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Combining Bears and Wolves

Tracy asked this question:

Has anyone had experience combining the wolf and bear dens (due to low numbers)? Is it possible and what is the best way to do this?

I have heard of some dens which do this.  The Wolves did the Wolf achievements and the Bears did the Bear achievements, but they worked on similar achievements at den meetings. For example, the group worked on Wolf Achievement 2 – Your Flag and Bear Achievement 3 – What Makes America Special? at a den meeting.  If you look at the Wolf and Bear achievements and electives, you will see that many work well together.

Also check out this BSA Delivery System Manual. It is designed for Packs which for one reason or another find they need to have dens work together on achievements.  At each meeting Tigers, Bears, Wolves, and Webelos do the same activities, but they are all completing achievements for their rank. While this is a little different than your situation, you might find that looking at the meeting plans gives you some ideas about how to work the achievements for both ranks together.

Does anyone out there have direct experience with combining dens? Add your ideas to the comments below.

2 Responses to Combining Bears and Wolves

  1. Kathleen Petersen January 7, 2014 at 10:10 AM #

    I have been a den-leader of a combined wolf/bear den and found it very do-able and it actually has some benefits. I found that the older boys actually become role-models and mentors to the new boys as they come in. Both benefit.

    For planning activities, one week I would choose a gathering activity that passes off a wolf requirement or elective (one that can be done fairly quickly) and a main activity (that takes more time) that passes off a bear achievement or elective and then switch the next week. Often, wolf and bear requirements can be easily combined, such as making bird feeders and identifying birds, making and playing a game, visiting a nature center or wildlife refuge and researching a animal or learning about an extinct animal, ropes & knots, using wood-working tools, “Be Safe” & “Be Ready” and so forth.

  2. Jamie Dunn January 7, 2014 at 11:12 AM #

    I have joint Wolf and Bear (and Webelos) meetings. I use the Alternative Cub Scout Delivery Manuals, which are designed for small packs. You can find the manuals here –

    Year A: http://www.scouting.org/filestore/multicultural/pdf/523-006_web.pdf

    Year B: http://www.scouting.org/filestore/membership/pdf/523-021.pdf

    I adapt and change the plans, by adding my own resources and games. I have yet to use the “catch up” meeting plans – instead we do a belt loop or another activity, such as making a den flag.

    An historical note:
    In the beginning of Cub Scouting, dens were a group of neighborhood boys of ages 8, 9 and 10. Each boy worked on his own achievements (Wolf, Bear or Lion) at home or during the den meeting – each level had similar achievements, so they could be worked on at the same time. The achievements got more complex as the boy matured.

    Age based dens came along later, when the baby boomers created big bump in Scouting participation.

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