Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Combining Wolves and Bears and Webelos Dens

Updated for November 2016 program updates.

Is your pack too small for three full dens?  Mine is too!!!  

Idea #1 Combine all three ranks.
Try to teach the requirements for all three ranks in one den meeting each year.  Here is a schedule for Three ranks combined.  I do not like how this breaks up badge requirements and the boys don't get their monthly awards (they get a bunch and then none for a few months), I also do not like how they get hardly any elective adventures.  It also makes for a longer den meeting because there is more to cover each time.  However, I have found that a majority of cub scouting leaders desire this option.  If they teach most of the requirements very, very simply and focus on just one or two per den meeting, this can work.

Idea #2 Easier, teach all ages the same badge

To combine dens in the simplest way for the den leader, teach one cub scouting pin or belt loop each month as a combined den.  Give all your boys the same award at the end of the month (ie they all earn a Wolf loop or all earn a Webelos pin regardless of age).  If you do one per month you can cycle through everything in 19-21 months including the cyberchip.  You'll finish earlier if the Webelos earn adventure badges at day camp.

When combining dens, you work backward on ranks so that the older boys don’t graduate cub scouting without having earned all three ranks (assuming you combined Wolf, Bear, and Webelos).  This means finish all adventures your oldest boy needs first, then the Bear, then the Wolf.  

This works because the Webelos get their rank early, the Bears earn rank a couple of months late, and the Wolves are quite late however this is fine because they are so far ahead of schedule for their Bear.  After the cycle you can uncombine if your den has grown.

The Wolves and Bears won't finish their Webelos early because they have to go to Webelos day camp, earn the two duty to God awards, and earn the Scouting Adventure badge.  They will just be ahead.  

This allows the den leaders to focus on just one adventure per month instead of pulling out all three rank books at a time, going crazy, and trying to squeeze every rank into one den meeting!  When our den got to the end of the rotation we did a ton of electives before starting over and that was really fun!  

Sample Combined Den Schedule
1) Webelos Walkabout, (LDS Webelos discuss primary program for one of the requirements in the Duty to God award.)
2)Webelos Stronger Faster 
3) Webelos Cast Iron Chef (start Bear Picnic Basket)
4)Webelos Duty to God (Webelos Only).  Cyber Chip for 3, 4, 5 grades, Whittling Chip (start Bear Claws)
5) Webelos First Responder
6) Webelos Build it and 1)Bear Baloo the Builder (consider using the pinewood derby car as one of the projects!)
7) Arrow of Light Duty to God (Webelos Only all done at home) 
8)Arrow of Light Building a Better World
9) Arrow of Light Scouting Adventure (Webelos Only don't teach this with the Bear and Wolf, have a parent night with a scout troop and get it all done at once!  See below) 
10) Arrow of Light Elective (or if this will be done at camp skip ahead a month!)
11) Arrow of Light Outdoorsman (or if this will be done at camp skip ahead a month)
2) Finish Bear Claws and 3)Bear Picnic Basket
4)  Bear Necessities (day camp requirement, you may want to count day camp for Wolves toward Call of the Wild and they can finish Bear Necessities next summer after day camp)
5) Bear Fern Feathers Fur 

Year 2 
6) Bear Paws for Action (Optional LDS Teach about Joseph Smith for one of the Famous Americans for Learning and Living the Gospel #2 in Faith and God)
7) Start Bear Duty to God (Religious Emblem, Wolf Howling at the Moon can be paired with LDS Religious Emblem "Developing Talents #3")
Finish Bear Duty to God 1) Wolf Howling at the Moon (combine with part of LDS Religious Emblem)
2) Wolf Elective 
3) Wolf Council Fire
4) Running with the Pack 
5) Wolf Duty to God Footsteps 
6)Wolf Paws on the Path
7) Wolf Call of the Wild (day camp or other outdoor activity needed.)

Idea #3 Combine with another den.

Ask your stake leaders if you can combine with another pack.  This requires compromise and definitely a monthly committe meeting for everyone involved.  Care must be taken to coordinate and figure out who is in charge, there needs to be one committee chair not two, decide which pack they will be from and then support them.  Budgeting must be carefully shared, if one pack is bigger than the other how will that affect the budget?  

