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Say hey to Ethan, your boys’ new guide through Cub Scouting

ethan 2Next year, your Cub Scout pack will grow in size by one cool kid.

Ethan, the newest member of the Cub Scout team, will be a part of each adventure in your boys’ new Cub Scout handbooks.

He’ll always be a year older and one rank ahead of your Cub Scout readers, meaning he’ll speak to them like a friend. He’ll share encouragement, tips, anecdotes and even a few mistakes he made along the way — along with what he learned, of course.

When the volunteer-led Cub Adventure Team solicited illustration samples for Ethan, one submission stood out above the others. His uniform was perfect with everything in the right place. It’s almost as if the illustrator had Scouting experience.

He does. He’s an Eagle Scout.

Watch for Ethan as a Wolf in the Tiger handbook, a Bear in the Wolf handbook, and a Webelos Scout in the Bear handbook. As your boys work toward their Webelos and Arrow of Light ranks, Ethan, now a Boy Scout, will give them glimpses of the fun awaiting them as they transition to Boy Scouts.

Find more details, including some samplers of the new handbooks and den leader guides, at the scouting.org Program Updates page.

30 Comments on Say hey to Ethan, your boys’ new guide through Cub Scouting

  1. Committee Chair CS // May 22, 2014 at 3:18 pm // Reply

    Will they be changing the cover of the tiger book to match the tiger on the new tiger patch to be consistent?

    • Yes, it’s been changed.

  2. John Durkin // May 22, 2014 at 3:24 pm // Reply

    See now he would be cool for animated videos or tutorials or something like that. Showing off Scout skills and things of that nature. Looks great!

  3. Shoulda gone with Pedro.

  4. I hope this avatar doesn’t become a way out of the Adults Leading and Exampling. I still say there’s nothing like a uncle or dad or grandmom (SOMEBODY’S, doesn’t have to be mine…) with a coping saw and a piece of 1/4 inch plywood. Or a bowl of cookie dough. Or a finger pointing to a raccoon track.
    That’s what I remember of Cub Scouting, the adults giving me the example to follow, not the cartoon character .
    Isn’t Boy Scouts supposed to be “boy led”, not Cub Scouts?

  5. If Ethan is a Wolf where are all his belt loops?

    • Belt Loops are discontinued in May 2015.

      • Tiger, Wolf, and Bear will receive belt loops for each of the seven adventures plus any electives to earn their rank, their should be at least eight belt loops per rank.

      • If he is always one rank ahead, he should have belt loops. Maybe the pack could not afford them.

  6. What’s next? Printouts of “Ethan” on popsicle sticks so that he can go on the “adventures” with the boys (think “Flat Stanley”)?

    Sorry Akela, you’re old news.

  7. This is a neat idea. I can see a future cartoon character that can model the exact opposite behavior kids see on programming today and be relevant to their world.

  8. Jennifer Steelman // May 22, 2014 at 3:54 pm // Reply

    Love Ethan!! As a human character their age, the boys will have “someone” that they can identify with. By giving tips, sharing stories and experiences, and providing a glimpse into the next rank the boys will feel as if they are talking with another real scout. At the cub level it’s important for them to have peer guidance and that’s hard to get at this level. Den chiefs are great too. Don’t get me wrong. However it’s been harder and harder to get the older boys to come into packs consistently. Eager to see how the boys take to Ethan.

    • That someone to identify with, we have them. We call them den chiefs and they are real people with real experiences.

  9. My den will be half way through the Webelos program when this changes. I’ve figured out that they earn their Webelos badge under the old requirements, and the AOL under the new requirements. But if I compare the requirements, that means they will not be required to go through the Readyman/First Responder requirement either year. Am I missing something???

    • Since Webelos is really one 18 month program, your Webelos should be allowed to finish the program as it was when they started. Don’t know what the new guide says, but that would be the path that makes the most sense.

      You could always have your Webelos work hard and earn the badge and AOL in 12 months.

      • How do you get around the 6 month since finishing 4th grade requirement? So after June 1, 2015 they will be required to use the new AOL requirements. Must get all 4 core adventures.

        • Michelle // May 22, 2014 at 8:56 pm //

          You can’t stick with it – you have to change per the faq:

          Q: Just to be clear, I think the program update site says that my first-year Webelos Scouts will use
          the current program. When they transition to the second-year Webelos program in 2015, they
          will need to get the new book and earn their Arrow of Light Award under the redesigned
          program. Is that correct?
          A: Yes. Scouts beginning to work on their Webelos ranks in 2014 will use the current program. Not to
          worry, however; just focus on making a great program happen in 2014!

          Go through in one year? My understanding is that that is not the intent of the program.

        • Gayle Rider // May 23, 2014 at 7:06 pm //

          Being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints our Webelos program is only 1 yr. The boys start Boy Scouting when they are 11. It is totally doable.

  10. Does he have an Akela? Who will supervise him when we go camping? Who will be his buddy to comply with the buddy system? What if a den has too many Scouts and we have split a den and no one volunteers to be a den leader because of Ethan? Now I have to plan for one more family (Ethan’s) to come to pack events, and there will be one more family to not volunteer, not help build a pinewood derby, not sell popcorn, and not do all the things that make the pack go.

