What's New

About the Cub Scouters behind the Cub Scout program updates

Ken KingThe folks behind next year’s fun-focused changes to Cub Scouting aren’t high-paid consultants. They aren’t people who have never run a den meeting in their lives. They’re not even BSA professionals.

In truth, they’re volunteers — dedicated Cub Scouters just like you. There were more than 100 volunteer leaders on the 411 Steering Committee, chaired by Russ Hunsaker. They come from across the country.

These volunteers, with the help of some staff advisors, contributed to the analysis of the current program and made recommendations for the Cub Scout program being unveiled here at the 2014 National Annual Meeting in Nashville, Tenn. (Read all about the new program on the BSA’s Program Updates page.)

Everyone on the Cub Adventure Team is an experienced Cub Scout leader. They’ve been at it for a while, helping on other Cub Scout programs materials like BALOO training, the Cub Scout Outdoor Adventure Award, the former Theme Task Force and Cub Scout National Camping School curriculum.

It’s not just their volunteer Scouting experience that makes them qualified. They also have professional expertise in curriculum design and/or youth development.

Take Eagle Scout Ken King, pictured above. He’s an experienced Cub Scouter but also an associate professor of elementary education at Roosevelt University in Chicago. Like I said, his Scouting and his professional background make him the kind of guy you want driving these changes.

Other Cub Adventure Team members like Dan Albert, Kim Baker, Roger Brown, Nancy Farrell, Jamie Green, Dennis Kampa, Kee Ostler, Janet Mintz, Debbie Spohn, Caren Tamkin, Linda Vaughn, Amy VonCulin and Toni Welch have similarly impressive qualifications.

Still want more details on the who, what and why behind these changes? Consult the Program Updates page.

29 Comments on About the Cub Scouters behind the Cub Scout program updates

  1. Glad you highlighted the volunteers of this program change. My last Cub Scout crosses over this coming February and I won’t personally have the opportunity to walk through the new program with a Cub Scout of my own. I hope the program is received well.

  2. Yes. Nice. Well done. And kudos to our hardworking volunteers!

  3. Thank you for your service, but please let the new Webelos 1’s complete the program as they started. You are harming the boys.

  4. How is this “hurting the boys”, Daronson? Can you please explain this to me?

    Personally, herding all of the “cats” involved in this massive changeover could not have been easy…I have a great deal of praise for Ken King (my fellow Eagle and staffer at last year’s National Jamboree) and the rest of the volunteers who put this all together (and the four professionals who dotted the “I” and crossed the “T” with the finished product).

    • First off, I truly appreciate the efforts to attempt to make a better program for the boys including you friend who is an Eagle an not a Bobwhite. We all are volunteers here that do a lot for the boys in our units, districts, and councils. Just because they were at national jamboree doesn’t make them a better scout than any of the rest of us that work directly with the boys.

      This hurts the Webelos 1’s that have to complete two seperate programs for Webelos 1’s and AOL. Just tweaking that existing Webelos 1’s to complete the program they started just makes sense. You are trained to work with your den to plan for the 18 months. They have a goal of earning compass points and the overachiever badge because that is what is in their books. So I might as well tell my boys to do the bare minimum to get there Webelos rank and then skate by for the AOL for the next 6 months. These boys are caught in the tide change and should be allowed to finish what they started. Read the comments from all of the den leaders in the Webelos rank and you’ll see that they feel the same way.

      • CPT Obvious // June 26, 2014 at 11:48 pm // Reply

        Calm down. You know what our Webelos I dens are doing? Earning the AOL before May 1 next year, and crossing over on their 10th birthdays. By the time they’re Webelos, they see cub scouting has little to offer them and they’re ready for a troop.

        • Elizabeth // June 27, 2014 at 6:42 am //

          My den can’t cross over that early because they are all young 4th graders and don’t turn 9 until late this fall. We’ll make it work.

