Cub Scout Program Updates

Cub Scout Program Updates

I have been receiving a lot of questions like these lately:

Will you be updating your website to reflect the new Cub Scouting requirements that will start on June 1, 2015? ideas, etc for the new program? Thanks, Laura

Hello. Do you know with the new format for all the Cub Scout ranks, will there be new handbooks as well? I am a den leader and always like to get the next level handbook during the summer so that I can be ready for the new scouting year. Don’t want to purchase a handbook that is outdated. Thank you Dawn

I’ve been reading everything I can about the new Cub Scout Program starting in June 2015 since we do our own Day Camp for our cubs, we usually do quite a lot of their requirements during the four or five days of camp. One thing I haven’t been able to read up on is whether or not the academic and sports belt loops and pins are going to be discontinued or not. We usually have the boys earn their hiking and animal conservation belt loops and would like to include them in our schedule for our Day Camp, but don’t want to plan anything that won’t be available for the boys to receive at the end of camp. Other than that, your website is absolutely awesome and totally helpful! Thanks for having all the fantastic materials. Edwina


First of all,  yes I am in the process of updating my site. If you look at the “Cub Scouts – New” menu, you will find links to helps and information for the new Cub Scout adventures. These are the adventures the boys will be working on for the next program year, starting in June 2015.

Yes, there are new handbooks and new den leader guides for the new Cub Scout program. As far as the availability materials, I recommend you check with your local Scout shop and find out what is available now and the anticipated dates when other items will be available. I have always found the employees at our Scout shop to be very helpful and knowledgeable.  For harder to find items, they have ordered them for me and called me when they are in.

Yes, the Academics and Sports program is being discontinued as part of this program update. See this article from Bryan on Scouting for more information: Looping you in on the Cub Scout 2015 updates. In the new program, they work on different adventures for each rank. For Tigers, Wolves, and Bears they receive a belt loop when they complete an adventure. Webelos receive a pin when they complete an adventure. A Tiger and a Bear could not work on the same belt loop. There are different belt loops for each program level.

There have been a lot of changes to the Cub Scout program, from the new adventures to the phasing out of the Academics and Sports program to switching to using the Boy Scout salute, oath, and law. It can be difficult to transition from something we have all become used to. But I have to say I am excited about the changes to the program. I think they make more straightforward for parents and den leaders to understand what the Cub Scouts need to do to earn their badges. The Cub Scout program updates also includes a good variety of activities so boys will get to try new things.

Readers, what do you think? Add your comments below.






9 responses to “Cub Scout Program Updates”

  1. Equestrian Mom Avatar
    Equestrian Mom

    I am excited about the changes in cub scouting, but I do have my reservations. As a leader of a combined Tiger/Wolf den this year, I am concerned about being able to complete both ranks with the boys without overwhelming them or myself. I am also leader of a Webelos I den. I am planning on changing them to the new Arrow of Light program which is more Boy Scout geared – lots of camping! I am just worried that the program is requiring them to all be “Super Scouters”. Some of the AOL requirements I had to research such as all the International Scouting requirements and jamborees which are major projects on there own and is only 1 part of the Adventure. I am going to rely heavily on the electives we completed this year to carry over because just the Adventures seem pretty intense. Also, the modifications for my special needs scouter will be a little more challenging. Whereas, I had options just to choose other requirements in the Bears – Whittling Chip is my main concern – it is a requirement in the new program. I have always been able to work it out that there is no difference, but that one might be a challenge… Once I work through a schedule when the books come out, I am sure I will be feeling more confident.

    1. Leslie Avatar

      I wouldn’t change programs for your AOL scouts. That means purchasing a new book. The requirements aren’t all that different. In fact some are easier (like Scientist).

      I can’t imagine working through a combined den program. Each adventure is supposed to take 3 meetings with 7 adventures required = 21 meetings. That’s a lot.

  2. Leslie Avatar

    I was a National Camp School this month and they said that our summer camp program can continue to use the old academic and sports belt loop program for this year only. You can also hear them say this on the January 17 webcast.

