4 Reasons Why You Should Buy Your Cub Scout Handbook in the Summer

Before the summer comes to an end, get a copy of the Cub Scout handbook for your son’s next rank even if your den doesn’t meet during the summer.  Most of us don’t even think about buying any Cub Scout gear for the next rank until school starts and our dens begin meeting again.

However, there are great reasons to get the Cub Scout manual and read through it with your child.  Whether you’re a Cub Scout den leader or a Cub Scout parent, there are four benefits you’ll get by spending some time perusing the handbook for your son’s next Cub Scout rank.

1.  You’ll become familiar with what your Cub will be doing during the next year.  The summer is a great time to start reviewing the new program.  You and your son will know what to expect as he works on his next rank.

2.  When your child starts complaining of being bored, direct him to the Cub Scout book to pick out an activity to do.  The Bear elective adventure, Beat of the Drum, has some fun activities.  Your son can complete requirement 7 which is “learn and demonstrate ceremonial dance steps” or requirement 8, “create a dance.”  This will keep your son busy for a while.  He can then invite your neighbors over to watch him perform these dances!

3.  You may be doing some of the activities as a typical part of your summer.  Does your family go to the pool or lake to swim?  There are swimming activities in almost every rank!  Just do the requirements while you’re enjoying your family outing and record them in your son’s handbook.

Here’s a list of the requirements that your son can complete while on a family swimming outing.

Tiger Elective Adventure: Floats and Boats 7. Show how to enter the water safely, blow your breath out under the water, and do a prone glide.

Wolf Elective Adventures: Spirit of the Water 3.  Explain to your den leader why swimming is good exercise.

Wolf Elective Adventures: Spirit of the Water 6.  Visit a local pool or public swimming area with your family or Wolf den. With qualified supervision, jump into water that is at least chest-high, and swim 25 feet or more.

Bear Elective Adventures: Salmon Run 4.  Explain the importance of response personnel or lifeguards in a swimming area.

Bear Elective Adventures: Salmon Run 6.   Visit a local pool or swimming area with your den or family, and go swimming.

Bear Elective Adventures: Salmon Run 7.  Demonstrate the front crawl swim stroke to your den or family.

Webelos/AOL Elective Adventure: Aquanaut 1.   State the safety precautions you need to take before doing any water activity.

4.  There may be opportunities in your community that will fulfill requirements. Does your town have any festivals during the summer?  Ours has a great Fourth of July celebration.  By planning to attend and attending one of those, my son can check off  Webelos/AOL Elective Adventure:  Project Family 7c:  Hold a family meeting to plan an exciting family activity. The activity could be a family outing.

A town close us has a series of outdoor concerts during June.  If we attend one, my son will have completed Webelos/AOL Elective Adventure: Maestro! 1a.  Attend a live musical performance.

I would love to hear what Cub Scout activities you have done over the summer.  Leave a comment below!

Yours in Scouting,

P.S.  If you’re a leader, you’ll definitely want to get your leader guide now.  They (and the boys’ handbooks) are available in an electronic version from Amazon through my affiliate link.  Click on over to buy yours today!

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  3. Steven Farrell October 11, 2013 at 12:31 pm


    Thank you for the translation of the Cub Scout Handbooks. Do you have any plans to do the same for any of the Boy Scout Handbooks?

    Now , junior cannot filter what his parents need to know. I have a large Spanish census, so much so that all of our announcements are sent home in English and Spanish. Currently the Troop is 45% Hispanic, so I have an overwhelming need for translated.documents..

    1. Sherry October 12, 2013 at 7:07 pm

      Hi, Steve! I can’t take credit for translating the handbooks–the links are to translations available on Scouting.org. I tried to find a Spanish version of the Boy Scout handbook that could be downloaded, but unfortunately, I couldn’t. Here is a link to some other types of Spanish resources that are available. http://www.scouting.org/sitecore/content/HispanicInitiatives/Resources.aspx If you look on the right side of the screen, you can find the different types of resources that are in Spanish. Hope they help!