    • a) They will purchase the existing Webelos book and then be required to purchase the the new book June 2105. How much are you going to charge them for that?
      b) They will be required to complete essentially the same badge/adventure twice. Citizen. I suppose you can claim that is preparing them for the nightmare of all three Citizens in BS. How many do we loose in the process ? “Mr. Den leader we just did this and our book only said we had to do it once. Why do I have to do it again ? This is like retesting. I don’t want to do it again, I want adventure!” “Sorry you foolish young Scout, you have to do it again because Ken King says you have to do it again. We have high praise for him and he is an Eagle and went to Jamboree! Have more respect for the volunteers that decided this for you! You think this is bad, just wait till you get to Boy Scouts. BWAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!”

      And since when is this a “finished product” ? The documents clearly state that it is a work in progress and subject to change.

  5. Elizabeth // May 22, 2014 at 6:51 am // Reply

    How many are current den leaders and parents of cub scouts now? Helping develop other Cub Scout programs does not equal current Cub Scout experience. Not allowing or recommending that current Bears finish what they started with their Webelos badge and AOL, an in addition, NO explanation for why they can’t finish the program they started, is telling. It doesn’t help to know who changed the program when we still don’t know why current Bears can’t finish what they started. Every once in awhile we all expect the Cub Scout program to change, but the other ranks finish with one and then start a new one. Why won’t this team explain that?

    • I’m confused here. The current Bears get their Bear badge. Then they move on to Webelos. When they do that it is essentially a different ‘program’… new requirements, new book, etc. Where is the disconnect?

      • The disconnect is that the boys that are starting the Webelos trail June 1 of 2014 have a book and requirements for an 18 month program. The new change means that these boys work on the 2014 trail for 12 months, then must switch to a completely different and redundant trail for AOL. The boys that start on June 1st should be allowed to finish the trail they started.

        • Deaf Scouter // May 23, 2014 at 5:41 pm //

          Daronson.. I would relax on the Webelos transition for yours that started with the old one of 2014. Having seen several of the other new requirements changes come out like merit badges and other program changes, I’ve seen a ‘grace’ period for those who used the old requirements. ScOUTING has addressed your concern directly before so I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a transition clause for your Webelos 2 where they continue the book they have for their second year in Webelos. Those in your Pack as Webelos 1 will start the 2015 version while your Webelos 2 will continue with the old version.

        • I hope you are right.

  6. Deaf Scouter // May 22, 2014 at 7:17 am // Reply

    Having read through the Cub Scout program changes, I sigh yet again at the politically incorrect terms being used once again for our youth in a BSA publication where diversity and inclusion should be moving us forward in the 21st century. As a Deaf Scouter, impairment needs to be removed from any BSA publication since it is a medical term that looks at the disability first rather than the person first who is differently abled. The change starts with printing correct BSA publication so that our youth learn correctly. I’m also worried that American Sign Language (ASL) is being presented correctly as another language like Spanish, German, Italian, Russian and etc. and not as English in sign language which is a common misconception.

    The correct terms are deaf, Deaf, hard of hearing or hearing loss please, NOT hearing impairment!

    • Bill Nelson // May 23, 2014 at 2:55 pm // Reply

      I’m confused here. The current Bears get their Bear badge. Then they move on to Webelos. When they do that it is essentially a different ‘program’… new requirements, new book, etc. Where is the disconnect?

      • Bill Nelson // May 23, 2014 at 2:56 pm // Reply

        Sorry, this was meant as a reply to Elizabeth

        • Deaf Scouter // May 23, 2014 at 5:32 pm //

          I figured that out Bill. No worries!

      • CPT Obvious // June 26, 2014 at 11:38 pm // Reply

        Bill, you aren’t listening.

    • Bill Nelson // May 23, 2014 at 2:59 pm // Reply

      Deaf Scouter, you make some excellent points. Send your comments to: program.content@scouting.org and make sure in your note you are addressing all programs.

      • Deaf Scouter // May 23, 2014 at 5:34 pm // Reply

        Thanks Bill for the email info!! I did the Google to find the main man’s email but still no reply back. Will redirect it to yours given. THANKS again!!

