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Cub Scout 2024 Program Updates

Not Official

Just a warning! The information here is not official. It is what I have learned from information available online and from talking to Scouters. So don’t start planning based on this information.

Cub Scout 2024 Program Updates Overview

The Cub Scout program, dedicated to enriching the lives of young scouts through adventure, learning, and growth, is set to update in June 2024. These changes aim to enhance the scouting experience, making it more engaging, relevant, and fun for today’s youth. In this post, I’ll look into what’s new, what’s changed, and how these updates will help Cub Scouts and their leaders navigate the path of scouting.

Even though I don’t have complete information, I will say up front that I am excited about this new approach to the Cub Scout program.

Updated Advancement Requirements

The Cub Scout program has unveiled an updated advancement system for 2024, meticulously designed to simplify the achievement process while upholding the program’s core educational and developmental objectives. This approach aims to make the path to advancement more accessible and engaging for scouts of all backgrounds and abilities, ensuring that the journey through Cub Scouting is both rewarding and fun.

  • Webelos/AOL: Starting in 2024, the Webelos and Arrow of Light ranks within the Cub Scout program are being distinctly separated to better align with grade levels. Now, Webelos is specifically designed for fourth graders, while Arrow of Light is tailored for fifth graders. Each of these ranks will feature its own set of unique requirements, ensuring a more tailored scouting experience.
  • Uniformity across Grades: At each grade level, from Lion through Arrow of Light, scouts are required to complete 6 core (required) adventures. To achieve the badge of rank for their level, scouts must also complete 2 additional elective adventures, bringing the total to 8 adventures required for rank advancement.
  • Bobcat: A significant change is the introduction of the Bobcat adventure as a core requirement for every grade level. This adventure is intended to be the initial step for scouts in each grade, laying the foundational skills and knowledge needed for their scouting journey. This adjustment ensures a consistent starting point for all scouts, reinforcing the scouting values and principles from the very beginning of their experience.
  • Core Adventures Structure: Every grade level will now include the Bobcat adventure as an elective, along with five other core adventures centered on key areas: the outdoors, personal fitness, citizenship, personal safety, and family/reverence. This structure is particularly beneficial for smaller packs like ours where dens meet together before splitting off for specific activities. It allows for a unified theme in our gatherings that aligns with these core adventures.
  • Unified Elective Adventures Across Ranks: Additionally, there are specific adventures tailored to each rank that cover popular scouting activities such as the Pinewood Derby, fishing, cycling, swimming, camping, and conservation. This arrangement enables packs to organize activities that cater to the interests of all scouts, facilitating adventure completion across different grade levels. This approach simplifies planning for leaders and enhances the scouting experience for all members.

Significant modifications are also being made to the elective adventures, with a focus on inclusivity and flexibility. These changes are intended to embrace a broader range of interests and learning styles, allowing scouts to explore new areas of interest and develop diverse skills. So even if the adventure name is the same as before, the requirements are probably being modified or completely rewritten.

Notably, the inclusion of new skills pertinent to the digital age stands out, preparing young scouts for the future by integrating concepts of digital citizenship, online safety, and basic coding into the program. These updates are reflective of a forward-thinking approach, aiming to equip scouts with the tools and knowledge they need to navigate the increasingly digital world confidently while fostering a sense of accomplishment and growth in their scouting journey.

New and Revised Adventures

Once again – this is not official BSA information. It might still change significantly. I do not have any information about the requirements for the new adventures, other than the Summertime Fun adventure. And requirements for existing adventures might be modified or rewritten.

Lion (Kindergarten)

Lion Core Adventures

Lion Elective Adventures

See more preview details about the 2024 Lion requirements.

Tiger (1st Grade)

Tiger Core Adventures

Tiger Elective Adventures

See more preview details about the 2024 Tiger requirements.

Wolf (2nd Grade)

Wolf Core Adventures

Wolf Elective Adventures

See more preview details about the 2024 Wolf requirements.

