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End of Year w/out Rank complete

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Confusion on some part exists due to the program name and the rank name being the same. Ranks are ranks and requirements need to be met to receive them, it's not a participation patch. Wolf program year is not a guarantee that the Wolf rank will be completed. Likewise, crossing over into the next program year is NOT contingent upon completion of the current program rank.

Our Pack does it this way:

  • B&G is an event, not a deadline. I have spent several years dispelling the myth of rank completion by this event. Yet every year there are a few (especially new families that Google stuff) that go from 30% done to complete in the two weeks prior to B&G. Aside from the obvious pencil whipping, how much has the Scout gotten from the experience? Very frustrating.
  • AoL can and usually is complete by B&G, helping perpetuate the "ranks by B&G" myth. An AoL ceremony and bridging ceremony at B&G bores the pants off of everyone and drags the night out. I have had AoL dens finish and bridge in December or January. This moves a lot of the ceremonial agony to a smaller group.
  • We attempt to have ranks completed by spring camp out. This gives us the opportunity to do an outdoor ceremony around the campfire, making it more memorable. Those that complete it well ahead of that time have the choice of receiving it at a regular Pack meeting or waiting for the campfire. None yet have opted for the Pack meeting awarding.
  • The last month of the program year is either electives or recovering material helping boys complete their rank requirements. Gives boys that have covered material a chance to help/lead/tutor others as we go through the activities. The teamwork, pride, accomplishments, and relief(!) are very gratifying for everyone.
  • Crossover is done at the end of the school year. Merely acknowledging the passage of time, the end of the year, and the beginning of a new one. They shed their neckerchiefs and receive new ones. It IS confusing for some as we DO have a ceremonial bridge that they walk across. Is it bridging or crossover? We say crossover and save bridging for Webelos to Scout.
  • For record-keeping purposes we advance all Scouts to the next program year around June 1. If you haven't completed it by then, it's unlikely you will anyway. Summer activities, if any (such as day/resident camp) count for the next program year.
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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Eagledad said:

One of the first changes we made when I became Cub Master was simplify the Blue & Gold back to a fun night that only lasted around an hour. We moved the Arrow of light ceremony to the January Pack meeting and the Crossover to the March Pack meeting. I believe in handing out awards as soon as the scouts earn them, so most of the Webelos already had their AOL by January

almost exactly what I 'wanted' to do...  three separate events....well really I would take it to two events + special mention.

I think AOL should be instant recognition....when he earns it.... and then just like anything else follow up for that particular scout with mention at the next pack meeting.   I'm old school and understand that the AOl award is more like a "rank" now, but I still think it should be instant...at the den meeting level.

also, I think crossover should be more like a special den meeting, with invitation to the pack perhaps

Too big of a deal was made out of these things in our pack...like it was some major accomplishment.  Bored the guys to tears I think....

Edited by blw2

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Actually crossing over by dens occurred before 1983. I was a Wolf, and saw the entire Webelos den earn AOL and cross over.

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1 hour ago, qwazse said:

If I could have a do-over, I would ask that  awards would only be acknowledged briefly. (E.g., at a pack meeting, the Denner for the month might report, "Three guys in our den earned bobcat and four made rank. We had fun at the lake. Johnny tipped my canoe. Thank you.") The only ceremony I'd call for is a passing of the neckers for  "move up" day. I'm envious of these scouts:

https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2018/03/08/pack-cub-scouts-pass-neckerchief-younger-scouts-advancing-rank/

This is exactly my angle on it, too.  Others in the pack, though, lean pretty heavily toward ceremony, and with all of the points in training about making to sure to publicly recognize the kids for all of their achievements, ideally involving parents, asking them to come up and stand with their kids as they receive the award, etc, I'm even more outnumbered.  I've been planning on working on the "give the kids the new neckerchiefs now" angle since that's such a nice tangible way of marking that the new year is starting now, and summer is a part of it.  The pack doesn't have a strong history of summer activities, which I'm hoping to change this year.  The pack covers the cost of neckerchiefs and books, though, and uses that as motivation to get people to turn in their registrations, so that might be a hurdle to get past.    

For the record, I'm not talking about any awards at Blue & Gold.  Ours is a party, albeit a rather formal one for my tastes, but it did have a magician!  Just trying to figure out the logistics of kids who join in March and how much it's realistic to try to do in the two to three months left in the year.  

I like the idea of having kids get their Wolf patch as soon as they have completed the requirements instead of waiting until the end, since that also makes the ones who don't earn it not such the odd men out if they don't get one at the end of year event.

   

 

 

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In the Boy Scout world, we recognize rank patches immediately.  Then during Court of Honor, we give out the rank card and parent pins.  This could easily work in Cub Scouts as well, recognize all awards (belt loops, pins, ranks) during den meetings, and then on Pack meetings just re-recognize Ranks.

