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Preview Adventures

I just saw the preview adventures listings on scouting.org after hearing about them on Cubcast and am looking into them as a possibility for our den in next year’s programming. However, they don’t appear to be listed on Scoutbook. How do they get recorded as they are eligible to be used toward advancement? Does a den or pack have to be invited to do the adventures? Or are they open to anyone? Lots of questions…so few answers…

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The SUAC has no information on preview adventures beyond the Cubcast. We were as surprised as you to hear about them.

It sounds like a great program, but it seems like they didn’t fully think out the roll out.

Oh, they look great though! We’ll do them at our annual Summer Library Day!

Summer Library day? I’m intrigued about this. Is it just a den meeting in the summer or does your den do specific activities? Might be something to look at for my den.

And yeah, I do like the look of the adventures and love how each rank has more challenges for each. Just wish they were updated in Scoutbook.

For those not familiar with Cubcast, it is a monthly podcast by BSA. The June 2019 Cubcast introduces the Preview Adventures.

“Summer Library day” is an event that our pack sponsors each summer. We pick a morning, get a room at the library, and “do stuff” (usually pick an adventure for each grade level–something that can be completed in one meeting).

Here’s the program we did last year:

  • Lion: Build it up, knock it down
  • Tiger: Stories and Shapes
  • Wolf: Adventures in Coins
  • Bear: Make it Move
  • Webelos: Art Explosion

We live in a populated area (we have about 20 packs in a 10 mile radius) so I invite all the other packs. We usually have about 6-12 that actually attend because… you know… “summer”

In any event, we knock out a “Cub Scout Day” for that month for the National Summertime Pack Award, end up gathering enough scouts to have a functional Den Meeting, maybe introduce scouts to some passer-bys (we usually have one or two non-scouts join in)and call it good.

I recruit local scouts to serve as temporary “Den Chiefs” for the event (they always need service hours). I assign one to each den level and they run the program, I sit in the back of the room and visit with parents.

Even if you don’t have a large population area to draw from, this is something that any pack can do during the summer. Do one in June, one in July, and one in August so everyone can “do something Cub-Scouty” each month and get that National Summertime Pack Award.

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That’s brilliant. Our pack has not done summertime activities in the past. Might be high time to change that.

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We had two cubs test these today to see what they thought, and I cannot for the life of me find where to enter it into scoutbook. Any ideas how we mark these as complete? The directions say scoutbook… confused.

The Cub Scout Advancement team announced the preview adventures without notifying IT. Scoutbook is not ready

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Ok Thank you! I thought I was going blind. I appreciate the quick response!!

gasp Are these really beltloops that can be earned by more than one age kid???
How can we make sure that our feedback makes it to the right people? Are they likely to remain multi-age? I see that the Yo-Yo description says “The popularity of this adventure will determine if it will become a new adventure in the Wolf Scout Handbook.”
I hope that’s just because they copied that paragraph from something aimed at wolves, not because they’re planning on making it rank-based when they do the next reprint.

Yes, the Scout can complete the adventure multiple times. If you have feedback, send an e-mail to previewadventures@scouting.org. If you are discussing a specific rank’s version of the preview adventure, specify that in the e-mail.

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What I think would be great is if the BSA would have an activity (for example: bicycling, fishing, etc.) and have adventures based on that activity for each den level. The adventures would share similarities, but would increase in difficulty based on age/grade level. This would allow different den levels to do activities together, but not be boring by repeating the exact same thing year after year.

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So, in the meantime, until Scoutbook has a chance to catch up and for the next time this sort of question comes up, I’m thinking the best way to handle this is to put it in the Notes field for the rank they’re working toward? Or is there someplace better to record this?

That’s as good as any.

I agree. Even if packs aren’t doing bicycling or fishing every year, it wouldn’t be appropriate to expect a Tiger to complete what you would ask of a Webelos, so a one-size fits all award that is available to all ranks would be tough.
You can certainly go fishing, or take a bike ride, or look at the stars, without having it be tied to a beltloop, but as a leader, if I don’t have a beltloop/pin to guide me, it’s likely to lean heavily toward just being a fun outing, and short on safety & skills, especially if it’s an area the kids have an interest in, but the leader isn’t an expert.
Looking at the yo-yo requirements, they’re VERY similar, especially Wolf/Bear and Webelos/AOL (I’m not sure why there’s a distinction there at all since it’s an elective!) It would be really easy to have everyone start together then split up into smaller groups to work on the tiny bit that’s different, or let the younger kids go off and play while the older ones finish up.

I’m stoked about all of this!

I have a box somewhere with my yo-yos from when I was younger, yes multiple yo-yos and strings and lube and a holster that clipped on my belt to hold a yo-yo, and finger tape, etc. I’ve been planning some Den activities for the summer and this would be perfect. It’s not required, so kids who are on vacation this summer won’t need to make it up in the fall, and it should be a lot of fun.

If I’m being honest, and I am, I’m also very excited at the chance to get them some cool purple preview belt loops! I’ll be keeping an eye out in Scoutbook and the Scoutshop to make sure I’ll be able to log/buy them before I start.

Also I don’t know how I feel about the idea of having rank-neutral adventures. Obviously a 5th grader can do a lot more than a 1st grader, so the requirements should scale appropriately. I mean, we sort of have it already thematically. There are adventures in each rank about camping or hiking or duty to god, but they have different requirements and names. I guess a rank-less adventure could have different requirements based on the age…

Seeing the previews today, I thought the idea is have it available to all ranks to test how it goes with each age, and then create the adventure for the age it’s best suited for. I imagine it could look something like this for the yo-yo adventure: The lions and tigers had trouble doing the gravity pull and the concept of a pendulum was kind of boring for them. The Webelos went through it very quickly and the adventure barely provided enough content for a single den meeting. However with wolves and bears their skill levels were on par with the requirements where it was a little tricky to do the trick, but they could still do it. They also grasped the concept that a pendulums period is based on it’s length. Since feedback from Wolf dens had the highest positive:negative ratio, we’ll make it wolf adventure and not a bear adventure.

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On the “Protect Yourself” page it has this note:
Recording this adventure in ScoutBook and ordering adventure loops and pins will be available by June 21st.

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Ah, they added that today! (I saved the page as a pdf earlier in the day and that language isn’t there.) I’m sure they were getting lots of questions about it. Thanks! We’d probably do the yo-yo adventure in July anyway, so that works out well.