Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Cub Scout Adventure Program

For those who don’t know, there are changes coming to the Cub Scout program. Beginning in June 2015, all cubs will begin using a new program designed to bring out the adventures in scouting. This month, I want to finally introduce you to the new adventure model. How many of you actually know how all of the current ranks work? How does a boy earn his Tiger rank? Tiger Cubs advance using one method and Wolves another method. Bears modify and complicate the method yet again and Webelos take a whole different approach with Activity Badges. If you have been a Cub Scout leader for a while you probably have it all figured out, but, let’s pretend you are a brand new den leader or a brand new parent who has never done cub scouts before—it takes some reading, training and explaining for you to get the whole picture and to understand the differences between the ranks.

Let’s compare the difference between the Wolf and Bear ranks. Wolves currently have 12 achievements that need to be completed to earn their rank. Then they have multiple electives that they can complete to work towards their arrow points. The first 10 earn a gold arrow point and each 10 thereafter earn them a silver. Not too hard to understand. Then the boys move up and start to work on their Bear rank and now it’s different. Yes, they still have to complete 12 achievements but it’s 12 out of 24 total. 1 for God, 3 for Country, 4 for Family and 4 for self. Then just like in the wolf book there are electives and 10 gives you a gold arrow point and each 10 thereafter gives you a silver. Then you add in the fact that parts of the achievements not counted towards the rank advancement can also count towards the arrow points. Just enough different to cause more confusion. And right about the time that this structure makes sense, the boy moves up to the Webelos rank with a whole new system of activity badges, which are actually pins, a compass emblem with compass points…you get the picture.
My favorite part of the new Cub Scout Adventure program is the fact that each rank, Tiger through Arrow of Light uses the exact same advancement model. Once a parent, leader, or boy has figured out what it takes to earn that first rank (excluding bobcat – it’s still just about the same) they know what it takes to earn the next rank and the next and the next.

Each rank has the same two requirements. 1) Complete 7 adventures. 2) Complete the Parent Guide and Cyber Chip award. That’s it! Really! It will be that simple!
The number of required vs elective adventures will be different and the cyber chip award changes depending on the age of the boy but once you know it is 7 adventures for the first rank, it’s still 7 total adventures for the next rank and the next.

Another big change is immediate recognition. When a boy completes an adventure he has earned the immediate recognition for that adventure. No longer do den leaders have to keep track of how many achievements a boy has competed to earn a red or yellow bead that shows he is part way there. And the Webelos won’t be they only ones getting awards on a regular basis. It will be the same for all the boys. After a boy completes an adventure, he is awarded an Adventure Loop or Adventure Pin. If a boy completes additional elective adventures (beyond the rank) he earns another loop or pin. No more beads, no more arrow points, no more emblems.

Q – Is the “Protecting your Child from Abuse” and Cyber Chip really required for every rank now?
A – YES!  The BSA is very serious about protecting our youth and keeping them safe and this new requirement to do it for every rank shows just how serious they are.  The Cyber chip award has different requirements depending on their age so it’s not the exact same thing every time. In today’s tech heavy world this is important for the boys!
I plan to highlight parts of the changes each month in my Cub Corner. This is going to be a fun new adventure for all of us. Let’s get on board!

Upcoming Events
·       Cub Camp registration is now open!
·       2/12/12 – Roundtable @13768 S 6400 W
·       2/16/15 – Cub Winter Day Camp @Camp Tracy
·       3/12/15 – Special NEW CUB PROGRAM Roundtable @13768 S 6400 W
·       3/14/15 – Utah Scout Expo ticket sales kickoff
·       4/9/15 – Roundtable @13768 S 6400 W
·       5/2/15 – Utah Scout Expo @South Towne Expo Center
·       5/5/15 – Scout Day at Wendy’s
·       5/14/15 – Roundtable @13768 S 6400 W
·       5/16/15 – OWL (Outdoor Skills for Webelos Leaders) and BALOO (Basic Adult Leader Outdoor Orientation) @Camp Tracy

Sign up for email reminders and information.

The Things That Haven't Been Done Before

The Scout Law. 
A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent.

Some of the Greatest things ever accomplished are things that never been done before. Scientist, inventors, explorers, and businessmen have all made our lives better because they weren’t afraid to try something new. Edgar Guest (1881 -1959, poet and writer) wrote a poem where he challenges us not to follow the beaten path, but to have courage and do something that hasn’t been done before.

“The Things That Haven’t Been Done Before”
The things that haven’t been done before,
Those are the things to try;
Columbus dreamed of an unknown shore
At the rim of the far-flung sky,
And his heart was bold and his faith was strong
As he ventured in dangers new,
And he paid no heed to the jeering throng
Or the fear of the doubting crew.

The many will follow the beaten track
With guideposts on the way.
They live and have lived for ages back
With a chart for every day.
Someone has told them it’s safe to go
On the road he has traveled o’re,
And all that they ever strive to know
Are the things that were known before.

A few strike out, without map or chart,
Where never a man has been,
From the beaten paths they draw apart
To see what no man has seen.
There are deeds they hunger alone to do;
Though battered and bruised and sore,
They blaze the path for the many, who
Do nothing not done before.

The things that haven’t been done before
Are the tasks worthwhile today;
Are you one of the flock that follows; or
Are you one that shall lead the way?
Are you one of the timid souls that quail
At the jeers of a doubting crew,
Or dare you, whether you win or fail,
Strike out for a goal that’s new?

What are you going to do that hasn’t been done before?

Thursday, January 8, 2015

OA - Frequently Asked Questions

The Order of the Arrow is Scouting honor society.  It is a youth run society that promotes camping and scouting's values of cheerful and service.  To join the OA a youth must be a registered Boy Scout or Varsity Scout and must have at least earned the rank of First Class and have had at least 15 days and nights of camping in the last 2 years including a week long camp.  Then he needs to be elected by members of his troop by majority vote.  Ideal candidates are scouts who are examples of the Scout Oath and Law and who are cheerful even when given difficult tasks or in difficult circumstances.  Once elected the candidate must attend an overnight campout called an Ordeal.  There will be 3 Ordeals this spring: March, April, and May.  We would like to come to your unit starting in February to do elections so that your youth can participate in the OA.  As you plan your activities for 2015, plan a time for the OA to come to your activity night.  It takes about half an hour to do an election.  

Some Frequently Asked Questions...

Will it take my scout away from my troop/team/crew?  A scouts first duty is to his Troop or Team or Crew.  If there is a conflict between an OA activity and a troop activity, the Arrowman should attend the troop activity.

If one of my scout joins the OA how much time will it take?  Depends how much you want to get out of it.  The chapter meets once a  month-the second Thursday of the month.  The lodge also meets once a month on the 4th Thursday.  In addition there are several camps throughout the year you can attend.  A youth can just attend the chapter activities or both chapter and lodge activities.  If an Arrowman wants to be more involved he can be part of the leadership that runs the chapter or lodge activities.

How much will it cost?  Dues are $10 per year.  The Ordeal costs $35, of which $15 pays for the sash, $10 is for the first years dues and the rest covers the cost of the camp(food and other expenses).  However don't let a youth miss out on being a member of the OA because of the cost.  If this is a burden for a young man there are opportunities to work to earn the money and there is some donated funds available to help cover the cost. 

More information at
Contact me at

Yours in Brotherhood,
Mark Kirkham