Interview: Everything Cub Scouts with Brian Hoffman

By Ben Young - Monday, January 13, 2020

Have you ever worked the Cub Scout Market? Would you like to? Well, I interviewed an expert in the market, Brian Hoffman. He literally wrote the book on Cub Scout shows, Everything Cub Scouts for the Magician. Enjoy!

AK: Tell a little about who you are and your involvement/expertise with Cub Scouts.

BH: I am a part-time professional, performing almost 100 children shows a year. My shows include magic, bubbles, games, and a kids disco. I also perform many Cub Scout shows.

I have been a Scout leader for eight years now. Five of those were in Cub Scouts in a Cubmaster role. Being a leader gave me the insight and understanding of the Cub Scout culture, language, and structure. I have been able to apply this knowledge to my Cub Scout shows, not only from a theme and presentation perspective but also from a marketing and booking side.

I have also watched Scouting go through several significant changes. From the inclusion of gay leaders and Scouts to the recent addition of girls, these changes provide new opportunities and require new awareness in our presentations.

AK: What's a typical Cub Scout gig?

BH: Although this can vary by pack, a typical event will begin with the gathering of Scouts, a flag ceremony, and the reciting of the Scout Oath, Law, and Outdoor code. Then the meeting or event items will follow, and the program closes with flags and a quick Cubmaster message.

Typically, the magic show or entertainment will be sandwiched between other meeting agenda topics and events. In some cases, the magic show can fill the complete meeting. A Cub Scout event can be rough, or run smoothly, and going in with a plan is half the battle.

AK: What's a major advantage to working this market?

BH: It provides an additional income stream that one can easily add to their offerings. If you are performing kids magic, you should be looking beyond traditional birthday parties and think about libraries, schools, and Cub Scout shows.

If you have a Cub Scout themed show, it is not only memorable but allows you to offer other show opportunities. You can promote your birthday parties as something completely different.

(Note from AK: Brian's book has enough themed magic to put together a unique and complete Scout show!)

AK: What is the most challenging thing about working this market, either in booking or at the event?

BH: One of the biggest challenges is finding the leads. Some Cub Scout packs are all over the Internet and social media, while others are non-existent. In my book, I do share several tips for finding leads.

It is also no secret that controlling kids is not always an easy task. Things can get out of hand fast. With a Cub Scout pack, the kid's ages vary from 5-11. Larger packs will have 60 or more Scouts. That's a lot of kids for any show. I have a few strategies that have helped me keep shows on target. My number one tip is to learn the Cub Scout sign - and use it when necessary!

AK: Are there any common misconceptions about the Cub Scout market, or Scouts in general?

BH: For show opportunities, magicians are mostly familiar with Cub Scout Blue and Gold Banquets. (These banquets are to celebrate Scouting's anniversary and typically take place in early February.) However, there are actually opportunities year-round. Recruitment events and fundraising recognition are just a couple of them.

AK: Can you share 1 tip to help book Cub Scout shows?

BH: The best place to start is at You can search for local packs and even find contact information. Unfortunately, not all packs provide their contact information, but it's a start. In my book, I go in-depth on using this website and how to fill in the blanks.

AK: Can you share 1 gag or idea for our shows that we could use at our next Cub Scout gig?

BH: The Cub Scout Leader Test is available in the free sample of my book!

Download it here:

Everything Cub Scouts for the Magician Free Sample

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