This topic contains 31 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by Trixie 8 months ago.
June 17, 2015 at 5:20 am #41713
Our pack does a summer program and have started with the new adventures. I expected some negative reacting to the camping requirements–most of our parents do NOT want to camp. We have Bears that have NEVER camped and they have been with us since Tigers. We camp 2 to 4 times a year. Some of those parents are talking about pulling their son’s because camping is now an advancement requirement. Other parents are looking to find a pack that has a charter organization that does not allow camping. How can there be requirements that cannot be universally enforced?
I have also had parents upset with the heavy focus on religion. Surprisingly it was the parents that are active in their Church that had negative opinions about the increased religion requirements. They feel like Scouting is pushing boundaries. As one dad put it, he sends his kid to school to for academics, to scouts for leadership, community service, and outdoor skills and Church for religion. The world would be a better place if everyone “stayed in their own lane”.
Several parents are upset at the lack of citizenship requirements, less flag etiquette. The pack will still do them, but by not having a requirement it is perceived that it has been deemed less important.
My personal opinion/disappointments in the new program (I have NOT shared these with the parents as I do not want to influence their opinions and add to the complaints)
—the “transition” or should I say lack of transition for Webelos currently in the Webelos program. They were treated like they just don’t matter. This could have been an opportunity for the boys to get their first chance at guiding their scouting experience by evaluating the pros and cons of each program and choosing their course……. If they can’t get the recognitions from the “old” program as we have been told by our council, what options do they really have?
—If “Arrow of Light” is a rank, then make it a rank. Give it it’s own book and it’s own requirements. If you are an “Arrow of Light” just because you are a 5th grade cub scout, it diminishes the significance of earning the award/rank–
—Why don’t all ranks have “denner” requirements? It would add continuity and better prepare the cubs for Boy Scout.
—I feel like the Tiger program has been dumbed-down—Earn your stripes: bring in something orange. This is first grade not pre-k.
—If feel like some of the changes were made for the sake of making a change not bettering the program. Many of the activities that the boys enjoyed have been eliminated.
June 19, 2015 at 5:36 am #41879
We have not heard from parents yet but our leaders want to know if most packs are set up like the “model packs” in the den meeting guides? All of the packs in our area have their meetings at their Charter org all on the same night at the same time or with ranks alternating nights or meeting times (Ex tigers meet on Monday, wolves on Tues etc. another has tigers and wolves from 6-7 and bears and Webelos 7-8–Most meet at the same time and place.)
Some leaders find the plans hard to use when “we don’t do it that way”
Did the group that put all of the materials, programming together get information on how packs operate and what the boys and leaders want and need?
July 9, 2015 at 6:13 am #42825
I do not like the new requirements and am glad my son is a Webelos 2 and can continue with the old program. I cannot say I would have stayed in scouting with the new program (and may not continue in boy scouting when their new program comes out!).
I and our other leaders (Sunday School teachers all) disagree with the heavy-handed religious requirements. Children under 10 are much too young to make a decision about whether they want to follow God, but we believe they should be encouraged to spend time around other Christians and hopefully by the time they are teenagers they will want to find out more about God. Hitting them (or their parents) over the head with religion will turn non-believers (or non-affiliated believers) off both religion and scouting.
Our leaders have looked through the new handbook and we foresee that about 1/8th of our scouts will earn their new ranks, because others cannot, for various reasons, attend activities outside of our regular meeting time, and certainly most won’t go camping! If I asked our COR, he would readily agree to forbid camping, but that would be unfair for those of us who love camping (we go pack camping 4 times a hear, but it’s always only the same few families).
Basically, if an activity doesn’t happen during our regularly-scheduled meeting time, it doesn’t happen. It was hard enough coordinating the Tiger trip to the TV/newspaper station, what with different schools having different holidays, other extra-curricular activities, siblings’ activities, and they’re only here on certain weeks because the other weeks they are with the other parent because their parents are divorced (or never married alas).
