Pack Up Your Troubles
I found this skit in a 1980 Pow Wow book from the Detroit Area Council. While it might be a bit dated, it is still usable today.
Characters: Narrator, Doctor, Park Dent (reporter), Mrs. Smith (Mother), Mr. Smith (Father), Johnny Smith
Narrator: The scene opens in a doctor’s office, the time – the present.
Mother: Doctor, I just don’t know what to do with Johnny!
Doctor: Well Mrs. Smith, I’ve examined John thoroughly and he seems to be in fine physical shape. What seems to be the trouble?
Mother: He seems so unhappy all the time – his grades have dropped – he doesn’t seem to have any friends – he doesn’t get along with other boys any more! Would you believe it, Doctor, he was even on the wrong side of the room during the toothpaste test!!! (Cries)
Doctor: Mrs. Smith, I would suggest some worthwhile activity in which Johnny could pursue his own particular talents – a group activity would be fine – this would be rewarding and also teach him to get along with others.
Mother: Do you mean like letting his hair grow and playing the guitar?
Doctor: I have something else in mind – Cub Scouting. (Stands and walks center stage) You see, in a recent article in Program Helps, Cubbing has been proven effective when used in a conscientiously applied program.
Mother: Thank you Doctor, it’s certainly worth a try! (They exit left)
Narrator: Scene 2 – the next day at the Smith home. Mother, Father, and Johnny are present. There is a knock at the door. (Mother goes to the door, stage left)
Park Dent: Good evening, Ma’am, I’m Park Dent, the mild-mannered reporter for a great metropolitan newspaper. I fight a never ending battle for truth, justice, and the American way!
Mother (extending hand): How do you do.
Park Dent (flinching and shaking his hand): Did you have to squeeze so hard? the reason I am here this evening is to talk to you and your husband about your son joining the Cub Pack in this district. I’m the Cubmaster of Pack 006 – we would have been 007, but we missed the Pow Wow last year.
Mother: Oh, please come in. (To husband) Jim, this is Park Den, the mild-mannered reporter. He’s the Cubmaster of the Pack at Johnny’s school.
Mr. Smith (extending hand): How do you do?
Park Dent (starting to shake hands but thinking better of it): Hi there!
Mother: And this is our son, John.
Park Dent: My, that’s a fine name!
Mother: Well, we named him John because we couldn’t spell Yaach!
Park Dent: Hi there, son!
Johnny: I ain’t your son and I ain’t gonna listen to nuthin’ you say. (He kicks him in the shins).
Park Dent (grabbing shins and groaning, but recovering quickly): Well, now, what I have to say will take just a few moments – I’d appreciate your listening to me and after that, the final decision is up to you. (Parents nod and sit down stage right, Park Den center stage, Johnny stage left)
Park Dent : First I’d like to point out that Cubbing is a family affair. Boys must attend the weekly Den meetings and earn their badges, but their parents attend the monthly Pack meetings with them and see them reap the rewards of their work and also help plan the pack meetings. As a matter of fact, Mrs. Smith, would you believe we have 40 people on a waiting just to be Den Leaders?
Park Dent: Would you believe 20 people? (Mrs. Smith looks doubtful) Three Barbie dolls and a baby?
Father: I’m afraid I don’t understand. Just how does a Pack operate, Mr. Dent, mild-mannered reporter?
Park Dent: Well, I think I can best illustrate by the following example: (He takes out a flashlight, takes it apart, and holds up the flashlight case) You see here the shell of a flashlight. This represents the Pack, but just as this flashlight cannot operate with just the shell, neither can a Pack operate without a boy. I’m going to place this bulb in the flashlight to represent you, Johnny. I press the switch but nothing happens. Do you know why? Because a Pack and a boy are not enough to make Cubbing work. Now I add a battery. This battery represents the officials in the pack, the Cubmaster and the other leaders. Again, I press the switch. Do you know why this still won’t work?
Johnny: Maybe you need a new flashlight (laughs, pleased with his joke).
Park Dent: No Johnny. What I need to make this flashlight work is the other battery, your parents. Just as a flashlight cannot work without a battery, neither can a Pack work successfully without help from parents. You see, folks, active parents make happy Cubbing possible. (All nod in agreement)
Father: But what are the requirements and just how can we help?
Park Dent: I have a Cub Scout application here, but before I ask you to sign it, perhaps I can best explain if you will repeat each line after me. (He asks the audience to repeat or sing the verse after him, line by line)
- To be a Cub you’ll need a den,
- In your den, you’ll all be friends.
- To be a Cub like any other,
- You’ll need a den and a Den Mother
- So be a Cub just as soon as you can.
- Now that you’re a Cub
- It would be a pity
- If your Dad didn’t join
- That Cub Scout committee
- They meet one night
- About half past seven,
- And they always get home
- By a quarter to eleven
- So come on Dad, be a committeeman!
- Now this is the end
- Of my Cub Scout verse.
- It could’ve been better
- And it could’ve been worse.
- We want your son
- To join the fun,
- But we need you too
- ‘Cause you’re the one
- To plan the fun, just for your son.
- (All exit. Park Dent is removing glasses and coat. He enters in cape.)
- Park Dent: Up, up and away! Up, up and away! Oh, heck, taxi!