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How do you handle belt loops?

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Just searching for ideas that work.


We haven't done a lot with belt loops as a den or pack. I'm thinking we will have more time this year as Bears.


So what do you do? The requirements are not in their handbooks(and majority of my parents are just becomming capable with the handbooks).


Do you copy the belt loop requirements to hand to parents for the things their (middle class and active) sons are individually doing outside of scouts? (music, swimming, snow sports, soccer, language classes.....)


Do you just focus on your scouting schedule and what you do as a group?


Should I avoid the loops they must earn as Webs and just focus on some of the others?


How do you track the boy's progress and signoff by Akela?


Thanks much in advance.

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We do not really push the belt loops; for a boy to earn one not covered in a den meeting, his parent needs to track it and tell the den leader.


As a Webelos Den Leader, I do A LOT of emailing my den's parents, and include links to belt loop requirements, especially when there's one more thing to do. Weather Belt Loop needs a boy to watch the forecast. We can't do that as a den, but we can do 1 & 2.


We have not done a good job tracking belt loops in the past. We just started using Scouttrack this fall, and I'm hoping that this internet based tracking system will help improve that.

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I would caution just handing them the requirements, because the following week you receive them all back filled out and signed. Had it happen. After a pack meeting that we handed a few out, had a tiger parent come in with the entire sports and activity book filled out for ALL the Belt loops. Clearly he didn't do some of them, He never presented his collections or posters or drawings to his den. So what do you do?


Belt loops are a money pit too.


I will suggest working on them at the meeting and camp. That way everyone has a chance, even the boys who don't have support at home.

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For my use and if a parent asks me about a certain belt loop's requirements, I use this site to email them the requirements. http://www.usscouts.org/usscouts/advance/cubscout/intro.asp


I agree that they are expensive and you will have the parents who sign off on everything. When that happens I require the work done and I will talk to the boys about what they did. Because a number of the Webelo badges require or at least have the option to earn a belt loop as one of the requirements, and the requirement states if earned before becoming a Webelo, they must earn it again, I did not push belt loops hard before Webelos, unless I needed something to base a meeting around.


As for tracking, I found tracking spreadsheets on the internet that worked well for me at http://www.geocities.com/~pack215/cub-tracker.html.(This message has been edited by rollie67)(This message has been edited by rollie67)(This message has been edited by rollie67)

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Early on I stressed to parents that one of the purposes of the belt loop program was to help fill the low points in their boys' advancement. In the fall, before they earn their rank for the year, or afterward in the Spring, belt loops are a nice, easy achievement the boys can complete and be recognized for at the next pack meeting. I would also give them a list of belt loops we would be likely be working on as a den.


Consequently, if the parents go out and blow through all the belt loops by November of their Tiger year, they're not going to have them available later and their son will likely be bored during the den meeting where the rest of the guys earn them. That usually satisfied 90% of the parents. Even when I've had parents show up looking for fist-fulls of belt loops, I would go through the list and suggest that we spread them out over time.


Still, I would occasionally have a parent sit with the book and think through all the requirements they had "already" completed. Yes, I'm sure you did go bowling for his four-year-old birthday party, but why not use earning the beltloop as an opportunity for another family outing? I also explain that it's just good discipline for the boy to go out and complete the requirement for the purpose of earning the belt loop or badge. Otherwise it's just an exercise in figuring our how to game the system.


Somewhere along the line, one of those reasons struck a chord with the parent.


To help with the cost, we had a pack policy that although you can earn the belt loop mutiple times (and with some Webelos Activity pins, you have to earn it again) the pack would only award the actual belt loop once.

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I condensed the belt loop requirements into 3 pages (front & back) and we give a copy to parents. PM me and I'll e-mail you the PDF file. Since the requirements for the new belt loops have not come out yet, they aren't included in this file.

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From the concepts and guidelines in the requirement book (also on the page referenced above)


Participation may take place at home, with the family, or within a den, a pack, or the community.


Each Tiger Cub, Cub Scout, and Webelos Scout will be presented with the appropriate recognition item for completing the requirements, whether he does so as an individual Scout, with his family, with his den or pack, or in his school or community.


The only exception to those guidelines rule is the shooting sports loops and pins which must be earned at a council/district day camp, resident camp, or council-managed family camping programs.


As for as these being a money sink, we do have a couple of limits to keep from bleeding cash for these. Parents can approve only one or two of these per month. We did have a parent turn in 15 at one time once and rejected most of those, and explained that the work should really have been done recently, so the Scout is being rewarded for work actually rememebrs performing. Also, Scouts are allowed to earn each belt loop only once. Webelos who earn a beltloop a second time for one of their activity badge requirements receive a card but no belt loop. Since many of them don't have any room left on their belt anyway, its not an issue.


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