Jump to content

New Cub Scout Adventure Program - Starting in May 15

Recommended Posts

No one's screaming, but this is as good of a place to ask questions/get answers as there is.


Things I'm hearing I like: Removing the 12-24 "Achievements" from Wolf/Bear, to a more managable/trackable number. Getting rid of the "Progress toward ranks" beads that look pointless and are easily lost. Mature the Tiger badge up a bit, less "Baby Faced". Arrow Points are a farce to all but the most dedicated Den Leaders/Parents.


Things I'm wary of: Too many "required" journeys that require multiple meetings to finish. We are hit and miss in regards to Den Meeting attendance, and we get a trickle of new scouts all through the year.


I can accept three journeys (and I'll call them "journeys" like Girl Scouts for lack of a better term at this time) as required for each level: Faith, Health, and Citizenship, and each should be able to be completed in 1-2 meetings max (and one meeting only for Tigers). The remaining 3-5 elective journeys for each rank could be pulled from a list, with each rank requiring 1-2 "outdoors" journeys such as camping, naturalist, geologist, etc. Wolves and Bears can share the list of elective journeys, with the note that journeys earned as a Wolf won't count for your Bear, same for Webelos/AOL.


And each journey completion device is a Belt Loop. Don't make it a series of 5-7 small patches to be sewn on somewhere, like a sash. Pins are just too small in their detail, the boys like holding, sorting, and displaying those loops too much (at least mine do).


One more thing: We only do one Den Meeting per month for Tigers (and we have a Pack Meeting and a weekend event every month). We don't kick Den Meetings off until October for new scouts. If Tiger journeys require 2 den meetings to complete, and there are 7 of them, we can't fit them into our year. Even switching to two Tiger Den Meetings a month will still push Tiger Badge to the end of the year, and forget having any ranks done by the Blue/Gold Dinner in February, and anyone who joins late.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 30
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

Popular Posts

I find it disconcerting enough the way Arrow of Light is. Under the program guidelines, a boy that's been scouting 4.5 years and one that has been scouting 0.5 years that amassed the pins in 6 months

Glad to see the Sports & Academics Program and belt loops going away. A lot of those seem like just a rubber stamp. Kids on the soccer team get the soccer award, etc. Scouting doesn't need to be t


~~jpstodwftexas nailed it.... a lot of info here without answering anything.


just skimmed through the info linked to in this thread. I had already heard about much of this, but reading through this stuff, I agree that, at least on the surface, it is as ~~alligatorscout wrote, it does seem to have similarities to the Girl Scout program (as I know it anyway)


Looks like my son will be entering his 2nd WEBELOS year when this kicks in, so I guess my exposure to it will be limited and brief.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Glad to see the Sports & Academics Program and belt loops going away. A lot of those seem like just a rubber stamp. Kids on the soccer team get the soccer award, etc. Scouting doesn't need to be the place where they get another recognition for having already done something completely outside of the principles of scouting. I wish they'd make more changes like this and make scouting more back-to-basics outdoors stuff, scoutcraft, camping, etc.

  • Downvote 1
Link to post
Share on other sites


I have a few issues with this whole thing


Changing the Tiger Image


Awesome, it is about time that this program gets updated, The Den & Pack Meeting resource guide tacitly acknowledged that most Packs run it like a regular Den and do not typically have each Tiger/AP couple host a meeting. But if you say your going to change the image, then publish images of the proposed handbook covers with the natural looking Wolf and Bear and the plush-toy cuddly Tiger have you really updated the "image"?



Moving to Adventures


The presentation stated:

1. Seven adventures per rank

2. Three meetings per adventure

3. The Religious Adventure would be done with family


This sounds like it might take a long time since most Den's meet twice a month

So 6 adventures * 3 meetings =18 meetings to make rank

18 meetings / 2 meetings a month = 9 months to rank

9 Months does not seem unreasonable, but...

Boys miss meetings

Dens cancel meetings because of school closures weather and may or may not be able to make it up

December is iffy with Holidays.

I am a bit skeptical of this timeline being workable, but I know we don't have all the facts and things could change. Still lets think about this some more!

