If 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.