We have one wolf who is struggling to complete the Bobcat Requirements. When he attends den meetings he can keep up with the den earning other adventure loops but part of the problem may be a support problem. Does anyone have games or links to fun and safe youtube videos that we can provide to the parents so maybe they can get assistance from babysitter or older siblings?
Remember, the standard in Cub Scouts is “Do your best”. If you google “games for bobcat requirement” you will find many ideas.
- Learn and say the Scout Oath, with help if needed.
- Learn and say the Scout Law, with help if needed.
- Show the Cub Scout sign. Tell what it means.
- Show the Cub Scout handshake. Tell what it means.
- Say the Cub Scout motto. Tell what it means.
- Show the Cub Scout salute. Tell what it means.
- With your parent or guardian, complete the exercises in the pamphlet
How to Protect Your Children From Child Abuse: A Parent’s Guide.
All requirements in Cub Scouts fall under the Do You Best standard. The Scout’s best, not something compared to the efforts of others.
Requirements 1 and 2 include with help if needed. Requirement 7 is the five topics portion begining on page 20 of the Guide (attached) which is done by the parent/guardian, with the Scout. All you need to focus on is 3 through 6 and even then, it’s to the Do Your Best standard.
As a leader - We know what the requirements are for the rank the written material has been given to the family. All the new scouts hit the mark and earn the badge. This one is the only one who hasn’t. How can we get the parents help this child - We’ve only been able to have many in-person den meetings in the last month, so covering the material in a meeting hasn’t happened.
Child’s zoom meeting attendance is spotty at best because family is new to town and not sure if there is an adult available when those meetings happen (like older siblings are babysitting?). Not sure how much home support there is - Was looking here to see if anyone had links to helpful videos for the Cub to watch and maybe that would help get him over this hump in advancement - really trying to not leave one behind - especially when he comes to pack hikes and such he seems to really have fun and enjoy it. (I’m the committee chair and the leader wants the child & parents to show initiative for earning this rank, just seems like the parents have a lot on their plates or something) I’ve found Quizziz & Kahoot! games for it - but that’s all and those are more fun with a group to play.
None of the requirements say memorize and they allow for help.
Has the Scout completed any of them? At all of your meetings, do you say the Scout Oath and Law? This repetition may be enough for the Scout to be able to recite them with help.
Or is this about the parents not having lied to you about doing #7 yet?
Not at all accusing the parents of that - never would accuse the parents of that - if they tell us they did then we take them at their word! They haven’t even answered if they did or not.
. The leader has tried several times to engage with them - We have even offered to hold one on one (child & parent) Zoom call Meeting with them to help him along. Repetition of oath and law are helpful but everyone can see it’s hard to do your best if your not there - just was looking for resources to help them out.
no was not saying you accused them - as a DL I used to BEG parents to lie to me about it so I could mark it off - LOL
It seems I should apologize for offering an opinion.
Sing the scout law: Singing the Scout Law - YouTube
Sing the scout oath: The Scout Oath - (Twinkle Twinkle) - YouTube
Which of the requirements is the scout having issues with? That may help us help you. I’m a den leader for tigers and all of these children have earned their bobcat. Many of these kids couldn’t read (or at least well).
In this situation I read and they repeat (1&2). Then we go over each line or word. I’m trying to teach them concepts and make sure next time they hear the words they understand the meaning. I’m more satisfied with that then just having the scouts commit to rote memorization without knowing what it means. I haven’t had an issue with 3-6. #7 sometimes is though to get done. I’ve printed out the book and given it to parents at the den meetings and said, “here is your homework, you are holding up your kid from advancing…trust me, it doesn’t take very long”.
I’d step it up a little with a wolf, make them read, but like others have said, “do your best” and “with help”.
They get plenty of practice…every den and pack meeting.
Honestly, you don’t have to involve the parents at all except for 7.
For 1-6, the den can do these at EVERY official activity, online or in-person. Does the kid come to the hikes? Great. Do 1-6 as a gathering activity for the hikes. Having meetings and working on adventure loops? Great. Do 1-6 before starting work on the loops.
Each time you show the cub scout sign, ask one of the scouts what it means - “it means the ears of the wolf are up and ready to listen. It also reminds us of two things - the Scout Oath and the Scout Law.” Each time you do the salute, ask a scout what it means…and so on with the rest of 1-6. With enough repetition, the scout WILL start to remember. It’s also good practice for the other scouts, to reinforce what they’ve already learned.
For the Oath and Law, it says “with help if needed.” You can literally go line by line and ask the scout to repeat what you say. “Lets do the Scout Oath. Repeat after me. On my honor I will do my best…” Scout repeats “on my honor I will do my best…” and so on. Same with the Scout Law.
If you follow these suggestions, the scout should be able to complete 1-6 after a few meeting and/or activities.
Number 7 would be the issue if the parents can’t or won’t do it with the scout. In that case, use language like “just tell me when it gets done and I will mark it complete. Then we can give your scout his new Bobcat badge!” Then just hope they either really do it or at least tell you they’ve done it.
The text in the pamphlet is small, and some parents just won’t read the thing. I try to tell them specifically what to do. “In the pamphlet there are five exercises in gray boxes. Read those exercises and do them with your child.” I’ll literally hold up a pamphlet and open it up to the exercises and point to them. Hopefully that info is specific enough for them to understand what they need to do. You can always add “we do this to help keep your kids safe, inside and outside scouting.” Hopefully that’ll give them motivation to do it.
As they said As a leader - We know what the requirements are for the rank the written material has been given to the family.
Frankly I’m not convinced they understand the advancement rules for meeting the requirements as that information has been passed along to them from a few of us.
I’m fairly convinced the original poster doesn’t understand the language, doesn’t understand the standards for completing the requirements, let alone the Guide to Advancement’s interpretation and definition of the Cub Scout standard of Do Your Best.
We gave the parents a copy of the pamphlet because they had a 2nd hand copy of the handbook with that portion missing.
Wow! There have been many helpful suggestions here - particularly the song method for helping the youngest to remember and keep the learning process FUN.
However Mr Schuster, I only asked for ideas because we are trying to help a youngster out to learn and to do their best while they have fun. It’s not the child’s fault if home support isn’t the same level as the others in the den - we want everyone of them to feel good about attending and belonging. We take the words of the Scout Law to heart and try our best to be Helpful, Kind & Courteous. But to say that I don’t understand the advancement processes is a little harsh. Nationwide I’m sure Volunteers are doing their best and doing more to support the youth with less council support than ever (staff reductions do that). When someone comes to a forum asking for ideas on to solve something telling them they don’t understand the language of advancement is not welcoming or constructive.
I’ll do my best to refrain from commenting further. The language you used gave me the impression that you didn’t understand advancement.
For that I apologize.
I would argue flexibility is the name of the game. There’s already a big enough retention problem in the program to be worried about anything except fun as the most important thing.
The Bobcat Award in no way requires the activity to be specific to new Scouts. We have started doing Bobcat for all the existing Scouts too. I don’t expect every Scout to have learned all the words for several years. If you look at the requirements across all the ages, the first time to memorize the Oath/Law in the 5th Grade. A Scout could have spoken the Oath/Law more than 150 times before they need to do it from memory.
So we do the oath and law every meeting for every Scout. We have a literal board (poster board transitioning to wood) with both written on it they can read. We don’t make any kid stand up alone and prove they can repeat any of the aspects of Bobcat
The sign, salute handshake we review regularly. (we skipped the handshake this year, it was October…) There’s kids who get confused which hand so we do constant teaching on this for months on end.
The slogan we cover semi-regularly as a reminder of our standard is we expect them to do their best.
That’s all Bobcat is. If it takes your unit more than 10 minutes to complete you’re wasting time. Play a game instead. And that’s the problem with the Bobcat Rank, it makes the paperwork too serious
I would like to see Bobcat shift to being three things
- The current requirements 1-6
- going on your first outdoor activity
- earning your first activity award
Celebrate more than repeating or reading some words. The kids didn’t have a sense of achievement over something that takes ten minutes to do or playing some games that the older Scouts finish in 60 seconds
And then for the pamphlet, this content is covered way too many times and shouldn’t be the holdup. It’s the sign of an outdated requirement when there’s content on kids learning how to protect themselves that’s parent only and there’s the same basic content in the protect yourself rules that anyone in the pack can do.
I was losing too many kids who had Bobcat short of #7 or their annual rank short of the same booklet. So we changed to where I’ll ignore the who because the what is far more important.
@KevinCarlyle - I understand your approach regarding the parent exercises. So far, I’ve been lucky in the past couple of years as Cubmaster. When I tell parents that this is the only thing holding their Scout up, they either do it or lie and say they did. I do think most of them are actually doing it.
I was a den leader about 15 years ago, and I sometimes needed to have my Scouts do this with an older sibling, because their parents only spoke Cantonese.
I know most actually aren’t and it’s not very Scout-like to put parents into a situation where we expect them to lie. It’s kind of right there in the Scout Law.
In 2019-20 we did a large group event for cyberchip and the safety aspect. This year we did it by den combined with protect yourself. We’ll probably go back to whole pack next year. The large group enabled any parent who wanted to be involved to do so and those that don’t can listen and the good questions asked were heard by all the kids.
What’s often missed that one thing we’re doing as Scout leaders is training the parents too.
This pamphlet expects a parent who if we’re lucky barely has had to deal with the topics in the pamphlet to sit down and teach it within the first two weeks of joining. To a 6-7 year old who is going to have a difficult time understanding the concepts. These are kids who often have a hard time understanding to use a napkin.
Honestly, we’re probably long overdue for a change on this badge.
Bobcat was introduced way back when the program was for age 9-11 and the content makes total sense for a 9 year old. It clearly was tacked onto the entry requirements under the idea of being good to do up front (true) without thinking about who is doing it.
So maybe my three items are wrong
- The current requirements 1-6
- going on your first outdoor activity OR earn your first activity aware
- complete the protect yourself rules with an adult who has completed YP training