Cub Scouts

Cubs can canoe!

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New aquatics rules now in effect – Bobwhite Blather:

In April of this year, however, the rules for Cub Scout aquatics changed to allow a range of activities permitted at the unit level. And while most water activities – the more rigorous and risky ones – are still restricted to Boy Scouts and older, Cub Scouts of all ages can now go canoeing, rowboating and paddle boating – the very things they’ve been doing with their families all along. (And yes, I know some of you have been boating as a purportedly unaffiliated “family” activity to get around the BSA’s safety rules.)

There’s always a catch, though, but it’s not a big deal and isn’t anything you wouldn’t expect. While we no longer have tour permits or tour plans, the requirements for adult leaders to be appropriately trained are still in force. There are two primary unit volunteer training courses for aquatics, and they’re both available online: Safe Swim Defense and Safety Afloat.

At least two adults are required to supervise any swimming activity – at backyard, public and hotel pools, beaches, lakes, rivers and oceans, whether or not a lifeguard is present. Safe Swim Defense training, completed within the last two years, is required of at least one adult supervising swimming activities, or even non-swimming activities where the water is over knee-deep or there is a risk of submersion. Common sense, though, dictates that as many adults as possible should complete Safe Swim Defense training – and it should go without saying (but I’ll say it anyway) that they complete Youth Protection Training as well. All boating activities likewise must be supervised by at least two adults, one (and preferably all) with current Safety Afloat training.

Now that you’re trained, what can Cub Scouts actually do on the water? Here’s a summary of allowable activities for Cub Scout packs:

Learn to Swim programs for all ages.
Recreational swimming for all ages, divided by ability groups, with only those who are able to swim (who have passed the BSA 100-yard swim test) allowed in deep water.
Snorkeling in confined areas for all ages, divided by ability groups. Only swimmers are allowed in deep water.
Riding in large boats including commercial marine transport such as excursion boats and ferries, as well as larger (capacity of four or more passengers) privately-owned craft on calm waters where all operation is done by adults.
Stable, fixed-seat rowboats and paddle boats on calm, flat water. If a non-swimmer or beginning swimmer is on board, he must be buddied with a swimmer in the same boat.
Canoes on calm, flat water. A non-swimmer or beginning swimmer must be buddied with an adult swimmer in the same boat.
Single-person kayaks and stand-up paddleboards on calm, flat water for swimmers only (non-swimmers or beginning swimmers are not allowed to kayak or SUP).
Tubing on gently-flowing water for Swimmers only.
Don’t forget about the rule requiring that Coast Guard-approved life jackets are to be worn by persons when engaged in boating activities (rowing, canoeing, kayaking and paddleboarding) and in some cases aboard larger vessels as well.

Recruitment Rally July 22nd

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From District Executive Con Sullivan:

North Star Scouters,

Please join us (and/or send your pack recruitment chair) for breakfast on Saturday, July 22nd between 9 am and 11 am at Luke’s Lodge (outbuilding on northeast corner of campus of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, 100 W 86th St, Indianapolis, IN 46260). This will be an open house format, come when you can. I would like an RSVP so we can pack up once everyone has attended.

Packs will pick up their Registration Night boxes, Open House bags, and Community Yard Signs. Troops can sign up for which Packs/Schools their Troops can assist in the fall. Both can learn about our new Open House style and all about the theme “Catapult into Scouting!”  Some Troops may get catapults they will want to bring to schools to create additional interest in Scouting and their Troop.

Packs, if you have not yet already, please tell me when your school’s “open house, ice cream social, etc.” is AND the date of your Registration Night ASAP!  Special orders on signs and flyers are due by July 22nd at the Open House. If you can get this information to me earlier, I can have them printed and ready for July 22nd.

Please register for this rally here:  http://www.signupgenius.com/go/30E0F4FAEAC2AA7F49-fall

Thanks and I hope to see you there!

Con

Con Sullivan  |  District Executive – North Star 

Good Resources for new Cub Leaders

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So you have just joined a Cub Pack or have been recruited to serve as a Den Leader or Cubmaster. What do you need to know?

First, get trained for your position. At the most basic, you can take online training at my.scouting.org. You will need to create an online profile first. Regardless whether you are registered as a leader yet or not, you can take the training. If you register later, you just need to add your BSA ID number to your online “Profile” to link the information together.

Second, seriously consider doing face-to-face position specific training, regardless if you did the National Council’s training. National focuses on philosophy. Local gives you more information about local resources.

Third, get to know the Cub Learning Library and  Cub Corner on the national website. It is full of good information and publications that you can download for free. The most important are scripts for your den meetings. Other handy tools are forms.

Fourth, make sure you have the Cub Leader Guide Book or Den Leader Guidebook. These are available through Amazon.com in paper or Kindle formats. See example of Bear Den Leader Guidebook.

Fifth, get to know great online resources such as Cubmaster.org or the Cub Scout Leader Portal on meritbadge.org.

Sixth, find out what advancement software or record keeping your pack uses. See if you can learn how to use it to the level expected of your position.

These are great resources, but don’t forget that the biggest resource you have is the other parents. Experienced or inexperienced, they are your resources. If you can find the meeting agenda you want, you can and should delegate meetings to other parents to lead. You then can focus on discipline and efficiency of the meeting. The special guest parent can focus on program and snacks.

Good luck in your new Cub Scout year! Make it great!

Cub Scout Fun Day Schedule

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For Cub Scout leaders, one of the hardest parts about the Fall is that you are hit with popcorn sales, recruiting, and programming in a sixty day period. All of that ignores that school starts, fall sports start, and Labor Day holidays are in the middle of it.

One of the ways to make both recruiting and programming easier is to take advantage of Council’s offerings. You have just-add-water programming.Cub SCout Fun Day Flyer excerpt

One of those opportunities is Cub Scout Fun Days. Multiple dates and locations are offered so that you can make the schedule work for your Pack or Den.

For more information, download the flyer. To assess interest, send it to your Pack parents.

Cub Scout Roundtable Thursday

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School is ending and the summer is here!

Cub Scout Roundtable Commissioner PatchAnd we know what that means: Summer Camp!

Whether you’re taking your boys to Belzer or Camp K… whether it’s your first year or you’re a seasoned pro… join us this Thursday evening, 7:00 PM, at Luke’s Lodge (outbuilding on the campus ofSt. Luke’s Methodist Church, 100 West 86th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46260) for the North Star District Cub Scout Roundtable.

We’ll be discussing both Summer Camps, and what you as a leader should know and expect.

If you are new, come learn some of the ins and outs.

If you are a veteran, come and share the tips and tricks that you’ve learned over the years with other leaders.Canoeing at Belzer

We hope to see many of you there!

Facebook Live tonight: Cub Scout recruiting 2017

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Don’t forget that tonight at 6:30 pm is the night that Council will hold its first ever Facebook Live session. The subject will be Cub Scout recruiting for the back to school cycle of 2017.

I do not have the direct link to the event. I cannot find it on the council’s Facebook page.

I would recommend simply going to this link.

Please note come on a previous Facebook share, I had indicated the wrong time. The actual start time is 6:30 PM.

Quote Heard at a Blue & Gold

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“A scout is … thrifty, brave, clean and reverent … AND HUNGRY!”

Do you have others? Share in comments or email to us.

Wabash Valley District Cub and Webelos Leader Training

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Council through our Wabash Valley District will host at Camp Wildwood in Terre Haute a Cub Scout Leader Training on April 8, 2017, 9:00 am – 3:00 pm, for more information contact the Terre Haute Service Center 812-232-9496.

Later in the month, they will host Outdoor Webelos Leader Skills Training (which is similar to IOLS but specific to Webelos Leaders) April 22-23, 2017 at Camp Wildwood from 9 am (Sat) – 12 pm (Sun) – For more information contact the Terre Haute Service Center 1-812-232-9497. You will likely need to plan to stay overnight. OWLS is very important in the new Webelos advancement program. The increased emphasis on outdoor skills and working as a “patrol” require a Webelos Den Leader have more knowledge than the old advancement requirements. Get ready for the 2017-18 Webelos Den Program by getting trained now.

Cub Scout Camping: Why do we do it?

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Why should Cub Scouts camp frequently?