The BSA is assuming that all scouts come from intact families, they don’t do other activities, they don’t have any siblings, and they have lots of spare money to afford the field trips.
We are also very upset by the loss of the Academic & Sports Belt Loop program. We have many homeschoolers who use it as a way of rewarding their hard work at school. and also for recognizing our regular-schoolers for all their extra-curricular activities.
We always hold a few pack meetings before the B&G where we work on different belt loops so that every boy can come up at the ceremony to receive an award. Being a small pack, we work on these together … we do not have the leadership (or the energy!) to do 5 different electives!
Furthermore, we are a small pack, and we rely on the belt loops & pins to build pack cohesion. After our B&G, we spend our spring and summer earning belt loops and the boys love them. Every meeting, we earn another sports belt loop in the community playground. I know some packs complain about the belt loops, but so what? No pack was required to participate in the program, so if you don’t like it, don’t do it, but now the BSA is saying, Tough!
When it came to allowing homosexuals into scouting, at least the BSA gave us the courtesy of a survey. Why didn’t we get a chance to vote on the new program? This is a very profound change and our opinion should have been sought. Well, I’m voting now and don’t like it!
July 10, 2015 at 2:15 pm #42978
The religious adventures were not intended to be done at the Den level. While they can be, the idea is to have them complete the adventure at home with the parents (Akela). The parents can sign off and it’s done. The camping requirement is the same “Attend a Pack or Family Campout”. The Scout can go on an outing with his family and if the parents want to say it’s camping then they can sign off on the requirement. It’s always been that way with Cub Scout advancement. My suggestion is plan your year,conduct the program and send home any requirements the boy misses for the parents to sign off. The families that Scouting is a priority to will always have good attendance. The others will participate when they want to.
July 15, 2015 at 6:23 pm #43129
We used to do belt loops during the summer too. It was a chance for the dens to interact and give the den leaders a break from a lot of planning. We also didn’t have to worry about a den having low attendance due to vacations.
We have families that flat out will not camp, but they would be willing to lie on take home assignments so their son would make rank. Is that what we really want to promote?
The requirements feel more academic and less active. We were told there would be more “doing things” less talking. There are activities some dens are looking forward to. Our Wolves are very disappointed and many are not sure they want they want to stick with it.
While we are discussing program changes, does it bother anyone else the Outdoor Ethics that replaces Leave No Trace is predominately done on the computer instead of being outside?
September 16, 2015 at 2:31 pm #45602
Too much religion! (duty to god)
The requirements are still too much like school, these kids have plenty of class time and school time, they ned to be active, outside, moving around.
The program itself is still behind the times, it is better but still not on pace with the way most units operate.
The Den meeting and Pack meeting agendas are too long, I really wonder if they tested these on real packs.
November 12, 2015 at 11:25 am #47955
Completely agree with this. I just told my parents to do this at home and I will check it off no questions asked. It feels very invasive to do otherwise. Not a position I want to be in as a den leader. At least half the kids in my den attend religious classes separately. Do we really need to enforce this in scouting too?
September 21, 2015 at 1:20 pm #45895
After the first meeting it was a consensus that the Webelos are getting robbed. The new program has the Webelos as being very little difference from Cub Scouts. They are NOT NOT NOT being prepared to be boy Scouts. There is no drive for them to be leaders.
The Arrow of Light has been diminished from the first cumulative advancement making it the highest honor in Cub Scouts to being just another Rank. This is very wrong and most parents are upset by this.
The idea that each Belt Loop / Adventure has to be done as a group, with the group creates another problem. Each Adventure is based on 4 meetings. There are 7 Adventures. That means the program takes 7 Months!! That means having Blue and Gold in January or February and crossing over is not possible following the guidance. It also discourages the Dens / Patrols from having meetings that are not related to advancement. Christmas Caroling, free play or sports, Thanksgiving Potluck meeting all interfere with Advancement. That is not the intent of Scouting. They are making the program more of a School Year long activity. The parents don’t want this either.
