BSA provides den meeting plans for den leader on the Scouting.org website. Today, I am going to go through the first Bear plan and including some tips and ideas which are related to the covered requirements. If you don’t already have the BSA den meeting plans, download BSA Bear Den Meeting Plan 1 to follow along with this article.
The BSA meeting plans are designed to be done in order. This plan covers Bobcat, part of Bear Achievement 8 – The Past Is Exciting and Important, and part of Bear Achievement 16 – Building Muscles. If you don’t have any new Cub Scouts in your den, then nobody needs to earn Bobcat, but it doesn’t hurt to review the material anyway.
Some other resources you might find helpful:
- My Bobcat page for more helps for the Bobcat badge requirements
- My Bear Achievement 8 page for more help with “Bear Achievement 8 – The Past Is Exciting and Important”. This page has an alternate den meeting plan which covers the requirements for The Past Is Exciting and Important in one meeting.
- My Bear Achievement 16 page for additional tips and ideas related to Bear Achievement 16 – Building Muscles
Get BSA Bear Den Meeting Plan 1 from the Scouting.org website
BSA Bear Den Meeting 1 -Bobcat, The Past Is Exciting and Important, and Building Muscles
There are lots of things in the list of materials, so make yourself a checklist. You should distribute a Family Tree Template beforehand, so the Cub Scouts can do this at home and bring the completed family tree to the meeting with them. Also, get your materials for Requirement 16a and your scrap booking supplies for Requirement 8c. When we did our den scrapbook, I brought lots of photos from our previous Cub Scout activites. I also brought some Cub Scout stickers, which they really enjoyed. You can find some Scout themed stickers and other supplies on this page: Scout Scrap Booking Supplies
Before the Meeting and Gathering
For the opening, you will be doing a flag ceremony. If you are not sure how to a flag ceremony, see this simple opening flag ceremony . The members of your den who are in the color guard for the ceremony will complete Requirement 3f.
A Code of Conduct is a good idea, but don’t spend all meeting on it. I suggest a five minute time limit. You can always add more to it later. Keep the business part of the meeting moving along so you have enough time for the activities.
For some fun ways to go over the Bobcat requirements, see See Cub Scout Law of the Pack Letter Tile Puzzle , Cub Scout Promise Puzzle, and Bobcat Dice Roll. The relay race idea given in the helps is good also.
Do the Character Connection for Respect. (Requirement 8g) This is pretty straightforward. Usually when I do Character Connections with my den, we just go around the table and each one of them gets a chance to answer each question.
Next, the plan tells you to work on the scrapbook (Requirement 8c). We also spent some time talking about the family trees when we did this achievement (Requirement 8d). I think each of them had some story to tell about a grandparent or aunt or somebody in their families. If they want to talk while they scrapbook, that works.
Finally, do Requirement 16a for Building Muscles. You will probably want to do this outside or in a gym if you do the softball throw. Follow the advice about not rushing through it if you are running short on time. You will probably have other meetings where things go more quickly than expected, so you can always do some of this at the end to fill the time.
It is always a good idea to do some sort of closing so everyone knows when the meeting is over. If nothing else, do the Law of the Pack or the Cub Scout Promise or a simple prayer. Don’t do something overly complicated. Everyone is ready to go home and their attention spans are probably waning.
Don’t forget to tell them what they need to do for the next meeting. You need to follow the BSA plans closely to complete the achievements. If you forget the home assignments, they will have a lot of achievements only partially completed by the end of the year and you will have to do some work with them to finish everything up. It is much better to do the home assignments a little at a time as recommended in the BSA plans.
After the Meeting
Relax and pat yourself on the back. This is a great time to recruit some help from the other parents for the next meeting or any upcoming events. If you do snacks, let everyone take a turn at it. Don’t try to do everything yourself or you will burn out.