If we assume the Scout year starts in September, and no meetings are missed, The Cub should have earned their rank by May. This is great, BUT, most Packs end their scouting year in June (or start when school starts and end when school ends, where I am it is September to June) So this gives my boys 1 month to do an elective adventure (which the documentation implies will also take 3 meetings.)

I assume/hope boys will be still be able to work on requirements/electives at home with family.

The current program is less then easy at first glance but it has some advantages over packaged Adventures. Certain requirements compliment each other and can be done out of order, will that remain the same in the new program or are Adventures going to be discrete packages to be presented as a whole?



Belt Loops


I Know Belt Loops are going and I am ambivalent about this, while it did earn the boys bling it was poorly integrated into the advancement scheme. In fact you mostly have to work on Webelos Activity Badges to see any true involvement of Belt Loops and if you have already earned a given loop, you have to re-earn it as a Webelos, the inference is that even if you earned it as a Bear 3 months later the lessons you learned from a Belt Loop were so insignificant they want you to learn them again. The boys enjoyed them though...

And I echo 100% what EmberMike said "Glad to see the Sports & Academics Program and belt loops going away. A lot of those seem like just a rubber stamp. Kids on the soccer team get the soccer award, etc. Scouting doesn't need to be the place where they get another recognition for having already done something completely outside of the principles of scouting. I wish they'd make more changes like this and make scouting more back-to-basics outdoors stuff, scoutcraft, camping, etc."

This is possibly the most shocking thing thought to me, our Pack spends close to a thousand dollars on belt loops each year. This is a cash cow, what will be implemented in it's place? I saw one Pack from a nearby council that instead of giving belt loops gives a series of small circular patches that make concentric circles, they have their Cubs wear them on the back of the shirt. They said it is cheaper, and more important the parents were happier because belt loops were not getting constantly lost. It looked pretty neat to me, my sons thought it was "super cool" and the proigram is about the boys so this might be interesting.



WEBELOS/Arrow of Light


1. 7 adventures for all ranks - What does this mean for the Activity Badge program? If one of the purposes of Webelos is to prepare scouts for Boy Scouts, this analog to the Merit Badge program was perfect. I admit the pins are frequently lost and make the uniform less "outdoor friendly" and the "colors" doubly so, but the program itself worked well I think.

2. The Webelos badge is no longer a pre-req for Arrow of Light. I am not sure I understand the reasoning for this, does National think I will suddenly recruit boys in the 5th grade because it will be easier to get their Arrow of Light? Are they trying to bump their statistices of AOL recipients by allowing scouts who did not earn their Webelos still have a shot at AOL? I have yet to come up with a reason that makes sense, have any of you?

3. if each rank takes 7 adventures and as I outlined above that means each rank takes 9 months for the majority of Cubs, does this mean Arrow Of Light Sccouts will be encouraged to bridg in May/June and not around the February/March time frame? I am currently a CUbmaster, an Asst Scoutmaster and a District Commssioner and in each of those roles I see big advantages of getting the boy in the troop a few months before summer camp. Will they assign less adventures towards earningg the AOL?


Instant Recognition/Arrow Heads


I won't miss the beads, they get lost insanely easy, they cover the kids temporary patch position (and my Cubs LOVE their patches {yes, we know red vests... meh})

Arrowheads, alreeady expressed concern about what will happen with electives in my assessment of the Adventures above, While they Arrowheads are traditional, they get unruly fast. Interested to see what replaces it.

The scariest thing to me in all this is the imlementation of a Den Guide at each rank level. This stinks of being a JTE metric. I have a successful Pack, Why do I suddenly need five more registered leaders? And they are essentially administartive? If it is something where I can simply appoint one of my den leaders and let them double register like the COR/CC then fine, Each level always has their "Alpha Leader" that naturally evolves. I guess my concern stems from the simple fact that we have no information, not a job description, not why they are going to implement this, nothing...



Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

I am disappointed that they're getting rid of the Academic and Sports program. This program has encouraged my son to try new activities that he wouldn't have been inclined to do before, giving him a taste of lots of different things. To get around the cost of belt loops, our pack has the parents buy them.

