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MattHiggins

New Program - Compare Notes

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By now, if you're a Cub leader, you have gotten your feet wet in the new program.

 

I personally like the new program. As far as the activities, thus far, what have you liked and what have you not liked so much?

 

How are your boys progressing?

 

What have you done for the activities? For example, for the Bear Cub requirement to build a herb or vegetable garden, we built mini farms in shoebox sized plastic containers. Each box had three fields (one empty) and the kids added personal touches. This was in lieu the typical seed in a cup because the boys have done this in school a few times. I won't you with all of the details, but as part of the related requirement on compost, I passed around mason jars with compost in different stages. Plus one full of goat manure.

 

I guess my overall question is twofold. At this stage in the new program: 1) How are you liking it? 2) I'm curious what others have done so far. How have you made it fun and interesting for them?

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So far, I see a lot of imbalance between Wolf Adventures.

Some seem almost too dense, others seem rather weak in contrast.

 

The Den Leader Guide has a lot of superfluous fluff that might work for small dens in small packs not in a rush to earn rank by Blue & Gold.

 

Also, as a Pack we have switched the awarding of belt loops to the den meetings in order to save time and have found it neccessary to purchase all the required belt loops on the front end of the programming year, utilizing the loops as instant recognition in much the same way as we used the 'progress beads' in the past.

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Also, as a Pack we have switched the awarding of belt loops to the den meetings in order to save time and have found it neccessary to purchase all the required belt loops on the front end of the programming year, utilizing the loops as instant recognition in much the same way as we used the 'progress beads' in the past.

We also did this with the Webelos Activity pins so scouts didn't have to wait so long. The parents got in the habit of arriving 10 minutes early before the end of the meeting so they could watch their son get awarded the pins. We still brought the scouts up front and at the pack meeting to present their cards to them in front of the whole pack. 

 

Barry

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We also did this with the Webelos Activity pins so scouts didn't have to wait so long. The parents got in the habit of arriving 10 minutes early before the end of the meeting so they could watch their son get awarded the pins. We still brought the scouts up front and at the pack meeting to present their cards to them in front of the whole pack. 

 

Barry

That's not a bad solution. I am still waiting until pack meetings, but I'm keeping an open mind to presenting awards at den meetings.

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The official recommendation was to award either the card or the pin/loop at the Den Meeting immediately upon completion of the adventure, and award the other at the Pack Meeting.  If your Pack Meeting is the week after you complete the adventure, you could do both at the Pack Meeting, but you shouldn't wait longer than that to give some type of immediate recognition.

 

Overall I like the new program.  I'm a Roundtable Commissioner and have become our District's unofficial expert on the program changes, so I've done a lot of studying of the new program at all ranks.  I would agree that out of all of the ranks, the Wolf adventures are the weakest.  For some reason many of them don't have an outing in the Den Leader's Guide.  Some have ideas for an outing, but no specific meeting plan.  I've talked to my Wolf Den Leaders and let them know that they may need to supplement the meeting plans a bit.

 

On the other hand, the Bear rank has some great adventures.  It's definitely my favorite out of the non-Webelos ranks.  They have a chance to build a robot hand... how cool is that? 

 

I've heard from a few of my den leaders that there is too much stuff in the meeting plans.  I'm going to have to make sure to coach them to keep an eye on which activities are required and which can be skipped.

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The official recommendation was to award either the card or the pin/loop at the Den Meeting immediately upon completion of the adventure, and award the other at the Pack Meeting.  If your Pack Meeting is the week after you complete the adventure, you could do both at the Pack Meeting, but you shouldn't wait longer than that to give some type of immediate recognition.

 

 

I'm having trouble getting our treasurer to buy in to getting the belt loops and pins for the required adventures ahead of time.  We have plenty of money in our bank account, I think he's just afraid that our leaders will lose the loops/pins and we will have to re buy them.  Any ideas on how I can convince him that giving the boys immediate recognition is more of a priority than preventing the possible loss of a few awards?  Is there anywhere that I can find the "official" recommentation that they be given out immediately in print that I can share with him?

