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Cub Scout & WEBELOS NOVA Award Conversation

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  • Cub Scout & WEBELOS NOVA Award Conversation

    I wanted to do a poll to see how other Councils are managing their NOVA programs. I've heard of some councils requiring specialized training, certifications, etc.

    Also curious what other leaders are doing when they are teaching the individual and SUPER NOVA awards. Figure a good cross talk will help all of us provide a better program, as we develop our materials.

  • #2
    Becoming a Nova Counselor and planning some events. The Super Nova requires a real application that's poorly written and confusing. The book looks pretty easy, should be fun… It seems like Nova Day would be a cool half day program, because you do a few belt loops and have a few discussions.


    • #3
      Well I've been trying to get approved as a Super NOVA counselor since early last summer, no answer yet from my council. I ran a NOVA program over the summer for my pack, it was mostly my Webelos that show'd up. You really need to plan each one for several meetings to give the boys time to do the work, I mean you could do a single NOVA award in a single long meeting but I think the spirit of the award is more a process of leading the boys to find answers on their own. Plus a think the after a couple hours it REALLY starts to feel like school.


      • Basementdweller
        Basementdweller commented
        Editing a comment
        I would like to add that I do not like the fact you can designate only working with specific units.

      • King Ding Dong
        King Ding Dong commented
        Editing a comment
        Anyone can be a Nova councilor, you must have qualifications to be a SuperNova Mentor. At least around here there are lots of people willing to be mentors.

        Our council has a couple of people on the program advisory committee so there has been a big push here. A STEM U is held at the end of the year for cubs and BS, spring and fall there are Stem days at a business for cubs to earn belt loops (Monsanto) then a STEM Camp in August for BS. They usually hold and hour training session for adults interested in the program and training to be a councilor/mentor.

        Microsoft store holds lots of sessions for cubs.

        FYI the cub Novas started with just 4 that are in the book, but I am told it has increased to about 14 subject areas, published online only.

        I went to the Cub Stem U last year and it was fun they kept them busy but it was a tad long for a Wolf. a couple of the boys from my troop went to STEM camp and it was better than regular MB camp in that one MB was covered per day, but still it seems requirements were skimped a bit.

        As with any big group session it starts being like school. The stem U at end of December is a good time as they boys are out of school.

        Here are a few links to our council activities.

      • Renax127
        Renax127 commented
        Editing a comment
        There are no qualification as far as the NOVA Award is concerned, that app is to be a SuperNova Councilor. As far as my qualifications, well I don't feel like posting my resume and it doesn't really matter what they are. If my council feels I don't qualify based on my "vocation or hobbies" they can not certify me and tell me that, currently they are ignoring me.

        As far as running a program goes, I would rather have outside mentors running the program, I think the boys would get more out of it. So the the program KDD describes sounds pretty good. I tried to get some input/help from our council and got no where. Some of the parents/scouts in my pack showed some interest in doing the work and I have some knowledge about a couple of those so I ran the program. We managed to complete the Math and Engineering awards over the summer, took a total of 7-8 1.5 hour meetings plus the work they did on their own.
        Last edited by Renax127; 10-30-2013, 10:15 AM.

    • #4
      We had a DL talk about the NOVA award at one of our Roundtables, and that was a topic that she brought forward to RT on her own. That and a blurb on the Council website about what STEM means is the extent of what our Council has done for the NOVA.


      • #5
        I think some of the links and comments made by others shows the difference in how councils are implementing this program. That was part of the reason for the original post. I'm looking at trying to teach Super Nova in my pack, but it seems my district doesn't have a really good system in place. As always, looking for ways to help each other with our programs. Hope others will continue to jump in.


        • King Ding Dong
          King Ding Dong commented
          Editing a comment
          You really don't need Council support. Anyone with a degree in a related field is qualified for Supernova. All you need is advancement chair process the paperwork.

      • #6
        So you guys are ok with a Cubedwelling code monkey teaching engineering or scientific method????

        Kinda like the Kmart security guard teaching Atomic Energy........Doesn't make sense.

        Sorry I want a Pilot teaching Aviation, Engineer teaching engineering or a Journeyman teaching electricity.


        • King Ding Dong
          King Ding Dong commented
          Editing a comment
          Pack, while I understand your concerns, do your criteria apply to the whole cub program or just the STEM program ? If not why ?

          As Dedkad points out if we need to bring in a degreed expert on very Cub requirement we might as well just close up shop now because that is not going to happen.

          At the BS MB level you can probably apply that criteria in the cities but what do all the rural Scouts do ?

        • packsaddle
          packsaddle commented
          Editing a comment
          We apply it to STEM, not the other cub scout stuff. In the MB programs for boy scouts I prefer that the counselors be selected on the basis of some kind of professional understanding of the MB subject. I doubt that the people who proposed and promoted the creation of this STEM program intended it to be delivered by store clerks. However, it IS conceivable that a store clerk might be appropriate for merit badges related to commerce or perhaps personal management.

          In rural areas, there nevertheless ARE people who maintain the electrical lines and grid, people who understand metallurgy, and people who work with complex chemicals, communication technologies, or energy supply. A college degree isn't necessarily required, just a solid knowledge base in the subject area. But a person whose life experience doesn't go much beyond mowing lawns or loading grain may not be one of my top choices.

          Oops, I guess I didn't answer the 'why not?' question about the whole cub program. The traditional cub program around here is well-established and the chance of making much of a change in it is slim. The activities for the cubs up to Webelos ARE at a level that seem to be delivered nicely by almost any interested person. At Webelos (or whatever the heck it's going to be from now on), the boys around here typically get bored and want to do exciting things, especially in the outdoors or with power tools, lol. And there are some parents who are up to providing that level of program but not takes more time and there just aren't as many in the first place, so it tends to suffer around here and we lose boys to other options (we'd lose some of those anyway, probably). OK, I think that answers it: basically we apply it to STEM and not the rest of the program out of a sense of pragmatic reality and, really, not as much need to apply it to the rest of the program.
          Last edited by packsaddle; 11-03-2013, 12:17 PM.

        • howarthe
          howarthe commented
          Editing a comment
          I want a pilot teaching aviation, an engineer teaching engineering and a journeyman teaching electricity, too, but that is not what is being taught in the Cub Scout STEM/NOVA program. In the Cub Scout STEM/NOVA program, we are teaching boys, very young boys. The teacher will require intermediate to advanced skills in being able to manage, inspire and engage children and only novice level skills in science, technology, engineering and math. So yes, I am totally OK with a cube dwelling code monkey teaching my scouts as long as she is good with children. I am an unemployed data analyst, and I feel confident that I can cover the material in both Super Nova books competently.