What Gear Do Cubs Need

For every outing that does not have an activity form cubs need to 

- bring a drink bottle with water
- bring their yellow book
- wear full cub uniform (long beige/tan pants, enclosed shoes, yellow and blue cub shirt, 2nd Mortdale scarf, woggle and a navy blue hat - preferably broad brimmed)
- bring a jumper or raincoat depending on the weather.

Where an activity form is required you will find a list of what the cubs need to bring, what they need to wear and sometimes what they should not bring.  Some of the terminology may be like reading a foreign language so here is a few explantions and hints.  If you can think of any others please let me know and I will add it here to help other parents. 

Label everything – cubs do not know their own gear and some have no problems with wearing other peoples clothes including underpants.  Gear is expensive so label everything which will help us to be able to get it back to you.  Use a marker pen that won't wash off and put the name somewhere easy for us to find - usually the hem at the waist or neck.

Mess Kit - a mess kit is a small fabric bag that contains a plate, bowl, cup, spoon, knife, fork, tea towel. 
At most camps and pack holidays cubs are required to bring their own eating equipment. They will also be responsible for washing it.
Plates, Bowls and Cups should not be metal (can be too hot to hold) and not be disposable plastic as they will need to be used multiple times – melamine is good, tin when dropped tends to chip and cannot then be used. 
Cups should have a handle that the cub can put their fingers through.
Cutlery should be metal or heavy duty non disposable plastic.  Knives should be serated but not be a steak knife or pocket knife.  They need a seperate knife, fork, spoon not one that combines them all.
The bag that holds them in should be big enough for the cub to put it all in but not too big – It should be made of cloth and have a drawstring opening to allow it to be hung up – try to use a material that is unique or colourful as it will help them to find their bag amongst 50 or so others. 
Label everything.  Hints for labelling – needs to be able to handle hot water and scrubbing – bright colourful nail polish on the outside works really well. 
Note: some leaders favour having a bag that is mesh but I've found that most cubs tend to drop their bags on the ground so they tend to get very dirty with mesh.

Water Bottle - At all events cubs will need a refillable water bottle.  These bottles should only contain water not juice or cordial.  Have your cub practice filling it up using a tap.  

Camp Blanket – Cubs will earn all sorts of badges and only some of these can go on the uniform, some are for sewing onto a camp blanket.  When we have a camp fire cubs will usually have their camp blanket around them or be sitting on them.  Cubs love to show these off.   Camp blankets should be made of a more fire resistant material and be able to be washed.  They can be made into ponchos by cutting a hole in the middle or can be wrapped around.  

Pocket Knife – Not allowed at cubs

Sleeping Bag – cubs need to be able to pack away their own sleeping bag at the end of camping so try to find one that they can put away.  If they are a bed wetter even occasionaly please let the leader know (they will be discreet)

Sheet – When cubs are staying in accommodation that has mattresses it is a good idea to send a sheet to go under them even if they are bringing a sleeping bag as this seperates the cubs from the mattress that could be very dusty.  Cubs make their own beds at camps so a fitted sheet is easier for them to put on the bed.

Sleeping Mat – Cubs tend to walk all over their bed (in tents) so don’t spend a lot of money on mats.  Rolled foam mats are good - usually around $5 or $10.  Inflatable mats tend to develop holes and if taken the cub needs to be able to bring own hand/foot pump and be able to inflate their own bed, they also need to bring a repair kit and instructions.

Sleeping Stretcher – At 2nd Mortdale our cubs do not use stretchers as they tend to take up too much room and can put holes in tent floors.

Backpack – On nearly every event cubs will need to walk around with a small amount of gear (raincoat, water bottle, jumper, small first aid kit, sunscreen, yellow book, food) – this is easiest done with a backpack that is not too big or too small for them, it should sit no lower than their hips and the straps should be able to be tightened.  It will most likely get wet and get dirty. 

Small First Aid Kit – at cubs we try to teach cubs to be prepared for emergencies and to be able to look after themselves. Leaders will always carry a first aid kit but cubs need to carry their own small personal one for little scratches.  This does not have to be a purchased one.  It can be a small ziplock bag that holds a few bandaids and a small cake of soap (like the hotel room ones).  It should not contain any medication not even pain killers.