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From the FAQ:

 

Q: How should recognition take place?

A: Boys must be recognized as soon as possible after completing an adventure – and a badge of rank. Pocket certificates are available as well as devices for adventures (adventure loops and adventure pins) and cloth badges of rank. Your pack may establish a practice that makes sense for its members. Two possible examples:

  • Presenting the device (adventure loop or adventure pin) at a den meeting immediately after completion, and presenting pocket certificates at the next pack meeting

  • Presenting pocket certificates when the award is completed and bestowing the device at the next pack meeting

 

In any case, no boy should be required to wait more than two weeks to be recognized and to receive his award.

 

You can find that restated in this Roundtable guide from February:  http://www.scouting.org/filestore/program_update/doc/201502_Topic_Guide.doc

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I'm having trouble getting our treasurer to buy in to getting the belt loops and pins for the required adventures ahead of time.  We have plenty of money in our bank account, I think he's just afraid that our leaders will lose the loops/pins and we will have to re buy them.  Any ideas on how I can convince him that giving the boys immediate recognition is more of a priority than preventing the possible loss of a few awards?  Is there anywhere that I can find the "official" recommentation that they be given out immediately in print that I can share with him?

That's a pretty legit concern. I saw a pack use a flat plastic tray style box with the flip open lid and adjustable dividers. They are used for fishing tackle and hardware all of the time. They work great for belt loops. It organized and had a inventory sheet 

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I'm in favor of instant recognition at the Cub level.... or within reason anyway... as soon as practical.

 

I think that's one thing I did the old leaders in my pack didn't like.  they barely knew what was going on, but heard me encourage the Den Leaders to present awards at den meetings when possible.  They have this thing that it should be done at pack meetings.   AOL was the big stinker.  The Boys might earn it in December, but they are forced to wait for their last day in Cubs at the big B&G fiasco to receive the award under the old and now new leadership.  I think that is just plain wrong!  As Assistant Den Leader now, I'll be sure to right that wrong for our boys!!

 

I agree that they should be recognized at the pack meeting, but nothing wrong with awarding it when earned at the den level i think.

 

I suggest it this way....

If the DL can, but whatever awards are needed for the den meeting up front.  If you can't get to the store in time, no big deal.  Present them at the next den meeting.  Just be sure to make note of any awards presented for recognition at the next pack meeting.  As CM and defacto Committee Chair, i recruited a Committee Member to be advancement chair and tried to encourage the Den Leaders to work with her in getting the awards.  She kept some inventory but needed some heads up to get to the store... sadly I don't think any of the Den Leaders took advantage of her service.  Just poor planning and preparation is all.  So its still happening today that some kids wait two pack meetings to get their awards.

 

In the end though, I don't see that it matters much.  The boys don't wear their uniforms very often, and so they don't really display the awards, and don't really seem to care about them.  That's something else I was working to correct.  Oh well, you can't win them all....

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From the FAQ:

 

Q: How should recognition take place?

A: Boys must be recognized as soon as possible after completing an adventure – and a badge of rank. Pocket certificates are available as well as devices for adventures (adventure loops and adventure pins) and cloth badges of rank. Your pack may establish a practice that makes sense for its members. Two possible examples:

  • Presenting the device (adventure loop or adventure pin) at a den meeting immediately after completion, and presenting pocket certificates at the next pack meeting

  • Presenting pocket certificates when the award is completed and bestowing the device at the next pack meeting

 

In any case, no boy should be required to wait more than two weeks to be recognized and to receive his award.

 

You can find that restated in this Roundtable guide from February:  http://www.scouting.org/filestore/program_update/doc/201502_Topic_Guide.doc

 

Thanks for this link.  It'll be good to show one of our den leaders who always waits until the end of year to award the rank badges so all the scouts "can earn it together."  That always irked me.

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So far, I see a lot of imbalance between Wolf Adventures.

