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Outdoor Activity Award Pin

So the end of the school year is almost here and I’m drafting a letter to send to the parents about the Outdoor Activity Award. Despite coronavirus restrictions, our pack was able to have several hikes and outdoor activities this year. I expect many scouts will qualify for the award. For the scouts earning it for the first time, they will get the patch. Fantastic! For those who’ve earned it in previous years, what do they get? I see now that the wolf track pin has been discontinued. Should I tell those parents they should still fill out the paperwork, even though their scout won’t receive any recognition beyond a mention at our rank advancement ceremony? I was excited to at least be able to offer them the wolf paw device. So what now? Is there another device we can appropriate for this use? Has it been re-released and I just can’t find it? Or should I just resolve to tell parents that there will be no physical award for earning it a second time?

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As of last fall BSA was using device pins sold by Supply Group via Scout Shop. There’s confusion, some shops have them and, some don’t. See here: Cub Adventures on Their Way Out - #33 by Christopher.Schuster

Yes, I had seen that discussion, although I think the device pins it refers to are the gold and silver rank devices. The one for the outdoor activities award specifically was recalled in early 2020, probably because it was found to have lead in it. In the link I posted above, one of the mods here contacted the supply group and found out that the pin was being discontinued with no replacement.

The fact that BSA won’t re-issue a simple pin (for an existing award) while it gears up to publish brand new handbooks and support materials causes me to speculate that major changes to the program are coming. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Outdoor Activity Award - along with a bunch of other awards - gets dropped altogether. After all, if relevance aka participation rate is the new metric for determining program content, then things like the Outdoor Activity Award should be dropped, as probably less than 10 percent of all cubs actually earn it.

What I did was award them either the Cub Scout device or Webelos device as the Outdoor Activity Award, depending on what rank they were this year. They then pinned it onto their Outdoor Activity Award patch from a previous year, just like the would have with the Wolf Track pin.

Our Supply Group Scout Shop told the pins I previously referenced to are to be used in the interim. There has been no other official (from outside of Supply Group) guidance that I can find.

Also note the difficulty with ordering pins of which the SKU doesn’t come up.

Ah, regular devices are being phased out too??? That makes NO sense.

@RyanEash @Christopher.Schuster ok, I can do that. Although some Webelos will have two of the same devices on their shirts - one on the religious knot, and one on the Outdoor Activity Award. Still, that will be better than nothing. I appreciate the suggestion. Christopher, yes, I have noticed that many of the devices are missing on the scout shop website, but I’m hoping our local shops still have some in stock. I’ll ask our awards/advancement chair to see if she can source some.

I called my shop (remember the one I use is Supply Group managed, not a council trading post) and they had them in stock but their own numbers (I previously referenced to them here) did not come up in their database.

I believe Supply Group’s workforce cuts are inline with those experienced with the National Council which means a lot of staff were let go.

A lot, and that may be a potential reason for inventory discrepancies.

That’s ok. The Cub Scout and Webelos devices denote awarding of the same award for a successive time, just as in your example of the Religious knot. They get another device when they earn that a 2nd time, not another knot. Same concept. A lot of the knots are like that, with various other devices available (well, they were available…). I would think your local scout shops would still have stock of those.

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The Outdoor Activity Award requires attendance at either a District Day Camp or Residence Camp - not just hiking with your Pack. Did they do an online day camp or something last June? That would be the only way they’re realistically qualify for that.

What is the guidance for completing the Outdoor Activity Award and Summertime Pack Award?

Packs and dens should do their best to meet the intent of the awards. If a required activity (such as day camp or resident camp) is not possible due to the COVID-19 pandemic, packs can utilize an alternative option of their choosing. Units should continue to follow any restrictions outlined by their state and local health departments or other local officials regarding gatherings, etc.

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Yes, our district did have a virtual day camp last June. But, since it wasn’t well-attended, our committee voted to accept any combination of the following, per the covid modifications allowed by national:

  • District virtual Cub Scout Day Camp, Summer 2020
  • Any district, council or national “camp-at-home” activities, including our council’s Scout Saturday Live! webcasts
  • Any Troop-Webelos virtual or in-person activities, including local troop’s virtual camp out and another troop’s “novernighter” event at a local camp
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