Cub Scouts: Star Wars Blue & Gold

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, our Pack decided to ditch what had become a tradition of sad sack Blue & Gold Banquets and give this fun annual event the attention it deserved. In years past our Pack had gone the route of the Bear adventure, Grin and Bear It, and put on a carnival themed party that was less a celebration and more a milling around of bored Scouts. The coordinator expected that den leadership knew they were supposed to build and bring games, but said den leadership weren’t in the loop and we ended up with more whining than carnival games.

I’m not against the Grin and Bear It carnival elective; in fact, I think it could truly be a great Blue and Gold theme if you get the right person to coordinate it! I’ve surfed Pinterest enough to know that there are a lot of creative people out there putting together amazing carnival parties. If you’re here looking for help with your own Grin and Bear It Blue & Gold, please stick around because I have a lot of great information about planning and executing the event no matter the theme.

Star Wars not your thing? Are you a wizard, ‘Arry? Check out my Harry Potter Blue & Gold post and Pinterest Board! Maybe ye want more of a swashbuckling adventure. Check out my Pirates of the Caribbean Blue & Gold post and Pinterest Board!

What Is A Blue & Gold Banquet?

The tradition of the Blue & Gold Banquet is to celebrate the anniversary of Scouting in February. Consider it a birthday party that focuses heavily on the success of your Pack with a nod to the BSA’s anniversary (February 8th)! It’s an opportunity for the Pack to get together to celebrate the Scouts and their accomplishments, and to thank adult leadership and parent volunteers. Because it’s a banquet, there’s food! And because it’s a Scouting event, there’s fun.

Some units use the February event as a goal post for rank advancement. In most cases, leadership aims to use the banquet as their deadline for completing rank requirements and spend the rest of their Scouting year working on additional electives, special awards, and more.

Planning a Blue & Gold Banquet

Baden-Powell taught us to “Be Prepared”, and the key to a great B&G is to plan early and well.

Your Pack committee meets over the summer to set a budget, so knowing how much is set aside for this event is the very first step in your planning process. It should also be determined during that planning period exactly who will coordinate the event; is it a leader that was eager to step up at your meeting OR do you assign it to a specific den? In our Pack, we assign the B&G to our Bear Den (which is why we’ve had a carnival theme time and again). Assigning this particular event to a specific den works well because rising Bear families know that it’s coming and can assist or take notes from previous years to help make their event a success.

A good plan requires a good planner. When it was my Bear year and, thus, my turn to coordinate, I created a Star Wars Blue & Gold Planner (DOC) that I printed out and put directly into a binder. I began assigning specific duties to people early in the new Scouting year, maintaining an electronic copy of the planner that I shared with them regularly. As you work through your planner, build a punchlist for Friday and Saturday. That punchlist should include everything from rolls of tape to the talent.

Booking the Talent

Speaking of… when planning a B&G that includes the coordination of actual talent, you should make securing that talent your top priority. My coordination team chose the Star Wars theme because one of my leaders is a Storm Trooper with the 501st Legion, which made booking them a breeze. Visit www.501st.com and/or newsite.rebellegion.com and request an appearance right away. These guys and gals love Scouting and are happy to attend your banquet! Most of the time there’s no fee associated with their visit, but it’s always a good idea to provide them with a Green Room for dressing and then securing their gear, and a nice food spread with cold drinks. They appreciate and deserve the thoughtfulness!

I was nerding out SO HARD at that moment!

As you work through your planner, you’ll need to send your families a Save the Date email early. Generate some excitement by going with the Star Wars theme!

You’ll also want to put together an Evite Invitation with event details, including which dens are responsible for what food items. Our banquet is always a buffet-style affair with dishes brought by families to help feed the crowd. We provide the protein, rolls, and some sides. Here’s what our Star Wars Evite invitation looked like.

Printables and Decorations

You’ll want to start working on printed materials and decorations next.

A program of events is more than just a great way to let families know what to expect and when to expect it, it’s also a keepsake of your banquet. I created a Star Wars Program (PUB) that can be printed on both sides of one sheet of paper and simply folded in half. Make sure you download the Star Jedi free font from dafont.com to use with all of your printed materials.