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Posted (edited)

Yes, parents are getting a little bit goofy about graduation ceremonies. They want a graduation ceremony (photo op?) for just about everything now days. We have school graduations at the end of 8th grade and high school. Some other schools systems also have pre-school, kindergarten, and elementary school graduations, with all the pomp and circumstance.

This attitude is carrying over into scouting and sports programs as well. It is a bit much, I think. If we have too many of these graduation and crossover ceremonies, they stop being special to the kids. Then the really important transitions seem less meaningful. 

 

Edited by David CO

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2 hours ago, scotteg83 said:

In the Boy Scout world, we recognize rank patches immediately.  Then during Court of Honor, we give out the rank card and parent pins.  This could easily work in Cub Scouts as well, recognize all awards (belt loops, pins, ranks) during den meetings, and then on Pack meetings just re-recognize Ranks.

exactly what I was getting at earlier.... that was my read on how it should be back in my day as scouter with the pack.  Sadly we had way too much "ceremony for mom" going on.

I missed qwazse's earlier post about the denner standing up.  I think that would be brilliant!...and along the lines of what I was thinking to about getting the cubs more patrol method and boy lead oriented.  We never successfully used denners at all, sadly.  

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On 3/7/2018 at 10:27 PM, cmd said:

I'm wondering how people handle the end of the year ceremony when there are boys who haven't completed the necessary requirements to earn their rank.

I know you don't just pass them along and give ranks that aren't earned.  But the way that the program is structured, they boys DO move up to the next level regardless of whether they've completed their current rank or not.  It's not clear to me how much of the ceremony is about the earned rank and how much is about "and now, you're a Bear!"  
We have at least one boy, possibly three, moving into our pack this month from a group that sounds like it hasn't done much this year at all.  I'm still waiting on records from the other pack to see whether it's feasible to try to help them complete all their Wolf requirements, but with only two months to go, and the rest of the den done with all of the required beltloops, getting these guys caught up seems like a real long shot.
Trying to figure out where the balance lies between keeping these guys excited to come back for next year and making sure the kids who earn their rank are appropriately recognized.  

Thanks!

We try to separate recognition for earning rank from the end of school year den move up ceremony.  Earning rank is an individual achievement, and the Scouts should be recognized soon afterwards with their rank patch.  We usually do adventure belt loops and pins at den meetings and rank patches at pack meetings.  We try to do as close to immediate recognition as possible, but you can't buy the rank patches until they are earned, so the Cub Scouts might have to wait a couple weeks depending on when the next pack meeting is.  This immediate recognition can also (sometimes) help to motivate other Scouts in the same den to finish their rank.

The end of the school year den move up ceremony date is determined by the pack committee, which makes sense because not all school districts follow the same calendar.  The Guide to Advancement (cited in an earlier post) gives pack committees discretion to grant time extensions on a case by case basis to individual Scouts.  It sounds like a time extension for the 3 Cubs joining your pack would be a good solution for them.  JMO, but the end of year den move up ceremony should focus more on the "and now, you're a Bear!".  Of course, if you have some Cubs who earn their rank at the end of the year, their achievement should also be recognized.

 

On 3/8/2018 at 5:56 AM, cmd said:

Wow!  Thanks for all of the responses!  
I feel like this SHOULDN'T be a big deal, but I'm finding that there are lots of things that I can't imagine someone caring about that they really, really do.

I switched packs this year, from one that interprets "end of school year" literally (June 20ish, here!) to one that uses May 31 as the end, and has traditionally done the bridging at the May pack meeting.  So, I was thinking these boys would have 3 months to try to finish everything, if that was something they cared about, and found out just this week that we have just over 2 months between now and the crossover.  Eep.  That means taking a pair of scissors to some of the elective stuff I thought the den was going to get done, too! 

The information about flexibility in deadline is helpful.  My main concern is the Howling at the Moon campfire requirements and camping.  We're trying to get another camping trip lined up for this year, but it would be either late May or June, so after our bridging.  My guess would be that if they don't get the rank patch at the same time the other boys earn it, they won't care two weeks later and just won't earn it, but extending the deadline helps put a "haven't finished it YET" spin on it in the moment instead of feeling like they failed.  And helps me feel like we did our part trying to offer a reasonable path to reach that goal if it's something they care about.   

So, something like the face painting for each rank - that would be tied to the den the child is entering, not the rank earned?  
I'm not sure whether this is exactly the script followed in our pack, but something along these lines http://www.scoutorama.com/ceremony/ceremony_display.cfm?cer_id=24

Thanks!

 

 

Looking at the Wolf Howling at the Moon requirements, it says "3. Work together with your den or family to plan, prepare, and rehearse a campfire program to present at a den meeting or pack program."  It doesn't look like this requirement has to be done on a campout (although doing it on a campout would be great).

What are the camping requirements that you are looking at?  Depending on what the requirements say, you might be able to do them on an outing at a local park or something.  You could still do the campout in May or June, but it wouldn't be holding Scouts back from earning their rank.

