Cub Scouts Meet Here!

July 26, 2010 3:11 pm

Cub Scouting means “doing.” Everything in Cub Scouting is designed to have the boys doing things.

Activities are used to achieve the aims of Scouting—citizenship training, character development, and personal fitness. Many of the activities happen right in the den and pack. The most important are the weekly den meetings and the monthly pack meetings.

National Council’s Cub Scout page has links to download the NEW meeting plans.

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Den Meeting Advancements

October 14, 2008 5:14 am

“Should advancements be worked on during den meetings?” is a common question of new den leaders.

Tigers Cubs. To earn the Tiger Cub badge, Tiger Cubs have a set of 15 requirements to complete:  5 Family Activities, 5 Den Activities, and 5 Go-See-It’s.  The requirements themselves make it pretty clear that some (such as the 5 Den Activities) are to be done during den meetings and some (such as the 5 Family Activities) are to be done at home.

Webelos Scouts. The primary method of advancement for Webelos Scouts are Webelos activity badges.  “Activity Badge Fun”  should be a part of every Webelos den meeting.  “Webelos Scouts work on activity badge requirements during their weekly den meetings,” as it says in the Cub Scout Leader Book (p. 21-1, 2006).

Wolf and Bear Den Meetings. The official recommendation regarding Wolf and Bear advancements appears to be in transition.  The policy used to be that Wolf and Bear advancements should generally not be done during den meetings.

For example, here is an excerpt from “The Pack’s First Three Months” (13-010, 2003):

“In Cub Scouting, most advancement occurs at home with the parents and family. The den meeting can accomplish an occasional advancement activity. The Wolf Handbook and Bear Handbook are each filled with more than 200 pages of quality family time ideas that can be done at home. Don’t “steal” this opportunity from the boys’ families. Boys get their daily fill of structured bookwork at school, so den meetings should be fun, with some learning on the side.” [Bold added]

But it appears that BSA National now recommends that many Wolf and Bear advancements be done during den meetings.  Here is an excerpt from the “2008-09 Tiger Cub and Cub Scout Advancement Plan” from the 2008-2009 Cub Scout Program Helps:

“While much of advancement in Cub Scouting is intended to be accomplished within the family, many requirements may be met by attending organized den meetings. Den meetings outlined in Cub Scout Program Helps include several advancement requirements each month. Completion of den meeting activities along with home assignments will insure that each boy receives his next badge of rank at the blue and gold banquet in February.” [Bold added]

It seems that doing achievements during Wolf and Bear den meetings is now permissible and encouraged although the family should still be involved in the advancement process. Presumably, there will be an update at some point to “The Pack’s First Three Months” to reflect this change.

[Links updated: 10-23-2008]


2008-09 Tiger Cub and Cub Scout Advancement Plan

October 12, 2008 5:18 am

Here is the “2008-09 Tiger Cub and Cub Scout Advancement Plan” from the 2008-2009 Cub Scout Program Helps:

“While much of advancement in Cub Scouting is intended to be accomplished within the family, many requirements may be met by attending organized den meetings. Den meetings outlined in Cub Scout Program Helps include several advancement requirements each month.

Completion of den meeting activities along with home assignments will insure that each boy receives his next badge of rank at the blue and gold banquet in February. Below you will find a list of recommended activities for each program level that den leaders can assign to be completed at home each month

Some things to remember:

– Family involvement is an important purpose of Cub Scouting, and it includes the family being involved in the advancement process. For those requirements completed in the den, the Cub Scout should share his accomplishments with his parent or guardian, who in turn signs the boy’s handbook.

Advancements is a method of Cub Scouting, not a purpose. Boys lean and grow through a variety of activities. Den leaders should be flexible with den meeting plans as they learn what works for their particular den of boys.

Special note for Bear Cub Scouts: As Bear Cub Scouts choose a combination of 12 achievements from the 24 available, many different combinations of achievements will bring the Cub Scout to his rank advancements. Cub Scout Program Helps provides only one pathway to that end. Allow boys the flexibility to choose their own interests.”  [Bold added]

Achievements Completed at Den Meeting Achievements To Be Completed at Home Electives Completed at Den Meeting
Tiger Cubs
September Bobcat 1, 4, 6
2D, 4G
Bobcat 2, 3, 5, 7, 8
1F
6, 9
October 1D, 1G 5F 2, 21
November 2G, 5D 3F 10 or 11, 12, 25, 32
December 3D, 5G 2F 1, 2, 10 or 12
January 3G, 4D 4F 3, 19
Wolf Cub Scout
September Bobcat 1, 4, 7
2a, 2c, 4a, 12d
Bobcat 2, 3, 5, 6, 8
2d-g, 4a-f
1a, 11a, 23d
October 1a, 1b, 2b 7a-f, 9a-e 6c, 11c (partial)
November 1c, 1d, 1e, 1g, 2a, 3a 3b-c, 6a-c, 12a-k 11d, 11f
December 2a, 8a, 8d, 11b 11a-d, 8b-e
January 2b, 10b 5a-e, 10a-e 1b
Bear Cub Scout–God (1 or 2); Country (3, 4, 6); Family (8, 9, 10, 11); Self (15, 17, 18, 24)
September 3f, 7a, 9e, 11c, 16b, 23b (partial), 23c (partial) 1 or 2, 9f or 9g, 17a, d, e, f 9a
October 4a, 4c, 8a, 8c, 11g 4b, 8g, 18a, b, f, g, h
November 3f, 5a, 6b, 6g or 7b, 24f 3a, b, j, 24d, e
December 3f, 9a, 9d, 15b 6e, 10a 9a
January 10b, 13f, 15b, 15c 11a, b, d, e, 13f

3 Things Families Want

August 13, 2008 5:32 am

Here are 3 things that Cub Scout families want from their son’s pack:

1. Active Fun. Most parents will not bring their boys to Cub Scouts if they are not having fun. They just won’t. Make sure that the boys in your pack get to do games and other active fun stuff.

