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Streamlined Cub Scout Adventure Plans

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Long months since last post, but let me share something that might be useful for for the following Packs: 

(1)   those that are Early Adopters for girl packs and dens this spring, but struggle when they look at doing 18 to 20 Den Leader Guide meetings between now and the end of the school year (program year) to earn a Rank – including some fired up dens who are probably willing to get together on weekends, but will find the “three meeting model” of the Guides hard to adapt; and

(2)   other dens that are just struggling to earn a Rank this year, whether due to late start or the normal struggles of overworked millennial parents trying to do den program and Advancement; and

(3)   those den leaders that want a more streamlined, helpful and efficient plan to deliver Cub Scout advancement Adventures without using the “three meeting model” in the Den Leader Guides – Guides that still references out of date requirements.

See the "Streamlined" Cub Scout Adventure Plans at www.southfultonscouting.com/node/3797 where the Tiger, Wolf and Bear plans are attached (Webelos and Arrow of Light to follow).

These new "Streamlined" Adventure Plans take the essential elements of the Adventure Plans for Required Adventures in the Guide (other than family faith adventures, which are most often done at home), and simplify the delivery of Adventures in these ways: 

  1. convert the "three meeting model" of the official Den Leader Guides (which is too many meetings), and show how to get it all done in one (somewhat longer) session-- an easy way to do the Adventure in a session that is ideal for weekend activity (tips are included about how to stretch to two sessions if you choose to have short after school or evening meetings),
  2. reflect the changed requirements announced on 11/30/16, which dropped (or made optional) many requirements, and changed them around, and
  3. excise the excess!  In the official Den Leader Guides there's lots of filler activities to fill three meetings per Adventure, but you don't need to do all of those to complete the Adventure.  Note:  don't get me wrong ... lots of those extra activities are great and fun and impart important ideas, but because they aren't essential to Advancement, these Streamlined plans don't mandate those specifics in program delivery -- Den Leaders and helpers should use their resources (including the Guides, but also what is available where you do your Adventures) to mix in fun as they know best.

These new "Streamlined" Adventure Plans should help Dens deliver Handbook Adventures at campouts and other weekend activities – and get more parent participation.  Plus allow Dens that got a late start to "catch up" in an easier way.    

If you like, please use and share.  If not, would love the feedback, or just ignore this like other idle campfire chatter ... 


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Really torn on this - 

On the one hand, I applaud your efforts to help others to deliver the program - thank you.  And I totally get the challenges you're trying to overcome - busy families, short attention spans, multiple meetings.

On the other hand, I hate that Scouts has become a "check the box" activity for so many people and I generally resist things that allow/encourage/facilitate efficiency for that purpose.  I believe that Scouting (like most worthwhile things) is about the journey.  As you said, the things that you cut out do have value in and of themselves.  But there is also great value in the additional time spent together as a den (and as parents).  Time together; shared experiences; facing challenges; random conversations - these are the things that build relationships and instill values.  

There is a third hand though -  families get nothing from the program if they dont show up so anything that makes it easier for them to stay involved has some value.

As I said, really torn....


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Thanks for your note ... because this is really geared to working in Adventure advancement work when a Den gets out and about (camping, hiking, field trips with family), my belief is that it isn't "check the box", but it is a way to get the Advancement method done with more fun and with greater clarity than the current "three meeting model" of the Guides -- guides that had extra items already, and are out of sync with current requirements.  

  • And what I've heard from Dens who have come up with this on their own is that this sort of program works for them, is more fun, more memorable to Scouts, enjoyed more by families.
  • Because when we get Cub families out and about doing camping, hiking, field trips, hands on stuff ... they get more out of it.

And if you eyeball the individual plans and the comments on changes made, you'll see that the advice and structure is not to go for the minimum in the Advancement requirements -- the plans don't "hide the ball" or make up extra steps, but encourage the active, hands on, outdoors options. 

  • For example, in Wolf "Call of the Wild", it doesn't say "hey, great news, now you can just 'attend an outdoor activity', and it doesn't tell you how long you have to be outdoors!".   
  • Instead, it pitches that the best option is that Scouts participate in a pack camp out.   
  • The comments to the 11/30/16 changes in that Plan includes the plea "Please don’t fail to do camping!"   
  • (I've previously posted on that change, and it's been sent as a suggestion to Irving.) 

And, hey, if someone just looks at the 11/30/16 requirements, and nothing more, they can "check the box" pretty easy in Wolf "Call of the Wild" without the extras in any Adventure plan, even this Streamlined guide: "hey kids, go outdoors for a few minutes and play as your 'outdoor activity' (1), and after that, come in and we'll talk about weather stuff (2), recite the Outdoor Code and talk about LNT and fire (3), talk about natural disaster and germs (4), plus tie a couple knows (5), and then the badge is done".   

Like you, I hope they don't do it that way.  But I don't think the "three meeting model" is essential to delivery of quality program.

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Honestly, I have never heard of a "three meeting model" being pushed as essential. Perhaps if one felt beholden to the Den Leader Guides, but really, does any body really use them that much? I will occasionally glance through them for ideas, but I don't base my meetings off of them. 

