By Darryl Alder
May 23, 2017

Outdoor Summertime Activities Help Cubs on Path to Advancement

School is out. Summertime means warmer weather; it’s a great time to take your Cub Scout pack outdoors. Successful outdoor events will help Cubs on the adventure path to advancement fulfill requirements while having a great time. 

Outdoor skills and awareness is one of the desired outcomes of the Cub Scout program. Dens and packs should support advancement by having a year-round program that takes advantage of outdoor activities in their communities. Some examples of community activities may include visits to a nature center, zoo, community garden, wildlife refuge, fish hatchery, or aviary.

Key elements to an outdoor summer program include campfire programs, camping and hiking skills, and learning the Outdoor Code and the Leave No Trace Principles. Tigers, Wolves, and Bears are required to participate in an outdoor pack meeting or pack campout campfire with songs, skits, or run-ons, depending on the Adventure.

Similarly, Webelos Scouts striving towards the Arrow of Light rank are required to plan a campfire program with other dens. Each Cub Scout rank also has an outdoor skill component that involves camping and hiking skills.

Cub Scout Hiking Essential

While the LDS Church does not allow overnight camping, packs may substitute a family campout for a daylong outdoor activity, such as a council or district day camp. Thus, Cub Scouts can learn to identify plants and animals, tie knots, and put together the Cub Scout Six Essentials for hikes and other outings. Though they don’t camp, they still can learn best places to set up a tent. They  can be taught about extreme weather conditions. They can even learn the basics of outdoor cooking, and participate in service projects.

At these events, Cub Scouts can be introduced to the Outdoor Code and Leave No Trace Principles for Kids. They will eventually need to recite these principles from memory, and list how they have followed each during outdoor activities. Making notes in their handbooks during every summer outing should make easy work of this requirement when the time comes.

Elective aquatics related adventures give packs and dens an opportunity to cool off and enjoy the water. All Cub Scouts are now allowed, as a pack or den, to participate in paddle sports. However, aquatics activities require careful planning (see Aquatic Safety in The Guide to Safe Scouting), and it is imperative to remember that Safe Swim Defense and Safety Afloat training (available online at my.Scouitng.org) must be completed by qualified leaders within the last two years. Moreover, the leader must comply with all points of this training.

Below is a matrix of the Cub Scout requirements that can best be accomplished outdoors:

Successful packs are those whose boys are out there this summer living these exciting adventures, not those who packed their den flags away until September.


Author: Boy Scouts of America |Advancement News
Adapted from Advancement News, Vol.6, No 4

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