I'm curious how the NOVA/SuperNOVA awards will change as an integral part of earning these awards is that you earn a belt loop or pin. Looking through the elective adventures that have been circulated, very few are STEM related. Hopefully, this will change as they strengthen the program.

Link to post
Share on other sites


The Den Guides are handbooks for the den leaders. Right now we have a Cub Scout Leader Guide, a Webelos Leader Guide and a Den/Pack Resource Guide (this one has meeting plans for all levels). The new leader books will be rank-specific and have information from the current leader guide plus the den meeting / Adventure plans for that rank.

Link to post
Share on other sites

My Philmont Training Center information arrived today and they are doing training for the new cub scout program starting this summer, so I doubt things will be changing too much before then ... I am really disappointed to see the belt loops go away. I like the Academics and Sports program. I am also a leader for Girl Scouts and will tell you that what is described for the cub scout program doesn't sound that close to the girl scout program. Girls choose one of three "journeys" to complete in a year .. and each journey takes 10 sessions. This doesn't sound the same ...

Link to post
Share on other sites

I want to comment on something that someone stated: that just like Boy Scouts, they can continue working on the award with the original requirements.


If you read the Boy Scout info on this, Boy Scouts will have a one year grace period, I want to say January 1, 2016 to December 31, 2016 to use the current requirements for T-2-1, OR their NEXT Rank if First Class, Star, or Life. Once they hit First Class, their NEXT rank, OR January 1, 2017 hits, they MUST use the new requirements ( all bold, underlining etc. emphasis). Which as long time Scouters know is a departure from precedent.


Me personally, and I will be in this situation, since CS ranks are not tracked as well as Boy Scout ranks in my council (don't get me started) I will probably recommend having the Webelos IIs keep using the old requirements since they will only be a few months before Crossing Over. Heck with my old den, all of the AOL requirements except the "tenure" one were completed before August 1st.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 months later...

It's May now. I've been scouring the web and can't find any new information since the beginning of the year. I have the same questions as Adam above. I know there's still a year left, but I will have to transition to a new leadership team soon, and I don't want them starting with things up in the air. From what I gathered, everything will be published next Spring. Next SPRING???? My issues:

1. How to work this many den meetings into the year. I will have had 18 den meetings this year and that was using every available weekend in the school year not occupied by a pack meeting, derby, or holiday weekend. Sounds like that won't be good enough. Even us over achievers need a day off now and then.

2. How Webelos IIs will be transitioned. Sounds reasonable that the existing scouts moving into 5th grade could just finish with the old system, but does that mean I will need 2 Web II dens on different systems if I get new 5th graders?

Link to post
Share on other sites

2.) The in New Program, a boy may earn the AOL without earning the Webelos Badge.


Also, my Council (Northern Star), certain districts are "pilot programming" a new Webelos Transition model, where 4th graders are normal, but the 5th grade year starts with the Troop, and Crossover happens in November/December, rather then February/March. So, if you get new 5th graders, shove them into the Troop culture right away rather then getting them acclaimed with the Pack, and then moved to the Troop.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Our old pack had boys crossing over in December. Right at the 6 mo. mark for AOL. A lot of thumb twiddling between September and December. Well, that and trying to have make up activities for one scout whose parents just didn't seem to care all that much. Oh, and troop visits. We made 3-4 troop visits as a den/patrol.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have to say, having a discussion last week with our new Council Exec, Don Shepard, who was the national Program director until October 2013, this is an exciting change and if run correctly will eliminate a huge portion of the "disappearing Webelos" at crossover time. The original 2 year pilots had Webelos retention rates over 90% DISRTICT WIDE. Looks like we have some work to do but huge benefits for the boys to come.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I wish I could share your enthusiasm Ember...but if the NOVA program is any indication of the ability for National to 'Roll-Out' a new program....I expect Cub Scouts to be jacked up for years! Like many of the other folks have already said...at least I don't have to deal with it for more than a few months at worst. My next concern will be when they try to update the Boy Scout program a year later... just a few months after the Cub Scouts have moved to Boy Scouts.

Yup... National really thought this whole thing out well.

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...