I used these free Star Wars Printable Banners from PaperTrailDesign.com to create a “Happy Birthday, Cub Scouts!” banner decoration in an area of our hall that was just begging for some fun. Each foil star, which I purchased in packs of 10 from the dollar store, had the name of a registered Scout on it. They took those home at the end of the banquet. This made for a fun photo backdrop throughout the night.

The bulk of my decorations were made with the idea that I would try to make our hall look like the inside of the Death Star. I hand made most of our Star Wars decorations by using large rolls of craft paper. Pacon ArtCraft makes a 200 foot long roll in gray and a 50 foot long roll in black that I used to cover doorways and corkboards, and to create a GIANT backdrop that I’ll talk about in just a moment. I also purchased lots and lots of King Sized Sharpies!

Our hall has several cork boards throughout where church members and other groups post event flyers. I pre-measured all of those boards and covered those in the gray craft paper. I created and printed “Rebel Wanted Posters” (PDF), which hung over our drinks table. You can see in the picture below that I went into greater detail by drawing a border with my Sharpies and then color-coding each poster by threat-level. God is in the details, after all.

On another corkboard, I used the same roll of gray craft paper and painted a galaxy scene mural with our favorite hero, Han Solo, at the helm of the Millennium Falcon. I glued a section of the black craft paper onto the mural and used what acrylic paint I happened to have on hand. Again, pre-measure everything!

I’ve mentioned in previous posts that I work from home, which affords me more free time than the average den leader. I acknowledge that. What I may not have told you yet is that I’m a little OCD and a complete perfectionist. So when I show you this next decoration I don’t want for you to burn yourself out making it.

I built a photo backdrop that was 20 feet wide and 8 feet tall over the course of almost four months. Yeah, I know. We all laugh that our dining room tables are really just Scout storage, well my entire dining room was the Death Star.

The Death Star bridge, which required more math and time than I care to admit.

Everything is symmetrical, which means I actually USED all that high school math I swore I’d never need. This thing was a labor of love, but my word was it cool. I swear it was worth it for the two hours it was on display (and is now on display in one lucky Scout’s bedroom as a thanks to his Dad, the aforementioned Storm Trooper). I created a grid of 1’x1′ squares to help me draw this behemoth and went through a LOT of Sharpies in the process.

Our hall is already decorated with several hanging panels that absolutely did NOT go with the theme. I used the black craft paper to make covers that looked like hyperspace by using a yard stick, a white crayon, and a silver Sharpie.

I used that same gray craft paper to cover the doors in our space so that they looked like the doors on the Death Star. It’s a little thing that also requires some time and math, but it makes a big impact! I made templates out of thin cardboard so all those angular designs were a little less time-consuming from door to door.

Your guest tables have to make a statement. I’ve used 84-inch round tablecloths from Crown Table three years in a row now and will not buy another brand. They’re great quality at a great price and come in lots of colors. We went with silver, of course. We purchased red napkins (Legion), blue napkins (Rebels), silver dessert plates, silver latex balloons, black starry latex balloons, and silver mini treat bags for our awards from Oriental Trading. We used balloon weights that we had in storage, and picked up additional metallic balloon weights from Amazon. Our dinner plates, utensils, and cups came in bulk from BJ’s, and our balloon ribbon was leftover from previous banquets. Make utensil rolls ahead of your event and use strips of the gray craft paper to hold them together; having utensil rolls on each table helped families better juggle their plates in the buffet line and, because it’s flu season, kept everyone a little healthier than if we’d put individual utensils in a basket on the buffet table.

We also had a lot of donated decorations that truly transformed the space! As popular as Star Wars is, you are guaranteed to know someone with some fun decorations they can lend you.

Our awards bags were a lot of fun to make. We used silver mini treat bags from Oriental Trading to hold the treats, then I created special award bag tags and finished them off with glow stick bracelets.

