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tabpetersen

Bear Den Meeting Annual Plan

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Hi all,

I am our Bear Leader and have been searching for an annual plan that lays out meeting plans for each meeting in order to earn their bear and as many electives as possible. I've searched the internet but to no avail. Part of the problem is due to the changes; all I am finding are layouts for the old program. 

 

Does anyone have one of these? I'd be super grateful! 

 

Thanks!

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Do you have the Den Leader guide?  It lays out the meetings to complete adventures in two meetings plus one outing per adventure.  I am changing from Wolf Leader to Bear Leader and still dont have my Bear Leader Guide yet so I can't comment specifically, but that is how the Wolf guide was written

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Having just done the Bear program with a den, I suggest identifying two electives early (such as Bear Goes Fishing and Baloo the Builder) and picking away at them. Many of the Scouts in my den also did Critter Care on their own and three did forensics. The key, in my opinion, is not waiting to start the electives after the required adventures are done. Tell the Scouts to pick out ones they like and start early--do them in bits and pieces.

 

The leader guide has all the info you need. I did find with the Bear program that it wasn't always possible to start an adventure and only work on that adventure to completion.

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I did find with the Bear program that it wasn't always possible to start an adventure and only work on that adventure to completion.

 

This is so true!  There are so many requirements jammed into some of the bear adventures, that you'll have a lot of half finished adventures until close to the end of the year.  If you can get a Pack Overnighter scheduled that all of the Bears can attend, you'll be in good shape for completing Bear Necessities.  If the Scouts don't attend, then you'll be in trouble.  You might try scheduling an all day outdoor event for the den and working on the camping/cooking/hiking/campfire requirements.  Bear Claws is an easy adventure, good for the winter months when you are stuck indoors.  Fur, Feathers, and Ferns is probably best left until Spring.  Grin and Bear It is fun, but needs to be coordinated with the Pack - we used the Cub Scout Carnival as our Spring Recruiting event.

 

If I had to do it again, I think I'd move Paws for Action up to be the second adventure, right after Bear Necessities.  Those two both have so much going on that you might need extra time to complete some requirements.  By starting them early, you'll have less headaches down the road. 

 

Bear has some of the best Electives - Baloo the Builder, a Bear Goes Fishing, Critter Care, Forensics, Robotics... Too many to do 2 meetings plus an outing for each one.  I'd recommend picking a few, scheduling outings (which might not be during your normal meeting time), covering enough of the requirements in a den meeting that the boys get a taste for it, and if necessary leaving a few simple requirements for them to work on at home. 

 

Bear is in my opinion the hardest rank in the new program, which I say after studying the requirements, handbooks, and leader guides for all of them quite thoroughly, having watched my son complete his Webelos and Arrow of Light in 11 months under the new program, and having filled in as Den Leader for a Bear den.  Wolf doesn't have as many outings, which makes it easier to complete things in den meetings.  Webelos and Arrow of Light have a lot of requirements you can work on by yourself, 'telling your den' or den leader about what you did.  Tiger you have parents with the Scout and engaged, which makes it easier to push through many requirements quickly.  Bear is a bear... no doubt about it.  It has the most potential, but don't be surprised if the boys aren't earning a belt loop every month like the other dens.  We have quite a few boys who are getting a whole slew of belt loops in the last two months, but for things they started working on in September and October.

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At the AOL campout last weekend with my boys, one boy built a bird house, another 4 got Whittlin' Chip, some did the memory work, a few worked on knots, etc. etc.  It was a weekend of tying up all the loose ends of the events the boys happened to have missed in the previous 5 months.  Had we not had the wrap up campout, none of the boys would have earned the AOL.  It was kind of a nightmare for the adults to try and organize all the loose ends for the boys, but we were able to pull it off.

 

If it is difficult for the adults, it is miserable for the boys.

Edited by Stosh

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Bear used to be the easiest, with a mix-and-match, choose 12 of 24 achievements.  I miss that.  The new program has too many required adventures, I'd rather cut it down to two-three required, and 4-5 elective adventures.  Or slot them, with a "Blue Group" for Citizen/Duty to God/Family options, "Red Group" for Scoutcraft/Handicraft, and "Green Group" for Camping/Hiking/Physical Fitness, and require at one from each slot, to a total of seven.  Miss something, and we continue on with a different Adventure that will fulfill the slot requirement and not repeat things for the rest of the den, and not make a boy do "homework" to catch up.

 

I'd also like to have 2-3 elective adventures that were Tiger/Wolf and/or Wolf/Bear, meaning they could be earned as electives at either level.  This'd help Packs that only have 1-2 boys at a grade level, and want to merge Den Meetings occasionally.  We have 11 Bears, 3 Wolves, and 7 Tigers, with no permanent Wolf Den Leader we've had the Wolves "visit" with one of the other two dens at different times this year.

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I'd also like to have 2-3 elective adventures that were Tiger/Wolf and/or Wolf/Bear, meaning they could be earned as electives at either level.  This'd help Packs that only have 1-2 boys at a grade level, and want to merge Den Meetings occasionally.  We have 11 Bears, 3 Wolves, and 7 Tigers, with no permanent Wolf Den Leader we've had the Wolves "visit" with one of the other two dens at different times this year.

 

You might find this helpful:  http://cubscoutideas.com/3744/connections-in-the-2015-cub-scout-program-changes/

 

Under the old program, the BSA put out something called the Alternative Delivery System Manual, which combined requirements from all age levels into one den meeting plan.  It was a great resource for small Packs with few boys at some age levels and not enough den leaders.  There are two different versions of the manual, so that the exact same material wouldn't be repeated from year to year.  If you look at this guide I've linked, you'll see that there are quite a few requirements that repeat at some point under the new program.

 

This is also useful if you are trying to have dens working on similar themes during a certain month.

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Late to the party on this, but in terms of "mixed den" ideas, I put together ideas for how to do a mix of dens, and put together a "Tiger/Wolf" plan to cover the required Adventures.  

 

See http://www.southfultonscouting.com/node/3164 for that plan  

 

Thanks for sharing this!  I'm definitely going to bookmark this for future reference.  As a Roundtable Commissioner, I hear over and over from small Packs that they need something like the old Alternative Delivery Manuals that combined advancement for multiple ranks. 

 

Quick question for you, has this been tested to make sure that the objectives can be completed in a typical 1 hour Den Meeting?  I know that some of our Dens struggled with some of the Meeting Plans in the new Den Leader Guides, hence the question.  Either way, I suspect I know some units who will be using this material this year.

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On "has this been tested to make sure that the objectives can be completed in a typical 1 hour Den Meeting?", no, not exactly in this exact form to my knowledge, except that these draw from the Tiger and Wolf Den Leader Guides themselves which we believe have been tested.  

 

Of course, YMMV (your mileage may vary) and All Scouting is Local, and so one Den's timing for an activity or element might be pretty short and others could run longer ... and, uh, kids and stuff, knuckle-headery, yeah, that can affect adventure timing.  

 

I did try to toss "extra" elements of the source den meetings that are not on the critical path to completing the adventure, while keeping enough fun.   So some parts like that were dropped, while the "parallel" adventure requirements are noted, which would be an addition.

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