  7. Bob Porell // May 22, 2014 at 8:56 am // Reply

    Hats off to Connecticut Rivers Council Scouters Dan Albert and Amy VonCulin. Two great Scouters who are committed to providing the best possible program for young people.

  8. just to echo the concerns about the webelos program changing halfway thru. let the webelos 1’s of 2014-2015 finish the program as it was designed the folllowing year, and then the 2015-2016 outgoing bear den can start webelos program with the new program (yes, it will be odd, with webelos 2’s finishing up the old program, but that’s life and at least it’s fair for those that are caught halfway thru)

  9. I’m guessing some of them work on the merchandising end of the program, and make something from it. I can’t find any other way to explain the raise in costs this new program will bring. Increases of $20-40 a year on top of increased initial costs (added to the recharter raises) is just going to drive more folks away than reinvigorate people.

  10. I had a “webelos powow” with a fellow long time cub scout mom last week (we both have just-aged-out sons who are Eagles, and have been leaders before, but this is our first time as Webelos leaders). We went over all of the old/new guidelines, and yes, there are a few areas of overlapping that will take some extreme creative genius to hide from the boys that they are doing exactly the same thing twice. The Citizen requirements are a perfect example, basically copycat badges two years in a row. I really wonder how that was overlooked? I also compared the religious requirements, and we decided we like the new AOL requirements, so we plan to encourage both of our dens to work on their religious award for Web 1 year, and then the new AOL requirements the second year.

    Another thing I’ve noticed through years of direct contact with the boys, is that I have been told by my districts and councils (we’ve been a part of 5 in 4 states), to always err on the side of the boy. Without any official explanation from National on how to blend the old and new for this one small group of scouts (brand new Webelos 1’s as of June 1, 2014), would it be wrong to ask the boys their input over finishing what they started, or start something new for the last few months of their Cub scout experience.

    My hope is that someone from that original group will hear our voices regarding our new Webelos 1’s and come up with either a transition plan for us (simply “use old book for web 1 year and new AOL requirements for second year” isn’t good enough, because of the Citizen overlap) or say “you leaders who know your boys, use your judgement and as long as you are Honest and trustworthy and the scouts get the best experience they can, and your plans focus on doing what’s best for the scout, then transition as you will”. I’m guessing from their silence on this matter, the unspoken message seems to lean towards the latter.

    • CPT Obvious // June 26, 2014 at 11:43 pm // Reply

      Well, if the boys did it once and have to do it again, it should be easy the second time around. You know how the current Webelos activity pins require re-earning belt loops? My boy had to do a bunch of them again, and got more out it the second time around. And it took like an afternoon to get six belt loops.

      • Yes, we’re considering the second Citizen activity more of a quick review. It won’t be for the younger kids, just for this year.

  11. “My hope is that someone from that original group will hear our voices regarding our new Webelos 1′s and come up with either a transition plan for us (simply “use old book for web 1 year and new AOL requirements for second year” isn’t good enough, because of the Citizen overlap) or say “you leaders who know your boys, use your judgement and as long as you are Honest and trustworthy and the scouts get the best experience they can, and your plans focus on doing what’s best for the scout, then transition as you will”. I’m guessing from their silence on this matter, the unspoken message seems to lean towards the latter.”

    Use good judgment. Have the boys earn Readyman while working on their Webelos Rank if you have a concern about making sure the boys have exposure to First Aid during their time in the Webelos and AoL programs. And note that new citizenship requirement for Arrow of Light is a little broader than the current Citizen activity badge.

    See which of the new adventures the boys in your den would like to earn. And above all, have a great time.

    Best,

    Ken (the guy in the picture above)

  12. Woo hoo!! Thank you for the fast response!! I’m working to make sure the boys have the best of the current program in the first year, followed by as smooth a transition to new requirements the second year.

  13. Just left Philmont, getting the 411 on the new program. WEBELOs will have the choice to start the new program or stay the course in the old program. The new program is really going to be exciting and the Den Leader books are awesome and will make leading much easier.

Join the conversation