Scouting Questions and Answers
Every situation is different. Whether you are new to Scouting or you have been involved for a while, sometimes it is helpful to get input from other Scouters. We are here to help each other by answering Scout questions from our own experiences.
A number of readers have asked Scout questions about a variety of situations in their units. You might find the answers helpful. Browse them below.
These Scout questions are mostly related to program and unit operation. If you are looking for requirement answers, search for the achievement instead:
Ask a Question
If you have Scout questions you would like posted, feel free to contact me with the details.
Also, check out the Scout Moms, Dads, and Leaders Facebook group. This is another good place to ask those Scout questions.
Remember that your local council and the Scouters in your district are usually the best people to ask about Scout questions. But if you want to do a little browsing of some common Scout questions, then check out this list below.
Cub Scout Questions
Cub Scout Questions Quick Links
Cub Scout Questions about Pack Committee and Leadership
A reader has been told that the role of the pack committee chair is only to handle the recharter. Normally a pack committee chair would do much more than just fill out some paperwork each year.
How can a Pack transition from a model where the Cubmaster does all of the work to one where the Pack Committee shares the load?
A reader asks about issues during rechartering. “Does the BSA ever deny a charter during recharter, and for what reasons would they deny a recharter?”
A reader asks “What is a pack meeting?” Can additional pack activities be considered the pack meeting for the month?
A reader asks what to do when the money for the unit popcorn sale doesn’t add up.
A reader asks about who plans Cub Scout Pack activities. “Isn’t it the responsibility of the committee to plan the year, and the Cubmaster to execute?” Ideally, the committee chair would work cooperatively with the Cubmaster, the activity chairs, and other committee members.
A reader asks about what is typically included in a pack budget. She is the new committee chair and most of the committee is also new.
John sent in this from the overworked leaders Scout questions category: “Can a den leader serve as den leader for more than one den?” My understanding is that it is really not recommended.
A Wolf den leader is seeking feedback about being asked to stay with the Wolf den next year instead of continuing with her son’s den when they move to Bears. Of all of the Scout questions I have received, this is a new one.
A reader asks what to do when a pack is folding and awards are not being paid for.
A reader asks a question about den leader neckerchiefs. Which neckerchief should a Cub Scout den leader or a Webelos den leader wear?
Cub Scout Questions about Adventures and Advancement
Kathy asks if a fifth grader who did not earn the Webelos badge can earn the Arrow of Light. Yes he can. The Webelos badge is not required for the Arrow of Light.
A reader asks about how Cub Scouts can make up requirements which the den already completed.
A reader asks “This past week I was lucky enough to have two more boys join our Den. How would you go about getting the new boys up to where they need to be without repeating/boring the original four?”
A mother asks ” I understand that I cant do his next advancements until after May graduation BUT can I keep doing electives and getting credit for them?”
A reader asks some questions about scheduling Cub Scout adventures. What order works best? Should they finish one adventure before starting another?
A reader asks ” We have kids of different faiths and some atheists in our pack. Do you have a good list of non-religious questions for the duty to God requirements?”
Cub Scout Questions about Den Meetings
A reader asks for help managing unruly behavior at Cub Scout den meetings. This might be one of the most common of all Scout questions.
A reader asks about helping an auditory learner with the Webelos requirements.
A reader asks about how many requirements must be done at the first Tiger meeting. If you feel like you have too much material for one meeting, split it into two.
A reader asks “Our den leader does 90% paperwork and talking at den meetings on the items in the handbook. Is this they way it is or are there other packs and dens that do hands on activities to accomplish same goals? “
This question was sent to me by reader Barbara:It has come to my knowledge that one of my boys (Webelos) is being bullied in school. Now, one of my new recruits is one of the bulliers. I would like to do a den meeting on bullying awareness. Maybe you can be of some help. Thanks.
Reader Beth asked “Should I do a Broken Arrow Ceremony for boys who have just come into Scouting in Webelos 1? I did one when the other boys earned the Bear in the Spring, but now I have 3 new boys.”
A reader asks if he can do the den visit to a Scouts BSA Troop without the rest of the den.
Cub Scout Questions about Pack Activities
A reader asks how to approach games when the smallest kids are always “out” first and the stronger kids get to play longer.
Nancy sent in this question: “I would like ideas for a winter camp that we either play inside or outside in the snow at a cub camp with 3rd year Beavers.”
Debbie asks if winter camping is appropriate for Cub Scouts. The age-appropriate guidelines provide some insight. But how cold is too cold for Cub Scouts?
A reader is looking for a compilation of Scout songs on a CD or iTunes. Or maybe a playlist like Spotify would work.
Reader question: There is a cub in our pack that has no interest in the outdoors. He and I were talking about our upcoming family camp and he is dreading it. How can I help get him interested in being outdoors?
My short answer is YES! Go ahead and plan fun activities even if they don’t get to check off a requirement for it. For these sort of Scout questions, I think about what will keep youth involved in the program.
Cub Scout Questions about Blue and Gold Banquet, Arrow of Light, and Crossover
A reader asks about how to involve younger Cub Scouts in the Blue and Gold activities to make it more engaging for them.
In many pack traditions, the Blue and Gold banquet is not just a celebration of Cub Scouting, but also a sort of awards banquet. But this can be a problem since it falls in February while there are still several months left in the program year. This frequently comes up in the submitted Scout questions.
Rev. Jim sent in this question: “I was asked for do prayers for two cub scout packs for their Blue and Gold ceremony o the Crossover. where would I find appropriate Prayers. Thank you.” Thanks for the question, Rev. Jim. Since Cub Scouts should be familiar with the Scout Law, I suggest you use a prayer based on it.
A reader asks if the Cub Scout program is supposed to end at the Blue and Gold banquet. She is uncertain about what she should do during the spring.
A reader asks “Our cubmaster refuses to do Blue and Gold before Aug. Technically the new year starts June 1st…shouldnt these kids earn their advancements prior to then?” Cub Scouts should be presented their ranks as soon as they earn them. There is no need to wait for the Blue and Gold banquet.
A reader asks “Our Webelos are crossing over to Scouts BSA and I was trying to think of a project for the tiger cubs to make or do for the boys crossing over? Just so that the TC can be a part of the excitement. Any ideas?”
Chip sent in this question: “Hi, We are looking to build a crossover bridge and was wondering if you know where we could find some plans Thanks, Chip”
Cub Scout Questions about Recruiting and Retention
Reader Robin sent in this request: I am working on a project to help get our new moms more involved. I would like to hear from new moms or even those who have been in scouting for a while.
A reader writes in looking for advice about convincing parents to sign their children up for the Cub Scouts. What ideas can you share with her? Do you have experience with these types of Scout questions?
Mike wrote to me with this question about Cub Scout recruiting. Could a local mom-to-mom Cub Scout recruiting program get more families into Cub Scouting?
Scouts BSA Questions
Scouts BSA Questions Quick Links
Scout Questions about the Troop Committee and Adult Leadership
A reader asks about what to do if the current leadership is burned out but nobody is willing to step up to take their place.
A reader sent in this question: “What if the troop committee board is planning everything and the Scoutmaster is out of the loop?”
A reader asks “Are single moms allowed to be assistant scoutmasters and go along on outings and campouts with Scouts BSA Troops?”
A reader asks some Scout questions about adults on campouts: “Is this allowed? 9 adults for 19 Scouts? … I feel uncomfortable that this might turn into an adult hangout.” Thanks for the question. I think the answer is … “it depends”.
A reader asks some Scout questions about a parent threatening a leader. “The father of a scout show up at our door and threaten my husbands safety.”
Jen asks a question about adult leader succession. What do you do when it is not clear? What if issues such as “its always been done that way” and hesitance of new leaders arise
Scout Questions about Youth Leadership
A reader asks about being youth-led when all of the Scouts have no previous experience. “The girls have tried, but without experienced scouts in leadership positions to model how to plan a scouting year, run troop meetings or plan a trip, and troop trainers to instruct new scouts in camping skills, like established troops have, things have come to a stand still. “
A reader asks “Can someone please share with me how you run training for Chaplain’s Aide?”
Scout Questions about Advancement
A reader asks about what to do when requirements don’t seem to be interpreted consistently.
A reader asks if Scout skills can only be learned at Scout events. While this is typical, if a Scout learned the skill elsewhere and can fulfill the requirement then it should be signed off.
Heather’s son wants to earn all of the merit badges. She is looking for a list of similar badges to help him along. I know it is difficult, but I recommend that you as a parent try to stay out of this process as much as possible.
A reader asks about age limits for merit badge classes. Are these allowed or is this an “additional requirement”?
In the unusual Scout questions category: “Hi, my son is up for an eagle BOR very soon, and I was wondering what type of questions they ask parents. I was informed the scout steps out of meeting while the reviewers ask parents questions. “
Reader Shelley asked “I’m a new Troop Committee Chair and was wondering if anyone has some great questions that they ask their Scouts during their Board of Reviews?” Sometimes committee members struggle to come up with good Board of Review questions.
A reader’s son has been asked to wait two months for his board of review. This does seem like a long delay for rank advancement.
During a Scoutmaster conference for the rank of Life, a Scoutmaster is requiring a Scout to answer questions from earlier ranks and merit badges, erect a tent, fold a tarp without wrinkles, keep track of paperwork and badges, plus other things. But a Scoutmaster may not add or take away requirements for advancement.
Can a troop place requirements on how a Board of Review must be requested? For example, can a troop require that the Scout request the BOR by phone rather than in person?
Cindy asked if merit badges her son earned before attaining the rank of Eagle can be used toward Eagle palms.
A reader recently wrote to me with this Scout question about recognizing Eagle palms: “My son is about to get his 17th Palm before he turns 18. Is there some type of ceremony to recognized this similar to the Eagle COH?”
A reader asks: Do you happen to have an award check list like your Merit Badges? I love your format and would love to either have or put together a template.
A reader asks “For Scouts BSA, can the same meeting fulfill both requirements for the communication merit badge and the citizenship in the community? Or do they have to be separate meetings? ” The answer can be found in the Guide to Advancement.
Scout Questions about Recruiting and Retention
This sometimes comes up in Scout questions: “The fun is gone. I know Scouts BSA is different than Cubs, but is it supposed to be no fun? Is there a suggestion I can take to the Scoutmaster that might help him keep these boys interested?”
What steps can a parent take in encouraging a new Boy Scout who has just joined a troop with little or no previous Scouting experience?
A reader’s son doesn’t want to continue in Scouts BSA: “I have tried to make it sounds really cool, he’s got friends moving up and friends in a troop now but it doesn’t seem to make a difference. I can’t force him so am I doomed to this disappointment?”
Other Scout Questions
From the uniform category of Scout questions, Beth asks “I realized once again that, as proud as he is to wear the uniform at a Scout function, he still feels uncomfortable wearing it in public. I have seen this with many other boys as well. Has anyone else noticed this trend, and what can be done? These guys are the future of our country and doing great things everyday, and yet the cool factor is just not there.”
A reader asks about a Scout spending the night in the woods alone. He was wondering if this was done as part of the Wilderness Survival merit badge.
A reader’s troop is handing out mothers ribbons to some of the moms at a Court of Honor. How should this be handled since not every mom paid for a ribbon.
A reader is asking for ideas for the troop’s 85th birthday party. I suggest classic birthday party games with a Scouting twist. Get the youth leadership involved and you will have more ideas than you have time for.
Are you sending your son or daughter to Scout camp? If so, you can send a little care package to help remind your youngster that you are thinking of him or her. Here are some Scout camp care package ideas.
Karah asks “Is there anything I can do to bring new life to the Crew? ” Readers, what are your ideas for breathing new life into a Crew?
A reader asks ” We are planning my son’s Eagle COH and he also recently earned his Venturing Ranger Award. The Crew Leader has agreed to award this during his COH but I can not find any type of “script” for the Ranger Award for the Crew Leader to use. Any suggestions? ”
Other General Scout Questions
A reader asks if she should wear a Scout uniform. She is a committee member and religious emblems counselor.
A reader asks if a Scout may wear the religious emblem knot if he earned a religious emblem as a Cub Scout. Yes, he may.
This is one of those historic Scout questions: What does the fleur de lis symbolize in Scouting? A reader asks if it is appropriate to give a fleur de lis plaque to a Cub Scout who has earned his Arrow of Light but is not continuing in Scouts BSA.
A reader asks about service projects which can be done with social distancing. I can think of lots of possibilities, but two of my favorites are freezer meal outreach and yard work for the elderly.