We also created what we now call the Packie Awards, a series of trophies that we make to thank our adult volunteers. They were things like…

  • Golden Kernels: Special award for our Popcorn Kernels.
  • Golden Chair: Cubmaster Reserved for the Chairperson or Committee Member with outstanding service to the Pack.
  • Rail Rider: For our treasurer, who kept the Pack on track all year long.
  • Golden Sponges: for our Den Chiefs. Symbolic of all the knowledge and experience they soaked up in their leadership term.
  • Right Hand Men: Parents who stepped up to support leadership and make den meetings that much more fun and interesting. Just gloves sprayed gold and secured to a base.
  • Beacon Award: For Den Leadership who shine a light on what’s great about Scouting. These were flashlights/lanterns secured to a base.
  • Link to Scouting: for outgoing AOL leaders who have served the Pack for many years and are going on to serve in a Troop. This is symbolic of the strength of the bond they’ve created between the two programs. These were lengths of metal chain sprayed gold and secured to a base.
  • The Good Eggs: are for parent volunteers who helped lead or coordinate a special event in some way.

Don’t forget the ambiance! Dim the lights and provide your guests with a little music that matches the theme. For our banquet, we used a lot of great Star Wars sound files, like the original theme song, the Cantina music, and even the Imperial March. I used thesoundarchive.com for all of my sound needs.

Ceremony and Presentation

Vader appeared just as the Imperial March began and kids literally gasped! Seriously, it’s all in the details.

“Do or do not, there is no try.” – Yoda. What he meant was, if you’re going to do it, do it right! Build a ceremony that’s steeped in tradition and fun, stick to your theme, and remember to be flexible. You can plan your banquet down to the minute, but there will always be something here or there that throws you off. Be prepared, but also be willing to go with plan b or c. Pull together a formal ceremony that you share with all of the members in your leadership team, especially the ones who have a speaking part like your Committee Chairperson and your Entertainment Coordinator. My Star Wars themed Blue & Gold ceremony is a load of fun and can be easily customized to suit your event.

The presentation itself needs to be exciting yet simple. Learn from me right now that, if you used the Star Jedi free font from dafont.com, you’ll need to send those font files to the computer you plan to run your presentation from. Few things are worse than having the presentation pop up without your font, throwing everything off. I made this Star Wars themed Blue & Gold Presentation (PPT), and I’d be thrilled for you to use it!

Givewaways

It’s always fun to send your Scouts home with something they can remember their Blue & Gold by. We decided to make pool noodle Light Sabers for every child. Pro tip: hand those out as they are leaving. We hid them under a table in a box so they would go unnoticed all night; otherwise, you’ll end up with a huge light saber fight and someone will end up hurt. Save yourself the inevitable trouble!

Final Thoughts

However you decide to throw your Star Wars themed Blue & Gold, I want you to promise me right now that you’ll DO YOUR BEST to enjoy yourself every step of the way. I want for you to live in the moment of it, enjoy every fun moment, and go to bed that night knowing you made a bunch of kids so unbelievably happy. You’ve used the Force, sided with the Light, and transformed into a true Jedi! WAY TO GO! 🙂

If you need some additional inspiration, consider perusing my Star Wars Blue & Gold Pinterest Board, complete with a Death Star Build-Out subsection. Did this post help you plan your perfect Star Wars B&G? Did you try any of my ideas? What would you add? Give the post a like, consider following Look Wider Still, and Scout On!

Star Wars not your thing? Are you a wizard, ‘Arry? Check out my Harry Potter Blue & Gold post and Pinterest Board! Maybe ye want more of a swashbuckling adventure. Check out my Pirates of the Caribbean Blue & Gold post and Pinterest Board!

Yours in Scouting,
Rebekah

Look Wider Still is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program and Oriental Trading Affiliate Program , affiliate advertising programs designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising.

Published by Look Wider Still

Rebekah is the mother of two wonderful sons, Michael and Nate. She and her husband, Mike, married in 2002 and have built their family on a foundation of adventure. Between geocaching, camping, hiking, cooking, fishing, crafting, reading, and snuggling their Irish Terrier, Bentley, they enjoy a long and happy career in Scouting. The boys come from a long line of Scouters, including Eagles on all sides. Mike has served as assistant den leader, treasurer, and Pack Committee member, and Rebekah has served as den leader and Cubmaster for Pack 521 out of Mechanicsville, Virginia. LookWiderStillBlog@gmail.com

3 thoughts on “Cub Scouts: Star Wars Blue & Gold

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: