- Need to have a working knowledge of the Cub Scout advancement plan.
- Help plan and conduct induction and advancement recognition ceremonies, coordinating as needed with the Webelos den leader or Scoutmaster and 11-yr old Scout leader.
- Educate parents, guardians, and pack committee members in ways to stimulate Cub Scout advancement.
- Promote the use of ScoutBook, Cub Scout den advancement charts, MyScouting Tools Advancement Manager, and other tools to recognize and record advancement in the den.
- Collect den advancement reports at committee meeting and/or pack leaders’ meetings for use when ordering badges and insignia from the local council service center.
- Promote Boys’ Life magazine as an aid to advancement.
- Help build or obtain advancement equipment for use in making advancement ceremonies more effective.
- Promote the wearing and proper use of the uniform and insignia.
That long list can be broken down into four basic components: promotion, paperwork, special recognitions, and ceremonies.
To help parents understand the advancement program, be sure to attend parents’ meetings associated with new Cub Scout recruitment and explain that advancement should be the natural result of participation in the program.
Then, work with the Cubmaster and den leaders to build advancement opportunities into your pack programs, especially overnighters and events. For example, a pack picnic might include a nature hike (different trails for different ages and abilities) followed by games, a cookout or potluck supper, and a campfire (with s’mores)! Encourage each den to use the den advancement chart to keep track of their activities—in other words, their advancement—and to post these charts at den and pack meetings.
At pack meetings, promote attendance at Cub Scout day camp and Cub Scout resident camp where advancement opportunities abound. And be sure to encourage the dens to schedule their own summertime activities.
It is possible to get inundated with paper, but the two basic reports needed for Cub Scout advancement are fairly simple. The first, Den Advancement Report, No. 33847, should be turned in every month by every den leader. The second, the Unit Advancement Report No. 34403, is your responsibility. However, when you receive these reports from den leaders through ScoutBook, all you need do enter it into the pack’s online advancement records. These reports also provide you with information to cover at pack committee meetings, and to create a “shopping list” of badges and other recognitions that must be purchased for the next pack meeting.
Encourage Special Recognition to Promote Advancement
Den meetings are built around advancement, but there are other opportunities for advancement beyond the den. A good place to look for ideas is in a recent article in Advancement News (February 2014), entitled “After the Blue and Gold Banquet – Continuing the Journey,” that listed some of the special recognition Cub Scouts can earn. Forms and requirements for many of these awards are found at BSA Awards Central. Special recognitions that can be earned by Cub Scouts are also highlighted in the Guide to Awards and Insignia, No. 614937.\
Plan and Conduct Meaningful Ceremonies
Use Cub Scout Den and Pack Ceremonies , No. 33212, to get ceremony ideas as well as thoughts about ceremony equipment that can be used from month to month. Many district roundtables can be of assistance, too. Here are some quick hints gleaned from those sources: Recognize each Cub Scout individually, rather than just reading a list of names. Involve parents and den leaders to help present the badges. Use “special effects” to enhance your ceremonies—something as simple as real or electric candles can add pizzazz. A Cub Scout will receive his badge of rank only once, so make the ceremony a great memory that he will share with his own son on the way to a pack meeting someday
Author: Darryl Alder | Strategic Initiatives Director, Utah National Parks Council, BSA. He has been a Pack Committee Chair, Cubmaster and Den Leader in two different LDS Ward Packs.