How will the new Cub Scout program affect day camps this summer?

The new Cub Scout program arrives June 1, and it promises to offer year-round fun for boys and better support for adults.

That’s great, but what happens this summer with the Cub Scout day camp you’ve already started (or finished) planning? Do you need to throw out all that hard work and start from scratch?


The Cub Scout team posted some details at Scouting Wire that anyone involved with Cub Scout day camp will want to know.

Here are the takeaways:

1. Advancement shouldn’t be the focus of camp.

Day camps are, first and foremost, about fun. If advancement happens, great, but it shouldn’t be the focus of camp.

2. You can still use the Academics and Sports program this summer.

Yes, the Academics and Sports belt loops are going away in favor of the new and improved adventure loops.

But if your day camp is already planned using the current Cub Scout program, including the Academics and Sports belt loops, you don’t need to replan.

The Academics and Sports program will be discontinued, but it won’t disappear on June 1. The team behind your Scout Shop and understands the role of Academics and Sports belt loops and pins in day camp recognition and is committed to meeting your needs.

The Cub Scout team does recommend you check with your local council Scout Shop to make sure they are aware of your needs and have plans to meet them.

3. Or you can use the new Cub Scout program this summer.

Can’t wait to get started with all the fun adventures of the new Cub Scout program? I hear you.

The Cub Scout team offers these tips:

  • One of the methods of Cub Scouting is adult association. Research indicates that a long‐term relationship with a positive adult figure is a critical component for youth to develop into strong, resilient adults. In Cub Scouting this is accomplished by the den leader delivering a program of advancement in the den, focusing first on required adventures in the new program.
  • Focus day camp planning around elective adventures. There are 13 each for Tiger, Wolf and Bear and 18 shared for Webelos and Arrow of Light.
  • Any use of the required adventures at camp, while not recommended, should be channeled to “partials” – requirements which may be difficult for dens to accomplish on their own. Camps will also need to develop a method which meets the approval of your council advancement committee of communicating partials to den leaders who are responsible for signing off on advancement for the boys in their dens.
  • Think about Aquatics! Each rank has one elective which is aquatic related, either swimming or boating. Camps with appropriate facilities are uniquely suited to help dens deliver these adventures. Access to suitable facilities, trained instructors and appropriate supervision can be barriers to these activities. Council and district camps can help.

4. The Program Updates page is your source for the latest Cub Scout information.

I’ve said it before and will say it again: the BSA’s Program Updates page has become a must-visit site for the latest about the new Cub Scout program.

Photo from Flickr: Some rights reserved by JeffWicklein