Our discussion indicated that the program needed to be updated not re-built. It needed to have more modern belt loops and requirements not a complete re-design. The program needed to be refined so that the Webelos finished more in line with they way they should start Boy Scout. Webelos should understand youth leadership, patrols, etc. These new adventures do not do that for them. Look at “Build Your Own Hero”. That module is horrible. Great message but it is boring. Too easy for most every kid that tried it. It is just not a well thought out program. It is more like a half-day long activity that a School room teacher would use.
Overall, it feels like this new program was written by professional teachers, psychologists and curriculum writers that understand very little about Scouting. The new program should have been rolled out Year by Year starting with the Tigers. It should have been rebuilt on top of the the existing program and not a wholesale replacement. Most of us are very unhappy.
The only good thing that can be said about it from myself and the leaders in our pack is that the Leaders guide is much better and much easier. Any parent can setup and run a meeting if they can read. The downside to that is that the Leaders guide and the Scout Handbook don’t seem to agree in many cases. Look at the Bears Game night lesson plan. It involves 2 games that are not in the Bear Scout handbook. It also doesn’t explain the games that are in the Bear Scout Handbook.
BSA has really failed on this one. I am not usually a negative person. I am not afraid of change. I have been in Scouting since 1976 and I have seen a lot of changes in Scouting. This is not a good one and they need to fix it fast before we lose more Scouts.
November 9, 2015 at 11:19 pm #47881
The new Bear Necessities Requirement 1 states, “While working on your Bear badge, camp overnight with your pack…”. Our Chartered Org DOES allow camping, and most of my Bears have camped overnight. However, I have one-two families asking to sub out their family camping experiences instead. No strong reasons why they can’t attend our pack campouts either fall or spring. It seems to be lack of effort or willingness to stretch themselves a bit (they own camping gear!) as the rest of us have done. I am not inclined to budge on this, as so many other families have made the effort to attend a pack campout. Any guidance on this would be very much appreciated. Thank you.
November 11, 2015 at 8:01 pm #47952
They may have reasons to camp without the pack that they are not willing to share. This is cub scouts, not Boy Scouts so if they try to do their best that should be ok. I would not hold back on a belt loop or a badge if the parents don’t want to take their sons camping with the group. The boys have already missed a great fellowship opportunity I wouldn’t punish them further. Is it about the spirit of the program or the literal meaning of the requirement?
November 15, 2015 at 10:54 pm #48023
I was a bit hesitant with the new program as I was reading the new requirements at first. Now that my Wolves have had a couple months with the new format, they seem to like it. I follow the Den Leaders guide for organization, but I feel free to make changes where I need to. I feel like the Adventure Loop program mirrors the Merit Badge program well.
Now I did like that the boys were able to do belt loops, but it seemed so easy that it wasn’t a challenge. Some boys were getting a dozen at each Pack meeting. Now with the harder requirements the boys are getting just a couple Loops a month. To keep the ‘instant satisfaction’ feeling going, Ive tried to include “awards other than rank” along the way so the boys earn patches and loops. Some awards such as World Conservation Award, Nova Award, Emergency Preparedness, and Leave No Trace fit in naturally with the program, but only if you know to look for them. (In the future, I would hope for at least sidenotes that one more requirement here and there got you an additional award.)
Despite my uneasiness at the change, I still promoted the new program like it was the best thing I ever laid my eyes on. I think that really helped with buy-in from parents and scouts alike.
December 2, 2015 at 9:02 am #48266
The required campout for the wolf badge is disappointing. Apparently my kid won’t get his wolf badge at the blue and gold banquet because he missed the fall campout. If we miss the spring campout does that mean he gets no wolf badge? We never went camping when I was a Cub Scout in the late 70s. We did lots of hikes and fishing though. Plus day camp. Also I feel like the pack and den leaders should give out more recognition and awards. My kid hasn’t received a single belt loop yet this year and he’s missed only missed one den meeting and the fall campout. I don’t get it. I guess I just feel like we should be constantly giving recognition, badges, pins, loops, whatever. And we don’t do that for some reason. Not sure why.
December 3, 2015 at 10:23 am #48285
Yep, I didn’t camp when I was a cub either. On the other hand, there was this six month gap after cub-scouting until I was invited into a troop! I really think I would have enjoyed summer camp, but everyone had it in their heads that cubs wouldn’t be ready for it. 🙁
Don’t sweat your son’s wolf badge. If he gets it fine. If he doesn’t, encourage him to read his Webelos book really well and make a solid plan to earn his badge next year.
Try to make the spring camp-out for the fun of it.
March 3, 2016 at 1:47 am #50323
Blue and gold has passed. My son has one belt loop so far. If he doesn’t get his wolf badge at the end of this school year I’m definitely pulling him from scouting. Not going to “not sweat” not getting the wolf badge. It’s the whole point of attending all the den meetings, pack meetings, selling popcorn, pinewood derby, community service, etc. If some small technicality (missing campout because of baseball) prevents him from getting his wolf badge then we will be done with scouting. I will pull him without hesitation. Recognition is the key here, it’s being held back for some strange reason. I’m not liking this new program. When he came in as a Tiger last year the program was very similar to what I did as a kid in the late 70s/early 80s. Now, with the new changes, it’s different. These are 2nd grade boys. Regular attendance at the meetings and participation in the normal neighborhood activities should suffice to attain rank at the end of the year. The pack leadership better have the vision to be flexible and willing to provide recognition to these little boys. Otherwise I predict our pack will dissolve. It’s not looking good. 3 or 4 boys in our den haven’t shown up for the past 3-4 den meetings. I think one may not be back at all. We keep going, but still only one little belt loop. This new program is just not very rewarding for my kid, or it appears the other kids in his den. Still hopeful this changes, but it’s not looking good.
I guess there is always chess club or something else like that he can do besides scouting. Overall I’d say the changes have zapped him of his excitement. I mean one measly belt loop so far all year. Come on. Something is wrong with this.
January 11, 2016 at 10:09 am #49108
Everyone keeps bring up Blue and Gold and not getting their ranks. Blue and Gold was never intended to be where the Boys get their ranks. Blue and Gold is intended to be a celebration of Cub scouting on its birthday month with fun and fellowship.
They scouts should get their ranks when they earn them. The new program is intended to run the full school year and is designed for the boys to get their ranks toward the end of the cycle. This is intended to keep them more engaged, have more time on a subject, and have more fun. If a den leader is pushing to have the boys get their ranks at Blue and Gold, they are doing a disservice to their den and cutting corners on the activity badges or at least doing only a minimal job at presenting the material and cutting out some of the fun.
I do agree that it is difficult to get a new AOL scout through crossover with our cutting out some of the fun to get the requirements done. That is unless they were in Webelos the prior year.
January 28, 2016 at 3:35 pm #49566
As a parent – I am not fond of the new program. I do like that it won’t let den leaders check out on the boys because they have to have more and regular meetings to finish everything. But I don’t like that the boys have little choice as to what THEY want to work on as far as electives.
As far as the camping requirement goes our pack is great and has 4 or 5 a year to choose from. However that in itself created challenges. Getting all the Bears on one trip together has proved impossible. One of the boys is in a family who can’t or won’t camp. We have decided to use the option to have a day long outdoor activity to fulfil the requirement. I actually think it might work better because in our group the Pack usually keeps the boys very busy most of time meaning that they would have to miss out on those activities in order to do the ones required. I like that because I don’t believe that a boy should miss out on getting his rank because he is unable to do one small part. In the past if a boy missed something he has always been able to make it up in some way. I would hope that the BSA hasn’t become so inflexible that boys can’t make their rank if they have things like family emergencies or an illness, or who knows what else. We attended the first camping trip of the year but missed the 2nd. My parents were in town until the day before and I have been dealing with a torn meniscus in my knee so camping wasn’t something I was sure I wanted to do anyway. When the weather called for severe storms I made my decision that we weren’t going. (I did consider making the 3 hour each way drive to go for the day, but was in too much pain.) If that had been the trip that we had to attend to get his rank we would have missed out. And I would have quit scouts if I had been told that all my son’s hard work on everything else counted for nothing because he couldn’t attend one thing.
The last 3 weeks we had boys start the den meeting with presentations for one of their requirements. I think that worked out great. Next month on things that the boys can work on at home we are going to do 2 or 3 of them in a meeting. (They have been working on them over the last month while they got their whittling chip and did some of the related things in the meetings.) I like that they will be able to do that, however it makes the program disjointed instead of flowing naturally from one item to another. And way too many things that feel like schoolwork.
Some of the things that seem like they would be the most fun our pack wants to do a less involved version. I do not like that. I was told that it’s because we have very limited funds, however my feeling is that it would cost less to do the more time consuming version. I am planning to advocate for that with the leaders at the next meeting. (The top dog wasn’t there last week.) I know that I don’t want my son attending a carnival and showing the tigers how to play games rather than holding a carnival. We had carnivals when I was a child and we learned so much from holding them. When I read the requirement it was one of the things I was excited about this year, so I wasn’t thrilled when I heard of the planned change. I think a huge part of the problem is there is too much of a learning curve. Too much of a sudden change. It would have been 100 times better to have rolled it out in stages allowing boys and leaders already in the program to continue with the version they started on. Bringing Tigers into the new version.
Also HATE the fact that Arrow of Light will have no prestige. My son has been excited since joining to work hard so that he can earn the AOL. I spent 2 years telling him that it is something special and that not every boy can get it, just the ones who work extra hard and go the extra mile. He hasn’t realized yet what the change means. He’s been disappointed that he can’t finish the belt loops that he was working on or the ones that he had planned to work on. I don’t want him to feel like even more has been taken away. He is very much that kid who has an overblown sense of justice and what is fair. I’ve already heard him say a dozen times since we heard about the new program “But, that’s not fair!” or “Don’t they care about the boys who have been working really hard on this?”
The sad thing is that I believe that many adults were hopeful when they heard about the update on the program. I’m guessing that most like me believed that they were adding updated belt loops that fit the times or that had been overlooked in the past. Tweaking the program to be a little more modern. Not an entire revamp, one size fits all, conform or be denied, program that it has turned into.
January 11, 2016 at 3:00 pm #49110
That’s something I’ve never understood–the obsession to finish with a rank badge in Cub Scouts before the Blue and Gold. The Blue and Gold should be a celebration of Scouting, not another awards ceremony. In addition, there are at least three more months of Cub Scouting before the end of the year. IMHO, the goal should be to finish the rank badge (i.e. Tiger Cub, Wolf or Bear) in May, not February. I’m glad the Pack I was associated with didn’t do that silliness.
December 20, 2015 at 7:03 pm #48750
I am a den leader for wolves, bear and Arrow of light. I just feel that this program is made for the super scouter. I miss the choices in achievements. I have a special needs scouter that physically can not complete some of the new adventures. At least in the old program, I had choices that were achievable with little modification. Now, I feel like I have to redesign the program and it is more obvious to him. Also, there is so much overlap with in a rank, that if you miss one event or a camp out is canceled due to weather conditions, you have to wait on completing the adventure for months, if it is possible at all. Example, if you are sick and miss the Bears Carnival for the pack… then what… Things happen. There should be other options. Some of the requirements are very time consuming to plan and take much longer than a meeting period. Also, the Arrow of Lights really needs to be just Scouter and Camping. Interviewing troops and coordinating with Boy Scout Troops is a job within itself. They really have to be in the Troops by March to be ready for camps. They need time to adjust to the troop and bond with the new boys. Most of my AOL boys have earned Arrow of Light twice (through the old program and new), but I am not looking forward to doing it when my Bears and Wolves go through. It is very stressful to plan.
January 9, 2016 at 1:12 pm #49035
We have been working with the new program for a while now – completed 2 Adventures & supposedly worked on Duty to God with their families over the holidays. I don’t have a problem with with camping requirements or Duty to God, but I do have some issues:
1. Doesn’t work well for small Pack with multi-level dens. There was a BSA “alternative delivery” publication for the old program. The Den Leader Guides don’t work for multi-levels. (We have one den with 3 Bears, 1 4th grade Webelos & 1 5th grade Webelos- working 3 different levels)
2. Lack of choice in selecting requirements. Too many “do ALL of these” and not enough “do a plus either b, c or d”
3. Some requirements NOT realistic- and impossible to make up “as a family”, when the requirement states “with your den or Pack”. Example given above – Bear Carnival in Grin and Bear It – also Wolf Presentation to Pack Committee in Council Fire.
4. Webelos II not likely to finish Arrow of Light in time to have ceremony at Blue & Gold & not likely to be ready to bridge in March in order to attend summer camp with the Troop
5. Any timeline on revisions?
January 10, 2016 at 3:15 am #49037
Now that the B&G is approaching, I must say that my apprehensions were borne out. Except for the den leaders’ sons, not a single scout has earned an adventure loop because no boy has come for an entire month straight. Our only ranks awarded will be Arrow of Light for our Webelos II, but they’d completed most of the requirements last year.
We’ve had it with the new program. February will be dedicated to earning some Nova awards. At least the science is fun.
The Sam Houston council has this program for small packs; it is fun and makes it easy for our small pack to coordinate all the dens:
January 10, 2016 at 9:42 pm #49097
Thanks you for this. I was working on something similar, but I like the way this is set up.
January 12, 2016 at 7:54 am #49127
I also wish there were more options for the various adventures. If my twins can’t make the den campout, then they don’t get the Arrow of Light award even if everything else is completed? There is one boy who can’t walk well, and I don’t see a Walkabout or stronger, faster, higher alternative.
January 15, 2016 at 8:44 am #49340
Our Webelos used the new requirements for Arrow of Light. We had one campout for Camper. Stayed the whole day and for campfire program. Didn’t camp overnight so we could attend church the next a.m. I am now told son can’t get his Arrow of Light since he didn’t stay overnight. I thought the Camper Adventure said you had to “pitch a tent”, but unlike the boy scout Tenderfoot Rank, it doesn’t state “sleep in a tent you pitched.” Any guidance on this in the Webelos/Arrow of Light Leader Guide? Did I mess this up?
January 28, 2016 at 9:14 am #49554
Den Leader Scott
This is my 4th year as a Den Leader now at the Webelos 1 Level. Although I like the program changes, there is a major hole in the program. It it taking away unit cohesion and cooperation between Dens.
The new adventures are extremely Den-Specific and offers little opportunity for Join activities with other dens. Under the Belt-Loop program, we could do join activities with other dens which allowed leaders to fellowship, swap ideas and have an extra set of eyes on the boys. Now everyone is pretty much on an island.
Sure, there are a number of special awards that can be worked on, but with the new adventures for each den it may take some time for people to get settle with the adventures.
Perhaps bringing back a limited belt loop program that is modern and that all den-levels could do wouldn’t be a bad thing. It would help at Council Level Camp outs as well
February 4, 2016 at 8:22 am #49683
The reason my pack tries to have all ranks earned by the B&G ( late March) is because baseball starts in April and that means boys can’t attend any weekend activities, and many meetings (plus, what sane boy wants to go to a den meeting when the weather starts to turn nice and the sun sets later?).
The new 9-month program is great for super-scouters who don’t have any other activities, but there are way too many requirements to be completed! None of the boys in our pack will earn their rank (or even a single adventure loop) because nobody has been to every single meeting (let alone every meeting a month). There is no flexibility in this new program, and too many activities for kids who already have a lot of other activities (football takes all of September & October away, and basketball and soccer seasons last forever).
