Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Let me give you a little background first. We have a now Wolf Den; they were a Tiger den until the 1st of July, of 15 boys. We have 5 leaders, of which I am one. Last year if there was anything that we all didnt agree on, we went with the majority and it worked out for the most part.


Here is my dilemma. I planned an overnight camping outing for our den that we had last weekend. After a little research, I found that Arrow Points (electives) should not be counted until the boy has earned his Wolf Rank. I expressed this to the other 4 leaders, and they felt that it doesnt matter; we should still count all the electives we did at this camp (26 electives). I disagree, I feel that only the requirements for the Wolf Rank should count, and we can do these electives again (most are very easy) once the boys have earned the Wolf Badge. We took our usual vote, and of course I was out-voted 4 to 1. They want to count all electives done at the camp trip and then nothing else until the boys receive their Wolf Rank. Last I checked; a scout is trustworthy, something that seems to be getting lost here.


To make things worse we had a fishing trip planned on Aug 23rd. They have now canceled the fishing trip because they boys could not count it as electives. I tried to explain to them that scouting is not about how fast you can earn ranks and arrow points, but I am afraid it is falling on deaf ears. As a matter of fact, while writing this I received an email from one of the other den leaders saying we all get it, you dont need to quote the BSA website. But we would rather they earn awards, thats what matters. Going to our SM would be pointless, as he doesnt even want to be SM and does absolutely nothing.


Am I in the wrong here? Do I need to loosen up? Or am I right? And if so, what should I do? I play a major part of this pack. I run the website, my wife is planning the B&G, I am a den leader, I am the one who has planned the camping events; and as a matter of fact last year they didnt camp at all. I am at a loss as to what to do. At this point I am considering taking my two scouts to a different pack, but I dont want to abandon the other boys in our den. Any advice?


Link to post
Share on other sites

My advice - All of the leaders in your den need to take training ASAP!!


First - a Wolf Den can NOT camp as a den. It is not allowed by BSA. They can only camp at Council events and with the rest of their Pack (in an overnighter planned and run by the Pack BALOO trained adult).


Second - Electives can be worked on from the time they graduate to their current level, until they graduate into the next Cub level. They can only receive them AFTER they have earned their current level's rank award. This rule is for Tiger, Wolf, and Bear Cub Scouts, so your Scouts should have done the same last year as Tigers with their Tiger Tracks.


Have your boys earned the Fishing Belt Loop?


There is nothing wrong with working on awards, but there is more to Scouting than that.


With 15 boys and 5 leaders, have you considered splitting into 2 dens?



Link to post
Share on other sites

What ScoutNut said!


From G2SS, boldface is policy level info:



Family Camping


Family camping: an outdoor camping experience, other than resident camping, that involves Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, or Venturing program elements in overnight settings with two or more family members, including at least one BSA member of that family. Parents are responsible for the supervision of their children, and Youth Protection guidelines apply.


Recreational family camping


Recreational family camping: when Scouting families camp as a family unit outside of an organized program. It is a nonstructured camping experience, but is conducted within a Scouting framework on local council-owned or -managed property. Local councils may have family camping grounds available for rental at reasonable rates. Other resources may include equipment, information, and training.


References: Resident Camping for Cub Scouting, No. 13-33814, Cub Scout Outdoor

Program Guidelines, No. 13-631, and Scoutmaster Handbook, No. 33009


I hope you are BALOO trained, and that you followed BSA guidelines in having camp.



Link to post
Share on other sites

It does not matter if every Wolf Scout had both parents, both grandparents, and all aunts and uncles present - They can NOT camp as a Den!


From the Guide to Safe Scouting - in BOLD TYPEFACE -


"Overnight camping by Tiger, Wolf, and Bear Cub Scout dens as dens is not approved and certificates of liability insurance will not be provided by the Boy Scouts of America."




Link to post
Share on other sites

You sound right to me, in the majority anyway.

You may lose the battle but it is my feeling that you need to hold the line.


You may not want to take the line of "THIS IS WHAT THE BSA SAYS" but rather one along the lines of "This is what is best for the boys, this is how we show them that we follow the rules too. This is how we prepare them for life later in Scouts or as adults. Oh, and here is the reference about the rules."


This can strengthen the group if they are in for the right reasons and/or reveal those who are in it just for the resume. Find your like minded Scouters and work out a plan and; as BobWhite might say "This is why we use the program and don't vote on how Scouting does things." If there is enough of you on each side then you might divide along those lines. But don't let the other parents put your child outside the program by doing things that are prohibited.


Have a great day, good luck!

Tell us how it goes...

Link to post
Share on other sites

The way that the Wolf and Bear program are set up, the boys can work on electives any time during the year. They do not get the actual arrows though, until after they earn the rank. It is not uncommon for a boy to receive his wolf badge and 3 or 4 arrow points all on the same occasion, if he has been working on electives all year long.


Please do re-think your interpretation. You appear to be taking too literal a stance. It is the cloth points, not the credit toward them, that must wait until the boy gets his Wolf or Bear badge, and that's all. Please also reconsider building your entire program around advancement/awards (ie, canceling the fishing trip). If something is fun, safe, and worth doing, then do it!


As for the camping business, be very careful. A lot of dens go "nod nod, wink wink, this isn't a den camp out because families are present." But if the only people who are invited are families from the den, if all you do is cub stuff, if everyone refers to it and/or advertises it as a den camp out, if the people putting it together and running the show are the den leaders, then you can technically call it whatever you want but it is still a den camp out and you're fooling no one. One of those "if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck..." sort of things. And ScoutNut is correct, the Guide to Safe Scouting specifically prohibits dens from camping AS DENS until they are webelos.


