By Darryl Alder
May 22, 2014

411 of the New Cub Scout Program

Nashville–Today at the National of the BSA I got to look into the new Cub Scout program by doing one of the new adventure activities. At our table, right out of the shoot they tried to make me den leader; “No way,” I said, “I want to be one of the boys,” and I was.

The new program is much more mission centric and was designed around five areas that include BSA three main aims of character, citizenship and fitness.

The new program is much more mission centric and was designed around five areas that include BSA three main aims of character, citizenship and fitness.

We had a bottle of “water” which I sampled, and I have to tell you a good swig of distilled vinegar in the afternoon can really wake you up. There were also three large baggies and four smaller snack size bags, one of which had some white powder, which turned out to be baking soda (I did NOT taste that, I’d had enough thank you).

In teams of three we were instructed to put two scoops of powder into our big bags and two spoons full of liquid in the little bag. Then we sealed the little bag and put it into the big one and sealed it. Now the fun began. We worked to open the bag inside the bag, which then filled with gas and our little experiment was over.

Cub Scout STEM Martini

Since we had some time and I was into the role playing, I challenged the group into making a bigger version. We had a “martini” glass on the table filled with candy, which I dumped out. Then we poured in a bunch of soda and some vinegar, and we had a martini volcano. Not to mention the mess of it all over the conference room table.

There you go, we had just done a STEM activity about two substances (acids and bases) changing their states when combined, which is an activity from the new Cub Scout Science Adventures. All around us people were building and launching things and having a good time and that’s the promise of the new program. It’s more simple and more fun–it’s KISMIF squared.

At the exhibit hall we got samplers of new youth handbooks and den leader guides unveiling five of the 84 new adventures that are being released. Here is some of this great stuff in a nutshell:

Cub Scout Guide Ethan

Ethan is our Cub Scout guide in all the books

1-The new Cub Scout Adventures are collections of themed,
multidisciplinary activities representing approximately three den meetings’ worth of engaging content.

2- There is still the same rank structure but you do adventures to earn your badges:
The new program is much more mission centric and was designed around five areas that include BSA three main aims of character, citizenship and fitness.

  • Tiger through Bear need six required adventure s and one elective
  • Webelos need five required adventures and two electives
  • Arrow of Light four required and three electives
  • Tiger, Wolf and Bear have 13 electives for each rank and for each a belt loop can we awarded
  • Webelos and Arrow of light share 18 electives and for each an adventure pin can be awarded (there are NO more arrow points–it was all just to confusing to new Den Leaders)

Cub Scout Handbook Sampler

3- Leader support includes a Den Leader guide for Tigers, Wolves, Bears and one shared for Webleos and Arrow of Light.

4- Program timing is such that all dens we be operating with new materials for 2015-16, but new handbooks and leader materials will be available in Scout Shops by May 2015.

5- This will be preceded by training for all Cub Scout leaders that spring.

Keep up to date with other program updates including PDFs about progress-toward-rank recognition insignia; Ethan, our new Cub Scout guide; a transition guide, FAQs, and more!

Cub Scout Change Summary




Darryl Alder Director of Support Services  Author: Darryl Alder | Director of Support Services, Utah National Parks Council, BSA

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8 thoughts on “411 of the New Cub Scout Program

    1. AvatarDennis Ellison


      Other than the belt loops and pins for adventures, there are no uniform changes in the new program.

      Source: 411 Program at Philmont last week I attended.

    2. Darryl AlderDarryl Alder Post author

      We just got word that the Webelos Colors will be used in the new program if you want.

  1. AvatarMelissa Graham

    Did they have a plan for all the lds units that are on a different yearly schedule and have boys advancing on their birthdays? The summer transition will only work for half the boys.

    1. Darryl AlderDarryl Alder Post author

      Melissa at a separate meeting of LDS Scouters, Sis Steven, assured us the LDS Church will be putting out materials that match their units unique needs.


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