The "Painted Ranks" ceremony looks like it is a rank earned ceremony - not a den move up ceremony.  However, you could modify it however you'd like.  I've seen a few different end of year den move up ceremonies.  One was a Cub-o-matic, where the Cub Scouts go behind a curtain or box, concealed from the view of the audience they change out their neckerchiefs and slides, and come out the other side as their next den level.  Depending on how many Cubs in a den and the size of your curtain (or box), the Cubs might go through the Cub-o-matic individually or as a den.  Something kind of like this video:

Going through the Cub-O-Matic to become a Wolf Scout

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, scotteg83 said:

In the Boy Scout world, we recognize rank patches immediately.  Then during Court of Honor, we give out the rank card and parent pins.  This could easily work in Cub Scouts as well, recognize all awards (belt loops, pins, ranks) during den meetings, and then on Pack meetings just re-recognize Ranks.

That is the way it is supposed to work with the current Cub Scout adventure program.  The belt loops and pins are supposed to be immediate recognition devices presented as soon as the adventure is completed (usually at den meetings).  The belt loops and pins do not require an advancement report, so they can be purchased ahead of time.  Ranks are supposed to be recognized at the next pack meeting (ranks do require an advancement report, so you can't buy them ahead of time).

Edited by Thunderbird
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May31st is my cutoff- CubMaster here. 

I have Webelos that might possibly not earn their Webelos Badge.  Some missed a campout where we had an EMT there and I told the parents that this wont be made up later so they need to be there.  I give lots of opportunities but if you don't make meeting then you can ask your parents why you didn't earn your badge.

 

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46 minutes ago, JasonG172 said:

May31st is my cutoff- CubMaster here. 

I have Webelos that might possibly not earn their Webelos Badge.  Some missed a campout where we had an EMT there and I told the parents that this wont be made up later so they need to be there.  I give lots of opportunities but if you don't make meeting then you can ask your parents why you didn't earn your badge

Are you saying you only give first year Webelos until May 31st?  They can earn Webelos rank at any point up until they age out of Cub Scouts. 

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I'm not too concerned about the badge, but the pack has a tradition of doing the face painting type of moving up ceremony, which the boys really look forward to, and all the scripts I've found for that are definitely "you've done all these things to earn your rank" and not "welcome to the next level", and an unpainted face would stand out and not in a good way.  But I think I've figured it out. 
Other than one kid who I think has probably quit, the boys likely to not have time to make rank are all new additions, not kids who just didn't show.  They will have all earned their Bobcat rank this year, so I think making a big deal about how glad we are that they decided to join us on this path then a little paint just for the new recruits should do the trick. (even if they've already gotten the badge itself before then)  

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When I was Cubmaster, I had a simple approach that worked pretty well.

- When a Cub Scout earned his rank, he got the patch at the next pack meeting.
- Blue & Gold banquet had a short celebration of den accomplishments.  The den leader would bring the boys up, talk about the year so far, etc.  Took a minute or two per den.
- The graduation/moving up day involved face painting and awarding neckerchiefs.  If you were a participant that year, you get the paint for your current year and the next year.  Whether you earned rank was irrelevant.

In my mind, Cub Scouts is about celebrating accomplishments.  Reward those scouts individually when they accomplish things - rank advancements, awards, etc.  Graduating from one level to the next has nothing to do with earning your rank - so I wouldn't link it.  Celebrate the fact equally that all the boys are moving up to the next level.

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The hardest part I have with the new cub scout achievements is the belt loops.  Yeah, you could pre-buy belt loops for all required adventures for your entire den at the beginning of the year, and just pass any extra to the next years leader.  But it was so much easier when it was just beads, which we stocked in bulk.  Now each rank has 6+ elective adventures that they could earn all of them each year.  So do you pre-buy the electives loops, or award those separately at the next pack meeting?    We have an advancement chair that currently takes care off all the awards and makes the monthly trip to the scout shop to purchase them.

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9 minutes ago, scotteg83 said:

The hardest part I have with the new cub scout achievements is the belt loops.  Yeah, you could pre-buy belt loops for all required adventures for your entire den at the beginning of the year, and just pass any extra to the next years leader.  But it was so much easier when it was just beads, which we stocked in bulk.  Now each rank has 6+ elective adventures that they could earn all of them each year.  So do you pre-buy the electives loops, or award those separately at the next pack meeting?    We have an advancement chair that currently takes care off all the awards and makes the monthly trip to the scout shop to purchase them.

We've been doing them at pack meeting for exactly that reason.  But... there were some issues earlier in the year with kids thinking that they had earned thiings because they had been at the meeting where MOST of the requirements were completed, but missed the meeting when we wrapped up one or two last things.  If we had awarded them at the time they were completed, we would have avoided that confusion.  
Last time we went to the store, we did pick up enough of the required ones to finish out the year, but hate to do too much of that since we still have old pins and beltloops for achievements that no longer exist.  

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