Torch - Cubs tend to drop things so a head torch or a torch with a lanyard to hang around their neck is a good idea and this will also allow them to use their hands.  They should also pack spare batteries as they tend to forget to switch the torch off.

Medication – all medication needs to be placed in a sealable bag with the cubs named clearly shown.   This should be given to the cub leaders.  Asthma inhalers need to be carried by the cub at all times.

Camp Bag – Cubs will need to fit all their clothes, sleeping and eating gear into 1 bag to go to camps and they will need to be able to carry it by themselves.  Attaching items like sleeping bags onto the outside makes it very difficult for them to carry.  Some cubs use a bag with wheels so they can pull them along.  Try to get a bag that is not too big and not too small.  Lots of pockets can be difficult for some cubs as they cannot find things.  It is a good idea to have your cub pack their own bag so they can easily find things (you will need to help a lot the first camp but after a couple you will probably only need to supervise)

Camp Clothes – cubs tend to rummage through their bag to try to find clothes and toss them around the tent/room and then shove them back in the bag (and usually other cubs stuff too).  A way to try to avoid this is to put each days clothes into a large labelled snaplock bag.  Cubs also have a tendancy to put wet and dirty clothes in with clean clothes - the same snaplock bag can be used to put the dirty clothes in.  Packing a plastic bag for dirty clothes can help too.

Toiletries – Most facilities at camps include a shower but cubs will need to take everything with them and try not to get them wet. A fabric shopping bag is a good way of transporting everything to the shower and it can be hung up keeping it dry.  Cubs will need a towel, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, comb, deodorant (yes, some cubs need to use deodorant!), shampoo and something to hold it all in.  Toothbrushes should be in a toothbrush container or a ziplock bag to try to keep them clean.  Remove all packaging at home as most cubs cannot undo them. Have them practice opening the containers.

Showers - Cub Leaders and parents on camps do not assist cubs to shower (unless there is a medical requirement to do so) and in most camp situations cannot enter the shower facilities whilst cubs are using them.  Cubs need to be able to turn on taps themselves, open all containers themselves, dry and undress and dress themselves.  This should be practised at home so that cubs can easily cope.  On most programs cubs shower in the early evening but then dress back into clothes for the rest of the activities so packing extra underwear is a good idea.  Thongs can only be worn to and from showers.

Camera - Cubs love to take photos so a camera is great to bring along.  Cubs also love to lose and drop things so make sure it is not expensive.

What not to bring - On most events cubs should not bring
mobile phones - Cubs do not need to be able to call parents, family members or friends whilst on a cub event.  If they are homesick contacting family usually makes it worse.  Leaders will have a phone so if parents need to contact them to change arrangements they can call the leader.
ipods, mp3 players, elecronic games - These are easily lost, damaged or stolen plus can cause fights and arguments.  The program is usually so full they will not have time to play electronic games anyway.   
lollies and chips - for camps these should not be brought along, there will be plenty of food for children.  For day trips these should be kept to a minimum
Nuts - Some cubs are alergic to nuts so these should not be brought to camps

 

Parents coming along to camps and events
We really need lots of help on camps and outings and parents will find themselves doing all sorts of things like dressing as pirates, mashing 120 potatoes with a soup ladle (ask Dingo's hubby about that one!) or hulling 120 oranges (still a topic of conversation at lots of camps).  Come along with a sense of adventure and join in the fun - most camps will have a theme and the cubs love it when the parents join in too.  

If there is something that you particularly don't want to do or that you particularly do want to do please let the leader know before so we can try to accomodate you.  If you have a particular skill please let us know so that we can utilise it.

When packing for a camp or outing that you are coming along to, please pack your items seperate from your cubs.  Yes, unfortunately that does mean some doubling up particularly with things like water bottles, sunscreen, soap, toothpaste etc but cubs may end up being away from you when they need the item and need to learn to be responsible for their own gear.

Scouting events are generally alcohol free (even for parents and leaders) and if you are a smoker please let us know so that we can find a spot for you away from the cubs as scouting is generally a smoke free event too.