Simply put, true scouting is in the “outing.”

Since about the 1972 revisions of the Cub Scout program, I am led to believe, Cub Scouting had de-emphasized outings, specifically camping. This was part of a larger misadventure to make “scouting more relevant to the modern era” by making scouting more urban.

different-manuals-1972-1990
An excerpt from http://www.historyofscouting.com

In Boy Scouts, this led to an immediate membership collapse and a re-introduction of outdoor programming a mere five years later.

Cub Scouts didn’t revise as quickly. Their revision re-introducing outings came only in the last 24 months.

Yet, when we give Boy Talks at the elementary schools each fall, the most successful speakers are the ones who emphasize the outdoor programming. They bring backpacks or tents and talk about simple outings. They talk about campfires and marsh mellows.

I have written before about my time as Cubmaster. We would hold three pack camp outings each year: October, May, and Summer Camp at Belzer.

More than any other activity, the boys would ask me, “When is our next campout?” An answer longer than “next month” was met with universal disappointment.

Yes, we camp with Cub Scouts because they find it fun.

But there is so much more. It is part of their personal growth as I have written about before. They adapt over time. It is part of their lessons in figuring out how they fit in the larger world.

The Cub Scout needs to learn at his own speed through new stresses as part of a larger community.

We camp because the basic of society and community are all present. The comforts of home are removed. He learns about himself without realizing lessons are being taught. He just sees fun.

We camp because it builds character, faster than any other method. That fulfills our mission as scouters.

 

Immediate Changes to Cub Scout Advancement Announced

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From Pack 358’s Delaware Tribe’s Cubmaster Sharla Merrick:

The Boy Scouts of America has announced modifications to Cub Scouting that make the program more flexible for busy parents, den leaders and Cubmasters.
The BSA gathered feedback from den leaders who had delivered the new Cub Scouting program for a year. What they learned was that some den leaders had difficulty fitting into their program year all of the adventures required for advancement. This resulted in boys not advancing. After a thoughtful and deliberate review, the BSA has released some modifications to address this concern.
What are the modifications? Some adventure requirements that previously were mandatory will become optional, in a move intended to give Cub Scouters more control over their den program.
The changes, which take effect today (Nov. 30, 2016), were approved by the National Executive Committee of the Boy Scouts of America.
The fine-tuning reflects the BSA’s three-step approach to new programs: Launch. Learn. Modify.
YIS,
Sharla

Here’s a quick look at what you need to know. 

Cub Scouting’s fall 2016 modifications, an overview

  • First of all, you won’t need to buy any new materials. The new requirements will be posted in a free addendum available at scouting.org/programupdates. This will supplement the handbooks in current circulation and for sale online and in Scout shops.
  • While the overall feedback from den leaders about the new Cub Scout program has been very positive, some den leaders said a number of the new adventures had requirements that were too difficult for dens to complete within the Scouting year. 
  • The number of new Cub Scouts is up in many areas of the country, but rankadvancement rates have not kept pace, meaning the BSA’s team of volunteers and staff advisers wanted to react quickly to eliminate what might have become a roadblock for some dens.
  • A national volunteer task force developed a solution: Make more of the adventure requirements optional, giving dens more flexibility to match their unique needs.
  • The modifications are designed to ensure that adventure requirements are achievable by today’s Cub Scout dens within a program year. This means they are achievable by all Cub Scouts, regardless of background or socioeconomic status.
  • Most of the modifications involve the number of requirements that must be completed, reducing the mandate to a number achievable within the limited time available to many dens. This is done while retaining the rich program options that allow leaders to build strong programs adapted to their needs.
  • The changes increase den-level customization. Units that can handle more content, perhaps because they meet more often or for longer periods, can — and should! — keep the optional requirements part of their program. On the other hand, those that have struggled to finish the requirements will welcome these changes as a way to meet their needs.
  • With the modifications, dens should be able to complete one adventure in approximately two den meetings.
  • The transition should be seamless, with leaders able to use revised requirements as the den begins any new adventure.

Where to find the new requirements

Simply log on to scouting.org/programupdates. I suggest making it one of your bookmarks.

Where to go first if you have questions

See answers to FAQs about these changes here.