Bear (3rd Grade)

Bear Core Adventures

Bear Elective Adventures

See more preview details about the 2024 Bear requirements.

Webelos (4th Grade)

Webelos Core Adventures

Webelos Elective Adventures

See more preview details about the 2024 Webelos requirements.

Arrow of Light (5th Grade)

Arrow of Light Core Adventures

Arrow of Light Elective Adventures

See more preview details about the 2024 Arrow of Light requirements.

Summertime Fun

The National Summertime Pack award will be replaced with a simpler elective Adventure called Summertime Fun, for Tiger through Arrow of Light ranks.

There is just one requirement: Anytime during May through August participate in a total of three Cub Scout activities. Earning this adventure is not dependent on other Cub Scout’s participation.

This change comes after recognizing the importance of encouraging summer participation in events like Cub Scout Day Camp and Resident Camp, while also addressing the fairness issues related to the previous award’s participation percentage requirements.

Lions, who start Cub Scouting in Kindergarten, are the only rank not included in this summer activity framework since they do not join until the fall.

Knife Safety

The Cub Scout program now places a stronger emphasis on knife safety, introducing three new elective Adventures to ensure Scouts are appropriately instructed in handling knives safely.

To use a knife within Cub Scouting, a Scout must complete the knife safety Adventure for their rank, with the requirement to re-certify at each rank advancement. This new approach replaces Whittling Chip, promoting ongoing knife safety education.

  • For 3rd-grade Bear Cub Scouts, the adventure is “Whittling,” focusing on pocketknife safety, similar to the current Bear Claws adventure.
  • 4th-grade Webelos tackle “Chef’s Knife,” centering on kitchen knife safety.
  • 5th-grade Arrow of Light Scouts undertake “Knife Safety,” covering both pocketknife and kitchen knife safety

After crossing over into Scouts BSA, Scouts will earn the Totin’ Chip certification, which certifies their knowledge in safely using knives, as well as axes and saws.

Den Meeting Resources

The resources for den meetings are undergoing revisions to enhance accessibility and flexibility. The traditional, bulky den leader handbook binder is being replaced with online resources that are open to everyone. This change allows parents with specific expertise to easily access the materials and assist with leading meetings. I think den leaders will appreciate how this makes it easier to engage other adults.

These online resources also offer various options for meeting activities, each tagged with details about location requirements, energy level, necessary supplies, and preparation time.

  • Location
    • indoor
    • outdoor
    • requires travel
  • Energy Level
    • very low – listening
    • low – crafts
    • moderate – skilled crafts
    • high – active movements
    • very high – running
  • Supplies
    • none
    • very little – common household items
    • average – low cost craft supplies
    • above average – common craft supplies
    • custom – custom or uncommon supplies
  • Prep Time
    • none needed
    • one to three days ahead of time
    • three to five days ahead of time
    • a week ahead of time
    • more than a week ahead of time

This means den leaders and assisting adults can tailor den meetings to fit the resources available, time constraints, and the scouts’ interests and energy levels more effectively.

A Bright Future for Cub Scouting

I find myself filled with excitement for what lies ahead. These changes seem to be more than administrative tweaks. They appear to be an evolution aimed at making scouting more accessible, engaging, and meaningful for every young Cub Scout and their families.

The shift towards online resources is a game-changer, promising to streamline the planning process and promote involvement from parents and others in the community. Imagine the wealth of knowledge that can be tapped into when parents and guardians, each with their skills and experiences, can easily contribute to our dens. This not only lightens the load for our den leaders but also provides a wider range of experiences for our Cub Scouts

The introduction of new adventures means we have a program that’s growing right alongside our scouts. I’m trying to envision how these updates will help our Cub Scouts explore new interests, develop life skills, and deeper connections with each other, their communities, and the natural world.

Readers, what do you think of the 2024 updates to the Cub Scout program? Add your comments below.


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