Improved activities, easier-to-understand advancement and some sweet-looking handbooks — yes, Cub Scouting is about to get even better than before.
After finding that current achievements are overly passive in nature, activities lack connection to the missions of Scouting and the advancement model is too complicated, the Boy Scouts of America’s volunteer task force created a new and improved Cub Scout program that will debut in May 2015.
By the 2015-2016 Scouting year (which, for most packs, begins in August or September 2015), all packs will use the new requirements.
The new requirements coincide with the retiring of the Cub Scout Promise and Law of the Pack. As part of the One Oath, One Law initiative I first told you about in 2012, all packs will switch to the Scout Oath and Scout Law beginning in May 2015. Cub Scouting will keep its current Cub Scout motto, sign, salute and handshake.
Not everything is changing. Follow the jump to see what will and won’t change come May 2015 (and thanks to Bob Scott, Russ Hunsaker and Debbie Sullivan for the info).
What’s not changing
- Cub Scouting’s family focus
- Ranks or approach
- Age (or gender) of ranks
- Den/pack meeting structures
- Outdoor program
- Delivery model
- Current Cub Scout motto, sign, salute and handshake
- Fun, though there will be even more than before
What is changing
- Switch to Scout Oath and Scout Law, retiring of Cub Scout Promise and Law of the Pack
- Tiger Cubs becomes simply “Tiger” with new image
- Arrow of Light will no longer require earning Webelos
- Activities will be more active, more aligned with Aims/Mission
- Advancement will be simplified
- Academics & Sports program will be discontinued (as of May 2015)
- Current immediate/elective recognition devices will be replaced
- One Den Leader Guide per rank
Cub Scout Adventures
New Cub Scout content will be broken into a series of “adventures,” which Cub Scouts (individually and as part of their den) will experience while working on their badge of rank.
Once a Cub Scout has completed the six core adventures, including one Duty to God adventure, and one of his/his den’s choosing he will have earned his badge of rank.
In addition to the adventures required for rank advancement, there will be 13 additional elective adventures that members of the den may earn. Each adventure is designed to take roughly three den meetings to implement, one of which may be an outing, ranging from attending a sporting event as a den, to taking a hike, to visiting a museum or going on a campout. At the conclusion of each adventure, a recognition device is awarded.
Presently, the recognition device is under development.
The authors also created a series of elective adventures in addition to the adventures required for rank advancement. This allows dens to create and customize a program for the interests of the boys in the den as well as create the opportunity for a year-round Cub Scout program.
To see the adventures, check out this PDF.
New Cub Scout handbooks
What’s a new program without new handbooks? The volunteer task force used considerable research with parents, adult leaders and, most importantly, Cub Scouts themselves, to create new handbook covers that are inspired by the concept of wood-burning. They look great and, just as important, look like one cohesive design throughout all four ranks in Cub Scouting.
Parents and leaders the BSA consulted said the designs reflect the heritage of Scouting and are solid and warm. Cub Scouts, on the other hand, found them exciting and different and said they suggest things they’ll do as Scouts.
Details of the covers are not yet complete but the concepts below will remain in tact as development moves forward. This new look will also be reflected in the interior pages of the handbook. If you ask me, these prototypes are awesome.