    There is lots of info available at the program updates website. Books and materials are expected to ship April 26. There will be one den leader book per rank and one scout guidebook per rank. Webelos I and II are lumped together. There is also a cubmaster book.

    I would live for someone to make a list of all the required and elected multi rank activities (like teach a game to a younger den). A list like that would help tremendously for our summer meetings.

  3. William Hooker Avatar
    William Hooker

    My one concern is that there are not as many options if there is 1 requirement that is a sticking point.. In the old requirements, there were things like do 3 requirements, but there were 7 to choose from. (Like Bear 6, Take Care of Your Planet)

    That way if something was really difficult or impractical, you didn’t have to use that option.

    Overall, I really like the fact that the boys will be a lot more active than they have been in the past.

  4. Edwina Avatar

    I was at out local Scout Shop last week, to help one of my parents purchase a uniform for her son. You know how they are like there when someone is purchasing a uniform for the first time, they try to sell all the bells and whistles that aren’t really required for a uniform! Anyway, I asked about the belt loops and was indeed informed they are going to no longer be available for them to order, but they would continue selling them until they are gone. My concern about this is the BB and archery belt loops though. Since none of the ranks require either will they also discontinue offering either at Day Camp and if so, how are the boys supposed to be recognized for doing them?? Of course, one year they really didn’t do much more than teach the boys to only shoot down range and didn’t really cover the requirements for the belt loop anyway!
    I also asked about the Cub Scout Family Fun award. Whether it would still be available to earn and the Scout Shop personnel didn’t have a clue! It’s something to help keep the boys going during the summer and family activities for the summer too. We’ve given out the information for the award to our pack for the last several years although only a couple families have actually earned it. The families still appreciated the opportunity of activities.

    As far as changing up the new requirements for special needs children, I have two sons who are special needs myself. If the requirements are shown to the parents of these children, they are the best ones to give options and suggestions for their sons to do something close to the requirements. Get them involved with the activity planning for their sons.

    1. erin Avatar

      Hello. I used your site a couple of times the last few years and want to thank you first of all. Coming in to this knowing nothing has been a little stressful at times. Luckily I had a background of education to help me. I had just got my feet under me and now feel like treading water again. My question is if anyone can help is I have a group of very very energetic boys going into Bear group. Most do not want to stay overnight yet and a lot of them have issues of ADD, ADHD, sensory, among other issues. Anyone know of a good way to introduce the pocket knives to them or help with the camping requirements? All but one of them are attending day camp this year.

      1. Scouter Mom Avatar

        For the pocket knives, I like to make a fake cardboard pocketknife so they can demonstrate that they understand the safety rules. Then we move on to using the real knives.
        Dealing with reluctant campers can be challenging. First of all, I ask the parents to be encouraging. Sometimes they make comments which only make their sons more uncertain. Practicing skills is also important. A “backyard campout” or a “gym campout” will help them gain confidence in a more familiar setting before they head out to a more traditional den overnight.
        Challenging them to get outside of their comfort zones is a part of the program. It is important that the adults involved also be willing to leave their comfort zones and approach camping with enthusiasm. Attitude – whether positive or negative – tends to spread.

  5. ABCD Mom Avatar
    ABCD Mom

    First of all, thanks so much for this site – it has been a tremendously helpful resource!
    I have a den of 4th graders this year – the boys just earned the Webelos patch. It’s my understanding that they can continue to finish out the Webelos II year under the old requirements – is that correct? The boys are working on their heavy hat awards, earning all 20 activity badge pins. Will the pins continue to be available next year?

    1. Edwina Avatar

      I’m sure it’ll probably be the same as the belt loops, they will be available as long as your local shop has them, but they won’t be available for restock. Although, since the boys that are already within the old WEBLOS program have the option to continue with the old program if they wish, they MIGHT continue stocking the old program products for a short period of time. I don’t know if you have looked through the new program requirements or not, but a large portion of the old program requirements have only been moved around to create the new awards. They boys may decide to go with the new program if they have a chance to read over the new badges and requirements. Have they had a chance to read them over?? I know our WEBELOS read over the old and new requirements and decided to change over to the new program. They are even excited to start as soon as possible!

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