2. Well Organized. Parents like packs in which the activities are well planned and which have good communication between leaders and with scout families. They want to know that there is a plan for what the pack will be doing and that the plan has been well communicated. Email, phone calls, schedules, and newsletters all help with communication and organization.

3. Advancements. Boys should be earning their rank badges as the year progresses, and they should receive recognition for the advancements they have earned. There should be a clear plan (which gets carried out) for who in the pack is responsible for recording advancements, for turning in the required paperwork, and for presenting the badges at the appropriate time.


Tech Tip – Scouttrack.com

March 10, 2008 5:21 am

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When our Cub Scout Pack was considering adopting a computer record system, one of our den leaders said it would be nice if the den leaders could access and update their own den’s advancement records.

With scouttrack.com (developed by Tom Hjellming), den leaders can do just that. Scouttrack.com is a Pack record-keeping system like Packmaster, but it is entirely web-based.

For a Boy Scout Troop, it probably works just fine for one leader in the unit to be responsible for entering and maintaining all the unit’s records. But with a Cub Scout Pack, it is nice for individual dens to be able to view and update their own advancement records.

Our Pack adopted scouttrack.com about six months ago, and we have been very happy with it. Scouttrack.com allows each den to be responsible for entering and keeping their own advancement and contact information current. The unit advancement coordinator just needs to log in to review all the awards for the next pack meeting. Unlike some other systems, scouttrack.com doesn’t force one leader to enter all the advancement data for the Pack.

I don’t think scouttrack.com is perfect. Parts of the interface don’t seem as user-friendly as they could be, and its attendance-tracking system can be awkward to use.

But overall, scoutrack.com has made managing advancement and contact data much easier for our Pack.

If your Pack doesn’t already have a computer-based record system, I would strongly recommend you consider scoutrack.com.

The cost is $45 per Pack for 12 months. The 30-day trial is free.

Link


Tech Tip – Packmaster

March 4, 2008 5:52 am

box_pm.jpg

Packmaster (by Troopmaster Software Inc.) is probably the most popular computer-based Pack record keeping program. Many Cub Scout Packs use it and find it to be very helpful with maintaining scout attendance, contact, and advancement information.

Keeping your Pack records electronically rather than on paper can make it much easier to generate summaries of advancements and attendance .

A drawback of Packmaster over web-based systems is that usually all the data must be entered by just one leader which can put a large data-entering burden on him/her.

But if your Pack is looking at adopting a computer record-keeping system, I would recommend taking a look at Packmaster.

Link

[Updated:  11-21-2008]


Retention Tip #4 – Stay in Touch.

January 19, 2008 5:02 am

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Communication with your Pack families is very important.

For example, I think it’s a good idea whenever a boy is absent for your Cub meetings/activities, to give his parents a call. Most parents are very appreciative that someone noticed their son wasn’t there and is checking to see how he is doing. Of course, you shouldn’t say “Why wasn’t Tommy here tonight?” You can say “We just wanted to let you know that we missed Tommy at our last activity. Is he doing okay?” In my experience, parents are usually glad that someone has called. Staying in touch like this is often enough to keep someone who misses a couple of meetings from dropping out altogether.

Of course, sometimes boys have to miss for an extended period of time due to sports activities. When that happens, I always tell them that’s fine. We just ask that they stay in touch with us and with what we are doing, and we’ll welcome them back when their season is over.

For scouts who have just joined your Pack, the first few weeks of Cub activities are very important. Even though they are officially members of your Pack, most parents during the first few weeks are still making up their minds on whether this scouting stuff is worth their time and effort. They are still in an assessment stage. Help them make the choice to stay with your Pack. Be sure your Pack is welcoming to them and that they are introduced to the Pack and Den leadership. They may have lots of questions. You should answer their questions, but don’t overwhelm them with information. It is important to stay in contact with parents during the first few weeks so they will decide that this is something they want to continue to be a part of.

Email is very helpful with Pack communication. Sending out regular email reminders about upcoming events and activities can help ensure good attendance.

I also recommend making and distributing periodic newsletters with information about upcoming events, contacts, and frequently asked questions (FAQ’s) as well as announcements of rank badges that have been earned.

Speaking of advancements, be sure your scouts are progressing as they should on their rank badges. If you see that someone is not coming along on their badge, touch base and see if there are any problems that can be addressed. Getting the rank badges earned and awarded is not only important for the boy’s sake, it also helps keep the boys and their parents wanting to come back.

Good communication can have a big impact on Cub Scout retention and keeping your Pack running well.