I get it that this program is fun, but how enjoyable is it for the boys when they can’t earn their recognition?
Where are the councils that tested this program out before they foisted it upon the nation?
February 25, 2016 at 7:13 pm #50216
I have been a den leader for 6 years, starting with my 10y.o. about to cross over to Boy Scouts and I am now a Wolf den leader with my 7y.o.
I am having a hard time adjusting to the new program. The requirements seem harder and more abstract. With the old requirements, the rank requirements seemed a bit easier and we were usually done at this point in the year; we would then work on a belt loop at each meeting or just do some kind of fun trip. Now, we have kids most of the way done with some of the advancements but we just haven’t been able to finish them off because of timing, other demands, etc.
While I like the emphasis on camping, I’m not sure that should be required. Not all of my kids are able to camp (e.g. one has behavioral problems so his mom won’t let him camp without her, and another is being raised by a grandmother who needs medical equipment to sleep so she won’t camp with him), so I don’t know how they will advance.
Anyway, I’m looking for ideas on how to manage the new program. In the meantime, I have been just trying to interesting den meetings that somewhat relate to the requirements.
March 4, 2016 at 8:11 am #50360
My biggest issue with the new program is with the Wolf community service requirement. 8 year olds are supposed to identify a problem in their community, come up with a project and present it to the pack committee. How is this age appropriate? Especially when Webelos and Arrow of Light only have to do a project under the direction of parents, leaders, or religious organization. This seems very backward and is a regression not a progression as they ae doing more when they are younger.
Other parents have left the pack because there is too much “homework” and extra time needed to complete requirements. The pack carnival put on by the Bear Den was way more involved than expected and the boys really did not want to do it.
March 7, 2016 at 1:30 pm #50405
For the Earth Rocks Adventure #3c page 344 Webelos book, I can’t get my limestone to bubble with vinegar. It is Dolomite limestone from the Niagra Escarpment. Tried heating up 5% acidity vinegar and powderizing the rock, but no bubbles. Does Dolomite limestone not react as well as other limestones?
March 23, 2016 at 7:10 pm #51389
I have equally negative reactions from parents. Some have dropped out because of it.
My boys’ parents refuse to camp. My parents refuse to get involved with our
community projects. I have offered them 4 person tents, extra mess kits, even offering to get the trailer to other locations to make it simpler to load before trips.
The new program issues as in above posts are the same here. The more religious the family in their own lives, the more the push back, and I actually agree with them. The borders are overlapping way to much for me too.
I don’t feel comfortable teaching that loop. I left it to the parents to sign off on the requirements as they felt fit. I simply initialed and recorded the advancement.
This year it seemed overly difficult. I have been told by my Council that I should just follow the Leader’s guide. Umm, No. I can think for myself.
What I see is National, following the nation’s lead in education, of dumbing down the whole program.
I do not need to read a script to teach the boys. Why did I drop the money on Wood Badge, all the UofS courses, and all the other classes I took, and continue to take. What’s the point? I can take YPT, and read a script.
Boys today crave the same things they craved 20+ years ago. And this program is providing none of it.
April 8, 2016 at 5:53 pm #52157
I tried to follow the leader guide this year. I finally gave up and used the boys’ handbook because there was way too much info to wade through in the leader guide. Not a bad resource for some things but there was no way to do it all.
The standard is still “Do your best,” right? So we have done our best. We have done most of the requirements for Wolf and in some cases have tweaked them to fit our boys’ needs and pack’s parameters. There were no pack campouts scheduled during the school year, so we did a “daytime campout” to fulfill that requirement. A hike, a campfire show, lunch, and marshmallows toasted over campstoves because it was too windy for a campfire. For the service project, we read the book’s suggestions for the boys and had them brainstorm a list of things to do, and vote. They each came up with a sentence about why we’re doing that project and will read those sentences to the committee. The requirement sounded too advanced, so we adapted it to fit second graders. I think we just have to be able to adapt each requirement to fit our kids’ abilities and what we can realistically accomplish during the year. If the boys tried their best and gave a good stab at learning what they should have, they’ve earned their rank! And we have had great attendance and lots of excitement this year.
