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Eagle94-A1

New Cub Scout Requirements as of November 30th 2016!

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Folks,

 

New requirements for the various Cub Scout Adventures and ranks have been implemented as of November 30th, 2016.

 

Here is the Blog post http://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2016/11/30/cub-scout-modifications/#comment-168431

 

 

Here is the 56 page documents with the changes. http://www.scouting.org/filestore/cubscouts/pdf/CubScout_Advancement_Modifications.pdf

 

 

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Very very interesting ... need to take a deep dive into this to see what's under the hood.  

 

First reaction is on this being sold in the headline as being done to "give den leaders more flexibility".   I'm 100% fired up on the concept and actually got into Den activity writing based on the old fast tracks national pilot being too inflexible (do everything exactly as written in exactly the order listed), and not allowing "all Scouting is local" / "use your resources" options (launch commentary is at http://scouter.com/index.php/topic/17626-a-revised-fun-and-flexible-fast-tracks-outline/, though the links to the alternate plans are down).  

 

The old (2011-2015) Den & Pack Meeting Resource Guide text mostly changed that ... highlighting that you could do meeting activities in any order, and noting more options for achievement requirements (e.g., for a sporting activity, there would be a menu of sports options, not just "go bowling"; for a "visit a government servant" activity, there would be a menu of options, not just "visit the policy department").

 

I am amused now also because the 2015 revision of advancement and 411 process spent a great deal of time on the concepts of flexibility and choice, and came down on the side of "tell leaders exactly what to do", on the basis of some intuition or research that younger parents needed that explicit directive, and would be confused by choices of what to do as they planned their activity year.  In that 411 process I'd actually advocated several variants of a "modular" program that could be met with alternate achievements to allow for local options and more effective use of local resources, and to support keeping kids on track to earn rank.  

 

The ultimate proposal grouped activities (achievements, what are now called adventures) into content areas of "Fitness", "Outdoors", "Citizens", and "Personal Skills", with the idea that there would be fewer "specific required" activities, and more "choose one more from the Fitness area" options to earn the Rank badge.   That way, for example, if there was angst about whether a "fitness" element was difficult to do because it called out doing a fitness carnival that a den or family might struggle to pull off, they could choose among, say, activities centered on any of (a) swimming, (b) biking, © kickball (or any of any number of sports), and (d) other similar options that support the "fitness" concept.  Plus, when (inevitably) a Scout misses that "fitness carnival" day, if the requirement was "do 'fitness carnival' or another 'fitness' adventure", when the den did swimming, biking, etc. later, that gets the Scout back on rank track.  

 

Someday ... 

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Skimming over the Tiger changes (I'm subbing for the Den Leader tonight), I'm very hopeful for this.  The new Cub Scout Program has a lot of new items, but is very limiting on what needed to be done to complete an adventure.  Selection options and loosing the calendar will give Den Leaders and their Cub Scouts freedom to pursue their own interests, rather then locked in the 6+1 rote.

 

Not looking forward to having to replace all the new handbooks and leader guides we just invested in.  Last new printing was what, 2009?  So I guess the handbooks will be upcycled in 2023.

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Not looking forward to having to replace all the new handbooks and leader guides we just invested in.  Last new printing was what, 2009?  So I guess the handbooks will be upcycled in 2023.

 

 

Actually the new handbooks and leader guides came out between May 2015 and August 2015. Because we lost out local distributor and have to drive 45 to 60 minutes to get Scout merchandise, my pack buys a bunch and sells it.  Thankfully we didn't have too much of the 2009 stuff when the change came about last year. But I think we have a bunch of new stuff since it just came out.

 

Talk about a mess.

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Not looking forward to having to replace all the new handbooks and leader guides we just invested in.  Last new printing was what, 2009?  So I guess the handbooks will be upcycled in 2023.

 

I intend on still using the leader guide, just three hole punch the new requirements ahead of that chapter so you remember. The handbooks and leader guides are more of a meeting planning resource than actual requirement book.

 

I am so happy, this makes things less redundant too. "Plant a terrarium AND plant seeds AND grow a sweet potato" Sheesh I have a greenhouse at home.

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So far, I love seeing the changes. That being said, we've already completed our required adventures this year (our campout with the troop we'll be bridging to is this weekend.) Only thing is elective adventures (which, if I'm reading correctly, just went from 3 to 1 for AOL.) So these changes really won't affect us much but it should help our pack, which has seen a drop in scouts earning rank and scouts staying on board with so much going on and being required of them. Our den has enjoyed the changes since last year but we did lose quite a few of our boys (they could no longer comfortably balance sports/robotics with scouting.) That's another issue for another chat, however. On this subject, I do agree with the above about replacing books and manuals that we just purchased (most a few months ago.) I love the idea of hole punching in the changes but as far as scout books...well, yeah. We shall see.

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I intend on still using the leader guide, just three hole punch the new requirements ahead of that chapter so you remember. The handbooks and leader guides are more of a meeting planning resource than actual requirement book.

 

I know that one of my projects will be to further annotate the copies of the Den Leader Guides I'd posted on our District Website at http://www.southfultonscouting.com/node/3163, where I'd already inserted commentary about Adventures that could be condensed from three to two meetings (or, better yet, weekend day fun activities), and highlighted elements that were "extra".  

