If you’re a regular reader of this website, you’ve heard about changes coming to the Cub Scout program. Maybe you’ve read our articles, or those from Scouting Magazine’s blog, or attended Cub Scout Roundtable and heard about them from your friendly district Roundtable staff. As our own Roundtable commissioner told me, the program is very different – but in a good way.
Over the next few months I’ll outline those changes and give you some unique insight into how to prepare for next year’s Cub Scouting.
We’ll start where most boys and families start – with Tigers.
No, not Tiger Cubs – the name of the first-grade program officially changes to Tigers, to continue the integration of the youngest Cub Scouts into the pack. If you have been around a while, you’ll remember when Tiger Cubs BSA was sort of an auxiliary part of Cub Scouting, with their own uniforms (the orange T-shirt), their own motto and program structure.
Instead of the tripartite program elements (Family, Den and Go-See-It), Tigers will have Adventures of their own. Adventures is the term now given to the activity elements at all five Cub Scout levels (including Wolf, Bear, Webelos and Arrow of Light), so the program structure remains consistent across the first three years. And just as with their older brothers, there will be required Adventures, called Core Adventures, as well as Elective Adventures.
As I mentioned in the earlier article, the Cub Scout Ideas website edited by Sherry Smotherman-Short has a concise summary of all the new requirements, but our district’s Cub Scout Roundtable commissioner, Candy Kniaz, has assembled a supplemental guide to the various Adventures that require special planning. These are Adventures that can’t be done well on short notice but for which you need to plan ahead, or which you should schedule at certain times of the year depending on where you’re located. With this information, you can start to fill in your den activity calendar and have a great start to planning your entire year. Below are Candy’s ideas.
Tiger Required Adventures that require special planning
- #1: Take a 1-foot hike. Make a list of the living things you find. In northern climates, try to do this prior to winter, so the boys can see the living things like ants, birds, etc.
- #3: Plant a tree or other plant in your neighborhood. Be mindful of planting deadlines in your area; spring and fall are usually best.
- #4: Build and hang a birdhouse. Try to do this in early spring before birds start nesting.
Games Tigers Play
- #5: Bring a nutritious snack to a den meeting. Create a snack rotation so everyone can complete this – or have half the den bring a fruit and half bring a vegetable for Tiger Biter requirement #2.
- #2: With your den, make a den job chart that shows everyone doing something to help. Lead the Pledge at a den meeting. See below for ideas on jobs.
Tigers in the Wild
- #2: Short den hike with your den or family and carry your own gear. Try to do this when the weather is good.
- #5: Participate in an outdoor pack meeting or pack campout campfire. Sing a song and act out a skit with the Tiger den as part of the program. Coordinate with the pack and rehearse your skit in advance.
- #7: Visit a nature center, zoo, or other outside place. Do when the weather is good; also make advance arrangements with a zoo or outdoor nature center in your area. Ask at Roundtable for suggestions from other den leaders.
Den job chart ideas:
- Carry the flag to the flag stand
- Give flag commands
- Lead the Pledge of Allegiance
- Lead the Scout Oath or Scout Law
- Say a closing prayer
- Bring the snack
Tiger Elective Adventures that require special planning
- #3: Using recycled materials, design and build a small castle with your adult partner to display at the pack meeting. Either the den leader or another parent can visit a facility that sells recycled or leftover materials and shop for an assortment of materials, or the den can meet there and “go shopping”.
- #5: Participate in a service project. Check with others in your pack about helping with an upcoming service project, or check with a Boy Scout troop to see if they have any projects that very young boys could help with.
Sky is the Limit
- #8: With your den, visit a planetarium, observatory, science museum or astronomy club. Check at Roundtable or ask others in your pack for ideas.
Stories in Shapes
- #1: Visit an art gallery or museum, explore an art website or visit your library. Plan ahead to visit a nearby facility.
- #7: Visit a historical museum or landmark with your adult partner. Suggest some possibilities to your families; this does not have to be done as a den, and visits to historical sites while on a family vacation are OK.
- #5: Watch a play or attend a story time at a library. Check with your library, or ask your middle school or high school if they present programs for elementary-school children. It’s OK to count events attended as part of a school activity and they would make good starters for discussion.
Check the Roundtable Resources tab at the top of this page for a downloadable copy of Candy’s notes. In the next installment, we’ll cover Wolf program changes.