By Annaleis Smith
Mar 10, 2015

Cub Scouts and Character – Old vs New

As part of the One Oath One Law initiative Cub Scoutings 12 Core Values will be replaced with the 12 points of the Scout Law in June 2015.  I recently had a leader ask me if that means that all the old Cub Scout Pow Wow Books will be obsolete. Does that mean that we will throw out all our old plans and have to get all new ones?  Of course not.  Many of our old themes will still work for the new program also.  In fact many of the old themes are being “recycled” in the new program.  As a cubmaster pre-2010 (When the Den and Pack Meeting Resource Guide was released) to be honest, I never really paid much attention to the Core Values.  The main focus then seemed to me to be on the themes more than the value. But times change and the focus shifts.

So how do the 12 Points of the Scout Law relate to Cub Scouting’s 12 Core Values that we currently use (prior to June 2015)?  Well, here is part of what I found on about Cub Scouting and Character Development. These are the “definitions” associated with the current (soon to be “old”) 12 Core Values of Cub Scouting.  Notice the words in bold. Do they look familiar? Think Scout Law…Screen Shot 2015-02-20 at 9.46.16 AMSome of the Core Values relate directly to the 12 points of the Scout Law and it’s easy to see how we could substitute the new into the old.  If we have an old theme, game, ceremony, idea that we liked to use for Courage… We can still use that exact same idea for Brave.  Something we used to do for Cooperation can now be used when focusing on Helpful. Honestly and Trustworthy, Compassion and Kind, Positive Attitude and Cheerful.   Some of the Core Values don’t directly relate and so we may have to get a little “creative” and think outside the box.  To be honest there are some of the 12 core values that I personally like better than the 12 points of the Scout Law (especially when working with younger boys) but the change is happening, like it or not and so we as leaders need to understand how the things that we already do will fit into the new program. Of course national will be releasing Pack Meeting themes for cubmasters to use so it’s not like we have to do a lot of thinking, why re-invent the wheel right? (In the webcasts on Jan 17, 2015, they said that the first two years worth of themes would be released online on April 1st.  So keep an eye out for that!

The old Character Connections symbol

The old Character Connections symbol

But what about the Character Connections™? You know, the process we have been using for some years now to help teach about the Core Values? (Old timers might even remember the “Ethics in Action program” which was used prior to that.) Well, this symbol is being replaced in the new handbooks by the “Character Compass”.  It will look slightly different in each handbook because the image in the center will change depending on the rank.  The new Character Compass symbol will point out how one or more of the points of the Scout Law relate to something the boys are learning or doing during the current adventure they are participating in.  Here is an example of a Character Compass in the new Wolf Adventure Paws on the Path.

Character Compass - Brave Wolf

Character always has been and still is one of the Aims of Scouting. The new cub scout program is designed to align with those aims even more than before. So, if you have been worried about how the old program will relate to the new – don’t worry.  It’s not really all that different.  In fact as you read through the following explanations that are given to the boys about the points of the Scout Law you will probably be able to make even more connections on how the new values relates to the old.

Scout Law explained for Cub Scouts

Image included in the required Arrow of Light Adventure – Scouting Adventure.

So… Do we need to get rid of those old Pow Wow books? – No.  Do we need to get rid of those old themes, actives, games, ceremonies that we love? – Of course not.  In then end it has always been about helping boys grow up to become men of good character.

Author:  Annaleis Smith – UNPC Assistant Council Commissioner for Cub Scouting




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One thought on “Cub Scouts and Character – Old vs New

  1. Susan CheeverSusan Cheever

    Leaders will put their own personality and beliefs into what they do anyway. If a leader believes that boys need to understand faith and perseverance, for example, those values will be folded into the lessons and messages the boys receive at Scouts. There are a lot of positive values not specifically mentioned in the Scout Law that are intrinsically a part of the activities the boys participate in.


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