 

So now I'll probably insert notes and pages with the updated Requirements, and flag meeting activities that focus on elements that are alternates (e.g., you can do this if you're doing requirement  2(a) and not 2(b), but if you're doing 2(b), feel free to skip this!).

 

I'll circle back when I've posted those updates ... 

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And, speaking of that posting of Den Leader Guides at http://www.southfultonscouting.com/node/3163, I find it interesting that the Blog announcement says "some den leaders had difficulty fitting into their program year all of the adventures required for advancement. This resulted in boys not advancing. After a thoughtful and deliberate review, the BSA has released some modifications to address this concern."

 

One way to help deliver adventures and increase advancement is to make the plans for those adventures more available for leaders and parents and others who want to deliver the Cub Scout family program of Den Adventure ... because if more helpers and parents and den chiefs and so on could see the Adventure Plans in the Den Leader Guides, more of them could say "hey ... I can help do that!!".

 

More that this page entitled "Put All Den Leader Guides Online + Free!", including the proposal I sent to the Director of the Southern Region after an Area Conference last month.  

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I was excited to see the modifications.  Like a previous poster, I've copied them and punched them so they can be inserted into the leader guide books.

 

I was surprised that I saw this first on Facebook and not at Roundtable or coming down the pipeline from District or something.

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So now our Webelos 2 have a dilemma -- we've finished the ones that changed the most, however one scout missed quite a bit.  With the new changes, however, he won't have as much to complete to catch up -- so I guess this is good, but it's kind of unfair to the ones that have completed everything?  Also, he only needs one elective which he has completed (he has two) but the others completed 3. 

 

On the flip side, they ADDED to the Duty to God in Action, so the ones completing the religious emblem, have had MORE activities added to complete it now, so that is a little frustrating.

 

But I feel like we need to either switch to the new requirements or stick with the old ones and shouldn't pick and choose?

 

I think overall the changes are good because some of them are hard to complete, but I wish it had been done at the beginning of the year or the end of this year.  It would have been much easier t manage.

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But I feel like we need to either switch to the new requirements or stick with the old ones and shouldn't pick and choose?

 

On that, I do think it is OK to pick and choose ... if a Scout comes along and finishes what he missed (or starts now and finishes) using the less difficult requirements, I think it is perfectly fine to credit them for meeting the new 11/30/16 requirements.  

 

Even though the ones who completed the 6/1/15 requirements actually did more.  

 

That's why these changes are made ... to keep those Scouts, so that they don't get disheartened and walk away ... because we want them to continue.  By coming out with the new 11/30/16 requirements, the BSA is saying it's OK to go that route.

 

I also think ... under the long time theory of many in Boy Scouting (where requirements get tweaked all the time) that if you started on an Adventure that got harder with the new 11/30/16 requirements (e.g., any of the family belief / DtG adventures), it's fine to finish out under the existing book and those 6/1/15 requirements.  

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Good timing for my Tigers.  The local fire department couldn't find a volunteer to show us around the station at a time that worked for everybody; now the two boys who did Tiger Safe and Smart can get their belt loop this month. 

 

Did anyone else read the nasty comments below the article?  What a bunch of bitter, petty people.  I rarely read that site anymore because of that.  I really feel sorry for Bryan having to entertain those clowns.

 

If they loathe the BSA so much they should go join something else.

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Did anyone else read the nasty comments below the article?  What a bunch of bitter, petty people.  I rarely read that site anymore because of that.  I really feel sorry for Bryan having to entertain those clowns.

 

Hope it wasn't my posts there!!

 

But, yeah, while there's something about the internet that gets people writing nasty things, there's also something about Scouting that has some (not all, just some) saying things, uh, they care about deeply but sounding really nasty.  

 

This reminds me of when my (then) 16 year old son, after a summer working camp staff, told me "you know, Scouting's great and all ... but it does attract a few whack jobs".   Good news: he's going back for his fifth summer next year.

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This reminds me of when my (then) 16 year old son, after a summer working camp staff, told me "you know, Scouting's great and all ... but it does attract a few whack jobs".   Good news: he's going back for his fifth summer next year.

 

You've raised a smart (and observant) boy!!

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Because I’m curious, having helped with past projects involving Den Meeting plans (for the Den & Pack Meeting Resource Guide), and involving the development of these requirements (on the “411 Task Forceâ€), and although I have no role with the National effort here (I’m just a Pack Trainer and Troop Committee Chair and assorted District and Council roles), I downloaded the June 1, 2015 Requirements and these November 30, 2016 versions to see just exactly what the changes really are … and I’ve attached a comparison at our District website, along with the beginning of commentary about the changes.


See http://www.southfultonscouting.com/node/3557 for the commentary, and scroll down to find the comparison.


My essential comment about the change in the camping requirements now is “Packs and Parents are advised to not “hit the easy button†on these new requirements and do the minimum: the main impetus for this non-camping option arises from cold weather locations where it is believed that there is not enough time at the start of the school year to get a camping activity completed before temperatures are too severe. And many in cold climes note that “we have warm clothes, don’t worry about us … we won’t freeze!â€â€


Further comments to come …


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