Some seem almost too dense, others seem rather weak in contrast.

 

The Den Leader Guide has a lot of superfluous fluff that might work for small dens in small packs not in a rush to earn rank by Blue & Gold.

 

Also, as a Pack we have switched the awarding of belt loops to the den meetings in order to save time and have found it neccessary to purchase all the required belt loops on the front end of the programming year, utilizing the loops as instant recognition in much the same way as we used the 'progress beads' in the past.

 

I agree with you on the Wolf.  The other thing that stands out to me about the Wolf is the duplication across adventures.  Just a cursory look found the following examples:

 

- At least 2 cases of doing skits/campfire programs

- At least two cases of reciting the Outdoor Code

- At least two cases of drawing a neighborhood map.

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Duplication in part of Paws of Action (required for Bear Advancement) and Elective "Forensics" in Bears Handbook.

 

The requirements for the Emergency Preparedness Award as a Bear is very intensive versus the requirements for the Webelos. 

 

Overall the new program is ok.

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As a Webelos leader, we're really enjoying it this year. I feel like we have plenty of time to work out our required adventures. We just finished up the first aid adventure last night. We put together a great first aid kit to bring with us on our hike in January. We had a parent who is also a fire fighter speak and relate their job to our trip (I didn't think they'd be able but they did an awesome job.) Before it got colder here, we had a few outdoor meets to do the outdoor activities. Those were some of the best den meets we've ever had and I had full attendance (12 scouts.)

 

As far as immediate recognition, I am also our Advancement/Awards chair, so I put into motion something like j.edi mentioned. In August, our pack purchased all the belt loops and pins required for scouts to rank up (I used ball park numbers for what we needed - we ended up with extras that I'm holding onto until next year which I keep in a tackle box of sorts like mentioned above.) I also had each den leader pick 1-2 electives they plan to work on as a group and we purchased those as well (since each rank has a certain amount required.) Their parents were told early on that any future ones worked on, up to 5 total including the required ones, will be covered by the pack *if* they do it as a whole. If they choose to do electives on their own time, they will help cover the cost.

 

I drew up a form stating how much I handed over to them, with spots on the bottom to record each scout they have awarded each one to. At the end of the year, they turn the paper back over to me with the leftovers. If they do not, they agree on a second paper to help us cover the cost of what they lost (I'm holding onto that one.) Is this perfect? No. May this possibly fail? Yes. But we're going to try it out anyways and work from there while we're able to do so. We have some great leaders working with us this year and I'm going to be optimistic that this works for us so we can continue this model (or one similar to it.)

 

So far, kids have gotten immediate recognition in all our dens and feedback has said they love it. We save the big awards for the pack meet and that has given us more time for announcements, games, etc. It has been a great year so far and I hope it continues!

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Now that the year is over, I can't resist answering this question. My kids did not enjoy this year and have decided to quit. Luckily I was able to convince my Web II to visit some Boy Scout troops and he is going to give it a try... but it took a LOT of work to convince him it wouldn't be anything like this past years' Cub Scouts. 

 

I have really mixed feelings about it... I liked being on the committee and helping plan, but I also felt like I was standing in front of an oncoming train all year. I knew that many things were being overlooked from the new program, but I couldn't get anyone else to help plan ahead. I was stretched too thin to do it all on my own so I focused on making sure the big Pack events took place. By Feb panic mode set in because we were so far behind on badge requirements and my boys suffered as a result. It's a shame because we have been really involved in scouting for 4 years and it's been a great activity for the whole family, but I am not going to make them go. It's enough they finished out the year.

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Of the 3 feeder packs in the area, 1 did AOL on their own.  One simply did nothing for the boys and the third Web II leader simply gave up half way through. 

 

We picked up the slack for the two dens not working on AOL and did our own thing.  It was majorly difficult but we were able to get AOL for about 1/3rd of the boys who stuck it out with us.

 

Unless we need a major recruiting shot in the arm, we don't plan on doing this again in the future.

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