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District Advancement Cub Scouts

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  • District Advancement Cub Scouts


    As a relatively new District Advancement Chair, I am looking for some suggestions as to how to help Cub Packs with Advancement. Most of the Packs don't even report advancement as they don't see the need. It is a not very hidden secret that getting awards from some local Scout shops with Advancement Reports is a simple matter. I am not going to fight that windmill.

    I know with the changes coming there will be plenty of opportunities for education, but I am at a loss as to what my current role is as to Cub Scouts.


  • #2
    Thanks for your service to our boys.

    IMHO the district should never be involved in tracking cub advancement. It's just not that important that someone two towns over knows which boys in a distant pack have earned a given cub rank.

    But, where you can really help is with training sessions at roundtable. Make sure leaders talk to one another about how they manage awards, etc ... Find out from them what boys like/don't like about the advancement program. Work on training sessions about upcoming changes, how to make it fun, etc ... Bring in speakers on Cubs with Disabilities, Local Historical Sites, Sports, STEM, etc ... If your district has a website, you might have an "Cub Avancement How-to" page.

    If there's an adult who will help you take point, you might want to consider a "Weblos to Scouts" weekend.


    • qwazse
      qwazse commented
      Editing a comment
      One more thing you could do, is find out if there are a couple of recent Life or Eagle scouts who just came from a high adventure and would like to visit a pack or two in their neighborhood and tell them about their scouting experience.

    • blw2
      blw2 commented
      Editing a comment
      some excellent ideas.
      These are along the lines of what I have always thought a DE'S job SHOULD be......
      these are the things we need to put on a better program.... that would in turn build recruitment numbers, etc....

  • #3
    Don't the shops forward the Advancement Reports to you? When I used to pickup the badges for my Pack, the shop staff always put 1 copy of the report into a file for my Council (the shop is on the border of two Councils, and had files for several behind the counter).


    • #4
      The Cub Scout Packs only really advance in rank once a year. Twice if they are new and get the Bobcat.
      Checking in on Advancement is key to make sure that a Pack is actually putting on a program. You can check the roster and see how many Tigers they have. For example, let's say 10. In Oct you see 10 Bobcats. In May/April you see 6 Tiger Ranks and June you see 2 Tiger Ranks. 6+2=8. What happened to the 2? Did they drop, did they stop coming?

      Same for Webelos Badge. You had 10 Bears and only 6 Webelos I (the next year) get Rank. Then Arrow of Light is 4. Something would be happening in the Pack that isn't helping with retention.

      As for the Pack's actually getting the info into Council outside of filling in a sheet at the Council Shop...that's the easy part. Getting them to using Internet Advancement is another. Even if they use Packmaster or some other software, it's hard. If you push IA, then it will be easier to load in the data and also it's easier for Re-Charter and when the new scouts/adults show up.

      Since your job as District Advancment Chair is really geared towards Boy Scouts and Eagles...I would see if there is a co-chair who is plugged into the Cubscout side who might want to help you on this. Unless you really want to dive into it. This really could be the CS Roundtable Commissioner.


      • #5
        DO.. NOT...GET...ME...STARTED! This topic is a major pet peeve of mine, and I have ticked off a lot of folks because I have had people tell me CS are not earning advancement, and I reply the paperwork isn't getting recorded at the council office.


        With all do respect, you are incorrect. While CS advancement does not have the same stringent factors involved due to Eagle, it is just as important.

        1) Unit JTE stats are based on what council has records of
        2) District and Council JTE stats are based upon what is recorded.
        3) While at this time records are only kept by the local councils, I'm betting that at some point in the future, those records will move around, as it was supposed to have happened 15 years ago.

        Good Dog,

        To play Devil's Advocate, is your council actually recording the CS advancement reports? I know for a fact that my council has not been recording the ARs because I have personally submitted those forms to purchase advancement, but when I finally got SCOUTNET access 2 years later, the Cubs are still not showing up as having earned the advancement, I beleive part of that is the concept that becasue the AOL does not get the review scrutiny as Eagle, Quartermaster, and the current Silver Award, the reports don't need to be entered into the system.


        • #6
          You want to help out Cub Scout Advancement on the District level? Here's some suggestions:

          1) Hold a "Bobcat Breakfast" for new Cub Scouts on a Saturday morning in November. Have stations, go through the Bobcat requirements with juice and donuts, and sell the program/leadership for parents new to the program (and don't quite understand it) on the side. Focus on older new scouts, who joined a Den of boys that earned it the previous year.

          2) Some of the Tiger "Go See Its" are a pain in the "You Know What Its". "Visit a television station, radio station, or newspaper office" is one we've had to fudge in years past, such as including options like "library" or "print shop". Arrange some tours at the District level, or gather up a list of tour possibilities and contacts for Packs to use. Make sure to include details like how long the tour would be, what the max group size is, how much "touching" is allowed, and if its a weekend only or weekday evening tour. No "ticketed" tours, Packs get enough ads for them already, its the free tours that are the hardest to find.

          3) Webelos Pin Day. Get 2-4 leaders, who can each teach/lead a different Webelos Pin in a 2 hour time period, and then over a 4 hour afternoon have Webelos make a choice of which pins to earn. Gets the boys ready for weekend Merit Badge programs!


          • Hueymungus
            Hueymungus commented
            Editing a comment
            I love the Bobcat Breakfast idea. You could spin that so many ways.

        • #7
          Internet Advancement is a royal PITA. It's slow, slug gist, and poor. Councils are hit or miss on recording the paper copy.

          Helping on Go See Its would be huge.

          Training sessions for Advancement Chairs, with Webinars, etc., might be helpful. One reason we're recording everything (or trying to), is if its in the record, and the boy sticks with Scouting, it'll show up at their EBOR... won't matter, but it'll show up.

          Cub Fun Day here featured Planet Bobcat (the theme was space). The boys went from station to station, did the Bobcat, and left with a certificate to turn in. We got free Bobcat Patches (that was a nice one), and the boys earned their Bobcat. This was great for the New Scouts.

          Easy to use Paperwork for tracking advancement would be nice. The parents won't read the book. The Tigers can't really track themselves. Tracking advancement with a half dozen wild boys is a PITA.


          • #8
            Advancement for Cub Scouts is a totally different creature than for any other BSA program.

            Advancement, from one Cub level to the next, is automatic. It happens every June 1st in the BSA computers - no matter what. The boys do not have to actually have done anything at all during the year. As long as they are registered Cub Scouts on May 31, they will be "advanced" to their next Cub level on June 1 by BSA.

            What many folks call "advancement" is actually earning an award.

            Cub Scouts have the opportunity, by completing various requirements, to earn an award that is age appropriate for the Cub level they are in.

            That is all it is. An award.

            An award that is not REQUIRED to be earned.

            If you want to track what awards the Cub Scouts in your District are earning, then push the use of Internet Advancement by Packs to record the information to the BSA database. Also, make sure your Scout Shops require an advancement form for all Cub Scout rank awards, and that those forms get recorded somehow.

            If you want to track how many Cubs are moving from one level to the next, you need to be tracking the registration numbers at recharter every year.