As for religion, with Wolves it seemed easy. Our CO is a church, so families expect a little religion. We went to a veterans’ memorial for the place of reverence. If kids didn’t go, they could go to any place that fit their family’s beliefs.
Next year I’m going to focus a little more on having the boys get to know each other and doing more games/physical activities, and a little less time trying to meet all the requirements to the letter. I think not using the leader’s guide except when I need inspiration will help me feel that I don’t need to fit EVERYTHING in. . . just stick to the basics that are in the boys’ handbook.
August 31, 2016 at 7:51 am #56682
I’ve been a leader since Tiger and my boys are now starting their second year of Webelos –> earning Arrow of Light.
We have most everything planned out for the Rank requirements, but every time I flip through the book for a nice, light adventure to work on, I feel over-whelmed.
Some of it feels like school. Research this, present that. and then piles of other bitty things. It’s too much.
My oldest son went through the last program and I don’t remember it being so tough. Maybe they didn’t do everything, I wasn’t a leader back then.
I am feeling like “doing our best” and having fun during our last year, so I can’t imagine that I will follow the program to a “T”.
One more note about the scouting program (past & present) that I’ve noticed.
From the beginning, I was very diligent about following the program and doing all the requirements. I have had MANY kids drop out over the years. Although I have 11 boys in my Den/patrol now, I only have 3 original Tigers…one being my son.
The leader after me, hardly follows the program. It’s all fun and games and everyone makes rank. He has all of his original kids, plus some.
I think the book should be a guide, I wish I found a better balance between requirements & fun sooner…
September 22, 2017 at 8:33 am #76066
We are in AOL year and I have been with these boys since Tiger. Ya’ll, there is serious burn out here. The boys are all engaged in multiple activities outside of scouting and homework in 5th grade is ridiculous. Siblings, who once loved to attend with their brothers, now have their own interests. We are struggling to march this den to rank and by “we” I mean the parents, the boys, and the leadership.
Tomorrow is the pack camp out. We have parents who cannot stay over because of medical concerns or because they work nights. We as a den are enforcing the literal “pitch a tent” requirement instead. We have gotten down to finding whatever loop holes work.
It doesn’t feel joyful when you embrace loopholes every time. It feels like one doesn’t care. These parents want thoughtfulness, care, and joy. The new program robs them of that..
November 18, 2017 at 12:25 am #77566
Weblows is a tough year for many boys and parents. They are about to achieve the highest rank in cub scouts “The Arrow of Light”. While we all have work, school and personal obligations it is up to the parents to keep pushing the boys to complete the requirements. If a parent has to work, try buddying the boys up in a tent so that he can stay and have another parent take him home after the hike/campout. Medical conditions must always be taken into account and special circumstances can be taken. If I can suggest, don’t give up. The program is just as much about the boys is it is about the leaders. Cub Scouts is “Family Scouting” while boy scouts is “Individual Scouting” with help of course.
I wish I could say it gets easier, but it doesn’t. There is a reason why only 5% of all scouts make Eagle and only .5% ever make Sea Scout Quartermaster.
Now, I will say we have the same issues in our pack. Attendance is less than par and that makes is difficult on the boys who need advancement requirements. For the boys who cannot attend, we have them do the task at home and then report back to the den leader via phone or in person. Keep in mind, its the spirit of the award or task that makes the achievement.
If you want to more information on how to accelerate requirements or substitute, you should contact your district advancement chairman. He/She should be able to clear up any concerns and may even attend one of your meetings to discuss the topic.
Best of luck and I hope all your boys achieve EAGLE.