LDS religious emblem requirements, boys should earn the religious emblem at some time during their cub scouting years. I like to count it toward the Bear Duty to God award.

Learning and Living
the Gospel
Serving Others
Developing Talents
 #2 Give a family home evening lesson on Joseph Smith’s First Vision (see Joseph Smith—History 1:1–20). Discuss how Heavenly Father answers our sincere prayers.
Bear Duty to God 1st Den Meeting or Bear Paws For Action
#2 Write a letter to a teacher, your parents, or your grand- parents telling them what you appreciate and respect about them.
Bear Duty to God 4th Meeting (great for thanksgiving time)
#3 Write a poem, story, or short play that teaches a principle of the gospel or is about Heavenly Father’s creations.
Combine with Wolf Howling at the Moon or Bear Duty to God 5th Den Meeting
#5 Give an opening and a closing prayer in family home evening or at Primary. Share your feelings about how prayer protects us and helps us to stay close to Heavenly Father and the Savior.
Wolf Duty to God Footsteps
#9 Help your leaders plan and carry out an upcoming activity.
Optional, but boys can help plan a pack night.

#6 Tell a story from the Book of Mormon that teaches about faith in Jesus Christ. Share your testimony of the Savior.
Bear Duty to God 2nd Meeting.
Can be a nice Christmas Activity if you tell the first Christmas in America and add games and treats.

#8 Prepare a pedigree chart with your name and your parents’ and grandparents’ names. Prepare a family group record for your family and share a family story. Discuss how performing temple work blesses families.
Bear Duty to God 3rd Den Meeting

“Webelos Scout Night” for Webelos only to earn their “Arrow of Light Scouting Adventure” pin.  LDS version.  
This is an accelerated badge night where the boys preparing to leave cub scouts earn this pin rather than the whole combined den meeting.  The boys and their parents if possible should come.  I like to plan this about a month or two before their birthday if possible.

Meet at the same time as the older scouts meet.          

Visit A Scout Meeting:  Boys will briefly visit the 11-year-old or the deacon scouts with a checklist of the following questions and then they will separate to finish the other requirements for this badge.

When do the scouts in our ward meet?
How do scouts help with leadership in the patrol meetings?
What does the opening ceremony include each week? Pledge? Oath? Law?
Learn how patrols correspond to quorums and who the president/patrol leaders are for your ward.
Do the patrols/quorums have names, flags, or cheers?  If yes, what are they?
Who is the 11 year old scout leader?  Assistant?
How many camps do the scouts do per year? What is the plan for this year?  
Any other questions?
Plan to attend the daytime part of a Scout Activity or Plan to Attend A Webelos Day Camp.

25 min Memorization Time: Scout Oath, Law, Motto, Slogan, Outdoor Code. Explain to your leaders.  The boys shoud be able to recite the oath and law and motto pretty easily, help them to say it without reading the words, don't penalize a boy if he just can't get it word perfect, just help him understand the meaning and give him prompts if needed so he can recite the whole thing and succeed.  For the outdoor code you can have a visual aide for each line, repeat with the words and pictures and then try it with the pictures only.

5 min Teach: Scout Spirit, Sign, salute, handshake, first class badge insignia (pg 186-187), and how boy scout advancement works (pg 192-196).

15 min Teach: Patrol Method, 4 steps of advancement, ranks in in Boy Scouting, how to earn merit badges (pg 197-199)

20 min Tie a square knot pg 201, two half hitches pg 202, and a taut-line hitch pg 203, Explain what each is used whipping pg 203, fusing pg 203.

Choose a “Patrol Leader”, Make a patrol flag and cheer. 
Plan to show leadership in the den the next month

Cub Scouting at a Glance:
Required Adventures by Type for each rank:

Webelos/Arrow of Light

Outdoor Adventure
Wolf Paws on the Path
Bear Ferns Feathers Fur
Webelos Walkabout

Outdoor Adventure
(day camp)
Wolf Call of the Wild
Bear Necessities
Arrow of Light Outdoorsman

Participatory Citizenship
Wolf Council Fire
Bear Paws for Action
Arrow of Light Building a Better World

Leadership Development
Wolf Howling at the Moon
Baloo the Builder
Webelos Duty to God and You

