By Boy Scouts of America
Mar 03, 2015

Cub Scout 411 Roundtable: Program Planning

On June 1, 2015, the new Cub Scout program will be in effect. This will be the most significant change in the Cub Scout program since the introduction of the current Webelos program in 1967. Over the next six months, roundtable sessions will be presented to help all Cub Scout leaders prepare for the launch of the new program materials. This article is third in a series of program updates from the 411 Task Force. These include:

January—Program Support for Den Leaders
March—Program Planning
April—New Pack Meeting Plans
May—Aquatic Adventures
June—Campfire Programs
July—Resources for Packs and Den Leaders

These subjects will also be presented in Cub Scout Roundtables each month.

Program Planning

In this roundtable we will present an overview of how to plan your den meetings, while showing you all the FUN we know in the Cub Scouting program is still there. We will also cover how the new adventures fit into your annual program planning meeting and annual program and how to use the adventure analysis worksheet to help plan your annual program.

Den Leader Program Planning

As you plan your den’s program for the year with the new program effective June 1, 2015, there are a few important points to consider.

  • Coordinating your planning.  Some of the adventures require coordination with other dens. A pack meeting is an ideal place to do this. However your dens and pack wish to do this, work together with the other leaders in your pack to build this into your annual program. Identify the adventures that could be supported by your district and council or perhaps a multi-pack event and determine the coordination needed.
  • Audience for requirements. Many of the adventure requirements state that a Scout should demonstrate a new skill or share something they have learned with other boys during a den meeting. While we recognize that the best approach is to carry out sharing tasks in a den setting, it may be necessary to allow Cub Scouts to share what they have learned while working on Cub Scout advancement requirements in other settings, such as in front of their family.
  • Requirements. When planning, keep in mind that each rank contains seven adventures that must be completed for the Scout to earn his rank badge. While your planning will focus on those adventures for rank, fulfilling a year round plan with elective adventures as well will provide the Scout a quality annual program.
  • Read through the adventures requirements posted online updates.

Screen Shot 2015-03-02 at 11.41.50 PMOnce the new youth handbooks and new den leader guides have been released May 2015, review the youth handbook content and den meeting plans for each adventure. Give some thought to which adventures will work the best for your location and climate. There is no required order in which the adventures must be completed. Write in the adventures you will use and the corresponding month that will work best. It is important to seek input from the Cub Scouts in the den to find out which adventures they would like to explore with the members of the den.

  • Recognition. Completion of adventures should be recognized when completed – in the den or pack according to your unit’s custom. Each adventure has a insignia device (adventure loop or pin) and pocket certificate to support it). Once a boy has completed the full requirements for his rank the badge of rank can be awarded at any time within the boy’s rank year by age or grade. Once a boy has moved (graduated) to his next level den he may not earn the rank of his previous den level.
  • Note that boys in LDS units may meet the requirements for Webelos and Arrow of Light simultaneously. This is a consideration only for LDS sponsored units.
  • As you plan your meetings, pay special attention to the “Den Leader Notes” section at the start of the adventure as well as the “After the Meeting” sections of den meeting plans for preparation and materials needed for the next meeting.
    Example of Den Meeting Notes for Wolf "Paws On the Path" Adventure

    Example of Den Meeting Notes for Wolf “Paws On the Path” Adventure

Annual Pack Program Planning

  • All of the FUN of Cub Scouting is still there in the new Cub Scout program! Continue to plan the events your pack traditionally holds such as the Blue and Gold Banquet, Pinewood Derby, Rain gutter Regattas, Kite Derby, Scout Sunday services, Summertime Pack Award activities and attending the Cub camping opportunities of Day Camp and Cub Resident Camp.
  • Pack program events can be built around many of the adventure requirement fun. A STEM pack event for example can support many of the STEM oriented adventures in each rank. A Pack Aquatics day coordinated with a local swim facility can help support the aquatic adventures for all ranks.
  • Each rank contains adventures that support the pack holding a campfire and a Pack family Screen Shot 2015-03-03 at 12.08.47 AMcampout. Some chartered organizations request that their scouts not camp overnight. The adventure requirements honor that request by supporting outdoor activities without camping overnight. The new adventures enhance learning outdoor skills. We encourage your pack to get the Scouts outdoors.
  • Using the Cub Scout Adventure Analysis Worksheet may provide a helpful tool for your unit as you plan your program year. As Den Leaders plan the adventure work for their dens, this worksheet can help you build your annual pack program. By analyzing what impact to finances, manpower, and pack meetings the adventures will have, your unit will have a good idea of the support needed to help the den leaders.


The following resources are important tools for your program planning. They have been updated to reflect the changes that will come with the new Cub Scout program. These update resources will be available May 1, 2015.

  • Handbooks-new-featuredCub Scout Den Leader Guides
  • Cub Scout Youth Handbooks
  • Cub Scout Leader Book
  • How-To Book
  • Ceremonies for Dens and Pack

The additional resources listed below can add character and context to your program planning.

  • Cub Scout Songbook
  • Group Meeting Sparklers

Check with your pack members for these resources. Many packs have pack libraries as well for sharing among their pack leadership. For additional planning tools and resources go to:


  • What’s New” Training Module on E-Learning (by end of March 2015)
  • Updated Cub Scout Position-Specific Training on E-Learning (by end of March 2015)
  • 15-2016/2016-2017 new Pack meeting plans uploaded on (April 1)

Next month, be sure to come back for an overview of the new pack meeting plans. These plans feature new themes with each month referencing one point of the Scout Law. For ongoing updates, visit for regular program updates and links to program materials and training opportunities.

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