    At least with the animals, I could always say that animals aren’t covered under the G2SS. I never expected them to help becase, y’know, they’re animals. I always wondered why the wolf was so skinny and the bear was so fat. My gosh, that bear must have eaten too many Kit-Kat Cakes made to look like barrels and 6 inch frosting on Pinterest-inspired cup cakes.

    • You can’t stick with it – you have to change per the faq:

      Q: Just to be clear, I think the program update site says that my first-year Webelos Scouts will use
      the current program. When they transition to the second-year Webelos program in 2015, they
      will need to get the new book and earn their Arrow of Light Award under the redesigned
      program. Is that correct?
      A: Yes. Scouts beginning to work on their Webelos ranks in 2014 will use the current program. Not to
      worry, however; just focus on making a great program happen in 2014!

      Go through in one year? My understanding is that that is not the intent of the program.

  11. How come the tiger on the new handbook is the old logo and not the new one to match the new rank patch the rest do

  12. Bert Bender // May 22, 2014 at 11:28 pm // Reply

    I gotta say … I think the idea of Ethan is Brilliant. Yeah, “akela” in Cub Scouting is an adult, but — really — peer to peer connection is key, the most successful recruiting happens when one bud tells another “ya gotta do this with me”. And Ethan as a Scout “one year older” or “one rank up”, reaching out to the near peers behind him … brilliant. This could catch on. Ethan in Boy’s Life? Yeah. Hangin’ with Pedro? Sure, why not. Staying one year older/wiser … Brilliant.

    • Never known an Ethan that stuck with the program. They all drop out. Brilliant.

  13. Would be cool if Ethan stayed with them for the first year of Boy Scouts too but as a less central figure. Just someone to tell them cool stuff (or remind the slightly older boys what they might want to be doing or how they should be treating an New Scout). i certainly would not want it to replace a good Troop Guide or Patrol Leader, Instructor, or Senior Patrol Leader but it would be nice to have at least passive continuity until the new Scout gels.

  14. Ann Perrone // May 23, 2014 at 8:13 pm // Reply

    Um. Can we get Ethan to recruit a few diverse buddies? Cub Scouting in inner cities, like Philadelphia, in not just for ….well….White kids. If we want to grow Scouting in under served populations they need representation.

    • He will have some friends, I’m told.

    • How about some friends that came out of the closet?

  15. Melissa Becker Cascade Pacific Council Pack 874 // August 7, 2014 at 5:53 pm // Reply

    My son, Carston, a Wolf Cub Scout is not in favor of Ethan. He really likes the animal characters better. He says the boy is out of proportion, his head is too big, he is not good looking. He wrinkles his nose up if I show him the picture or even mention his name. I was did not influence him, I showed him the picture without any emotion or words. Have you asked the kids what they like?

  16. I can see merit in the “Ethan” concept, although I think the current cartoon characters (Baloo and friends) could easily be adapted to fulfill a similar purpose. However, I wonder if it might be a mistake to select a name from real life. By choosing a nonfiction name, we introduce the inherent risks of unforeseen name association.

    First, the name “Ethan” has particular problems due to its recent surge in popularity. Ethan was the 8th most popular name given to boys born in the US in the 2000s, and by 2010 it was second only to the name Jacob in popularity, so an increasing number of boys eligible for cub scouting now carry the name. Even one boy named Ethan in a pack creates the potential for significant confusion. When Akela speaks of Ethan, is he or she referring to a flesh-and-blood boy or the illustrated exemplar? [As a cubmaster, myself, I am already challenged when my pack has two or more boys with the same first name.] Introducing a character with the popular name is likely to create unnecessary problems for Akela and for boys named Ethan.

    It’s easy to understand why “Ethan” might have been chosen as the name of cub scouting’s new iconic character. Ethan is derived from the Hebrew meaning “strong, enduring.” There was an Ethan (the Ezraite), who’s great wisdom is implied in the Old Testament Bible book of Kings (1 Kings 4:31). Also, there was Ethan Allen, the American Revolutionary War hero. So, the association with strength, wisdom, and bravery would seem to make “Ethan” a good name choice for the guide to a character-building program.

    Unfortunately, real names can become liabilities. What if another fictional “Ethan” pops up in our culture, or a real-life person, such as a celebrity named Ethan, does something inappropriate? [Take the name Dennis, for example, which grew in popularity beginning in the 1920s, peaking as the 16th most popular boy’s name in 1949, before declining sharply after “Dennis the Menace” began appearing in a comic strip and TV series in the 1950s. The name ranked 455 last year.]

    By contrast, the “Akela” moniker works because it comes from an admirable fictional non-human character (in Kipling’s “Jungle Book”), making it unlikely to pop up with negative connotations, and unlikely to be a parent’s choice for a child’s first name. [Although, I’ve read that Akela, pronounced with the long “e” sound, can be a girl’s name in Hawaii.] Wouldn’t it be better to use a similar strategy to name cub scouting’s new guide? If not a fictional name, how about an unlikely or extremely rare first name, such as “Kipling,” or “Kip?” Perhaps we could start our own positive trend of parents wanting to name their boys Kip.

    • Anyone that I have shown “Ethan” to has not liked him. The kids don’t and the parents don’t. I agree with the last cubmaster. The point of the animals was to be non-ethnical (is that a word?). Why change something that has worked for so many years? It is already confusing talking about “Ethan” with my Wolf Cub because he has a friend named Ethan. This is one change I am not looking forward to.

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