One of the best things leaders can do for a great year is to create a Cub Scout adventures schedule. The Den Leader’s Guide has a “Den Annual Adventure Plan” form in the advancement section of the guide. Here’s what the form looks like.
I’m sure some of you are wondering exactly how to decide which adventures should be done in which month.This post will describe 7 simple steps that will help you create a useful Cub Scout adventures schedule.
7 Steps to a Useful Cub Scout Adventures Schedule
Write down your rank’s required adventures. These are the adventures that you know your den will need to do.
Each Cub Scout rank has a faith-based Duty to God adventure. These are designed to be completed primarily by the Scout and his family. If you decide that this adventure will be done with the Scout’s family, you can leave it off the list.
Select the electives you want to do, and add them to the list of adventures. Only one elective is required for each rank, but plan more than just one, especially if your den meets over the summer.
Here are some things to think about during that process. (I’m using the Bear rank as an example.)
- What are your son’s interests? Does he like to fish? Select A Bear Goes Fishing. Is he enamored by robots? Pick Robotics.
- What are your interests and skills? If you really like boating, Salmon Run is perfect for you. Love animals? Choose Critter Care.
- What are the interests and skills of the other parents in your den? Do you have someone who’s a woodworker? Put their name by Baloo the Builder. Your avid fisher’s name goes by A Bear Goes Fishing. If you have someone who is a police officer or detective, he or she can help with Forensics. A scientist is a great asset for Super Science.
- What elective adventures were completed at Cub Scout day camp and resident camp? If any of the boys from your den attended either of these events, mark off that adventure instead of repeating it. Remember, the boys who didn’t attend camp can always work on those adventures with their families.
- What electives do the other boys in the den want to complete?
Some of you may be inclined to simply let the boys choose the electives. While that’s a great point and something we should try to do, I do think it’s OK to be a bit selfish in picking out electives.
Let me give you the reason why I say that. The Beat of the Drum is about Native American history and culture. I don’t know much about that, and it’s not one of my interests. It would take me much more time to organize and plan the activities for it than it would for Forensics which I know a little bit about and enjoy. (I watch too much CSI, I guess!)
It’s especially important to have your parents involved if you don’t personally have the skills. I’m not a great swimmer, so I would not feel comfortable leading Salmon Run.
Note for Bear Claws: For the past couple of years, we’ve asked our Boy Scout troop to lead our Whittling Chip classes. It’s a win-win. We have knowledgeable teachers, and they get an opportunity to teach what they know. In fact, for both the Tenderfoot and Life ranks, the boys are required to use the EDGE Method to teach someone a skill.
Bottom line on selecting electives is to do what you think is best for the boys. That’s what we all want to do and why we volunteer.
There was a great conversation about this topic on my Facebook page.
Spend a few minutes familiarizing yourself with the requirements for each adventure. You don’t need to read the handbook or leader’s guide (unless you’re a bit anal like I am!) to create an effective Cub Scout adventures schedule. For this step, you just need a broad overview of the requirements.
Which of the requirements need to be done in a special location?
Your Bears need to go on a one-mile hike for Fur, Feathers, and Ferns, so you’ll need to find a place to hike. Bear Necessities has the boys attending a campout or an outdoor activity. They have to do a community activity such as a cleanup project or parade participation for Paws for Action. Write all of these down by the adventure.
Do the requirements need to be done at a pack meeting or in front of an audience?
The boys organize a carnival and lead it at a special event for Grin and Bear It. The presentation the boys make for Critter Care can be shared with their pack.
Here’s a “cheat sheet” for you. Tell your Cubmaster what activities your Cub Scouts will need to do at a pack meeting and make a note of the month by the adventure.
Check other activities and events planned in your area.
Review your pack’s calendar when making your Cub Scout adventures schedule. Do you have an October campout planned? Complete Bear Necessities at that campout in October. Will your pack be marching in your local Veteran’s Day parade? Put Paws for Action down for November.
Many of your local science centers, nature centers or zoos offer programs for Cub Scouts. In fact, some of them are planned specifically to complete an adventure. Find out when they are, and write the dates next to that adventure.
Consider the weather. Do you live in a climate where it gets really cold starting in November? You might want to complete the hike for Fur, Feathers, and Ferns in September or October. Make sure that the weather is appropriate for the age of your Cub Scouts.
Think about holidays. You’ll probably have fewer den meetings in December, so plan an adventure that doesn’t take long to complete like A World of Sound. Considerations such as this will ensure that your Cub Scout adventures schedule is appropriate.
In this final step, complete your Den Annual Adventure Plan. Use the information you’ve compiled already to choose which month would be best for each adventure. Write the name of the adventure by that month.
Now, you have a completed den adventure schedule! Share a copy with all of your parents.
Your turn. What other things do you consider when planning for your den?
Yours in Scouting,
P.S. I’ve included links to many of the Bear adventures. If you’re looking for the other ranks’ adventures, you can find them here: