BSA provides den meeting plans for den leader on the Scouting.org website. In this article, I’ll take a look at the fifth Bear den meeting plan and comment with some tips and links. If you don’t already have the BSA den meeting plans, download BSA Bear Den Meeting Plan 5 to follow along with this article.
The BSA meeting plans are designed to be done in order. This plan covers part of Bear Achievement 1 – Ways We Worship and Bear Achievement 20 – Sawdust and Nails. You will also check that your Cub Scouts have completed the home assignments for Bear Achievement 7 – Law Enforcement Is a Big Job. Follow the links for additional resources for those achievements.
You will be starting on Achievement 20 in this meeting and completing it in the next. So you don’t have to complete all of the work in one sitting. Also, the program helps suggest that if you are not comfortable doing woodworking with your Cub Scouts, that you substitute one of the other Bear achievements for this one. Just remember that it has to be one from the “Self” group.
Also, remember that Cub Scouts can use hand tools. The note in the program helps states:
Note: Power tools are not appropriate for use by Cub Scouts. (See Age-Appropriate Guidelines for Scouting activities at http://www.scouting.org/HealthandSafety/Resources/ AgeAppropriateGuidelines .)
That page contains a link to a chart indicating what Cub Scouts are allowed to do. As you can see, Cub Scouts are allowed to use hand tools. There is no mention of power tools, but at all of the training sessions I’ve been to, I’ve been told that Cub Scouts are not allowed to use them. And the note in the BSA den meeting plan seems to confirm that.
BSA Bear Den Meeting Plan 5: Ways We Worship and Sawdust and Nails
Before the Meeting and Preparation
Most of the preparation for this meeting involves getting your tools together and arranging an appropriate place to meet. You will also want plenty of adult supervision for this meeting, so recruit some parents to help.
You can just do a simple indoor opening flag ceremony.
Keep this brief and to the point.
As suggested, start with Achievement 1a: Complete the Character Connection for Faith. I always did the character connections early in the meeting. It always seemed more difficult to get them to sit for a discussion later on. Also move right into Achievement 1b - Make a list of things you can do this week to practice your religion as you are taught in your home, church, synagogue, mosque, or other religious community. Check them off your list as you complete them.
Next, you will move on to the tools. For Achievement 20a : Show how to use and take care of four of these tools. (Hammer, hand saw, hand drill, C-clamp, wood plane, pliers, crescent wrench, screwdriver, bench vise, coping saw, drill bit) Have the tools there and demonstrate their use.
Next you will work on Achievement 20b: Build your own tool box and Achievement 20c : Use at least two tools listed in requirement a to fix something. These will both take a lot of time, especially with Cub Scouts who are not used to using hand tools. But remember, you have two meetings to work on this.
Have a brief closing – maybe the Cub Scout Promise or a prayer, since you are working on Achievement 1. The Cub Scouts should thank all of the parents who came to help at the meeting.
After the Meeting
Make sure everyone helps to clean up the mess. And pat yourself on the back for completing another meeting.