Personal Fitness
Wolf Running with the Pack
Webelos Stronger, Faster, Higher

Bear Claws
Webelos Cast Iron Chef
Webelos First Responder

Character Development
Wolf Duty to God Footsteps

Bear Fellowship and Duty to God

(a good year to do the religious emblem, some will need to be done with family)
Webelos and Arrow of Light Duty to God awards

Webelos Sportsman (if a boy does two team sports he can finish this easily at home)

Cub Scout Elective Adventures (I categorized them myself just to help me sort them more easily)
CC=Culture/Community, STEM=Science, Technology, Engineering, Math
S=Sports 0=Outdoors 

1.     CC Wolf -   - Collections and Hobbies* the trip to a rock collector's show made this a favorite for my boys!  They made sticker/autograph books as well which was a very easy activity.  In the winter their are lots of craft shows that could be a hobby/collections field trip as well.  
2.     CC Wolf -   - Cubs Who Care   
3.    CC Wolf -   - Digging In the Past*** dinosaur theme lots of fun
4.     CC Wolf -   - Hometown Heroes   
5.     S Wolf -   - Paws of Skill
6.    S Wolf -   - Spirit of the Water maybe a fun summer adventure?
7.     STEM Wolf -   - Adventures In Coins   
8.     STEM Wolf -   - Air of the Wolf*  cool ideas
9.     STEM Wolf -   - Code of the Wolf*  very easy to teach
10.  STEM Wolf -   - Germs Alive! health education  
11.  STEM Wolf -   - Motor Away * so much fun, if you are up for lots of crafting!
12.  O Wolf -   - Finding Your Way
13. O Wolf -   - Grow Something (springtime?)

1.     CC Bear -   - Bear Picnic Basket- have the boys each bring multiple copies of one of the required recipes so that making the recipe book is just a matter of stapling.  Making trail mix for a hiking activity could be preparingone of the healthy snacks!  Just have each scout bring one ingredient!
2.     CC Bear -   - Beat of the Drum- crafty, Native American Culture
3.    CC Bear -   - Roaring Laughter-Comedy super easy to teach
4.     CC Bear -   - A World of Sound –music around the world, hands on
5.     CC Bear -   - Critter Care   
6.    S Bear -   - Marble Madness *
7.     CC Bear -   - Grin and Bear it
8.     STEM Bear -   - Forensics  *
9.     STEM Bear -   - Make It Move * 
10.  STEM Bear -   - Robotics, very cool*(order bristle bot kits ahead of time, university robotics lab?) 
11.  STEM Bear -   - Super Science, good, not quite as cool as robotics,   
12.  O Bear -   - A Bear Goes Fishing*
13. O Bear -   - Salmon Run    boating and swimming (best done with families)

1.     CC Webelos -   - Looking Back, Looking Forward (history)   
2.     CC Webelos -   - Fix It (home repairs)
3.    CC Webelos -   - Project Family* (completes three Faith in God activities) 
4.     CC Webelos -   - Aware and Care   (similar to wolf cubs who care)
5.     CC Webelos -   - Art Explosion* (completes one Faith in God activity)
6.    CC Webelos -   - Build My Own Hero  
7.     CC Webelos -   - Maestro!   
8.     S Webelos -   - Aquanaut (best done at a camp)
9.     S Webelos -   - Sportsman (good for athletic boys to do at home)
10.  STEM Webelos -   - Adventures in Science* 
11.  STEM Webelos -   - Build It*
12.  STEM Webelos -   - Earth Rocks!
13. STEM Webelos -   – Engineer (offered at our camp)
14.  STEM Webelos -   - Game Design
15.  STEM Webelos -   - Moviemaking 
16. O Webelos -   – Castaway
17.  O Webelos -   - Into the Wild   (offered at our camp with homework)
18.  O Webelos -   - Into the Woods (offered at our camp with homework)    


Stacy said...

What happened to your blog post about this? I believe it was August: "How to Combine Dens for Cub Scouts?" I'd really like to read it and have that information for the other leaders in my cub scout pack. We want to try to do it.

Regina said...

I took down this blog post because I was afraid it was just too confusing for people. It really is a good solution though, so I'll put it back and hopefully it will make sense to you. http://ablogforharmony.blogspot.com/2015_08_01_archive.html, I also just added it as a page on the top navigation bar. Enjoy your cub scouting!