By Annaleis Smith
Nov 25, 2014

How to Eat an Elephant – New Cub Scout Program Overview

(Part 10 of 10 in a series on the New Cub Scout Adventure Program) 

You may have heard this question “How do you eat an Elephant?”  And the answer – “One bite at a time.” So over the past 11 weeks I have tried to share with you bite size pieces of the 20hr+ of training that I (along with 10 others from our council) received at the Philmont Training Center this past summer about the new Cub Scout Adventure Program.   We still have quite a few months of time before the new program and the new requirements go into effect and like I mentioned in last weeks post more training and information will be coming from national starting in January of 2015.  So, I’m sure when they release new information I will try to help you know about it, know where to find it, and hopefully help understand it too.  But for now anyway this will be the last article in this series. So, I would like to end this series with a recap of the main topics (the big bites) covered thus far.

Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 1.59.11 AMPart 1 – “Cub Scout Advancement made simpler” – I started with my favorite part of the new program.  The fact that all the ranks Tiger – Arrow of Light would be earned int he same way.  Complete 7 adventures.  Of course the adventures are all different and how many are required vs electives change but just the fact that they are all earned the same way will make this program so much easier for parents and boy to understand and leaders to administer.  It’s also more aligned with the aims and mission of scouting.

Part 2 – “Cub Scout Adventure Loops and Pins” –  I showed you pictures, gave descriptions and more information about what a boy will receive when he completes each adventure.  Gone are the beads and arrow points and webelos activity pins too.  Now each boy has an equal chance at monthly recognition.

Part 3 – “Cub Scouts to use Scout Oath and Law” – I told you about how the Cub Scout Promise and Law of the Pack are being replaced by the Scout Oath and Law and how the 12 points of the Scout Law will replace Cub Scoutings 12 Core Values.  Remember that as a Cub Scout and Cub Scout leader we will say the Oath and Law while holding up the Cub Scout sign.

Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 1.28.47 AMPart 4 – “Cub Scouting -What is NOT Changing!” – I listed over 25 specific things about today’s Cub Scout program that will not be changing.  In fact only 3 of the 8 methods of Cub Scouting are being affected by the upcoming changing.  SO much of what makes Cub Scouting so great is still going to be there and SO many of the activities we/they love to do, can still be done.

Part 5a – “Cub Scouting – What IS changing” – I talked about new handbooks, the new advancement model, the new tiger image and other changes that a boy might notice. The boy’s new handbooks are scheduled to be available by May 2015.

Part 5b – “Cub Scouting – What else IS changing” – I went into the changes that affect the leaders more, like the Den and Pack Meeting Resource Guide being replaced by the new Den Leader Guides and the updating of the Cub Scout Leader Book.

Part 6 – “A Den Leaders Dream Come True” –  Gail Hyde shares with you why she really likes the new Den Leader’s Guide that will be coming out.  One for each rank Tiger, Wolf, Bear and a combined Webelos/Arrow of Light.  They should be available in the Scout Shop by May 1, 2015.

Screen Shot 2014-11-25 at 1.33.49 AMPart 7 – “Planning ahead of the new Cub Scout Adventure Program” – With help from my friend Linda Vaughn, I try to help you understand why we need to start learning about the changes now so that we can be prepared and ready with our pack’s transition plans come June 1, 2015 when the new program starts.  We will all handle these summer months differently because we all have different boys in our packs. We all need to be ready to start the new program by Sept 1, 2015 if not before.

Part 8 – “WHY is the Cub Scout program changing?” – gives you just a taste of the history behind the changes. Who, Why and How it was decided which changes needed to be made.  There were lots of volunteers involved in this and it wasn’t just a super of the moment decision.

Part 9 – “Cub Scout Adventure Program – Where can I get more training?” – Gives you places to go to learn more and tells you who to go to to communicate your needs for more training.  If you can’t find an answer, if you don’t understand something, ASK!  Communication is the key!

nutshellPart 10 – “How to Eat an Elephant” – is THIS post, that hopefully helps you easily find and review any articles you want to read again, share with others or read if you missed it the first time around.

Additional posts“Who is Ethan” – Was written by Daryl Alder, before he asked me to write about the new program, in this post he introduced us to a new face in Cub Scouting that you will be seeing inside all the boys new handbooks.  And in another post 411 of the new Cub Scout program Daryl also tells of his experience pretending to be a Cub Scout at the National meetings, May 2014, and the STEM experiment he participated in while there.

So, are we done?  Have we eaten the whole elephant?  Probably not but I have really tried to help you get to the meat of it all.  Until the transition period is over and we are well into the new program I’m sure we will still be finding parts of the elephant that we need to bite into a little bit more – until then keep looking for Cub Scout related articles to be posted here on our Council Newsletter/Blog – The Boy Scout.

And as usual I will end my post with another Q & A:

Q: When will the STEM/NOVA award requirements be modified and how will the new requirements be communicated?

A: Now that the core of the new Cub Scout program development is complete, the development team is moving on to other, connected elements of Scouting, of which the STEM/NOVA awards is one. The requirements will be revised and released no later than January 1, 2015. When the new requirements are finalized, it will be communicated via, Bryan on Scouting and other appropriate channels. 


Author:  Annaleis Smith,  Council Cub Scout Chair.

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2 thoughts on “How to Eat an Elephant – New Cub Scout Program Overview

  1. AvatarRene' Sheets

    I am working on my Wood Badge Ticket. One of my goals is to seek after the lost boy. We have several boys who are on our rolls but are not attending Den Meetings. The parents are not sold on the program because the Pack is affiliated with the LDS church and they are not active members. I want to make personal visits to each boy and his parents and present a short power point on the benefits of Cub Scouting and how it can help to shape their son’s life, and invite the boy to join the Den. Is there anything at the scout office that does this? Or are there pictures I can get that I can put in my power point. I will be making one for each leader who will be making these personal visits for the boys in their dens. I wanted to ask because there is no since in reinventing the wheel.

    1. Annaleis SmithAnnaleis Smith Post author

      You might find what you are looking for at – click on the you tube link on the top right side or another place to try is they have some great videos about why they love Scouting.


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