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 2 to follow along with this article.
The BSA meeting plans are designed to be done in order. This plan covers most of Achievement 3 – What Makes America Special – and completes Bear Achievement 8 - The Past Is Exciting and Important – which was started in the first meeting.
Some other resources you might find helpful:
- 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 and some ideas for other ways to do the requirements for this achievement.
- My Bear Achievement 3 page for additional tips and ideas related to Bear Achievement 3 – What Makes America Special? – including information on flag etiquette and ceremonies.
Get BSA Bear Den Meeting Plan 2 from the Scouting.org website
BSA Bear Den Meeting 2 -What Makes America Special and The Past Is Exciting and Important
This meeting packs in a lot of activities. On top of all of that, there is the suggestion that you meet at a historical location. This might not be feasible. When ZM’s den worked on this achievement, we visited a small family cemetery across the street from our school. It dates back to the mid 1800s. I’ve done visits to historic houses with other dens, but they don’t usually let us hold a meeting on their grounds. The option to have somebody who was in scouting a while back is a good option. If you have a Boy Scout troop associated with your Pack, check with them to see if they have anyone who might fit this description who would come visit. I find that the older Scouters tend to hang in with the Boy Scouts more than the Cub Scouts.
Before the Meeting and Gathering
This would be a good time for the Scouts to get to talk about their Family Trees. My dens always enjoyed telling about their family history and they can start talking with only a few members of the den present. They can also continue working on the den scrapbook as suggested.
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.
This meeting packs in a lot of activities. For Achievement 3, you really only need to do Requirement a (telling about why America is special) and Requirement j (the Character Connection for Citizenship) and two other requirements. Any additional requirements for Achievement 3 can be used to earn arrow points. If you have already completed the scrapbook, the family trees, and the Character Connection for Respect, you have completed Achievement 8 and any additional requirements will also be used for arrow points. I suggest you put off the extra requirement until the end of the meeting, after you have completed all of the requirements for Achievement 3 and Achievement 8. Electives and arrow points are great, but do the required stuff first.
You can look at my alternate den meeting plan for Achievement 3 on the right for some other ideas of how to complete this achievement. My dens always enjoyed flag ceremonies and flag etiquette a lot.
It is always a good idea to do some sort of closing so everyone knows when the meeting is over. The Threads and Flags reflection would make a good closing.
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. So send home the bike safety quiz to prepare for Achievement 14 – Ride Right. Remind them to work on Requirement a for Achievement 16 – Building Muscles. If you have completed all of the requirements for Achievement 3 – What Makes America Special, I might skip also telling them to work on requirement b for that achievement. At this point it is just an elective and you don’t need to overload them with stuff to do for the next meeting.
After the Meeting
It’s time to relax. Don’t forget to get the other parents to help you clean up and provide snacks. This is a good way to get them involved. Don’t do it all yourself.