Mid-year Cub Scout program updates

cub_scout_sign_200If you follow Scouting Magazine on social media, you might have heard about some updates to the Cub Scout Adventure program that were announced last week.

(Look in the comments for links to the updates that you can print and paste into the Scouts’ books. Thanks Tom!)

The BSA Advancement Team found that, after the Adventure program was introduced last year, there has been a decline in the number of Cub Scouts advancing. As advancement and re-registration numbers start to appear, it has become apparent that an alarmingly low number of Cub Scouts completed their rank requirements last year.

Was this due to the newness of the program and the unfamiliarity of it among den leaders? Or could the requirements have just been too complex and rigorous?

The Advancement Team concluded it was probably the latter, and so have made a few easements to hopefully allow more boys to complete their rank advancements. Among the concerns were that there was just too much to do to try to fit everything in, especially with time for outdoor activities in short supply during most of the school year and many dens not meeting as often as needed to do everything that was required.

What changes have been made?

The most significant changes have been with the Adventure items themselves. Where previously a requirement may have stated that all items must be done in order to complete the Adventure, the changes made last week allow for a combination of items, or a choice of a lesser number from the list. This gives den leaders the flexibility to choose those options that can be readily done, while leaving other items available to explore as time permits.

The names of some of the Adventures have been changed as well, in order to reflect the shift in context and as a realization that not every Cub Scout has access to the same resources. The first Tiger adventure, for example, has been changed from Backyard Jungle to My Tiger Jungle because, naturally, not all Cub Scouts live in a home with a backyard. These boys would find it difficult to find a place to hang a birdhouse or plant a tree.

The full list of changes runs to some fifty-six pages, so the changes are too numerous to list and comment on here. If you are a Cub Scout leader, you should download the list of changes (PDF) and see what you can use to make your den program run more smoothly for you while keeping the adventure in it for the boys.

Dens can begin using the modified requirements immediately, although printed materials may not be changed until next year. Advancement tools, such as Scoutbook and Internet Advancement, are being changed, but it may take some time for the online tools to be fully updated. Scouting Magazine’s website has answers to some questions about the changes as well.

 


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9 Replies to “Mid-year Cub Scout program updates”

  1. In response to the BSA’s just-announced modifications to the Cub Scouting program, I’ve put the changes into a format that allows you to print/cut/tape the new requirements for your rank on the photo page in the front of each adventure in your Scouts’ handbooks. Please feel free to use and share these links with your Packs and Scouting networks.
    Tigers: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1ka_AkwxDkKgNjLrAOUHzbQQqCkruDCC8RyxtMFvrFO8/edit?usp=sharing

    Wolves: https://docs.google.com/document/d/11cGQ10UyxOMMhwRgrfdKhResEtFiobbcB0NmVrX-G5w/edit?usp=sharing

    Bears: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1QQ1VNYBblinHEQzvqtDMSAS1nVKommIUoCqd8ARhz_g/edit?usp=sharing

    Webelos & Arrow of Light: https://docs.google.com/document/d/11HUfleBm9IfPetMtdtD64XWLrhV0nDNu35vqBEbZb14/edit?usp=sharing

    I hope this is useful!

    1. Hi, there! Thanks so much for doing these. One quick note. After the initial document came out, another version was posted. Unfortunately, there wasn’t anything on the site to tell us it was a new version. The tenure requirements were added back in for Webelos and AoL, and Getaway was changed back to Castaway. Would you mind updating your Webelos/AoL document? Thanks!

  2. Having finished several deep dives through the requirements changes, I’ve updated the page at http://www.southfultonscouting.com/node/3557 to not only show exactly what got changed and what didn’t change, but now also add comments intended to be a practical guide to whether you need to look at the new 11/30/16 language, and whether when those might be a useful alternative.

    Some of the comments after each Adventure encourage (sometimes plead) that dens avoid the “easy button” approach. Doing the June 1, 2015 handbook elements will often result in the best outcomes and experience in Cub Scouting.

    There appear to be unanswered questions about why these changes came down, and more will be known, I am sure. For me, I want to make the program better, because Scouting is a good program that we need to help remain strong, so the ideas in that page and related pages are all about helping kids and families and making the program better in light of all this.

    If you like it, share with your friends, if you don’t, let me know how to make it better!

    1. You might try looking on this page for resources in Spanish. I haven’t checked to see if what you’re looking for is there but it could be a starting point.

      If you don’t find what you need, ask your district unit-serving executive. Your council may have professionals who can support the Hispanic community, and if not, there are resources at the national level that they can call on.

      Let us know if you find what you’re after. Thanks!

  3. Tom…Thank you for taking the time to do this. This will make it so much easier to share with Den Leaders and parents. Thank God for you! I just need to find the new Tracking Sheets. Does anyone know if all the “Tracking Sheets” have been updated to reflect the new modifications as well.

    Thanks again Cub master Tom!

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