Monday, April 6, 2009

Cub Scout Helps

I was asked about two weeks ago to train some new Cub Scout leaders in my area.  I compiled the following information for them and thought I would pass this info on to all of you out in blogland.  I don't consider myself an expert at all but having had the calling three times, I have figured a few things out.  So, for what it is worth, here it is:

Cub Scout Helps:

  1. Sit down with the book and go over it page by page.  Really familiarize yourself with the book.  

  1. Just before a boy enters your troop, go to their house with their book.  Make sure your troop number is written inside the book (so the parents know what to buy when they go and get the patches).  Go over the program with them and their parent.  Encourage the parents to start working on 3a (making a two week health chart) and 4e (the month long chore chart).  These are the biggest obstacles for the boys getting their wolfs.  If they can get them passed off early, when they are still really excited about it, the rest is pretty easy.  Explain to the parents that you will do all you can to help them get their wolf/bear but when it comes down to it, it the boy’s and parent’s responsibility.  I also encourage them to set aside time in the month to work on it.  (In my house, we often use Sunday afternoon or FHE.)  

The boys also need to pass off their bobcat, since we don’t do that in our church.  I encourage the parents to do that as part of a family home evening instead of trying to do it during den meeting because of the child abuse requirement.  I think parents should be the ones addressing those issues with their boys.

I also tell the parents to send the books with the boys to den meeting with either a paper  telling me what they passed off or bookmark the pages so I can easily record them. 

Important terminology:

Beads:  A boy earns a bead after they have completed three achievements.  When they get their wolf or bear, they will have four beads.  Wolf: yellow beads.  Bear:  red beads   In our troop, they are awarded at Pack meeting.  (Some wards give them at den meeting.)  

Arrow points:  Boys earn as part of their elective requirements.  Once they have done 10,  they get a gold arrow point.  After that, each 10 things get silver arrow points.   They don’t have to do everything in the elective to earn an arrow point.  For every item they do (a,b,c, etc) they earn toward their 10.  Also, if they do things in the requirement list that is “extra” (for example, Requirement 1 they only have to do one of things f-l.  If they do more than that, I count those toward arrow points.  

Belt Loops:  In the back of the book, it lists the areas a boy can earn belt loops.  You should have the book that tells the requirements to get each thing, but basically, if they have played the sport, they can earn the belt loop.  Encourage the parents to buy the belt for a place to store the belt loops.  (I have only known a few boys who actually are willing to wear the belt.)  

Den Meeting:

We do it twice a month and take one week off before Pack meeting.  Again, I encourage the parents to help their boy pass things off during the week that we don’t have den meeting.  

We do ours directly after school and the boys are usually hungry.  I always have popcorn in middle of the table waiting for them.  I let the boys play for about 10 minutes and then have them sit around my table.  We start with a prayer and then I try to focus on one of the “character connections.”   We then do the planned activity, and then if we have time, let them play for the last few minutes.  Again, they have been at school ALL DAY and so I want to have plenty of play time and just be able to have fun together.   

Some successes I have had:

  1. Frisbee golf (fulfills the Ultimate belt loop)
  2. Making take home pizzas (8 c for wolfs, 9c for bear)
  3. Airplanes (see attached page)
  4. Trash pick up :I brought home gloves from my husband’s office and we just went over to the park.  (wolf 7d, bear 6g)  
  5. Bike obstacle course (wolf 9 d and e, bear 14)
  6. Planting bulbs:  (Wolf elective 15c Bear 6b--its a little bit of stretch)  If they plant the bulbs in gravel instead of dirt, they boys can’t overwater them and the grow wonderfully. 
  7. Touring the fire station.  The men at the one close to our neighborhood are wonderful with the boys.  
  8. Home Depot has a wonderful man who teaches classes about tools.  He is wonderful.      He also taught the boys about plants in the spring last year. 
  9. Bird feeders: Wolf elective 13, Bear 5 a and b (see attached page from family fun):  The boys loved making these and all summer, I noticed birds eating from them.  
  10. A tour of the Police Station.  (Bear 7b)  

Some failures:

Early on, we did a lot of field trips; one time to the land fill and one time to the recycling facility.  Both times, we drove for a long time and the tours were just not that great.  I wouldn’t do it again.  

For the collecting things I gave every boy four quarters to start a coin collection.  None of the boys finished it and the boys didn’t find it all that exciting (even though I was very excited about it. :) )

For wolf requirement 5 a (make something useful out of wood) and elective 7a (learn how to walk on stilts), I had the boys make stilts.  The pattern I had was not so good and they were too heavy for the boys to learn how to walk on them.  I would do it again, if I had a really good pattern but the whole thing took a ton of time and was not very fun.   

The scouting store has a lot helps available but personally, I have found that if I just work directly from the cub scout books, I have had a lot more success. 

Recording Info:  

See included paper.  I spent years looking for a paper system that I liked and was easy to read.  This is my favorite.  I circle the required things and “x” the electives.  So, when figuring out arrow points, it is easy to read.    

It is important to keep a record of what the boys have passed off with you.  Boys will lose their books and you want to know what you need to work on to help them pass things off.  

When the boy is a few months from moving to the next age, I e-mail the parent with a list of what remains for the boys to pass off.  The parents seem to like this and usually the parents are great about helping them get everything done before they need to move on.        

Combining the Faith In God with Cub Scouts:

I have not been super good about doing this except coming up with a Joseph Smith first vision family home evening lesson (see included) that I taught the boys and then sent home with them to do with their families.  When the boys are Bears, if they do the Faith in God requirements, they can earn their Religious square knot patch.  I am hoping to work more on this with the boys this Spring and hope to have most of my Bears get it now instead of during Webelos. 

My sister-in-law does a point system that encourages the boys to wear their shirts and bring their book every week.  After they have acquired so many points, she lets them them buy stuff from her with the points they have earned.  (She just goes to a dollar store and sets a bunch of things out).  I've never done that, but am considering adding it this summer.  


Gabriela said...

If I don't read this post, I will NEVER be a den mom, right???

I will not read it, I will not read it...

I may file it in the back of head that you posted something about cubscouts, but, I will NOT read it!

Lisa said...

Cub scouts....something I know NOTHING about :)