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Cub Scout Program Changes 2015

Simplified Advancements, Improved Activities, and more Adventure

by Angel Martinez for the Alamo Area BSA: January 5, 2015

Many of you may be wondering what is changing and not changing with the Cub Scout program.  Rest assure that the Cub Scout program is NOT going away.  A Boy Scouts of America (BSA) volunteer task force supported the improvements to the new Cub Scout program that becomes active June 1, 2015, and there are trainings and resources available for you to learn more.   Click HERE to download a PDF program overview or continue reading below.

The BSA Program Updates website is the best place to get up-to-date information: Link.  And there are learning webcasts offered too.

January 17 Webcasts Outline Changes Coming to the Cub Scouting Program

Click here to attend a webcast: (No login required.)

Cubmaster Webcasts

  • Saturday, January 17 at 8 a.m. (Central)
  • Saturday, January 17 at 3 p.m. (Central)

Den Leader Webcasts

  • Saturday, January 17 at 9:30 a.m. (Central)
  • Saturday, January 17 at 4:30 p.m. (Central)

LDS-Specific Considerations *

  • Saturday, January 17 at 11 a.m. (Central)
  • Saturday, January 17 at 6 p.m. (Central)
    * It is recommended that those interested in the LDS session view one of the role-specific sessions first.

Although the content will be geared to the roles listed, anyone with an interest in learning about the new Cub Scouting program is welcome to attend.

The sessions will be recorded for later viewing.

Change has been a constant in Cub Scouting.

One example:

  • 1930s “I (name) promise to do my best to be square and to obey the Law of
    the Pack.”
  • 1950s “I (name), promise to do my best to do my duty to God and my country,
    to be square and to obey the Law of the Pack.”
  • 1970s “I (name), promise to do my best to do my duty to God and my country,
    to help other people, and to obey the Law of the Pack.”
  • 2010s “On my honor, I will do my best, to do my duty to God and my country,
    and to obey the Scout Law; to help other people at all times, and to
    keep myself physically strong, mentally awake, and morally straight.”


Summary of Findings:
§ Many advancement requirements support passive rather than active behavior.
§ Leader aids are insufficient in guiding leaders on how to fulfill aims - lack tools
and resources to implement aims.
§ Youth handbooks lack breadth and frequency of activities/learning situations
that support the aims.
o Character:
§ Cub Scout program structure does not facilitate adequate
coverage of all 12 Core Values
§ The youth handbook activities do little to facilitate the
discussions necessary to leverage the methods and instill
o Citizenship: Current activities focus primarily in the area of
civics/government with less emphasis on service and stewardship
o Personal Fitness:
§ Rank advancement activities do not build foundation for lifelong
positive fitness habits.
§ Our attention to nutrition within rank advancement is not
proportionate to the need to address nutrition instruction and


Desired Outcomes
§ Aims of Scouting + 2
§ Character, Citizenship, Fitness + Leadership and Outdoor Program

§ Theme-based
§ Rigorous, but fun
§ Defined/Required and elective
§ Den based, with opportunities for family involvement
Seven Adventures required for Rank Advancement
§ Belt loops for Tiger, Wolf, Bear (6 defined/1 elective)
§ Pins for Webelos and Arrow of Light (Webelos: 5 defined/2 elective; AOL: 4/3)

§ Current program – active until May 31, 2015
§ All advancement until that date will use the current materials
§ New program – active on June 1, 2015

Special Considerations
§ LDS transition considerations - see online transition support
§ Boys Earning Their Webelos Badge Prior to June 1, 2015
  o May continue to work out of the current handbook and complete the
  AOL requirements as stated.
  o May convert to the new handbook and requirements
§ Boys joining Cub Scouts after May 31, 2015 and meeting the qualifications to
join an AOL den
  o Shall utilize the new program requirements and handbook
  o No requirement to earn Webelos first
  o They may substitute any of the new program Webelos required
adventures for the three required electives of Arrow of Light

Takeaway: The Big Picture
§ Living the Ideals – Movement to Scout Oath and Law
§ Belonging to a Den
§ Using Advancement – Revisions to Current System
§ Involving Family and Home
§ Participating in Activities
§ Serving Home and Neighborhood
§ Wearing the Uniform

Not Changing
§ Five methods of seven Cub Scout
methods remain the same
§ Family focus
§ Ages (or genders)
§ Bobcat still first rank earned
§ Ranks or approach
§ Den/pack meeting structures
§ Outdoor program
§ Delivery model
§ Fun – even more than before

§ Ideals-related
§ Oath & Law
§ Advancement-related
§ Tiger Cub becomes Tiger with new
§ Arrow of Light will no longer require
earning Webelos
§ Activities – more active, more
aligned with Aims/Mission
§ Advancement – simplified
§ Academics and Sports program
§ Current immediate/elective
recognition devices replaced
§ One Den Leader Guide per rank

National Support
§ BSA Program Updates website: Link

§ Roundtable Commissioner Content
§ Q1 2015:
o Unit leader webinars
o Revised position-specific, fast start and "what's new" training.
§ PTC-trained Subject Matter Experts

CONTACT Bob Scott (Cub Scout Experience Manager)

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