And finally - you may find that having 5 den leaders becomes problematic. It is wonderful you have so many dedicated parents, but sometimes you'll end up with too many cooks in the kitchen. Since it is rare for packs to have an over-supply of willing volunteers, you may want to talk as a group about re-allocating your efforts to help the pack go. Maybe there are other positions some of you could help out with instead.


Edited to add: Gunny, I get the basic sentiment behind what you've said, but on this one you're incorrect. What you're advocating as holding the line is a problem here because cub advancement regarding arrow points does not work as described. It is important to look carefully at what the actual policy is, before drawing a line and making a stand.


(This message has been edited by lisabob)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Make sure everyone has trainig. Even better idea to take it together if you haven't already. Seems you're really good at organizing camping. If you are not BAlOO trained do it as soon as it comes up again and organize trips for the whole pack. THese are loads of fun.

Within your group decide who is leader for what den. You don;'t have to do everything at the same time. Each decide on a role and then carry those out. Prevent stepping on each other's feet.

Yes, you may earn points towards your electives all during the year but can't be awarded until rank badge has been awarded.

Sometimes you just have to do things that are FUN. Fishing is fun. you can easily combine it with your Living World achievement by discussing the environment and picking up trash and following LNT guidelines and work towards LNT as well. Teach all the fishihg rules and earn the beltloop. Out of everything those the most immediate in recognotion.

Just a word of caution. The leaders have to get out of the mindset that everything has to go towards an award of some sort. The kids will pick this up and won't do anything unless they are recognized.


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is only one "leader" in a den; that would be the den leader. The den leader might select an assistant den leader, maybe even two, but five "leaders" and 15 boys, where a vote must be taken, is not a BSA den.


I'd suggest investing $5 in a copy of the Cub Scout Leader Book and reading it. You'd be amazed at the problems it will solve for you, provided you (and the others) follow it's guidance.

Link to post
Share on other sites

As others have said...


1) Electives can be worked on concurrently with achievements. Arrow points and elective beads may only be worn however, after the rank requirements are completed.


2) Many feel that the camping requirement is a grey area, however it is not. Translated into plain English, ALL Cub Scout camping on the Tiger/Wolf/Bear level is Family Camping. A family member or person responsible for the Scout must attend the campout which may only be a Pack, District, or Council Level Campout. Webelos may camp as a Den. Recreational Camping is when a family goes out to the state park to camp with their Scout son. Many will try to say "we are just a group going to a campground", but if anything did happen, that wouldn't fly.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I can see where the wording in the book could be a little confusing. The book reads:


Your son should begin earning achievements toward his Wolf badge as soon as he completes the Bobcat requirements. Completing electives for Arrow Points generally should wait until after he has earned his Wolf badge, and he cannot receive Arrow Points until he has been awarded his Wolf badge. He might, however, find some electives that he could be completing before he earns the Wolf badge.... As long as he completes these electives after he has earned his Bobcat, you may credit him for them. ...


So, he can work on the electives before he has completed his Wolf badge but not before he finishes his Bobcat. If the boys were Tigers last year, they should have their Bobcat.


Take elective 18 f for instance. It says to: Take part in two summertime pack events with your den. He is not going to be able to have his Wolf finished before Fall and by the next summer he will be a Bear. There a couple others that are about gardening and birds that are better done is the early summer that if they have to wait, they would not be able to finish as a Wolf.



I would also like to add that even in Boy Scouts, you get to work ahead. You can start working on Merit badges that are required for Life, Star, and Eagle before you make Tenderfoot. You can work on Tenderfoot, 2nd class, and 1st class requirements at the same time. YOu just have to ba awarded them in the correct order. My son, for instance, received them all at once.



Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a question. If I am planning a Pack Overnighter, or Family Campout, but only the boys from my dend are able to go, (I have 4 Wolves, 1 Bear, NO Webelos and we have not recruited Tigers yet) can we still go? It is not a larger pack function because we dont have all the dens. We have 2 Deep leadership, BALOO trained persons, and all the needed firstaid trained personnel.


On the issue of the arrow point requirements. I would eat a lil crow and admit that you were mistaken. the boys can earn the electives, but they cannot recieve the arrow points until they have completed their wolf. As everyone else has said. Keep trackof what they are doing. Tell the parents that your fishing trip will be to work on the Fishing Belt Loop. That is an award that they recieve at the next pack meeting. Our boys love getting them.


That is how I would handle it. I will probably get some feed back on this.

Link to post
Share on other sites



It's a Pack Campout if:


- The whole Pack is invited.

- Leadership comes from across the Pack.

- The Pack's BALOO trained person is the event leader.

- The Tour Permit, and the trip planning, is predicated upon the full pack being invited to go.


If at the assembly, it's the CM, the MC who's BALOO trained, and your Den (1:1 ratio), well, it's a Pack event.


Lisa's spot on on the arrow points: They can't be awarded on before the rank is earned, but they can be worked on. Remember, for Bear the Cub has a selection of achievements to earn, and what he overachieves on counts for electives.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Majority doesn't rule on this. These are advancement rules that should be adhered to. If not, you are opening up all the other advancement to the "let's just count it" mentality. Training is what is needed! And now!


Ed Mori

1 Peter 4:10

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...