  4. Sam September 21, 2014 at 9:46 pm

    You need to update this page to tell parents NOT to buy the current handbook for next year. The new Cub Scout program has all new books.

    1. Sherry September 22, 2014 at 2:28 pm

      Thanks for the comment and reminder, Sam! I updated the post with a note for now, and I’ve set myself a reminder for April 2015 to update the post with the new books.

  5. Kim February 18, 2015 at 5:51 pm

    Our pack traditionally gives each boy his new rank patch, scarf and handbook in May during our pack graduation ceremony. I believe it helps with retention. The boys and parents get to see what is coming up. Families can also plan their scout year around other activities (mostly sports) if they know what they will be expected to accomplish.

  6. Anne Marie June 17, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    Hi – My Pack wishes to work on the new Scout handbooks together in the fall and has asked us NOT to work on things over the summer – we have always done TONS of stuff over the summer in the past. However, many of the den leaders & their boys will be attending overnight camp for a week and work on many of these same activities. There’s also a week-long day camp which will work on many activities and for which I am volunteering. Are there parts of the new Webelos program that should NOT be worked on without your den and some that could be? My son is excited and proud to be a Webelos for the first time and wants to get started but we’re afraid to do any of it. I was thinking that I’d jot down dates he did something over the summer in his new book and if the den wants to do them again, that would be fine, too. If not, at least my son has had a good experience. Thanks!

    1. Sherry June 18, 2015 at 3:13 pm

      Wow! It surprises me that the pack would say that. Working on Cub Scout stuff is a great way to beat the “I’m bored” syndrome in the summer! 🙂

      For our day camp (which was the first week of June) and for our family summer activities, we are only doing electives. Our rationale is that the dens will need to work on the required adventures, so anything we do for those would be repeated in the fall.

      I would go ahead and do the activities you want and keep track of everything. If it gets repeated, that’s ok. For example, we did Sportsman at day camp, but my son wanted to sign up for that at Webelos resident camp.

      Your son getting sick the weekend of your fall camp out and not being able to go is another great reason to keep track of what you’ve done.

      My son is getting ready to work on Game Design, and he is so excited!

  7. Antonia July 27, 2015 at 2:21 pm

    I noticed you didn’t include Tigers for the swimming activities you listed. They have a swimming section as well. Tiger Elective Floats and Boats 7. Show how to enter the water safely, blow your breath out under the water, and do a prone glide.

    1. Sherry July 27, 2015 at 5:43 pm

      Oh, my! I totally missed that. Thanks for letting me know! I’m adding it now.

  8. Maribel June 9, 2016 at 11:56 am

    Is there an updated list using the new requirements of other family activities in the rank books? If not I will try and assemble one (eventually) and share it if I can.

    1. Sherry June 20, 2016 at 10:44 pm

      Not sure there is. If you compile one, I would love to share it!

  9. Kris S. June 20, 2016 at 3:00 pm

    A few thoughts from a old hand as a Den Leader. My son is 30 now, years ago when he was a Cub Scout the Pack bought the books for the Cubs to give out as they bridged up to the new rank.At the time Day Camp was not a major advancement camp so that was not an issue. We encouraged the boys to work on electives during the summer. As a den Leader my kids were the guinea pigs for activities for rank advancement during the summer. My son would help the other boys that needed help, we had some special needs boys in the Den. However, his situation was different than most, there are so many ways to complete requirements for advancement, the likelihood of it being the same activity is not a given. If the activity is the same, the Cub who has experience can show leadership by helping his Den Mates. A win win for everyone involved. Just my thoughts on the situation….

    1. Sherry June 20, 2016 at 9:35 pm

      Thanks for sharing!

  10. Ranae Hawkins May 5, 2017 at 10:33 pm

    Useful analysis , I was enlightened by the details . Does someone know where my assistant would be able to get a fillable Eagle Scout Service Project Worksheet – Boy Scouts of America document to work with ?


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