I prefer to simply pull requirements from the book and go through them at meetings for as long as it takes or as long as the boys are interested. The problems I see with the "streamlined" versions are centered around two main issues. First, it can easily be looked at as a way to simply blast through the requirements with less effort, and frankly, doing an entire adventure in one meeting may be 'fun,' but from a realistic point of view, you just aren't going to teach boys the lessons and values of each adventure if you just fly through them one by one with only a meeting per topic. Boys need to be more invested in the subject matter, at least if your focus is on learning and not just advancement (and mind you, I am a HUGE proponent of the advancement system - just not like this). The other clue that indicates to me that this is only meant to push advancement instead of learning is the fact that ONLY THE REQUIRED ADVENTURES ARE INCLUDED. If this was really a pedagogical issue, then would not all the adventures have been included? Instead we only get shortcuts for the required adventures, which tells me there is another agenda behind this.

Secondly, after reading through the "streamlined materials," I came away more confused than encouraged. Some of them kind of come off as a Frankenstein monster, what with all the editing and highlights and cut-throughs and whatnot. It just looks like somebody hacked away at the guide to make it easier, but instead of cleaning up the mess, just left all the scraps there. It's sometimes very hard to read!

TO ANYBODY looking for a way to simplify their life - I recommend simply picking up the 2017 addendums for each rank (offered free at any local Scout Store or online), and using that to determine the requirements. Then for your activities, just go right out of the Handbook for each rank! There are already easy activities included for every one of them, and then the addendum will cue you in on which activities are still required vs. which ones are now optional. The Den Meeting lesson plans are too convoluted and dense for a practical meeting. Just go out of the book, and you'll be all set. That way you can focus on meaningful activities and learning, and not on trying to follow a rote plan that centers more on the meetings than the boys. Learning needs to drive advancement - not the other way around.

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Super ideas and observations there ... 

16 minutes ago, The Latin Scot said:

does any body really use them that much? I will occasionally glance through them for ideas, but I don't base my meetings off of them. 

On that, yeah, if you don't use the Leader Guides to guide how to do meetings for the Adventures, you're probably not going to need to look at this either.  

But, if the  reason why you don't use the Guide is either that there too much fluff and filler (and you know how to add your own) or they are out of sync with the revised requirements, then this might be useful.   

20 minutes ago, The Latin Scot said:

just fly through them one by one with only a meeting per topic. Boys need to be more invested in the subject matter, at least if your focus is on learning

Again, the primary emphasis of this is for a model to have extended time on weekends, an afternoon/evening for Cub Family experience, not "get it done in an hour".  

And the reasons for only the Required Adventures are not nefarious, but include:  (1) everyone (that tries to complete the Rank) does the Required ones, (2) usually, a reason to select an elective is there is likely a leader, parent or other resource who is already knowledgeable about it, and can deliver it in a meaningful way, and (3) fewer changes were made to elective requirements in the 11/30/16 changes, so the Guides are not as out of sync.


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16 minutes ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

3 den meetings a month is not that hard. Been there, done that.

True that, and this optional resource doesn't mean a den can't do the three meetings in the Guide or more.   

That said, for some busy families, the options of either (a) do the three meetings in the guide, or (b) pick up the 2017 addenda and use the Handbooks to make up a meeting or activity, are, for some, challenging.  

FYI, that site has options:  on that site are also annotated versions of the plans that "tag" the Guide's three meetings to (1) flag what's changed as of 11/30/16, and (2) confirm (where not evident) what you can do if you want if you don't want to do the Guide activity.   Because some people do think "if it's in the Guide, I have to do it"! 

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13 minutes ago, numbersnerd said:

things weren't going to change once girls came aboard?

FYI, those plans don't change currently announced Requirements ... and they actually help reflect some of the nuance (and maddening number changes) of the 11/30/16 revisions to requirements, so they're a bit more in sync with "current" than what's in the Guides. 

Of course, as The Latin Scot notes, one need not use the Guides at all, and that's cool.   

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  • 4 weeks later...

I think this is could to get the requirements done by blue and gold... which I always found weird in the first place... cause the end of the year should be in may not feb ... anyway I honestly wish they would re-do the whole book to begin with... but thats just me. good job on these though!

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On 1/26/2018 at 12:49 PM, Eagle94-A1 said:


Seriously why shortchange the Cubs? 3 den meetings a month is not that hard. Been there, done that.

Need to get used to Streamlined things, this way everyone can get.....


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26 minutes ago, Pack1_Axel said:

I think this is could to get the requirements done by blue and gold... which I always found weird in the first place... cause the end of the year should be in may not feb ... anyway I honestly wish they would re-do the whole book to begin with... but thats just me. good job on these though!


Originally, the goal was to finish the program by the end of the school year, May or June depending upon where you live.  When national dropped the age of Tigers to 1st grade, they also made Webelos an 18-24 month long program. Many packs moved the Webelos AOL and Cross Over ceremonies to Blue and Gold in the February/March time frame. For whatever reason, people got it in their monds that ALL advancement had to be done by Blue and Gold, and that is not the case at all. IMHO, with everything else going on at BnG I do not want anything else going on. 


I think you got the wrong engine. I believe this is the Eagle Express. ;)

UP 2010.jpg

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