By Annaleis Smith
Sep 17, 2014

Cub Scout Advancement made simpler!

(Part 1 of 10 in a series on the New Cub Scout Adventure Program)

Eleven Cub Scout leaders from the Utah National Parks Council spent a week at the Philmont Training Center this past summer to learn about the new Cub Scout Adventure program. I, and some of them if I can talk them into it, will be sharing some of what we learned there that week. Lots of info on the Cub Scout Adventure program can be found at Here is a picture of the nine of us that were all there together for Week 10.

Philmont Cub Scouting 411 summer 2014

Philmont Cub Scout 411 – Summer 2014 – Week 10 – UNPC Attendees

I would like to start this series of articles with my very favorite part of the new program – simplified advancement. After spending 20+ hours in classes dedicated to learning about the new Cub Scout Adventure program I honestly have to say that the thing I am most excited about is the new advancement model. It will be simpler to understand and simpler to administer.

LCS Advancementet’s face it, Cub Scout advancement as it is right now can be confusing sometimes, Tiger Cubs advance using one method and Wolves another method. Bears modify and complicate the method yet again and Webelos take a whole different approach. If you have been a Cub Scout leader for a while you probably have it all figured out but, let’s pretend you are a brand new den leader or a brand new parent who has never done cub scouts before… I takes some reading, training and explaining.

Lets compare for a minute the difference between the Wolf and Bear ranks. Wolves currently have 12 achievements that need to be completed to earn their rank. Then they have multiple electives that they can complete to work towards their arrow points. The first 10 earn a gold arrow point and each 10 thereafter earn them a silver. Not too hard to understand I guess but… then they move up and start to work on their Bear rank and now it’s different. Yes, they still have to complete 12 achievements but it’s 12 out of 24 total. 1 for God, 3 for Country, 4 for Family and 4 for self. Then just like in the wolf book there are electives and 10 gives you a gold arrow point and each 10 thereafter gives you a silver. But… parts of the achievements not counted towards the rank advancement can also count towards the arrow points. True it’s not that complicated once you understand it but for most parents, just about the time they finally “get it”, IF they ever do, their boy moves up to the webelos rank with a whole new system of activity badges, which are actually pins, a compass emblem with compass points etc…

My favorite part of the new Cub Scout Adventure program is the fact that each rank, Tiger through Arrow of Light uses the exact same advancement model/method. Once a parent, leader, or boy has figured out what it takes to earn that first rank (excluding bobcat – it’s still just about the same) they know what it takes to earn the next rank and the next and the next. Untitled4Each rank has the same two requirements. 1) Complete 7 adventures. 2) Complete the Parent Guide and Cyber Chip award. That’s it! Really it will be that simple!

The number of required vs elective adventures will be different and the cyber chip award changes depending on the age of the boy but once you know it’s 7 adventures for the first rank, it’s still 7 total adventures for the next rank and the next.  Untitled5

Wait! What does that last column say about Immediate Recognition? Well, that’s the other part that I really really like. When a boy completes an adventure he has earned the immediate recognition for that adventure. No longer do den leaders have to keep track of how many achievements a boy has competed to earn a red or yellow bead that shows he is part way there. And the Webelos won’t be they only ones getting awards on a regular basis. It will be the same for all the boys. After a boy completes an adventure and he is awarded an adventure Loop or Adventure Pin. IF a boy completes additional elective adventures (beyond the rank) he earns another loop or pin. No more beads, no more arrow points, no more emblems.   In my next article I’ll show you the new adventure loops and pins and explain a little more about them. Adventure Loop and Pins – Simple!

Q – Is the “Protecting your Child from Abuse” and Cyber Chip really required for every rank now?
A – YES!  The BSA is very serious about protecting our youth and keeping them safe and this new requirement to do it for every rank shows just how serious they are.  The Cyber chip award has different requirements depending on their age so it’s not the exact same thing every time. In today’s tech heavy world this is important for the boys!

Annaleis Smith
Author:  Annaleis Smith,  Council Cub Scout Chair


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3 thoughts on “Cub Scout Advancement made simpler!

  1. Susan CheeverSusan Cheever

    Will the online advancement page change by the time the program changes? Will both methods of recording remain available for a time to accommodate boys who begin the level in the current system? For how long?

  2. AvatarGlenn Smith

    What age may a boy begin working on Bear requirements after earning the Wolf Badge?
    He graduated from 2nd grade and will be 9 in January 2016.

    1. Annaleis SmithAnnaleis Smith Post author

      If your son is in a traditional/community pack he will “graduate” to the bear den with all the other boys in his Wolf den. Some packs make that change at the beginning of the Summer and some at the beginning of the next school year. If he is in an LDS sponsored pack he will move to the bear den when he turns 9 in January. No matter how quickly he earns his Wolf badge there are still plenty of fun Wolf adventures ahead before he becomes a Bear. And in the new program he gets an award (adventure loop) for each one he completes.


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