- Star Wars
- Night at the Movies
Decorations vary from pack to pack. Some packs will have elaborate decorations, turning the meeting place into a carnival or pirate ship or a mad scientist's lab. Pinterest is a great source for ideas if you choose this option.
You may not be able to find suggestions on a cowboy-themed Blue and Gold banquet, but you can find cowboy-themed birthday parties.
Other packs have simpler decorations. Often, each den will make the centerpieces for their table at a den meeting prior to the banquet date. Personalized decorations such as ones with the boys' pictures on them make the evening special for them.
Most banquets have a meal. This could be anything from potluck to pizza to bar-b-que. Packs may cater the meal and charge a small fee for dinner. Others ask families to bring the food.
Some forgo the meal and have cake and ice cream. A candy buffet could be used as dessert, or it could be the main course. And don't forget a s'mores bar is a big hit!
Packs may present rank advancement and other awards at the Blue and Gold banquet. This could include a special Arrow of Light ceremony and a Webelos Crossover ceremony. Volunteers may be recognized as well. If your Blue and Gold program includes awards, consider how much it will take. Little boys (and their younger siblings) don't have a long attention span, and they will get bored and restless if the program goes on too long. You might want to consider handing out award at den meetings and holding a separate Arrow of Light ceremony.
If your pack doesn't present awards, there is more time for entertainment. This could include a slide show of the year's events--just make sure that every boy has his picture in the presentation. The show could be playing before the banquet begins so people can watch as they find their seats.
Entertainers are always popular. In most communities, magicians, scientists, balloon artists and mobile petting zoos can be hired to perform at your banquet. However, they are often expensive and might be beyond your pack's budget.
Games that relate to your theme are a more economical choice. Your camping theme could have a sleeping bag race (similar to a sack race). "Pin the mustache on the cowboy" is perfect for the western Blue and Gold banquet. Turn the game into "pin the crest on the knight" for your medieval theme. Just about any party game can be modified for your banquet. And regardless of your theme, your Cub Scouts will have a blast with "minute to win it" type games.
Have the Cub Scout dens perform for each other. Think about what the boys do at a campfire--songs, skits, stunts, jokes are always popular.
The key to a great Cub Scout Blue and Gold banquet is to remember that it's for the boys. Keep their experience in mind as you plan and execute your banquet.