I would propose a major change to the Cub Scout electives program. I would like to see feedback on it.
With an ever shrinking program seeing smaller and smaller dens is the norm. Restructuring the program so it can serve multiple ages working together as much as possible seems ever more important.This is meant to create a program to support smaller units better with less unique costs for each age to help budgets.
This would be through a three tier program model.
–Tier 1. Every year required activities for all ages–
the most important requirements that defines Scouting should do should be the required activities. Don’t think required adventure, think of actual single activities.
The most obvious one is The Hike Every Scout age through Webelos has a hike of varying length as an advancement requirement. Some include nature aspects, some don’t.
This allows a family with a Wolf and Lion to stick together for a mile or if the family has a Lion only they can hike a tenth of a mile and turn back.
Have a list pack-wide activities to complete each year and each den does the age appropriate requirements for it.
Duty to God would roll into this area.
–Tier 2. Single year required activities–
Think of the whittling chip for Bear or Scouting Adventure for AoL. Something you do as that year.
This would be a subset of the current program of what is truely only appropriate for that age.
The idea is the further you get into the program the more Tier 2 activities you complete and less in Tier 3.
–Tier 3. Electives for All–
Electives should be appropriate for all ages from Lion on up to where multiple dens can work together. Copy the Outdoor Activity award model and increase the amount of work needed to complete an activity as a Scout advances in the program
ex. Lions do requirements 1-2, Tigers 1-3, Wolves 1-4, Webelos 1-6. The idea is each requirement you go deeper into the topic. All Scouts start with the basics but not all Scouts move onto the advanced parts
Have electives count only for your current grade, you need to earn new electives each year in a new topic.
I would expand out the electives to 100-120 options so a Scout has plenty of activities to complete and a family can pick from a wider list for more interests each year. Rotate in and out new ones more often.
Most of today’s activities could shift into this program.
Then retire the belt loops and webelos pins as is. They’re $1.50-$2.00 each and they’re all unique to a specific age and activity. My Scouts complete about 9 on average each year and I easily end up with extras. There’s a lot of money in producing all the millions of loops and pins too.
I would like to see it switch to a new pin program.
Have an age-based single patch (think a Lion face or Webelos logo) for each year with a pocket loop much like the old Webelos compass patch. Hand out a pin that attaches to it for each activity completed.
Area 1 pins could be like a person hiking but the same pin for all ages. If 14 kids hike I buy 14 of the same pin.
Area 2 required pins could be age specific, but a lot less of them as there would be less required items.
For Area 3 electives hand out a common elective pin. Different colors by age can be skipped, that’s what the patch is for.
Then put in place an award like the old 20er where if a Scout completes so many activities in the year, again copying the Outdoor Activity Award model, they receive a special pin that goes on the patch right in the middle.
–What does this enable?–
The idea is I can create a different program plan each year. In 2020 I may do the fishing badge for all ages, in 2021 I do an outdoor carnival and in 2022 I do rocket launching. It keeps the program fresh for a smaller pack where I have one activity for all ages each month and do more combined meetings.